The Seamy Underbelly of the Fast Food Industry

Essay by KidArtemisCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2008

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

The Seamy Underbelly of the Fast Food Industry In the few hundred years that it has been its own independently established nation, America has been witness to an incredible series of radical changes. It was not long ago that slavery existed, women had unfair rights, and the time-honored traditions, expectations, and social rules concerning family, religion, and education were upheld and practiced without question, as though they were written in the Constitution itself. But in this day and age, things have changed. Technology and the need for things to happen quicker has changed people's mind about the world around them. One thing that has adapted to the times is the fast food industry. Eric Schlosser, a muckraking journalist and author of Fast Food Nation, Reefer Madness and Chew on This, writes about the dark side of fast food. So far, he has received a National Magazine Award and a Sidney Hillman Foundation Award for reporting.

Schlosser's essay, "Behind the Counter," is about the practices fast food corporations carry out. The values the fast food industry spreads embody capitalism at its worst: hostility to workers' rights, along with a dehumanizing emphasis on mass production and uniformity at the expense of meaningful worker training and autonomy. Eric Schlosser writes a compelling essay about the harsh reality of the fast food industry.

One particular line from the essay stood out. "Fast food kitchens often seem like a scene from Bugsy Malone, a film in which all the actors are children pretending to be adults." This is interesting because most of the workers of fast food restaurants are teenagers. They fit the job perfectly, as they do not require high salaries and benefits.

To keep service speedy, fast food corporations have designed an assembly line type system. Words like "throughput" and "scientific management"...