On any given day, one out of four Americans opts for a quick and cheap meal at a fast-food restaurant, not thinking about why fast food is so fast, orOn any given day, one out of four Americans opts for a quick and cheap meal at a fast-food restaurant, not thinking about why fast food is so fast, or so cheap. Mr. Schlosser takes the reader inside the industry and its race to the table, and our mouths, and the price people and animals pay both in the industry and for us as consumers. He gives us a history, which echoes back to Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle", a novel that was originally intended to highlight the abuses of labor but instead became a tome that changed carnivores to vegetarians and vegas. "Fast Food Nation" also explores how the fast food diet has become the American and how it has changed workforce and labor, our health, and our environment. None of these changes are for the good.
Mr. Schlosser moves under the wrapper by examining the lives of overworked employees , many of which are underpaid teenagers, but also include immigrants (some illegal) and lower income families living just barely above or in many cases below the poverty line. And then there's the look into the slaughter industry itself, which is truthfully gruesome and scary, as it should be. He tells us what we should already know: that there is little to no governing laws that regulate the industry, so consequently, they pretty much get away with treating the animals for slaughter any damn way they please. They (the animals) are commodities after all, not pets. And America is hungry and they want their damn burger now, it doesn't matter how that burger started out.
The ignorance of the American public--sometimes willful, sometimes not, is also revealed. For the most part people choose to ignore how that meat got to their plate: into what conditions it was born, how it was weaned (if at all) its living conditions and method of death. Because of the demand for meat, the swiftness by which the meat is produced leads to often unsanitary conditions breeding sickness and even death in our food.
RECOMMENDED FOR: anyone who can't live without fast food, or makes animal noises while eating. ...more
Jayne Eyre is the original gothic novel: a strong and tortured heroine, big dark empty castle, mysterious leading men, and shadowy secrets. Despite feJayne Eyre is the original gothic novel: a strong and tortured heroine, big dark empty castle, mysterious leading men, and shadowy secrets. Despite feelings about the book when it was originally published, it had endured through the years rather than brushed under the rug in part due to the fact it was deemed anti-Church and anti-marriage and family, even downright immoral by its early audience. But like any classic, its timelessness endures because of its story of self realization and growth. Not something a woman in the 1800’s was encouraged to pursue. Being something of a romance (although I wouldn’t say this novel is completely a romance), Jane’s love interest, Rochester, is just the kind of a guy a self-actualized woman would know to stay away from due to his coldness, arrogance, and prickly personality, which Jane is able to tame with her independent ideas and strength of spirit. When he at last comes to wanting to marry Jane and enter a partnership of equals, the blow is dealt that, surprise, he has a secret wife concealed in an attic tower, gone mad either by herself or because she was, you know, stuffed into an attic. Why modern women and girls need to read this book is because it warns the reader that like Jane, the only person you have to rely on for self awareness and happiness is yourself. Not that you should never trust anyone ever in your life again, but don’t take anyone at face value, everyone’s got secrets, some are just more devastating than others. ...more
This book is perfect for this blog because it combines love of literature with love of food. Set in turn of the century Mexico, a world so distant froThis book is perfect for this blog because it combines love of literature with love of food. Set in turn of the century Mexico, a world so distant from today it could have taken place on Mars, each chapter starts with a traditional recipe. The beating heart of so many families is the kitchen, and the comfort food that is made in there, and of course the memories and emotions that food evokes. Each culture has their own version of it, and in Ms. Esquivel’s novel, you get a taste, so to speak, of the Mexican kitchen and culture. Although the story is about a family of women, this story is really Tita’s, who was brought into this world (in the kitchen) with a job: to take care of her mother as her mother grows older, and to sacrifice and forgo the pleasures of having love and having a life. Against the script that was written for her before she was born, she falls in love with Pedro, who falls in love back with her, but because of Tita’s obligation to her mother, Pedro is instead folded into the family through the less-than-special sister Rosaura who lacks both a clue, compassion, and a personality, setting up a perfect rival relationship between her and Tita. But Tita’s selfish mother can’t take away Tita’s special gift (and secret weapon) that she can take whatever emotion she’s feeling and infuse it into whatever food she makes. While a story of denied love and an evil sister can quickly turn melodramatic and sappy, Ms. Esquivel does something unique: turns the womanly arts of cooking and baking and housekeeping and turns them into weapons. You use what tools are available to you and you make them work. In another bold move, at the novel’s end, Tita breaks free of her obligations and the suppression that she fought her whole life against, ending the cycle of pain, sorrow, abuse, and outdated tradition as she moves into a different life in a different century. ...more