In Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All American Meal by Eric Schlosser, what are the main ideas of chapters one and two?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Obesity is a world-wide phenomenon and the effects of eating a diet high in salt, sugar and fat can be felt universally. The eating habits in the westernized world are criticized as they have influenced people's attitudes towards food and their need for a "quick fix" when it comes to hunger and time issues. In Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, Schlosser highlights the health, economic and social effects of so-called "MacDonalization." He exposes unfair labor practices, corporate greed and the ever increasing "super size."

In chapter one, the reader is introduced to Carl Karcher who, having successfully operated hot dog carts, recognizes his competition and copies the MacDonald's idea, starting his own restaurant Carl Jr's. The concept has a lot of potential and Karcher is one of the "Founding Fathers," of this revolutionary concept, taking his humble ideas and creating an empire. Technology and influence allows for "progress." The main idea of chapter one thus relates to having a smart business sense which allows for potential to develop. However, progress has a price. 

Chapter two compares various successful businesses and their rise; for example, Ray Kroc, who bought out the MacDonald's brothers and Walt Disney whose name is synonymous with entertainment and is a concept that is larger than life. These clever businessmen and their marketing ideas have revolutionized the marketing approach by using children to promote and foster relations.  The main idea of chapter two relates to how progress is to be encouraged but that setting boundaries, especially as they relate to children, is essential. Even tax dollars depend on it.  

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