The Fast Food Industry In the documentary, Food, Inc. , Eric Schlosser states, “There is this deliberate veil, this curtain that’s drawn between us and where our food is coming from. The industry doesn’t want you to know the truth about what you’re eating because if you knew, you might not want to eat it” (1). This is the harsh reality of the fast food industry. The fast food industry is corrupt and there have been so many short cuts taken that not only is the food produced not healthy in any form or fashion, it has become so common in the typical American life that the demand has led to much more than health concerns.
It has led to led to exploitation of food industry workers, it has led to the exploitation and torture of animals, and it has led to illegal and non-ethically permissible ways of accomplishing their goals. The fast food industry is not an honest or humble or moral industry. They are egoists. Their only concern is what will benefit them the most; all those effected, animals and humans alike, are not a concern to these corporate heads. The fast food industry is greatly flawed and the public must be made aware of the effect that the industry is having on this country.
The issue at hand in regards to the fast food industry is so disturbing that every effort has been made by the corporate heads of the industry to shield the public of reality. Not only that but the public does not really question how the “Big Mac” was produced or the means by which it was produced. As a result, the public leads a life of ignorance as the fast food industry continues to commit crimes against humanity. The reality is that until the public is made aware of what is happening and takes a stand against these evil actions, the fast food industry will continue to manipulate and use people and animals.
A major issue that is raised by the fast food industry is the exploitation of people. “The typical farm worker is a [illegal] young, Latino male who does not speak English and earns about $10,000 a year,” Eric Schlosser says (2). The reason for such exploitation is explained by Robert Kenner in his statement in the press notes for the documentary, Food, Inc. Kenner states: The same thing that created obesity in this country, which is large productions of cheap corn, has put farmers out of work in foreign countries, whether it’s Mexico, Latin America or around the world.
And those farmers can no longer grow food and compete with the U. S. ’ subsidized food. So a lot of these farmers needed jobs and ended up coming into this country to work in our food production. And they have been here for a number of years. But what’s happened is that we’ve decided that it’s no longer in the best interests of this country to have them here. But yet, these companies still need these people and they’re desperate, so they work out deals where they can have a few people arrested at a certain time so it doesn’t affect production. But it affects people’s lives.
And these people are being deported, put in jail and sent away, but yet, the companies can go on and it really doesn’t affect their assembly line. And what happens is that they are replaced by other, desperate immigrant groups. (2) The fast food industry has completely voided any sense of morality. What is happening is terrible and the public must be made aware. People are not objects that can be replaced at any given moment. They have families to feed and they must maintain their livelihood. What the fast food industry is doing is tampering with these peoples livelihoods which in turn is ruining lives and ruining families.
People must not be exploited as they are in the fast food industry. Another rising concern is the exploitation and torture of animals. Animals in the food industry are not treated as living beings; they are treated as a means that the food industry can greatly capitalize on. Animals are being raised in tight spaces and are ultimately engineered. So much technology has been used to make cattle, hogs and chicken grow quicker that the effects are torturous to the animal and leads to harmful effects to the consumer.
Animals are being engineered to grow so quick that bone growth is unable to keep up with the growth of the body which leads to many animals not being able to walk. This is torture to the animals. Along with these evil procedures maintained by farmers, cattle and pigs are fed corn. In Food, Inc. , Michael Pollen states: “Cows are not designed by evolution to eat corn. They’re designed by evolution to eat grass. And the only reason we feed them corn is because corn is really cheap and corn makes them fat quickly … The industrial food system is always looking for greater efficiency.
But each new step in efficiency leads to problems. If you take feed lot cattle off their corn diet, give them grass for five days, they will shed eighty percent of the E. coli in their gut. (2) This nearly enlightening fact is deemed null and void by the fast food industry because in their eyes, allowing cattle to graze is not as economic as crowding hundreds of cattle into a small area. It is disturbing that a simple precaution that can eliminate eighty percent of the E. coli bacteria is simply negated by the industry.
It is even more disturbing that such a simple precaution could potentially prevent hundreds and thousands of casualties but the corporate heads of the fast food companies simply do not care because it is not in their best interest. The beauty of this situation is that the solution is in the hands of the consumer. Gary Hirshberg says at the conclusion of the documentary, Food, Inc. , that, “Those businesses spend billions of dollars to tally our votes. When we run an item past the supermarket scanner, we’re voting. We can drastically change the food industry if we so desire. All that it takes is the knowledge of what to purchase at the supermarket and enough self control to not go through the drive-thru. The term that is constantly turned to when speaking of the fast food industry and its corporate heads is, “egoist. ” The industry is run by people who only care for themselves; the morality and ethicality of their enterprise is not a concern to these people and they have no concern of how their products are produced and at what expense to society.
Not only that, the veil they have set up to hide the evils they are ensuing must be torn down. The public must be educated and informed on their food and they must be informed on how they ultimately have the power to completely renovate the fast food industry for the better. The solution has been laid out for the public and now it is their responsibility to change our food industry into standards we all can come to accept.