Britain eats more fast food than any other country in Europe. But it's
Germany where McDonald's makes most of its money compared to other countries outside the USA.
The tradition of fast food originated, of course, in America. A hamburger and french fries became the
quintessential American meal in the 1950s, thanks to commercials and ads of the fast food chains.
The typical American now consumes c. 3 hamburgers and 4 orders of french fries every week. The disastrous
effects of such eating habits is not only overweight and obesity , esp. among many Americans, but can also
be seen in the potato fields and processing plants of Idaho, in the ranchlands east of Colorado, in the feedlots,
slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants of the High Plains, its environment, its workers and their health.
But it's not only the big McDonald's Corporation which is responsible for the negative effects of their foods,
other fast food chains also contribute to that negative development: e.g. Taco Bell, KFC, Burger King,
Subway, Jack in the Box, Pizza Hut, Domino's or Wendy's. It was, however, the two McDonald brothers with
their first McDonald Self-Service Restaurant in San Bernadino, CA, who took the lead in the fast
food industry. Today McDonald is a worldwide empire with its corporate headquarters and its managerial center
(the Hamburger University) in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Particularly interesting in Eric Schlosser's book are the chapters where he deals with the booming town of Colorado
Springs (the LA of the 1940s) or when he describes the catastrophic practices in slaughterhouses
(say hello to Upton Sinclair's Jungle) or the feedlots in Lexington, Nebr. or Greeley, Colorado.
Read an excerpt from the book on the little town of Greeley: