Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fast Food Nation Chapter 8

"Every day in the United States, roughly 200,000 people are sickened by foodborne disease, 900 are hospitalized, and fourteen die." Statistics like these definitely makes me want to go organic. It's hard to believe that factories that we bestow our trust on, can turn their backs against us, and cause such foodborne outbreaks, like E.coli. It's scary to know that foodborne diseases can cause heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, neurological problems, autoimmune disorders, and kidney damage. It's the fact that if our factories slip once, make a tiny mistake, it can cause some drastic effects on us Americans. I was shocked to hear that when cattle get E.coli won't show many signs indicating they have an illness. Leaving our farmers to believe everything is okay, ship our meat, and terrorize the immune system of people across the U.S.

Hamburgers, food of the poor? Yes, it's cheap, but that's what makes is so popular across the globe. Thank gosh for White Castle who took a stand and that started a company that attracted customers, had a connotations of purity as its name, and for the test they did to prove that hamburgers were not as bad as their reputations had lead on. With White Castles drive thrus it took the hamburgers from being a slow non-popular dish to our national dish of choice. Another smart executive would be Ray Kroc's, who promoted McDonald's as a place for families. With this promotion people began to see that Hamburgers were loved by children, convenient, inexpensive, and easily manageable food product.

1) Compared with several decades ago, how common are food-related illnesses today?
A: A generation ago the typical outbreak of food poisoning involved, church supper, family picnic, and a wedding reception. Today Literally 200,000 people become sick each day due to illnesses.

2) What was the first national hamburger chain and what did it do to try to change the image of the hamburgers.
A: The first was white castle. White Castle claimed meat was delivered twice a day, they created a connotation of purity for their business, and even sponsored and experiment to prove that their meat was not bad. This experiment proved that someone could live off their food and water for thirteen weeks and not get sick.

3) What are the effects of E.coli 0157:H7 on the human body.
A: E.coli 0157:H7 causes Shiga toxins to enter the bloodstream, hemolytic uremic syndrome(HUS), kidney failure, anemia, internal bleeding, and destruction of vital organs.

Fast Food Nation Chapter 8

"About five thousand heads of cattle enter it every day, single file, and leave in a different form," I must say that this sentence is pretty grueling, and eerie, making me have pity for the numerous cheese burgers i have comsumed in my 15 years of life. It's good to know that the mangers of these slaughter houses do care about their workers. It was reasuring to read that they wear chain mail's designed th protect workers from cutting themselves and for cutting their coworkers. Sadly that isn't enough, it has been documented that every year more than 1/4 of the meatpacking workers roughly forty thousand men and women suffer injuries or illness beyond first aid. The most common injury in the slaughter house ins Laceration which is when you get stabbed by hoursleve your somone working near by. After these types of injuries it was said that many of the workers develope trauma. Thye also may develope back problems, shoulder, and carpal tunnel syndrome. All these illness, and problems are turn offs for me in ever working in this business. knowing all this information I wonder why so many poeple continue to apply for there jobs, where you life is in risk everyday? Also when they hear it's the most dangerous factory job in the U.S you would think that the people who apply would turn there backs on it, but everyone is desperate for money. Many of the wokers though do not know of these conditions, for many of them are illegal immigrants. Most of them being Latino.

Working in a slaughter house would be too difficult for me. The jobs that these workers do to me aren't moral. slicing their heads off while still alive, ripping kidneys, staying in knee high blood. That is definetly a nightmare. After reading this section of chapter 7, i definetly turned my back on meat for a couple of days. Image you being sliced up into peices with with butcher knifes meant to kill? I felt terrible when I read the sentence on the living conditions of these cows! They live side by side, so close to the point where moving is impossible. The rooms are hot and humid, with a mixture of manure definetly makes the place reek. The cows face unberable temperatures of 101 degrees, till the end of their lives, with a knife to their throat.

Now cutting the meat for a living is probably a terrible job, but at the strick of midnight sanitation wokers are said to have the worste and most dangerous jobs! There hourly wage is horrendous! It's about 1/3 lower than those of regular production employees. You would think that the workers that have to clean the blood, manuer, fat, grease, and left over meat of 15,000 cows a day would be paid with a treasurable salerly.

1) How does the injury rate in meat packing compare with the injury rate in other occupations?
A: The injury rate in a slaughter house is about three times higher that the rate in a typical American factory. Every year more then one-quarter of the meatpacking workers suffer injury or illness beyond first aid

2) What kinds of injuries do workers in meatpacking planst typically suffer?
A:Laceration are the most common injuries suffered by meatpackers, who often stab themselves or stab someon working near by. Also back, shoulder problems, and Carpal tunnel syndrome, which is when a finger beomces frozen in a curled position.

