School Library Journal
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Gr 7 Up-An important addition to most libraries. Useful for health classes and nutrition units, it will also be an eye-opener for general readers who regularly indulge at the Golden Arches. An adaptation of Schlosser's Fast Food Nation (Houghton, 2001), Chew on This covers the history of the fast-food industry and delves into the agribusiness and animal husbandry methods that support it. From the 37-day life of the pre-McNugget chicken to the appallingly inhumane conditions of slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants, the author lays out the gruesome details behind the tasty burgers and sandwiches. Equally disturbing is his revelation of the way that the fast-food giants have studied childhood behavior and geared their commercials and "free" toy inclusions to hook the youngest consumers. The text is written in a lively, lay-out-the-facts manner. Occasional photographs add bits of visual interest, but the emphasis here is on the truth about soda pop and obesity, fries and lies. Schlosser is a crusader writing with an obviously strong purpose. While at times veering toward the inflammatory edge, he backs up and documents all of his points, ensuring that his insights will incite. Those seeking a book to balance this one should consider Tracy Brown Collins's Fast Food (Gale, 2004), a collection of 10 essays representing varied opinions about different aspects of this industry.-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Gr. 6-9. Including passages from Schlosser's best-selling adult book Fast Food Nation0 (2001) and other writings, the authors dish up a somewhat-less-stomach-churning look at the fast-food industry's growth, practices, and effects on public health. Folding in original interviews, recent statistics, and published research, along with such spicy taglines as "The Golden Arches are now more widely recognized than the Christian cross," they trace the hamburger's early years and the evolution of the McDonald's Corporation's revolutionary Speedee Service System. They follow with vivid tours through feedlots, abattoirs, and a chicken-processing plant to explore how fast food has achieved spectacular international success, particularly among an increasingly obese youth market, then round off with glimpses of Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard initiative and other alternatives less likely to lead to gastric bypass surgery. Readers may not lose their appetites for McFood from this compelling study, but they will definitely come away less eager to get a McJob and more aware of the diet's attendant McMedical problems. Extensive endnotes, occasional photos. --John Peters Copyright 2006 Booklist
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The author of Fast Food Nation partners with Wilson to serve up a stinging, often startling expos? on this country's pervasive, lucrative fast-food industry, for young people. The book's scope is exhaustive and sometimes exhausting, starting with a history of the hamburger, the advent of drive-in restaurants and the debut and mushrooming of McDonald's. The text dwells on this chain's effective if manipulative marketing campaigns aimed at children, noting that its outlets disperse more than 1.5 billion toys annually. The book also covers the plight of fast-food restaurant workers; the steep mark-up on fast-food items; the low nutritional value of many school cafeteria menus featuring fast food; and the fast-food industry's ample contribution to America's obesity epidemic. Making for sometimes unpleasant though undeniably edifying reading is a lengthy account of how the animals that provide fast food meats are fed, slaughtered and processed. In some cases, the subtitle's promise comes through in inadvertent ways, as the narrative provides perhaps an overabundance of details. But in the end, Schlosser and Wilson leave readers with a powerful suggestion that "the solution starts with you," urging them to consider the ramifications of placing an order at a fast-food counter, thereby setting into motion "the ripple effect near and far." Many who have digested the information dished out here will do as the convincing authors hope: head for the exit. Copious endnotes document sources of statistics and statements. Ages 11-13. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved