Monday, May 15, 2006

I'm Boycottin' It

Due to spending several hours' worth of my precious time in airports and on planes this weekend, I was finally able to finish the book Fast Food Nation. If you haven't read it, you should put it in your reading queue as the book to begin next. My takeaway from it was less of the "Ew, gross, I am SO never eating disgusting hamburgers again now that I know what's in them" variety as it was the "Corporations really are just out for profit -- literally at the expense of lives -- and need to be controlled" sort. Plus, the author, Eric Schlosser, provided no fewer than 68 pages of references that he used for the book. Not to mention the numerous first-person interviews he conducted. Now that's journalism.

I won't give you a play-by-play of the book (you can come to your own conclusions when you read it), but among other things it just reinforced my anger at the McDonald's Corporation, especially lately, for its blatant targeting of poor minorities with its "I'm Lovin' It" campaign, which I've read has been extremely successful. And then there's the obesity epidemic, which is not going to be fixed simply by offering an expensive fruit and walnut salad to those who can afford to blow a Lincoln on a little snack.

The movie version of Fast Food Nation comes out this year, and I am hoping (most likely in vain) that it will have a fourth of the impact that the book did/does. But something tells me that with a cast including Avril Lavigne, a director who also did Dazed and Confused, and an IMDB entry that cautions against "strong sexuality" -- a subject that was talked about exactly ONCE in the book -- I'm thinking I'm going to be wildly, wildly disappointed. By which I mean, "Please, God, don't let there be a gratuitous and unnecessary scene involving two 16-year-old McDonald's employees having sex on the french fry fryer. That'll make me throw up faster than anything about the meatpacking industry in FFN." Here's a recent Times article about Eric Schlosser and the movie if you want to read a little more about it.

So, needless to say, I'll be avoiding all chain fast food for the foreseeable future and reading up on the government's progress in better regulating what we eat.


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