Harm Caused by Fastfood
As fast food businesses continue to flourish the way that the food is being made hse become more and more unhealthy to the consumer as well as to the workers who work in the factories and the animals themselves as well. As the conglomerates continue to make close ties with political figures they can get away with more in their own business. Many legal fights began to happen over the unhealthy food that was being consumed.
Problems that have arisen because of this factory-like work ethic has caused would be food contamination, the spread of illness and cause harm to the workes this has even environmental problems. For if we truly knew what was in our food and how its processed we might think twice about our eating habits. Ways to fix this would be to support bills that would stop these conglomerates from using unsafe slaughterhouse tactics and choose organic options.
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Fast food companies use a veil to shield the customers from knowing how and what their food has been made, there are four of the leading meatpacking corporations in the world and they are Tyson Foods, Cargill Meat Solutions Corp, JBS USA Greeley, Colo. and JBS USA Greeley, Colo. are the leaders in the meat business. These businesses “Today, top four beef packers control more than 80% of the market” (07:32).
And some strategies that are used to keep these strategies hidden are for example, Companies in charge of the meat industry like Tyson workes hard to keep how they manage their chicken as secret as possible in the documentary “Food Inc.” narrated by Eric Schlosser farmers are not allowed to show what it looks like inside of the farm building because of the fear that they would be shut down as shown in the documentary Food Inc. these farmers are being threatened if they disclose information they may lose their jobs.
Many fast food businesses have experienced legal hardships in regards to the consumer’s safety. For example, the article The McLawsuit: The Fast-Food Industry And Legal Accountability For Obesity “In August 2002 a gathering of overweight kids in New York City recorded a legal claim against McDonald’s Corporation looking for pay for heftiness related medical issues, enhanced healthful naming of McDonald’s items, and financing for a program to instruct customers about the risks of drive-thru food (Michelle M. Mello, Eric B. Rimm, and David M. Studdert).” these children claimes thatMcdonalds had participated in harmful food practices that lead to their bad health. Another legal battle that a fast food companies have faced in Chipotle with outbreak after outbreak of ecoli they have faced the scrutiny of the public,
One of the biggest issues with fast food is the possibility of contamination that can cause illness to the workers in the slaughterhouse facilities and the customers as well. Issues arise when meat has not been properly cleaned and this causes sickness to both the consumer and to the worker. The workers have to deal with issues like developing problems ranging from back problems to shoulder problems while others would even have problems with carpal tunnel.
“Roughly forty-three thousand men and women- suffer an injury or work-related illness that requires medical attention beyond first aid”(Schlosser 172). Some workers would have to deal with ailments like “Trigger Finger” which is when the person’s finger stays locked in place in a curled position. Due to the close relationship between Osha and the meat companies they usually only receive a fine of a low amount in comparison to the amount of money that they actually make.
The problems it could cause to the customers could range from illness to even death. E.coli is one of the big problems when dealing with contaminated meat of wrongly cooked meat for example in the documentary “Food Inc.” a child by the name of Kevin ate contaminated meat and ended up dying as result of contracting H7 e.coli mutation at a McDonald’s. Npr’s article, Cheryl Fryar of the CDC “states that around 34 percent of adolescents and children of the ages between 2 and nineteen have fast food on a regular basis”. This higher the chance of more children getting sick due to contamination
The ways that the meat was being handled was quite unsanitary as when workers would be cutting the meats they were usually in close quarters of everyone and injury was prevalent as the companies didn’t have a regard for the worker’s safety. Many were immigrants and they were seen to be indispensable, they were treated as human machines. Smithfield the largest slaughterhouse in the world was located in an economically depressed area.
As a result, Smithfield has perfected the art of picking and choosing a workforce that they can exploit (51:15). Poor whites and poor blacks were worked through quickly. So they had to start bussing workers from as far as South and North Carolina. The businesses usually had the same mentality about the workers as they do about the hogs whom they were slaughtering. These workers often didn’t know their rights and that is all too often being abused by the higher-ups.
Workers in this field often had to work in a close quarter of each other while using dangerous knives. Corporations wanted to make the work as efficiently as possible so they began to make factory like jobs where workers would repeatedly do the same work for hours on end while working in areas that would be covered in blood from the animals, and in cold rooms that reach around twenty degrees below zero. This alone could cause injury to the workers if they were not careful.
Contamination often started with the animal that was being slaughtered it is too often that they are not being treated humanely and the cleaning process is not being handled properly. Ecoli would Spread through large herds standing in knee-high manure since it is so contagious, and to add to that the techniques that slaughterhouses would use don’t keep the animal that was being slaughtered clean of the manure.
Many of these animals have been given a different diet just to alter the way in which they grow cows are no longer being fed grass they are being fed corn so that they can keep costs down and to make them gain weight at a faster rate. Corn is a great raw material which can be broken down and reassembled. – High fructose corn syrup + processed ingredients, being used as livestock feed. In nature cows usually forge on grass but if money is to be saved farmers turn to the cheaper option, which can be harmful to the customers in the long run.
Research indicates that due to the high corn diets the Ecoli became acid resistant. While cows are being fed corn over grass the ecoli is able to survive in the cow which is highly dangerous to the public. In the documentary “Food Inc” it was shown that a Tyson chicken farm was keeping their chicken completely in the dark so they could be subdued easily a lot of these chicken would just die due to the non-cleanliness and the abuse that they suffer at the hands of the workers these chicken would often stand in their own feces and dead chickens as well the chickens would be .
