Excerpt from Chew on This by Charles W. Wilson, Eric Schlosser, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Chew on This

Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food

by Charles W. Wilson, Eric Schlosser

Chew on This by Charles W. Wilson, Eric Schlosser X
Chew on This by Charles W. Wilson, Eric Schlosser
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2006, 270 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2007, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


The simple answer is this: the companies that sell fast food don’t want you to think about it. They don’t want you to know where it comes from and how it’s made. They just want you to buy it.

Have you ever seen a fast-food ad that shows the factories where French fries are made? Ever seen a fast-food ad that shows the slaughterhouses where cattle are turned into ground beef? Ever seen an ad that tells you what’s really in your fast-food milk shake and why some strange-sounding chemicals make it taste so good? Ever seen an ad that shows overweight, unhealthy kids stuffing their faces with greasy fries at a fast-food restaurant? You probably haven’t. But you’ve probably seen a lot of fast-food commercials that show thin, happy children having a lot of fun.

People have been eating since the beginning of time. But they’ve only been eating Chicken McNuggets since 1983. Fast food is a recent invention. During the past thirty years, fast food has spread from the United States to every corner of the globe. A business that began with a handful of little hot dog and hamburger stands in southern California now sells the all- American meal—a hamburger, French fries, and soda—just about everywhere. Fast food is now sold at restaurants and drive-throughs, at baseball stadiums, high schools, elementary schools, and universities, on cruise ships, trains, and airplanes, at Kmarts, Wal-Marts, and even the cafeterias of children’s hospitals. In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food. In 2005, they spent about $134 billion on fast food. Americans now spend more money on fast food than on college education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars. They spend more on fast food than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, and recorded music— combined.

Fast food may look like the sort of food people have always eaten, but it’s different. It’s not the kind of food you can make in your kitchen from scratch. Fast food is something radically new. Indeed, the food we eat has changed more during the past thirty years than during the previous thirty thousand years.

In the pages that follow, you’ll learn how the fast-food business got started. You’ll learn how the fast-food chains try to get kids into their restaurants, how they treat kids working in their kitchens, how they make their food. And you’ll learn what can happen when you eat too much of it. These are things you really need to know. Why? Because fast food is heavily advertised to kids and often prepared by workers who are kids themselves. This is an industry that both feeds and feeds off the young.

For the most part, fast food tastes pretty good. That’s one of the main reasons people like to eat it. Fast food has been carefully designed to taste good. It’s also inexpensive and convenient. But the Happy Meals, two- for-one deals, and free refills of soda give a false sense of how much fast food actually costs. The real price never appears on the menu.

Hundreds of millions of people eat fast food every day without giving it much thought. They just unwrap their hamburgers and dig in. An hour or so later, when the burger’s all gone and the wrapper’s been tossed into the garbage, the whole meal has already been forgotten. Chew on this: people should know what lies beneath the shiny, happy surface of every fast-food restaurant. They should know what really lurks between those sesame seed buns. As the old saying goes: you are what you eat.

  • 1
  • 2

CHEW ON THIS: EVERYTHING YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT FAST FOOD by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson. Copyright (c) 2006 by Eric Schlosser. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Treeborne
    Treeborne
    by Caleb Johnson
    The Treeborne family has lived on The Seven – the local sobriquet for a seven-acre stretch of ...
  • Book Jacket
    Grace
    by Paul Lynch
    Harrowing. Gorgeous. Epic. Grace, Paul Lynch's coming of age novel about a young woman, is set ...
  • Book Jacket: The Perfectionists
    The Perfectionists
    by Simon Winchester
    We seek precision in our lives every day. We want to drive from home to work and work to home safely...
  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Summer Wives
    by Beatriz Williams

    An electrifying postwar fable of love, class, power and redemption set on an island off the New England coast.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Tabor
    by Cherise Wolas

    Wolas's gorgeously rendered sophomore novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.