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Fast Food Nation Chapter 9: What's In The Meat

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Emily Alarcon

on 21 February 2014

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Transcript of Fast Food Nation Chapter 9: What's In The Meat

What's In the Meat?
In August of 1997, Colorado health officials enacted the largest food recall in history. Roughly 35 million lbs. of ground beef was recalled.
Roughly 200,000 people come down with a foodborne illness each year. Studies have shown that foodborne pathogens can cause long-term sicknesses, such as heart disease. E.Coli 0157:H7 was first discovered in 1982. The rise of feed-lots, slaughterhouses, and hamburger grinders have spread this pathogen.
The hamburger used to be considered "food for the poor" because it was thought to be tainted and unsafe to eat. White Castle was the first hamburger fast food restaurant. The success of White Castle helped popularize hamburgers. Most of the White Castle costumers were of the working class, urban, and male.
E.Coli 0157:H7 releases a powerful toxin called the Verotoxin or the Shiga Toxin. The Shiga Toxin enters the bloodstream, which can lead to kidney failure, anemia, internal bleeding, and destruction of organs. This E.Coli is resistant to acid, salt, and chlorine, so it is very hard to eradicate.
President Theodore Roosevelt ordered a mandatory federal investigation of meat sold through interstate commerce. The meat must have accurate labeling, and canned meat products must be also labeled. Congress later passed the Meat Inspection Act of 1906.
(Ethical appeal to the reader)
The author's main point or argument
If companies put more effort into hygiene in their meat processing plants, the amount of deadly pathogens in fast food meat would decrease.
(Logical appeal to reader)
(Emotional appeal to the reader)
"A nationwide study published by the USDA in 1996 found that 7.5% of the ground beef samples taken at processing plants were contaminated with salmonella, 11.7% were contaminated with the Listeria Monocytogenes, 30% were contaminated with Staphylococcus Aureus, and 53.3% were contaminated with Clostridium Perfringens." (Schlosser, 203.)
This shows just how much of the beef in these plants is infected with harmful bacteria that can cause sickness, disease, or even death.
and Emily Alarcon
By: Lauren Ingmire
"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a quarter of the American population suffers a bout of food poisoning each year" (pg.195, Eric Schlosser)
Food poisoning is mainly cause from contaminated meat and that just proves that a lot of the meat people consume in their daily lives is filled with harmful bacteria.
"I would have done anything to save my son's life. I would have run in front of a bus to save Alex." Said mother of a son who died from a hamburger contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7. (pg.200, Eric Schlosser)
A mothers son had to go through several painful procedures to try to save him from the illness, but eventually the boy passed away at his mothers side. Alex was six years old.
Chapter 9 of "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser
insert text here
During the 1950s there was a rise in drive-ins and fast food restaurants that slowly brought the hamburger forward as the national food.
E.Coli 0157:H7 is easily spread through poor hygiene practices. In slaughterhouses, the cattle get little exercise and live in their own manure. As a result of rising grain prices, the cattle were fed on cheaper food, such as live stock waste, dead sheep, and dead cattle, until August 1997. FDA claim that this is how Mad Cow Disease was first spread.
During the 1980s, risk of contamination increased. After a threat of deadly new outbreaks, the USDA launched the Streamlined Inspection System for Cattle. Prior to this, visibly diseased cattle, and those infected with measles and tapeworms, had still been slaughtered for meat.
David M. Theno was hired by President Jimmy Carter to prevent future outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. Theno created the Farm-to-Fork plan, introducing the policy of food safety at every level of production and distribution. In July 1996 the USDA enacted a science-based meat inspection system. This lead to millions of dollars being invested in the new equipment to halt the spread of dangerous pathogens.
"A 1997 undercover investigation by KCBS-TV in Los Angeles video-taped local restaurant workers sneezing into their hands while preparing food, licking salad dressing off their fingers,

, and


into meals about to be served." (Schlosser, 222)
This is an example of parallelism because two phrases in the same sentence follow the format of verb-possessive-noun.
"Although cases of AIDs date back at least to the late 1950s, the disease did not reach epidemic proportions in the United States until increased air travel and sexual
helped them transmit the virus far and wide." (Schlosser, 196)
This is an example of euphemism because Schlosser uses the term "promiscuity" as an alternative to "abundant sexual intercourse".
fuck me scalene triangle
Logical Fallacy
"Every day in the United States, roughly 200,000 people are sickened by a foodborne disease... every year." (Schlosser, 195)
This is an example of the
Texas Sharpshooter
fallacy, which states that the author 'cherry-picks' data clusters to fit an argument.
This is such a logical fallacy because Schlosser only presents statistics on how many people get sick from eating fast food, but excludes information on how many people eat fast food every year, which would make the count of 200,000 seem very small in comparison- only a small percent.
Tone Passage
"One slaughterhouse engineer that I interviewed- who has helped to invent some of the most sophisticated food safety equipment now being used- told me that from a purely scientific point of view, irradiation (bacterial birth-control) is safe and effective. But, he is concerned about the introduction about highly complex electromagnetic and nuclear technology into slaughterhouses with a largely illiterate, non-English-speaking work force.
'These are not the type of people you want working on that level of equipment,' he says. He also worries that the widespread use of irradiation might encourage meat packers 'to spead up the kill floor and spray shit everywhere.' Steven Bjerklie, the former editor of Meat and Poultry, opposes irradiation on similar grounds. He thinks it will reduce pressure on the meat packing industry to make fundamental and necessary changes in their productioin methods, allowing unsanitary practices to continue. "I don't want to be served irradiated feces along with my meat," Bjerklie says.
Bjerklie's tone is almost indignant as he strives to pronounce his fears that the meat-packing industry will take the new technology of irradiation and turn it into something that can be used to speed up production and increase their companies' profits.
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