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Eric Schlosser quotes (showing 1-30 of 41)

“The history of the twentieth century was dominated by the struggle against totalitarian systems of state power. The twenty-first will no doubt be marked by a struggle to curtail excessive corporate power.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“The medical literature on the causes of food poisoning is full of euphemisms and dry scientific terms: coliform levels, aerobic plate counts, sorbitol, MacConkey agar, and so on. Behind them lies a simple explanation for why eating a hamburger can now make you seriously ill: There is shit in the meat.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“The United States now has more prison inmates than full-time farmers.”
Eric Schlosser
“The spread of BSE [mad cow disease] in Europe has revealed how secret alliances between agribusiness and government can endanger the public health. It has shown how the desire for profit can overrule every other consideration. British agricultural officials were concerned as early as 1987 that eating meat from BSE-infected cattle might pose a risk to human beings. That information was suppressed for years, and the possibility of any health risk was strenuously denied, in order to protect exports of British beef. Scientists who disagreed with the official line were publicly attacked and kept off government committees investigating BSE. Official denials of the truth delayed important health measures.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“Did somebody say McUnion? [...] Not if they want to keep their McJob.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“The life's work of Walt Disney and Ray Kroc had come full-circle, uniting in perfect synergy. McDonald's began to sell its hamburgers and french fries at Disney's theme parks. The ethos of McDonaldland and of Disneyland, never far apart, have finally become one. Now you can buy a Happy Meal at the Happiest Place on Earth.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“Today the U.S. government can demand the nation-wide recall of defective softball bats, sneakers, stuffed animals, and foam-rubber toy cows. But it cannot order a meatpacking company to remove contaminated, potentially lethal ground beef from fast food kitchens and supermarket shelves.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“Future historians, I hope, will consider the American fast food industry a relic of the twentieth century--a set of attitudes, systems, and beliefs that emerged from postwar southern California, that embodied its limitless faith in technology, that quickly spread across the globe, flourished briefly, and then receded, once its true costs became clear and its thinking became obsolete.”
Eric Schlosser
“Congress should ban advertising that preys upon children, it should stop subsidizing dead-end jobs, it should pass tougher food safety laws, it should protect American workers from serious harm, it should fight against dangerous concentrations of economic power.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“Lowe has broken from the Christianity of his parents, a faith that now seems hopelessly out of date. The meek shall no longer inherit the earth; the go-getters will get it and everything that goes with it. The Christ who went among the poor, the sick, the downtrodden, among lepers and prostitutes, really had no marketing savvy. He has been transfigured into a latter-day entrepreneur, the greatest superstar sales person of all time, who built a multinational outfit from scratch.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“And workers who needed to go to the bathroom weren't allowed to take a break. They were forced to pee right on the slaughterhouse floor, near meat that people would soon be eating.”
Eric Schlosser, Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food
“When a worker is injured at an IBP plant in Texas, he or she is immediately presented with a waiver. Signing the waiver means forever surrendering the right to sue IBP on any grounds. Workers who sign the waiver may receive medical care under IBP's Workplace Injury Settlement Program. Or they may not. Once workers sign, IBP and its company-approved doctors have control over the job-related medical treatment - for life. Under the program's terms, seeking treatment from an independent physician can be grounds for losing all medical benefits. Workers who refuse to sign the IBP waiver not only risk getting no medical care from the company, but also risk being fired on the spot...Injured workers almost always sign the waiver. The pressure to do so is immense. An IBP medical case manager will literally bring the waiver to a hospital emergency room in order to obtain an injured worker's signature. When Lonita Leal's right hand was mangled by a hamburger grinder at the IBP plant in Amarillo, a case manager talked her into signing the waiver with her left hand as she waited in the hospital for surgery. When Duane Mullin had both hands crushed in a hammer mill at the same plant, an IBP representative persuaded him to sign the waiver with a pen held in his mouth.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“Twenty years ago, teenage boys in the United States drank twice as much milk as soda; now they drink twice as much soda as milk.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“A generation ago, three-quarters of the money used to buy food in the United States was spent to prepare meals at home. Today about half of the money used to buy food is spent at restaurants--mainly at fast food restaurants.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“The market is a tool, and a useful one. But the worship of this tool is a hollow faith. Far more important than any tool is what you make with it.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“Whatever replaces the fast food industry should be regional, diverse, authentic, unpredictable, sustainable, profitable--and humble. It should know its limits.”
