Fast Food Nation | Study Guide

Eric Schlosser

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Fast Food Nation Study Guide." Course Hero. 10 Nov. 2017. Web. 13 Nov. 2018. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2017, November 10). Fast Food Nation Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 13, 2018, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "Fast Food Nation Study Guide." November 10, 2017. Accessed November 13, 2018.


Course Hero, "Fast Food Nation Study Guide," November 10, 2017, accessed November 13, 2018,

Fast Food Nation | Key Figures

Key Figure Description
Carl N. Karcher Carl N. Karcher was the founder of the Carl's Jr. chain of restaurants and Carl Karcher Enterprises (CKE). Eric Schlosser describes him as "one of the fast food industry's pioneers." Read More
Ray A. Kroc A former salesman, Ray A. Kroc founded the McDonald's Corporation. Read More
Walt Disney Walt Disney was the founder of the Walt Disney Company and a major figure in entertainment. He worked closely with executives in the fast food industry, particularly Ray Kroc of McDonald's. Read More
Richard McDonald Richard McDonald was one of two brothers who founded the original McDonald's drive-in restaurants in the late 1930s. Read More
John Richard (J.R.) Simplot John Richard (J.R.) Simplot owned the company that supplied McDonald's with its frozen french fries. He was described as "America's great potato baron" and "the most important figure" in Idaho. Read More
Hank A respected rancher in Colorado Springs, Hank was committed to preserving the land and the culture of independent ranching. Read More
Currier J. Holman Currier J. Holman was a cofounder of Iowa Beef Packers, Inc. (IBP), one of the country's largest meatpacking corporations. Read More
A.D. Anderson A.D. Anderson was a cofounder of Iowa Beef Packers, Inc. (IBP), one of the country's largest meatpacking corporations.
Mike Callicrate Mike Callicrate, a Kansas cattleman, testified against the large meatpacking company IBP. Though he lost business as a result, Callicrate remained dedicated to exposing IBP's theft and corruption.
Bill Clinton Bill Clinton was President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. His administration made strides to create "a tough, science-based food inspection system" after an E. coli outbreak but was ultimately unsuccessful.
Howard Coble North Carolina congressman Howard Coble proposed a bill requiring franchisors to obey "fundamental business principles" in the treatment of their franchisees.
Rich Conway Rich Conway was the founder of Conway's Red Top, a hamburger restaurant serving local, handmade food, and paying employees well. Eric Schlosser includes Conway as an example of a local business thriving despite fast food chains.
Dan DeRose President of DD Marketing Inc. in Colorado, Dan DeRose was a liaison between schools, nonprofits, and potential corporate sponsors. He brokered a deal between The Coca-Cola Company and a struggling Colorado school district.
Kenny Dobbins Kenny Dobbins was a former Monfort, Inc. slaughterhouse employee whose work injuries permanently damaged his health; he believed the company failed him despite his continued loyalty.
Nancy Donley Nancy Donley was the president of the food safety organization Safe Tables Our Priority. Her son Alex died young from an E. coli infection after eating a hamburger.
Dwight D. Eisenhower President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, Dwight D. Eisenhower supported the Interstate Highway Act, which led to the building of miles of highways and a new reliance on the automobile. His administration was known for its optimistic beliefs in technological progress and American pride.
Dave Feamster The owner of a Little Caesar's restaurant in Colorado, Dave Feamster represented fast food franchisees who operate their own restaurants through major chains. Feamster was a good manager who cared about his employees.
Michael D. Ferrell A former IBP executive in charge of health and safety programs, Michael D. Ferrell noticed the falsification of safety records and high levels of negligence and was later fired for shutting down a slaughterhouse.
Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Gorbachev was the President of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991. His leadership led to the downfall of communism in the Soviet Union and political freedom for its residents. His speech at a fast food convention in 1999 focused on political affairs in Russia, boring the American audience.
