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29+ quotes from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser

Quotes from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Eric Schlosser ·  399 pages

Rating: (188K votes)


“The history of the twentieth century was dominated by the struggle against totalitarian systems of state power. The twenty-first will no doubt be marked by a struggle to curtail excessive corporate power.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“The medical literature on the causes of food poisoning is full of euphemisms and dry scientific terms: coliform levels, aerobic plate counts, sorbitol, MacConkey agar, and so on. Behind them lies a simple explanation for why eating a hamburger can now make you seriously ill: There is shit in the meat.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“Did somebody say McUnion? [...] Not if they want to keep their McJob.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“The spread of BSE [mad cow disease] in Europe has revealed how secret alliances between agribusiness and government can endanger the public health. It has shown how the desire for profit can overrule every other consideration. British agricultural officials were concerned as early as 1987 that eating meat from BSE-infected cattle might pose a risk to human beings. That information was suppressed for years, and the possibility of any health risk was strenuously denied, in order to protect exports of British beef. Scientists who disagreed with the official line were publicly attacked and kept off government committees investigating BSE. Official denials of the truth delayed important health measures.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“Today the U.S. government can demand the nation-wide recall of defective softball bats, sneakers, stuffed animals, and foam-rubber toy cows. But it cannot order a meatpacking company to remove contaminated, potentially lethal ground beef from fast food kitchens and supermarket shelves.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“The market is a tool, and a useful one. But the worship of this tool is a hollow faith. Far more important than any tool is what you make with it.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“Congress should ban advertising that preys upon children, it should stop subsidizing dead-end jobs, it should pass tougher food safety laws, it should protect American workers from serious harm, it should fight against dangerous concentrations of economic power.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“Twenty years ago, teenage boys in the United States drank twice as much milk as soda; now they drink twice as much soda as milk.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“When a worker is injured at an IBP plant in Texas, he or she is immediately presented with a waiver. Signing the waiver means forever surrendering the right to sue IBP on any grounds. Workers who sign the waiver may receive medical care under IBP's Workplace Injury Settlement Program. Or they may not. Once workers sign, IBP and its company-approved doctors have control over the job-related medical treatment - for life. Under the program's terms, seeking treatment from an independent physician can be grounds for losing all medical benefits. Workers who refuse to sign the IBP waiver not only risk getting no medical care from the company, but also risk being fired on the spot...Injured workers almost always sign the waiver. The pressure to do so is immense. An IBP medical case manager will literally bring the waiver to a hospital emergency room in order to obtain an injured worker's signature. When Lonita Leal's right hand was mangled by a hamburger grinder at the IBP plant in Amarillo, a case manager talked her into signing the waiver with her left hand as she waited in the hospital for surgery. When Duane Mullin had both hands crushed in a hammer mill at the same plant, an IBP representative persuaded him to sign the waiver with a pen held in his mouth.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“The life's work of Walt Disney and Ray Kroc had come full-circle, uniting in perfect synergy. McDonald's began to sell its hamburgers and french fries at Disney's theme parks. The ethos of McDonaldland and of Disneyland, never far apart, have finally become one. Now you can buy a Happy Meal at the Happiest Place on Earth.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“Lowe has broken from the Christianity of his parents, a faith that now seems hopelessly out of date. The meek shall no longer inherit the earth; the go-getters will get it and everything that goes with it. The Christ who went among the poor, the sick, the downtrodden, among lepers and prostitutes, really had no marketing savvy. He has been transfigured into a latter-day entrepreneur, the greatest superstar sales person of all time, who built a multinational outfit from scratch.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“A generation ago, three-quarters of the money used to buy food in the United States was spent to prepare meals at home. Today about half of the money used to buy food is spent at restaurants--mainly at fast food restaurants.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“Behind them lies a simple explanation for why eating a hamburger can now make you seriously ill: There is shit in the meat.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“Again and again workers told me that they are under tremendous pressure not to report injuries. The annual bonuses of plant foremen and supervisors are often based in part on the injury rate of their workers. Instead of crating a safer workplace, these bonus schemes encourage slaughterhouse managers to make sure that accidents and injuries go unreported. Missing fingers, broken bones, deep lacerations and amputated limbs are difficult to conceal from authorities. But the dramatic and catastrophic injuries in a slaughterhouse are greatly outnumbered by less visible, though no less debilitating, ailments: torn muscles, slipped disks, pinched nerves.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“Widespread introduction of the process [of irradiating foods] has thus far been impeded, however, by a reluctance among consumers to eat things that have been exposed to radiation. According to current USDA regulations, irradiated meat must be identified with a special label and with a radura (the internationally recognized symbol of radiation). The Beef Industry Food Safety Council - whose members include the meatpacking and fast food giants - has asked the USDA to change its rules and make the labeling of irradiated meat completely voluntary. The meatpacking industry is also working hard to get rid of the word 'irradiation,; much preferring the phrase 'cold pasteurization.'...From a purely scientific point of view, irradiation may be safe and effective. But he [a slaughterhouse engineer] is concerned about the introduction of highly complex electromagnetic and nuclear technology into slaughterhouses with a largely illiterate, non-English-speaking workforce.