Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fast Food Nation

I started reading this book on the plane ride over from the states. It'd be an understatement that this book has been an eye-opener. I already avoid most fast-food when possible (other than In-N-Out), but reading this book definitely strengthens that resolve.

On top of that, reading the chapters about the meatpacking industry and how slaughterhouses work... I'm seriously considering giving up red meat, or at least ground beef. I'm sure not all slaughterhouses are as bad as what's described, but some of the leading corporations seem to have some of the dirtiest factories. It's insane when you talk about a line of employment where the injury rate is a full 1/3 higher than the national average--especially knowing that the real number of injuries could be twice (or more) that number, as many of these places are under high pressure not to report injuries. Basically meat workers are treated like garbage. Even the animals getting slaughtered have more rights (PETA goes on and on about treating the animals humanely-- who's fighting for the PEOPLE working in these factories who're routinely getting their arms ripped off, or getting decapitated by the machines?) And, yeah, let's not even get into ground beef, and how the meat companies have worked so hard to lobby against any sort of testing for e.coli or other pathogens that cause hundreds of deaths from food poisoning every year. If you don't know it's there, you can't be blamed for it, right? As if I needed another reason not to want my kids to eat hamburgers.

I know "ignorance is bliss," but I highly recommend reading Fast Food Nation. It's incredible the things that have been ging on, without so much as any of us batting an eye... it all gets blanketed by greed, corruption, and the fact that no one seems to care about migrant workers (the majority of employees at slaughterhouses and meat packing plants).


  1. If you liked that book...you should see the documentry "Supersize Me" same topic and very entertaining. Guy eats McDonalds for every meal for a month and has doctors check him out along the way...it's not good for you.

  2. Yeah, I saw that movie a while back. The experiment with the french fries still haunts me... Another reason why I try to only eat fast food at In-N-Out, as they seem to be the only fast-food chain that uses actual REAL chemical-free food.

    Unfortunately, there are no In-N-Outs in Switzerland. =(



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