Fast Food Nation

Each worker has a large knife in one hand and a steel

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Unformatted text preview: t porches. The appearance is deceiving. In 1990, IBP opened a slaughterhouse in Lexington. A year later, the town, with a population of roughly seven thousand, had the highest crime rate in the state of Nebraska. Within a decade, the number of serious crimes doubled; the number of Medicaid cases nearly doubled; Lexington became a major distribution center for illegal drugs; gang members appeared in town and committed drive-by shootings; the majority of Lexington’s white inhabitants moved elsewhere; and the proportion of Latino inhabitants increased more than tenfold, climbing to over 50 percent. “Mexington” — as it is now called, affectionately by some, disparagingly by others — is an entirely new kind of American town, one that has been transfigured to meet the needs of a modern slaughterhouse. You would never think, driving past the IBP plant in Lexington, with its colorful children’s playground out front, with Wal-Mart and Burger King across the street, that a single, innocuous-looking building cou...
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