Saturday, September 16, 2006
Nicholas Klassen: Fast Food Nation Redux
Fast Food Nation Redux
by Nicholas Klassen
Adbusters (July/August 2006):
Five years after he released his bestselling Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser is back to bedevil the fast food industry.
First off is Chew On This: Everything You Didn't Want to Know About Fast Food, a book that educates children about the dark side of McDonald's et al, from sketchy slaughterhouse practices to the negative effects too much fast food can have on growing bodies.
Next up is the fictionalized movie adaptation of Fast Food Nation Schlosser co-wrote with director Richard Linklater, whih premiered this year at Cannes. In it, Don Henderson--a corporate executive at Mickey's fast food restruant chain, home of the "Big One"--tries to figure out why there's so much contanimated meat in the restraunt's frozen burger patties. To track done the answer, he leaves the cushy confines of the company's Southern California boardroom for the immigrant-staffed slaughterhouses, teeming feedlots and cookie cutter strip malls of Middle America.
McDonald's is bracing for the bad publicity Schlosser's exploits will cause and has set up an election-style "war room" to lash back. An internal company memo, initially reported by Dow Jones, said the movie "is a big concern to us" and promised a "full scale media campaign ... to tell the real story." That included mobilizing a "truth squad" and seeking to "discredit the message and the messenger."
And McDonald's isn't alone. Fast food industry funded front-groups are trying to smear Schlosser and have even organized protests at book signings. The right-wing Heartland Institute issued a news release arguing that Schlosser was: "tricking young people ... to lead them away from capitalism into his failed socialist ideology." Presumably they won't like the movie either.
Check out the Trailer for this film--this is going to be interesting.
Also check out for some background: