Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fast Food Nation Chapter 5

Today A 15 year old middle school drop-out already has "troubled kid, not going anywhere in life," written all over it. For J.R. Simplot case that was not the outcome. Starting with the status of a 15 year old drop-out he is now a billionaire, because of his brilliant ideas with potatoes. It astounds me how he started with a simple business of selling horse hides for $2 each saved up his money for a year and started a potato farm. Today I don't think that kids at such a young age are a mature, or have the same determination that J.R. Simplot. I can remember my brother at that age, and he complained over the insignificant bit of homework he had to do, because he wanted to play video games. One of the quotes i enjoyed from this chapter was "The only thing I did smart, and just remember this - ninety-nine percent of people would have sold out when they got their first twenty-five or thirty million. I didn't sell out. I just hung on." Truly he was smart to hang on to the franchise of McDonald's. like it said in the intro, McDonald started off with simply one thousand restaurants, and today about thirty thousand restaurants worldwide. If he didn't "hang on" who knows if J.R. Simplot name would be as famous as it is today, or he would be as wealthy as he is.

So the question is what makes french fries taste so good? The answer can be be found in the artificial flavoring in food. These artificial flavors are made inside of large factories, with men and women wearing science coats, mixing chemicals day in and day out trying to make the perfect smell to activated your taste buds. To me, that doesn't really make fast food appetizing. You would think that what you see behind the counter is where the smell is coming from, when actually the smell was injected in and shipped thousands of miles. Not only is this disgusting, but i think it puts the wonderful world of culinary to shame. Yes, I must say it is a brilliant idea! It attracts customers in, making them believe what they smell is really what is smells like, but it isn't morally right. Food should be kept natural, cause that's where the true delicious flavors lie!


Who is J.R.Simplot? What connection does J. R.Simplot have to the fast food industry?
A: J.R. Simplot was a man who started a potato business in Idaho. He collaborated with McDonald's and still today they sell his french fries

How have the potato farms in Idaho changed in the last 25 years or so?
A: The potato farms are technically farms anymore, They are more so factories. The potatoes are grown, skinned,sliced, and then frozen, or dehydrated to be shipped. Before they were grown, skinned, sliced, The potato farms weren't introduced the the technology of freezing them and dehydrating them.

What are some of the similarities and some of the differences between "
A: The difference is that "natural Flavors," are made with natural chemicals, as in "Artificial Flavors," are made with synthetic chemicals. The world largest Flavor industry is located in Dayton, New Jersey, The second larges in East Hanover.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fast Food Nation: Introduction

This quote from the book "Food has changed more in the last forty years then in the last forty thousand years," shocked me the most. The difference between forty and forty thousand is ginormous, and to think that food has evolved quicker in forty years then forty thousand years sickens my stomach and makes me wonder what are they really putting in my fast food meals. In the introduction it said that fast food comes prepackaged frozen, canned, dehydrated, and frozen-dried. The question that arose when I read this sentence is, what do they do to make it taste so enticing? What could they possibly do to our food in a simple kitchen to make costumers come back?

What impressed me the most, is that fast food started in southern California with simple hot dog stands. In 1968 there were 1,000 restaurants world wide, and today there is being added 2,000 each year! Also how in the 1970's 6 billion dollars was spent on fast food, and how in the new millennium 110 billion is spent on fast food. Economically in my opinion fast food is doing better then any other business. It's astounding how in 30 years a business can have and income increase of 104 billion.

health issues is another important factor in the fast food nation. In the book is said that "the average American has 3 hamburgers, and four orders of french fries each week." At first i didn't think that was possible that an average American would eat that much, but then i thought of my own school Lake Howell. Everyday i see at my table, about half the people eat cheeseburgers or hamburgers with fries everyday! The authors statement, with My school reference really proved to me how obese Americans are. Other health issues that people should be concerned about, are of the workers. It is said that many of the injuries that happen in slather houses, etc, go unrecorded and uncompensated.

In the introduction of the book fast food nation I've learned quite bit for just 10 pages. As the weeks go on by I plan to post more about this book, and about fast foods unraveling secrets! :)


1. What is the hearth of the fast food industry?
A: Southern California (hot dog stand)

2. How does the amount spent on fast food compare to the amount spent on other things in society?
A: The authors said we spend more on fast food then on books, newspapers,videos, recorded music, and movies combined! Also the author stated that people spend more money on fast food then on higher education, personal computers, computer software, and new cars.

3. What are some of the observations about McDonald's made by the author?
A: McDonald's is responsible for 90% of the country's new jobs. In 1968 there were 1,000 restaurants world wide, and in the 2000's their adding 2,000 new each year. About 1/8 of workers has once worked at McDonald's. McDonald's is the larges toy giver. It is also the larges purchaser of beef, pork, chicken and potatoes.