Eric Schlosser
“Widespread introduction of the process [of irradiating foods] has thus far been impeded, however, by a reluctance among consumers to eat things that have been exposed to radiation. According to current USDA regulations, irradiated meat must be identified with a special label and with a radura (the internationally recognized symbol of radiation). The Beef Industry Food Safety Council - whose members include the meatpacking and fast food giants - has asked the USDA to change its rules and make the labeling of irradiated meat completely voluntary. The meatpacking industry is also working hard to get rid of the word 'irradiation,; much preferring the phrase 'cold pasteurization.'...From a purely scientific point of view, irradiation may be safe and effective. But he [a slaughterhouse engineer] is concerned about the introduction of highly complex electromagnetic and nuclear technology into slaughterhouses with a largely illiterate, non-English-speaking workforce.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“We cannot ignore the meaning of mad cow. It is one more warning about unintended consequences, about human arrogance and the blind worship of science.”
Eric Schlosser
“The executives who run the fast food industry are not bad men. They are businessmen. They will sell free-range, organic, grass-fed hamburgers if you demand it. They will sell whatever sells at a profit.”
Eric Schlosser
“Again and again workers told me that they are under tremendous pressure not to report injuries. The annual bonuses of plant foremen and supervisors are often based in part on the injury rate of their workers. Instead of crating a safer workplace, these bonus schemes encourage slaughterhouse managers to make sure that accidents and injuries go unreported. Missing fingers, broken bones, deep lacerations and amputated limbs are difficult to conceal from authorities. But the dramatic and catastrophic injuries in a slaughterhouse are greatly outnumbered by less visible, though no less debilitating, ailments: torn muscles, slipped disks, pinched nerves.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“Behind them lies a simple explanation for why eating a hamburger can now make you seriously ill: There is shit in the meat.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“When news of the false alarm leaked to the press, the Air Force denied that the missile warning had ever been taken seriously. Percy, who later became a Republican senator from Illinois, disputed that account. He recalled a sense of panic at NORAD. A subsequent investigation found the cause of the computer glitch. The BMEWS site at Thule had mistakenly identified the moon, slowly rising over Norway, as dozens of long-range missiles launched from Siberia.”
Eric Schlosser, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety
“A nationwide study published by the USDA in 1996 found that [...] 78.6 percent of the ground beef contained microbes that are spread primarily by fecal matter. The medical literature on the causes of food poisoning is full of euphemisms and dry scientific terms: coliform levels, aerobic plate counts, sorbitol, MacConkey agar, and so on. Behind them lies a simple explanation for why eating hamburger meat makes you sick: There is shit in the meat.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“Right now thousands of missiles are hidden away, literally out of sight, topped with warheads and ready to go, awaiting the right electrical signal. They are a collective death wish, barely suppressed. Every one of them is an accident waiting to happen, a potential act of mass murder. They are out there, waiting, soulless and mechanical, sustained by our denial - and they work.”
Eric Schlosser, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety
“In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000, they spent more than $110 billion. Americans now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars. They spend more on fast food than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music—combined.”
Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
“The Air Force’s demand for self-contained, inertial guidance systems played a leading role in the miniaturization of computers and the development of integrated circuits, the building blocks of the modern electronics industry.”
Eric Schlosser, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety
“The Army, however, found ways to adapt. It lobbied hard for atomic artillery shells, atomic antiaircraft missiles, atomic land mines.”
Eric Schlosser, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety

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