3) What is the impact on wokres of speeding up the line in meatpacking plants?
A: The impact would be more injuries with accidental stabbing. Probably fainting or trauma from pressure to not cut themselves or going to slow in comparison to the actual speed of the conveyer belt.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fast Food Nation Chapter 7

This chapter started off talking about Greeley, Colorado, and first of all, I would despise to live there. I couldn't image having to inhale the veil smell of dead/alive animals, and manure on a daily basis. When it's to the point where it is causing your fellow Greeley neighbors to have headaches, nausea, and sleep deprivation it think that alone is a sign for help.

To me it seems like the meat industry is a crazy business, filled with greedy executives. For the amount of work the workers have to endure is way to much to only have a minimum wage of 9.25 which is more than a third lower then FORTY years ago when the company started. That to me is insane. These workers endure harsh smells, possible risks of amputations, and catching disease from these animals and there wage is pathetic. you would think as time passes on the wages would increase, and health problems would decrease. We can thank A.D. Anderson definitely for numerous health issues. So many health issues in the slaughter houses are occur to unskilled workers that don't know how to properly manage the machines or simply a knife. Due to this lack of knowledge many of the workers become injured and are uninsured. Many of these unskilled workers come from Mexico, Central America, and southeast Asia, and many of them are illegal. In my opinion the workers definitely had a legit reason to go on strike in 1969, for if I lived during that time, and was in their situation, I would be outraged with unfairness. Yes the strikers did have a right to state their opinion for the first amendment states the freedom of speech, but I do think that they went a little too far. There was no need for Them to bare arms, and begin to shoot at the office window, and actually killing someone. Also the bombing of the IBP's general counsel in my opinion is ridiculous. After the long and burtal fight they did get their five-cent commission. I think that the corporations learned that "Going West," was not so much of a good idea!!

To me the natural way of growing cattle no matter how much more expensive it may be, your making a good product for us the American people. Warren Monfort totally lost that mentality and decided to experiment with feeding the cows with grain, instead of native grasses, or hay. yes, he made it out with more money in his pocket, but created an unnatural, and un healthy product that would end up in mouths around the country. To sum it up, i think that the excutive board of IBP made a tremendous amount of mistakes during it's time, and were extremly devious with it's workers, and the American people.


1) What changes did IBP bring to the meat packaging industry?
A:They brought the idea of unskilled workers, and lower wages to the workers.

2)How do wages in meat packing plants today compare with wages in the early 1900s, after the workers became unionized?
A: The wages are now $9.25, Which is one third lower then it was when the company first started 40 years ago.

3)Where do meat packing companies go to recruit new employees? What is the “new industrial migrant?”
A: many of the new employees come form Mexico, Central America, and Southeast Asia. A "new industrial migrant," is a migrant that came to American to work in the slaughterhouses.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fast Food Nation Chapter 6

The cattle industry seems more like a gamble or a game now a days. someone's always trying to cheat the system. An example from the book is "They can also obtain cattle through confidential agreements with wealthy ranchers, never revealing the true price being paid!" To me this is very sneaking and taking the good name of cattle ranching away. I know that statistic say that over the last twenty years American ranchers have been disappearing, but that is no excuse to try to corrupt the system, everyone is struggling a little bit. I thought the example of what the independent ranchers now face was excellent. "imagine how the New York stock exchange would function if large investors could keep the terms of all their stock trades a secret." This was a good example because now in the year 2010 we are dealing with problems in the stock market and it's been effecting us for 10 years now, and I do see and feel the difference in my house ever since the stock market corrupted.

Pure genius when keystone foods, ordered a group of technicians to get working on a the chicken fingers. Chicken used to be something many families had only on holidays, and for someone to come up with a bit size version in a box, definitely shocked the nation. It's also amazing that Tyson now manufactures about ninety of the one hundred largest restaurant chains in the country. Even though this invention is brilliant i do believe it is gross that chikcne nuggets have twice as much fat per ounce as a HAMBUGER! Burgers are twice the size of a chicken nugget and hard to believe a meal the size of your thumb has more fat then a meal the size of your entire hand. sadly for the farmers a 1995 survey from louisiana Tech University foudn that the farmers says in deep debt and only makes about 12,ooo dollars a year. To me that doesn't make sense how could they be so successful with this struck of genius, but still be in life long debt, with a terribly low salary?

These farmers that supply us our food, and have nurture our stomachs have reached an all time high of three times the national average for suicide. They have so much to worry about, and few thank you's for their hard, monotonous work that they do for us. Hank, is one of the men who was a typical American rancher, who committed suicide a week before Christmas because of all the worries he had to deal with was just to over whelming, and he had reached his boiling point. So I say thank you for your hard work Hank, and RIP.


1)What are some of the problems facing cattle ranchers?
A: The monopoly power in the meatpacking industry, the depressed prices in the cattle market, the economic forces bankrupting independent ranchers, the tax laws that favor wealthy ranchers, and the unrelenting push of Colorado's real estate developers.

2) What are "captive supplies" of cattle?
A: Cattle that are either maintained in company-owned feedlots or purchased in advance through forward contracts.

3)How does the nutritional value of a McNugget compare with that of a hamburger?
A: The chicken nugget has twice as much fat per ounce as the hamburger.