Fran Lebowitz, a US writer, wrote this in her 1981 book, Social Studies. It was in response to America's fascination with, and love of, fast food.

The Washington Post, claim that: "The average American eats burgers three times a week and two-thirds of those are from fast food places. Last year (2000), Americans spent $110 billion on fast food, more than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, even new cars."

Eric Schlosser, an award-winning investigative journalist, spent three years investigating the fast food industry of America. He has published a book, entitled Fast Food Nation. An excerpt:

"The safety of the food seemed to be determined more by the personality of the manager on duty than by the written policies of the chain. Many workers would not eat anything at their restaurant unless they'd made it themselves. A Taco Bell employee said that food dropped on the floor was often picked up and served. An Arby's employee told me that one kitchen worker never washed his hands at work after doing engine repairs on his car. And several employees at the same McDonald's restaurant in Colorado Springs independently provided details about a cockroach infestation in the milk-shake machine and about armies of mice that urinated and defecated on hamburger rolls left out to thaw in the kitchen every night."

In London, England an anti-McDonald's campaign run by Helen Steel and Dave Morris was sued by McDonald's for libel, after they published a pamphlet entitled "What's Wrong With McDonald's". The trial, which became known as McLibel, ran for two and a half years and became the longest ever English trial. McDonald's was successful in obtaining a libel verdict against Helen and Dave; however, the judge found that McDonald's did use 'misleading' advertising and that they use this to 'exploit children', as well as finding that McDonald's are responsible for animal cruelty and paying staff low wages.

From Znet at http://zena.secureforum.com/Znet/zmag/articles/kovelsept97.htm:

When it sued Steel and Morris, McDonald’s hoped to bury them under a mountain of conflicting facts. Instead, the excruciating detail of the testimony exacted by McLibel has been shaped into a coherent portrait of an enterprise unique in history: the first industrialization of eating. McDonald’s does not just manufacture burgers; it also must produce the desire for burgers, and all the ways of eating suitable for its purposes, which are to produce meals as cheaply as possible and sell them to as many people as possible in as little time as possible, thus compensating for a low profit margin per meal with the sheer volume of meals. "Fast food" is the shorthand for this new kind of industry.

If you want to know more, browse www.mcspotlight.org and see the worrying, interesting and highly amusing documentary Super Size Me.

Thanks Oolong for some useful input

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