One thing that most people don’t seem to understand about fast food restaurants is the harmful and unethical practice that comes with an order of a double cheeseburger with a side order of medium fries and a drink. Eric Schlosser, the author of “Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal,” had made several negative interpretation about the functionality of fast food corporation. Such interpretation can be in relations of what a typical Marxist would complain about, such as the fact that fast food corporation tends to do whatever means possible to reach the end of making a substantial amount of profit.
In “Fast Food Nations: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal,” Schlosser targeted on the unethical practices of producing profit which includes the fabrication of sediment phrases, the systematic of mass production, and the management of poor quality with emphasis of large quantity. Some of the claims that Schlosser made can be viewed similarly to the aspects of Karl Marx and his believers, the Marxists. Many Marxists can strongly support Schlosser’s claim with a Marxist interpretation of an accusation of Capitalism.
Marxist is known as a group of socialist and they believes that the government’s economy should be equally shared amongst all working classes. Without a doubt, Schlosser had exposed the fact that corporations like McDonalds, Carl’s Jr, Burger King, and so forth had made great profits from exploiting the nation’s vulnerable workers who are willing to work at any cost. These vulnerable workers can be just about anyone from teenagers to first generation immigrants.
All in all, Schlosser had made a strong argument to persuade the nation from supporting profit-hungry Corporation by revealing of its unethical practices that may be a convincing factor for the nation to think twice before entering another fast food restaurant. One of the many reasons why fast food restaurants are successful is because they know how to market themselves properly with small sentimental message that appeals to the community.
Sentimental message might not mean much, but when families of the community are convinced that the restaurant cares about them, they will be inclined to support their business. It’s a shame that the community does not see the irony in their sentimental messages. Example of the irony would be Mcdonalds creating the Ronald McDonald House of Charity to ask customers for additional donations, in which all proceeds of that donation will help other counties hospital. The irony of this all is that fast food is also the reason why kids are unhealthy.
It is also common knowledge that fast food is the leading cause of obesity and obesity can lead to various amount of health-related problem. Another reason why fast food restaurants are successful is because fast food industries target a younger audience such as children. Their techniques on children are simple, because children love collecting toys and items that relates to cartoon figures that they are familiar with. Therefore, these corporations would purchase patents and the rights to use their cartoon figure or icon on their product, which typically sells efficiently with kids.
These items are not just popular amongst the children’s age group, but “many adult collectors have also bought Teenie Beanie Baby Happy Meals, kept the dolls, and threw away the food” (Schlosser 48). These cross promotions between brands has done two things; strengthens ties between fast food industries and companies and also create an irresistible addiction between collectors and the industries. Another marketing strategy that these fast food industries utilize is to slightly modify the collectible’s colors or parts to attract customers to spend a fortunate collecting a whole set of the same kind of toys.
The surface of the fast food industries may be deceiving to the general public, but it certainly is not easily deceitful to the workers who dealt with jobs within a fast food industry. While the economy continues to look like steep slide, workers are becoming more willing to work at any jobs in order to financially support their family and themselves. These very same workers that work for fast food industries, are typically teenagers or first generation immigrants because fast food industries knows that these two candidates are perfect for exploitation.
Also, because they are less likely to form unions, complain about conditions, and complain about long hours. Fast food industries, like most Marxist-invaded counties, know how to exploit their workers at their fullest potential. They hire the uneducated youth with the least potential to start a union. They view workers as cheap objects that they can be hired and fired at the will of their employers. Unlike a business firm, these fast food industries rarely give raises to their employees, but instead they ould motivate their workers with encouragements or compliments. Since these workers are uneducated and don’t know their rights enough to argue, they would simply respond to their employer’s encouragement or compliment with better performances. Aside from the wages, these jobs are more than often dangerous. It is not certain whether these companies have spent enough money to properly train workers to diligently use the restaurants equipment which would prevent health incidents and work injuries. Reasons being that these companies are profit-focused.
