The Fast Food Industry

Hello, more controversy, and this time it's about the fast food industry that has such a hold on our nation (America for those who don't live here). It may seem messed up at some points, but that is because I wrote it up in Essay form, not screwed up ebaum language form. My main source was "Fast Food Nation" so enjoy.

           Within the last century or so, the fast food industry has risen from its small town eatery status to the multi-million dollar company we all know today.  What most people don’t know, however, is what kind of toll this change has taken on American society.  While this change has been happening, the American economy, society and even morality has seen its own changes along with the changes of what menu items are available.  The Fast Food industry has done nothing more but damage the way America is today, and you can see this based on the way society has been formed around it, how the industry advertises its products, and even how the employers of most fast food restaurants treat their employees.

            First off is how the society has been formed around this industry.  To better understand this, you must notice the sheer number of fast food restaurants there are in ********.  Even across the street at **********, ranging from small smoothie shops to those lovable corporate icons, I counted 7 or 8 fast food type eateries.  50 years or so, you wouldn’t have that many logos flashing in your face, beckoning you to spend your money there.  You would have one small burger shop, which is one way the industry got its start in the first place, a grocery store and maybe a small trinket shop in one area.  Now, you see that half of any chain of stores is made up of fast food restaurants.  I even know why all of these companies do this to any vacant area getting ready to become a market place.  It is because the decision to eat at any type of fast food eatery is made in a split second.  You won’t even think about eating until you start driving and see 5 McDonald signs, with each one eating at you making you crave a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder with Cheese.  This fact leads me to my next point.

            That next point just happens to be the way these companies advertise their food.  The way the advertisements work is that they get you to associate the food that you would otherwise find disgusting right after eating it with something you like.  An example of this is an advertisement for McDonalds I once saw watching T.V.  The whole basis of the ad was that when you eat at their restaurant, you’ll have a good day, and this is because during the entire duration of the commercial a song was playing repeating about how everyday is a great day to be alive.  The combination of this song and the images of the Chicken McNuggets and French Fries dancing around will cause your mind to associate seeing and eating those foods with a great day and being alive.  The cold, sad truth to this is that once you finish easting those fries, you feel regret and maybe even depression because what you just ate was bad to your health, and your body knows that.  It is at this point that most people will realize that the ad was wrong.  Only a handful of those people, however, will remember that when the ad comes on again beckoning them to have another Big Mac, and this is because that subconscious thought of those Foods and having a great day comes back.

            This last point brings me to a different view on the industry of fast food, and that is the employee/employer relationship in those fast food restaurants.  In order to understand this point, as well, we must see just how “challenging” it is for your food to be made.  Most of the time, all the job requires is pushing a button with pictures on it, or scooping up a pile of French fries and putting them in an open faced container.  All of this should sound like a remedial job that almost anyone can learn how to do in a day, and this is why teenagers make the best candidates for the job.  The main reasons employers look for teenagers is because they will need the job for experience, will not ask for benefits other than getting paid, and will not question why a job seems to easy.  The employers will exploit these characteristics and often times abuse their positions of power when around these inexperienced kids just looking to make a buck.  Examples of this abuse will sometimes be alowing the kids to only work so many hours so they won’t have to pay them as much, firing them after only a couple of months so they don’t ask for anything beneficial such as a raise or a higher position, and even hiring less kids, making the current kids work harder so they won’t have as many employees to pay for service.  It’s not surprising that most teenagers quit only after a few months of working at a fast food eatery because of the exploitation they get from the manager.

            When looking at these examples, you should see why this fast food corporation is so detrimental to the American society.  The original point of the average burger stand was to get any hurried family a decent meal in as little time as possible.  Now the whole point is to get the American public to spend more money on their products and making a profit.  With the media under its control and its exploited workforce, it’s no wonder why the fast food industry is one of the richest corporations out there.

Uploaded 10/28/2008
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