Thursday, November 23, 2006

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (Kindle Edition)
The best, most informative, and scary book I have read all year has to be Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, by Eric Schlosser. The second best book is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (see my earlier posts - Influence - Shortcuts and Contrast and Book - Influence; the psychology of persuasion). I finished reading this book in September, and I have to say this is the best book by far that I have read this year. If there is one non-fiction book you read this year, make sure it is this one.
I first became aware of this book in 2002 when it was first published, but couldn't lay my hands on it at the local public library (in San Jose), and given the fact that I was empoyed with a startup that had long ceased to pay me, buying the book was not an option that was particularly viable at the time. I forgot about it for a few years, and while doing my MBA just trying to be uptodate on all that was required to be read (and more importantly, ingested) was a challenge I scarcely managed to succeed. This year, 2006, however I did manage to get back into the habit of reading, both fiction and non-fiction. As far as fiction goes I am still with Grisham and Crighton... I inquired about this book's availability in Bangalore, but without success. Upon an impulse, and at the cost of an additional $5 that I could have saved by ordering this book on Amazon.com (the 25-30% discount and the sales tax), I bought this book from Barnes & Noble earlier this year.
The book itself is about the fast food industry in the US - McDonalds, Burger King, Subway - as well as all the elements in the chain - the conglomerates, the workers, the franchisees, the meat packers, those who work at the feedlots, the communities, and more. The effect of the fast food industry and its all-consuming presence, everywhere, is looked at closely.

© 2006, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved. Reposted to this blog Nov 2011