They will try to minimize their spending as much as possible to make sure that they maximize the profit. Some of these jobs are even done by illegal immigrants or anyone desperate enough for a job at a later night shift, because it’s extremely dangerous and companies do not want to risk going into law suits or paying for higher life insurances for their workers with all means to maximize their profit. Schlosser had mentioned a story about Kenny Dobbin, as an example of a worker who was a victim of such unethical offense.
Kenny was an uneducated man with no literacy skills, but was tall and strong. He was hired by Monfort, a meat-packing plant company, whom took advantage of Kenny’s kindness and abused him by placing him in dangerous working condition. After sixteen years of pure dedication, Kenny was fired because of his severe injuries from work, because the company does not want to pay for a higher insurance coverage for him. Kenny was “once strong and powerfully built, he now walks with difficulty, tires easily, and feels useless as though his life were over.
He is forty-six years old” (Schlosser 190). Kenny, however, is still considered to be one of the fortunate one because he is able to get his story out unlike many other victims who weren’t able to get their stories out because they are still working with the injuries that they have attained from work. Some of the reasons that explain why they don’t complain about their injuries are because they don’t want to be fired and stress the difficulties of finding another job. These are just some of the examples of the inhumanely acts that fast food industries had commit to their workers.
Workers might understand the cruelty that lies within their job, but they might not know what kind of quality the management has selected for the product that they are working with. Aside from managing workers and their wages, fast food industries also manages their food supplies to ensure the greatest amount of profit. By doing so, managements of fast food industries would choose the cheapest quality of meat that’s barely edible, refrozen fries that have been made with preservatives, and also wheat from a wheat field that have been sprayed with pesticides on a regular basis.
Many fast food critics, including Schlosser, argued that fast food industries are more concern about the superficial image and the smell of the product rather than the natural healthy content of the product. Schlosser had mentioned that the “Food and Drug Administration does not require flavor companies to disclose the ingredients of their addictive, so long as all the chemicals are considered by the agency to be generally regarded as safe,” which means that the government had betrayed the consumers and had gave fast food industries the additional power to make substantial amount of profit.
Most fast food restaurant took advantage of the governments’ lack of responsibility and would spend as little as possible on meat. This course of action might be good for business, but it is absolutely terrible for the consumers who invest their health in these fast food products. In the early years of fast food industries, many fast food restaurants have been criticized for their contaminated burgers because of the hospitalized and illness trend that consumers are recognizing prior to eating their burgers.
The fast food industries did not know how to react to such immense pressure, so they attempt to shift the blame to the farmers. Eventually the government realized the decline of fast food industries and initiated the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to run a federal inspection test for all the meat packaging industries of the fast food industries. This might have been a good sign of improvement for the government, until the government decided to be secretive about their findings and had agreed with fast food industries to not reveal the details about the company’s distributed meat.
Today, Fast food industries is still one of the largest marketing industries across nation, but let’s not forget about the labor policies, marketing strategies, and agricultural techniques that comes within their products. Schlosser had made enough strong argument about the business tactics that are responsible for the success of fast food industries. Such tactics that targets children and families with collectibles and sentimental values, hiring workers that are more willing to work with minimum wages, and also managing a horrible quality of food supplies.
These factors might be great for the industries because they prospering a substantial amount of profit, but it are unhealthy for the consumers across the nation. Hopefully in the near future, United State’s Department of Agriculture would interfere with regulations that would prevent fast food industries from exploiting the community of its self-motivated individuals. Schlosser also believed that the government should create a federal agency that promotes “more safety laws that could also reduce the number of slaughterhouse workers who get hurt” (Schlosser 264).
With the worker’s safety conditions controlled, it would also be the nation’s best interest to end obesity, by controlling the establishment of fast food restaurants allowed per community and to open up healthier restaurants. Now on a more practical basis, students and the community should raise awareness of the unethical practices of fast food industries, and promote healthier eating habits within their community. With this practical practice, fast food industries will be prone to being eliminated, and the community will live a longer and healthier life.
Courtney from Study Moose
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