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“The war on foodborne pathogens deserves the sort of national attention and resources that has been devoted to the war on drugs. Far more Americans are severely harmed every year by food poisoning than by illegal drug use. And the harms caused by food poisoning are usually inadvertent and unanticipated. People who smoke crack know the potential dangers; most people who eat hamburgers don’t. Eating in the United States should no longer be a form of high-risk behavior.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“A nationwide study published by the USDA in 1996 found that [...] 78.6 percent of the ground beef contained microbes that are spread primarily by fecal matter. The medical literature on the causes of food poisoning is full of euphemisms and dry scientific terms: coliform levels, aerobic plate counts, sorbitol, MacConkey agar, and so on. Behind them lies a simple explanation for why eating hamburger meat makes you sick: There is shit in the meat.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“About 75 percent of the cattle in the United States were routinely fed livestock wastes—the rendered remains of dead sheep and dead cattle—until August of 1997. They were also fed millions of dead cats and dead dogs every year, purchased from animal shelters.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a quarter of the American population suffers a bout of food poisoning each year.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“The usefulness of the market, its effectiveness as a tool, cuts both ways. The real power of the American consumer has not yet been unleashed. The heads of Burger King, KFC, and McDonald’s should feel daunted; they’re outnumbered. There are three of them and almost three hundred million of you.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000, they spent more than $110 billion. Americans now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars. They spend more on fast food than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music—combined.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“Beslenme biçimi, bir ulus hakkında sanatı veya edebiyatından daha çok bilgi verebilir. ABD'de herhangi bir günde yetişkin nüfusun yaklaşık dörtte biri bir fast food restoranına gidiyor. Fast food sektörü oldukça kısa bir süre içinde, beslenme biçimimizin ötesinde coğrafyamızı, ekonomimizi, işgücümüzü ve popüler kültürümüzü de dönüştürdü. İster günde iki kere yiyin, ister uzak durun, hatta hiç ağzınıza sürmemiş olun; artık fast food'dan ve sonuçlarından kaçamazsınız.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“Future historians, I hope, will consider the American fast food industry a relic of the twentieth century — a set of attitudes, systems, and
beliefs that emerged from postwar southern California, that embodied its limitless faith in technology, that quickly spread across the globe,
flourished briefly, and then receded, once its true costs became clear and its thinking became obsolete. We cannot ignore the meaning of mad
cow. It is one more warning about unintended consequences, about human arrogance and the blind worship of science.The same mindset
that would add 4-methylacetophenone and solvent to your milkshake would also feed pigs to cows. Whatever replaces the fast food industry
should be regional, diverse, authentic, unpredictable, sustainable, profitable — and humble. It should know its limits. People can be fed
without being fattened or deceived.This new century may bring an impatience with conformity, a refusal to be kept in the dark, less greed,
more compassion, less speed, more common sense, a sense of humor about brand essences and loyalties, a view of food as more than just
fuel.Things don’t have to be the way they are. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I remain optimistic.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“Pull open the glass door, feel the rush of cool air, walk inside, get in line, and look around you, look at the kids working in the kitchen, at the customers in their seats, at the ads for the latest toys, study the backlit color photographs above the counter, think about where the food came from, about how and where it was made, about what is set in motion by every single fast food purchase, the ripple effect near and far, think about it. Then place your order. Or turn and walk out the door. It’s not too late. Even in this fast food nation, you can still have it your way.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“The birth of the fast food industry coincided with Eisenhower-era glorifications of technology, with optimistic slogans like “Better Living through Chemistry” and “Our Friend the Atom.” The sort of technological wizardry that Walt Disney promoted on television and at Disneyland eventually reached its fulfillment in the kitchens of fast food restaurants. Indeed, the corporate culture of McDonald’s seems inextricably linked to that of the Disney empire, sharing a reverence for sleek machinery, electronics, and automation. The leading fast food chains still embrace a boundless faith in science—and as a result have changed not just what Americans eat, but also how their food is made.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“Like Cheyenne Mountain, today's fast good conceals remarkable technological advances behind an ordinary-looking façade.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“Sides of beef suspended from an overhead trolley swing toward a group of men. Each worker has a large knife in one hand and a steel hook in the other. They grab the meat with their hooks and attack it fiercely with their knives. As they hack away, using all their strength, grunting, the place suddenly feels different, primordial. The machinery seems beside the point, and what’s going on before me has been going on for thousands of years—the meat, the hook, the knife, men straining to cut more meat. On the kill floor, what I see no longer unfolds in a logical manner. It’s one strange image after another. A worker with a power saw slices cattle into halves as though they were two-by-fours, and then the halves swing by me into the cooler. It feels like a slaughterhouse now. Dozens of cattle, stripped of their skins, dangle on chains from their hind legs. My host stops and asks how I feel, if I want to go any further. This is where some people get sick.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“see: a man reach inside cattle and pull out their kidneys with his bare hands, then drop the kidneys down a metal chute, over and over again, as each animal passes by him; a stainless steel rack of tongues; Whizzards peeling meat off decapitated heads, picking them almost as clean as the white skulls painted by Georgia O’Keeffe. We wade through blood that’s ankle deep and that pours down drains into huge vats below us. As we approach the start of the line, for the first time I hear the steady pop, pop, pop of live animals being stunned.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


“The Golden Arches are now more widely recognized than the Christian cross.”
― Eric Schlosser, quote from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal


About the author

Eric Schlosser
Born place: in Manhattan, New York , The United States
Born date August 17, 1959
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