These companies would threaten their employees that if they were to show the conditions in which the animals are living they would risk losing their jobs. In the book Fast Food Nation, a Rancher by the name of Hank was committed to raising his cattle by allowing them to graze over feeing them corn. As corporations took over the cost of beef began to decline and the cost of raising his cattle continued to get more and more expensive, he began to get deeper and deeper into debt. Due to this he ultimately ended up committing suicide at the age of 43.
In Abigail Geers article “10 Ways Fast Food is Destroying the World “In factory farms, animals are forced to endure inherently cruel and inhumane conditions that deprive them of all their basic instincts”(Geer) some of these animals are treated inhumanly by the workers. These extensive organizations frequently placed agriculturists in devastating obligation with the end goal to quiet the individuals who are against current cultivating rehearses.
Tyson changed the way that chickens were to be raised chickens were growing twice as large in a shorter amount of time, the chickens were redesigned to have larger breasts. The chicken’s body couldn’t deal the rapid growth and weight so they would be unable to even walk. “Companies keep farmers under their thumbs due to debt resulting from upgrading equipment to continue their farming contracts” (15:58). Farmers had no chance they either work with these companies or live in fear of losing what they have worked on their whole lives
With the help of corrupting some companies stived while the rest struggled, for example, Smithfield, the largest slaughterhouse had close ties with Osha. this allowed them to continue business even though there were plenty of accidents. Smithfield would only have to pay small fines so they could continue to operate the facility. In addition to this, there was an agreement between Smithfield and local ICE authorities.
Smithfield gets rid of 15 workers per day, but there are no massive raids (56:24). This is probably to avoid suspicion or large media attention. This would allow them to continue to get immigrant workers while also pleasing the local authorities. Big political figures also had influences in fast food companies. In the article “Corruption Spreading in The Meat-packing Industry” by Alan Guebert Farm and Food File it states that “the close relationship between politicians and the beef companies lead to loose regulations in the business that lead to problems”.
Another interesting fact was brought up in the documentary food inc. when Sholsser says “In 1972, the FDA conducted [about] 50,000 safety inspections. In 2006, the FDA conducted 9,164” (26:14). There were so many political figures in power that had a major connection with the top 4 meat corporations. When Bush was in the administration is the person who was the former chief lobbyist was also the chief of staff.in the article Corruption In The Food industry: How Does It Affect You?
By Megan Gruver, it states that ” Almost all of these large food production companies have members running for important positions in government. This leads to an ever-present bias within government towards the food industry rather than public safety. These government positions allow companies to have control over what safety precautions are made, which often benefits the food industry rather than the consumer.”(Gruver) With the connections being made between politics and fast food there is a lot to be wary of because they don’t care about the wellbeing of the customers they only care about how much money they are bringing in.
This problem with the environmental issues that the fast food industry has caused, there are many ranging from water contamination to the emissions being released during transportation of cattle. More and more marine life has begun to be affected by the food industry. Some of the companies attributing to the damages are Burger King, Wendy’s and Jack in the Box. Due to all of the single-use packaging, a lot of this packaging ends up in the ocean harming the marine life. One of the other problems that are caused due to the pollution of the ocean with companies like Tyson. This company faces scrutiny when they were found to be pouring into waterways and this began to kill off marine life.
“Toxins from manure and pouring into waterways are exacerbating huge, harmful algal blooms that create oxygen-deprived stretches of the Gulf, the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay”, according to a new report by Mighty, an environmental group chaired by former Congressman Henry Waxman. They have been made responsible for creating the largest recorded dead zone in the Gulf of New Mexico.in the article Meat industry blamed for largest-ever ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico by Oliver Milman.
He states that America’s immense craving for meat is driving a lot of this unsafe contamination, as per Mighty, which faulted few organizations for practices that are “sullying our water and pulverizing our scene” in the core of the nation. (Milman) and this problem is only going to get worse if regulations are not put in place to limit these actions by the companies.
Regulations in regards to the pollution of the ocean and waterways need to be addressed as well as the right to know how the food that is being consumed should be known to the customer to prevent future outbreaks of ecoli which can result in death and the pollution of waterways can devastate marine life.
Consumers need to support bills which would limit these corporations ability to pollute the oceans and bills that would make it illegal to use dangerous additives that can cause health issues in the consumer’s life. Another solution would be to take an organic product to stray away from all the additives and antibiotics that are being pumped into the animals. If regulations are not put in place it is only a matter of time before more and more Dead Zones start growing and leave everyone with dead marine life.
In conclusion, As drive-thru food organizations keep on thriving how the nourishment is being made hse turned out to be increasingly unfortunate to the buyer and also to the laborers who work in the production lines and the creatures themselves. As the combinations keep on making close ties with political figures they can escape with additional in their very own business. Numerous legitimate battles started to occur over the undesirable nourishment that was being devoured.
Issues that have emerged as a result of this manufacturing plant like hard-working attitude has caused would be sustenance tainting, the spread of disease and influence mischief to the workes this has even ecological issues. For in the event that we really comprehended what was in our nourishment and how it’s handled we may mull over our dietary patterns. Approaches to settle this is bolstered charges that would prevent these combinations from utilizing dangerous slaughterhouse strategies and pick natural alternatives.