Chew On This

You sit down at a McDonalds to eat a hamburger, fries, and a soda, the classic American fast food meal. In Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson’s book, Chew On This, the secrets behind why that “burger”, fries, and soda tastes like they do, are revealed. The authors write about the kids who are lured to these restaurants because of the hypnotizing commercials or “fun characters”. Also, the kids who work behind the counter working outrageous hours to earn little pay. The two authors discuss why those french fries taste so good and how the slaughterhouses that supply fast food restaurants with chicken operate. As Schlosser and Wilson like to say, “You are what you eat.”

Kids like fast food and fast food certainly likes kids, as the industry would suffer if they did not try to bring children into their restaurants. Ray Kroc, an American businessman who joined McDonald’s in 1954, and helped make the chain successful, once said, “A child is a valued customer, if their grandparents bring them to McDonald’s, we have two new customers.” Unfortunately he is exactly right.  He said this in the sixties and it still applies today, as now toys and bright colors bring children in. Speaking of toys, McDonald’s is now the world’s largest toy maker and distributer in the world and one in every three toys given to children is one of those plastic sponsored toys made for McDonald’s. Also, the fries that numerous fast food chains fry, are frozen with ammonia and then saturated in beef fat, which is what makes them taste so good. There are two pages in the book that just list all the chemicals in a McDonald’s strawberry milkshake. I can pronounce two of them. However these facts are not written to scare you, they are written to inform you on the industry so you can make a difference. This concept is reminded to you throughout the book.

In conclusion these two authors uncover the fast food industry to give you a “behind the scenes look,” at a business that in Schlosser’s words “ Both feeds the young and feeds off of the young”. Their type of writing is very well thought out, because they inform you on information but always throw in a joke here or there so they are not just listing facts about the amount of saturated fat in a Big Mac. I enjoyed this book because of how these two authors wrote it and how they let you know how you can make a difference and how much of a difference that change makes.  You will find out what’s happening behind those counters at your favorite fast food restaurant and what is in between those buns.  I would recommend this book for both kids and adults, for anyone wanting to learn interesting and alarming facts written not to scare you, but to  educate you, and people wanting to know more about the fast food industry and what impact it can have on your lives. In conclusion this book is written to inform people on the industry and teach the reader how they can make a difference.