Free «Response to Eric Schlosser’s “Why McDonald’s Fries Taste so Good”» Essay
Most people do not think about the reasons that stand behind his or her food preferences. However, thousands of scientists work hard on the creation of flavors that would influence the consumer’s choice of a certain product. In fact, chemicals, as well as other unknown substances, have become an inalienable part of the food industry in the last decade. In his article “Why McDonald’s Fries Taste so Good,” Eric Schlosser takes his readers to the backstage of the fast food industry and reveals its darkest secrets. Schlosser’s article is a very progressive, detailed, and influential work that shows fast-food tricks to transform food industry and the consumers’ minds.
In his article, Schlosser demonstrates how the fast-food industry and the producers of artificial and natural flavor shape the tastes and preferences of consumers. For instance, the author presents a very interesting discussion of McDonald’s French fries, revealing the secrets of their uniqueness and popularity. In fact, this food is a unique feature of the company, and no other restaurant could imitate it. Schlosser shows that McDonald’s French fries, which have become an icon within American culture and around the world, consist of ordinary potatoes. Only unhealthy artificial flavors make them extraordinary. Moreover, he argues that most of Americans’ daily food smells delicious only because of manufactured flavors. However, the popularity of McDonald’s fries is not merely caused by taste. Schlosser makes an extraordinary claim that McDonald’s making people addictive to their fast food and its flavor from early childhood has made the company attractive. The author explains that McDonald’s and other fast-food companies address children in their advertising and create special children menus like Happy Meal to make kids get used to their food. Schlosser states that “a person’s food preferences … are formed during the first few years of life” (52). Further, he explains that the flavors of foods that a person ate in childhood are likely to leave an invisible mark that influences his or her subconscious food preferences as an adult. The author makes a conclusion that “childhood memories of Happy Meals, which come with French fries, can translate into frequent adult visits to McDonald’s” (Schlosser 53).
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Moreover, the author changes the mind of the readers regarding fast food and the use of artificial and natural flavors in it. Most importantly, Schlosser reveals the most common misconception that natural flavors are healthier than artificial ones. In fact, the same factories produce both kinds of them. However, they are similarly unhealthy. Also, the author demonstrates that, for instance, such a popular artificial flavor as strawberry, which is used in most products including Big Burger’s strawberry milk, consists of at least 30 chemical ingredients (Schlosser 54). Thus, flavors are much more complex and dangerous than most people think.
In my opinion, Schlosser’s article can become very influential and transform the food industry. The author presents a very informative research of the tricks food companies use to manipulate the consumer’s tastes. Schlosser believes in that a change in the food industry is possible. Therefore, he presents the transformation of McDonald’s French fries from highly fat-containing oil to more diet fries as the evidence. In its turn, Schlosser’s article calls the readers on to pay more attention to products’ ingredients as well as stop believing in the naturalness of flavors used in them.
Thus, Schlosser’s article reflects his progressive, interesting, and well-supported point of view on fast food as well as reveals fast-food tricks to transform food industry through the consumers’ minds. The fast-food industry accompanied by the producers of artificial and natural flavor manipulate the tastes and preferences of consumers. For that reason, Schlosser explicitly demonstrates it using strong evidence. Moreover, the author reveals misconceptions about flavors. Therefore, he changes the attitude of the readers to the fast-food and creates the ground for changes in the industry. The food industry should have no secrets kept from the consumers. People are what they eat, and they should know all the components.