Fast Food Nation Critical Analysis

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Food is the staple of any society. Before the practice of agriculture a sustainable supply of food was hard to come by; as a result, people were subjected to a harsher way of life. The invention of agricultural practices, and the resulting sustainable food supply, revolutionized the way life could be lived. However, there is a cost as population increases so to does, demand and in the name of expediency shortcuts are taken, which can be hazardous to the average individual.1 Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, looks at the modern food process in America and the negative impact it has on the average consumer.2 However, it is not always the industry that is to be blamed, as pointed out in Food Fears by Alison Blay-Palmer, sometimes it …show more content…
12 Additionally, in an effort to reduce overhead, corporations use the cheapest labour available, which often times means “illiterate workers [who] do not always understand the importance of good hygiene” (Schlosser page 202). 13 Ultimately, what this amounts to is that as a result of the demand for cheap meat, corporations employ the cheapest labourers and expect the maximum results sacrificing safety standards in the process, or as stated by Blay-Palmer “capital pushes the industrial food system in directions that run counter to social and natural well-being.” 14 The final factor affecting food safety would be the role of government in the industry, and the ensuing war being precipitated by the food industry in response to government. Turning first to Blay-Palmer, we see that the industry reacts strongly to any perceived threat to itself, a part of that reaction is to reconstruct a favourable outlook of the business in the public when scandals occur. 15 For example, Alar, a probable cancer …show more content…
For example, farmers in Canada were incited to use “bio-security measures to keep poultry flocks away from any potential contaminants” (Blay-Palmer page 101). 22 Although this method may be effective it is impractical to local farmers who have neither the resources nor skills to properly use these securities. Additionally, the use “irradiation” (Bay-Palmer page 107) 23 does not address the problem, but rather takes the focus off of the problem and would lead to worsened conditions as the food industry would not need to adhere to regulations; as, the food is going to be treated with radiation and that will kill any bacteria on the meat. It has been a practice of the food industry to use “food scares as one rationale to increase the level of technology and control in the food chain” (Blay-Palmer page 107) 24 and as public awareness of food safety increases the industries response to it will be more of the same all in the name of solving the problem when in reality they are worsening it. This method might seem attractive to governments who are trying to appease the meat industry and protect their citizens, but it is not the solution merely a patch on the real

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