Gaby GutierrezMs. TullyAPES 21/12/17Agriculture Writing Assignment In the book Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser we learn about the hug industry of fast food in our nation. In the beginning of the book we learn about the beginnings of the industry, the invention of the fast food restaurant. Carl Karcher was a pioneer of the fast food restaurant, with his drive in barbeque restaurant. The post WW1 economy allowed for him to get a lot of customers with the cheap prices for food. Soon after the McDonald brothers started the McDonald’s enterprise. Schlosser explains the similarities between the design of the Ray A. Kroc Museum and the Disney Enterprise. Kroc was the man who wanted to franchise McDonald’s and have a location in the Disney Park, but this deal was never finalized. Schlosser then goes on to examine Walt Disney and his business and marketing strategies along with the those of Ray Kroc’s ideals of self-reliance and hard work. The author then goes on to talk about how the target audience was at children, they wanted the business to be kid-friendly. Fast food has been incorporated with public schools, they target their campaigning and advertising in schools. The author speaks about how fast-food restaurants usually have employees that are teenagers, they are targeted by these restaurants because they are unskilled workers that will work part-time for low wages. These fast food restaurants set their model after assembly lines, and this is how the food is treated as a consequence, a worker will only do one job and then it will be passed down for the next job. These employees are under strict regulation by their employers, they are all unskilled making them disposable. The majority of the fast-food industry consists of teenagers, elderly, disabled and immigrants; for many of the workers english is their second language. One of the commonly looked over problems in this industry is that they receive government subsidies for training of the employees, but then they used this money in researching how to get around training their employees and pocketing some of it. As the author is driving through Pueblo with the pizza delivery man, we learn that to become a franchise you need to pay around $15,000, but the reward in the end makes it worth it because you make a lot of money in the long run. The french fry industry is very competitive and has three companies at the head controlling the market; the potato farmers making no profit off of the french fries. The only thing that makes the taste of the McDonald’s French fry is the oil that it is cooked in, it is made up of 7% cotton seed oil and 93% beef tallow. They talk about the chicken that was bred for McDonald’s chicken nuggets, they were referred to as “The Breasts of Mr. McDonald”, we also learn that chicken processors are those that make the most money, the chicken growers make very little money. We learn of the tragedy of suicide among ranchers firsthand with Hank, this is common because of the pressures associated with the job. In Denison, Iowa the beginning of the IBP revolution began. This used the same principles as those of McDonald’s to package meat and began to package hamburgers on site. They also used the scraps and bones of the meat to make dog food; this marked a change in the beef industry. We learn some of the horrors of the jobs in the slaughterhouse, not only are they very dangerous, but when injured it is very hard to gain worker’s compensation for being injured in these plants. We learn that because of the way that cattle are raised, slaughtered, and processed give the dream for e coli and other parasites to spread within our food. This book connects to what we are learning in class, we have learned about what many of the products in fast-food restaurants and in any processed food really consist of. We have learned of the large corn industry in our country. Almost everything that you eat at a fast-food restaurant contains these corn ingredients, whether it’s the oil that it was fried in or if it’s an ingredient in one of the foods. In the midwest part of the country there is a large culture of monocropping, or planting all of one food in the same area so that it is easier to harvest and plant, it is also cheaper for the farmer. But, in doing so this has a large effect on the environment. This leaves these crops subject to outright wiping out of the crop due to insects or disease. This is what brings the farmers to generously shower their fields with pesticides for the insects. Another problem with monocropping is that the harvest time for the plant is at the same time so you are ripping up the ground there and all around it at all the same time and not allowing for the nutrients in the soil to regenerate. This leaves the soil vulnerable to soil erosion. This is why the farmers spray the fields with fertilizers that helps the crop to grow taller and faster. These pesticides and fertilizers however are taken out of the fields and into rivers, because of eutrophication, then are eventually led to the sea. The location of the farmland in the United States causes all of the pesticides and fertilizers from the farming industry into the Mississippi River eventually ending up in the Gulf of Mexico. The meat however comes from farms where the animals are being fed corn, because this is cheaper and more convenient that the cows actually eating grass. We have also learned of the conditions of the cattle in our country, the practice of factory farming which is 99% of all farms in the country. These factory farms are shoving animals in crates, or in pens; neither of these are good for the animals. These can easily spread disease but, also these farms are promoting animal cruelty; shoving animals in a very small space and gorging them until they are large enough to slaughter isn’t an okay practice. Because all of these animals now carry disease they are loaded with antibiotics which end up in our food and on our plates, and this isn’t safe for human consumption. Because we are putting these foods into one of the largest industries in the United States we are promoting this type of unsustainable agriculture and this animal cruelty. In order for use to stop the way that we are farming and the way we acquire our food, with the treatment of the animals, we need to stop their use. We need to promote sustainable agriculture and eating more plants!