Luke Jensen 02/20/2011 AP Human Geo Block 3 Fast Food Nation Essay Fast Food Nation covers two

spectrums of the American fast food experience; the historical and cultural domination of American fast food post WWII, and the route that fast food takes from the animal/vegetable to your mouth. Author Eric Schlosser starts the book by discussing Ray Kroc, the leading force behind the absolute domination of McDonalds as the nation¶s largest fast food restaurant. As a cultural icon, McDonalds is unsurpassed; the golden arches symbol is globally more recognized than the Christian cross. After discussing the global cultural spread that McDonalds has facilitated, Schlosser talks about the culture of working as a minimum wage fast food employee. According to Schlosser, the fast food sector employs more minimum wage workers than any other industry, breeding a culture that is unlike any other. In the second part of the book, Schlosser investigates the industry that provides the food to the fast food industry. He illustrates a disgusting and dangerous situation where illegal immigrants are bussed in to work 12 hour days wallowing in blood and filth. In some cases, the legs of workers will literally be submerged in blood and excrement for an entire day. Schlosser also mentions the substandard safety regulations employed by the meatpacking industry, which leads to missing digits and horrible scarring from the huge blades that cut through meat. Schlosser punctuates the end of the book by discussing how the cultural infiltration of American

³The kill floor is hot and humid. humid slaughterhouse. The author is able to create a sense of place by vividly describing the working conditions of these migrant workers as a sort of hellish captivity. dangerous conditions to feed himself and his family. The reader feels as if he is wading through the ankle-deep pool of blood. have led to growing obesity rates in other countries since the end of the cold war. ³We wade through blood that¶s ankle deep and that pours down drains into huge vats below us (Schlosser 171). Schlosser illustrates place by vividly describing the physical characteristics of a slaughterhouse. Using land marks in southern California. forced to work in disgusting.exports. The sense of place is created by the sympathy a reader experiences for the terrible situation that a migrant worker is trapped in. One of the themes of geography illustrated in Fast Food Nation is Place. Another theme of geography illustrated by Schlosser is Location. Schlosser highlights the sense of place that is brought to the reader. He then describes the human characteristics of the workers. Schlosser accurately describes the beautiful scenery and surroundings of the first McDonalds. . It stinks of manure (Schlosser 170). the relative location of fast food chains is described throughout the book. You feel as if you are within the dark. watching a calculation worker slice the carotid arteries of cows as they are conveyed past. Although absolute location is hardly mentioned at all. and surrounded by fetid smells and blood.´ This quote gives an even more disturbing image of place.´ With this quote. such as fast food. These characteristics help to bring a sense of place to the book. who are forced to labor illegally in dangerous and unsanitary conditions.

whether general health or the plight of migrant workers. the European region has much more fast food than it did twenty years ago.Another theme of geography in Fast Food Nation is Region. Sometimes Schlosser refers to the vernacular region of the south. For instance. . no thanks to the spread of American Culture. the contagious spread of fast food can be recognized as nothing more than a plague on our society¶s health and culture. Fast Food Nation is a riveting story of the spread of American food culture across the nation and globe. It perfectly illustrates just how much harm fast food is doing to various parts of America. Schlosser uses region to indicate just how far the reaches of American culture can extend to. Region is a large part of the focus on culture that Fast Food Nation has. other times he refers to the formal region of the mid-west. Region is used to describe the spread of the fast food industry across the nation and eventually across the globe.

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