Brian Grainger A chemist who developed artificial flavorings for foods, Brian Grainger was skilled and modest about his work, arguing against putting his company logo on products.
Heinz Haber Chief scientific consultant for Walt Disney Productions, Heinz Haber was a researcher during World War II for Germany's Luftwaffe Institute of Aviation Medicine, where researchers experimented on concentration camp prisoners.
Charles (Mike) Harper Charles (Mike) Harper was the entrepreneur responsible for the growth and influence of ConAgra Brands Inc., the largest meat packer and packaged foods supplier in North America.
Dale Lasater Dale Lasater was a Colorado rancher who raised organic grass-fed beef and believed cattle benefit from a "natural ecosystem." Eric Schlosser uses Lasater's story as proof independent ranchers can still succeed.
Peter Lowe "Success authority" Peter Lowe staged large-scale motivational events with highly paid celebrity speakers.
Maurice (Mac) McDonald Maurice (Mac) McDonald was one of two brothers who founded the original McDonald's drive-in restaurants in the late 1930s.
Kenneth (Ken) Monfort Warren Monfort's son, Kenneth (Ken) Monfort ran the Monfort, Inc. slaughterhouse with his father; formerly a Democrat, Ken became a "probusiness Republican," opposing labor unions. The large food supplier ConAgra eventually bought his company.
Warren Monfort Warren Monfort was one of the first large-scale cattle feeders in the United States. His slaughterhouse became one of the largest employers in Greeley, Colorado, eventually transforming the town's landscape and demographics.
Dave Morris Dave Morris was a British Greenpeace member whom McDonald's sued, along with other members, for libel after Greenpeace distributed an anti-McDonald's pamphlet. Morris and Helen Steel fought the lawsuit, and the trial lasted for several years. Morris believed global corporations like McDonald's operate with too much power and arrogance.
Edward Murphy Former safety director at Monfort's Grand Island beef plant, Edward Murphy testified he was ordered to ignore safety precautions, and was instructed to lie to officials, shred documents, and keep two safety logs—one accurate and one falsified.
Richard Nixon President of the United States from 1969 to 1974, Richard Nixon was a fan of McDonald's, writing a letter praising the restaurant and supporting its efforts to lower the minimum wage.
Ruben Ramirez Ruben Ramirez was the president of Chicago's UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) union chapter of meatpacking workers. A Mexican immigrant and father, Ramirez was proud of his achievements in America, but he faced the decline of the meatpacking industry in Chicago.
Ronald Reagan President of the United States from 1981 to 1989, Ronald Reagan appointed meat industry executives to prominent government positions, increasing the industry's power. His administration cut public health funding and emphasized government deregulation.
Christopher Reeve Christopher Reeve was an American actor and activist who suffered a paralyzing spinal cord injury as the result of a horseback riding accident.
Eric Schlosser Eric Schlosser, the author of the book, is an American investigative journalist.
Upton Sinclair Upton Sinclair was an American journalist whose 1906 book The Jungle exposed the brutality of meatpacking facilities. The book led to food safety legislation but not better working conditions in slaughterhouses.
Harry J. Sonneborn Ray A. Kroc's business partner, Harry J. Sonneborn came up with the idea of purchasing the real estate on which McDonald's franchises were built, thus becoming landlords as well as franchisors. The idea made huge profits and kept franchisees under tight control.
Helen Steel Helen Steel was a British Greenpeace member. McDonald's sued Steel and other members for libel after Greenpeace distributed an anti-McDonald's pamphlet. Steel and Dave Morris fought the lawsuit; the trial lasted for several years.
David M. Theno Food scientist and advocate for food safety, David M. Theno implemented strong safety regulations, including microbial testing, at the Jack in the Box restaurant chain.
Wernher von Braun Wernher von Braun, leading rocket scientist for the United States Army in the 1950s and former Nazi party member, collaborated with Disney on several programs about space exploration.
Yunxiang Yan An anthropologist who has studied the impact of McDonald's on Chinese consumers, Yunxiang Yan discovered eating at McDonald's raises a Beijing resident's social status because McDonald's represents modernization and positive qualities associated with the United States.
Elisa Zamot Colorado high school student and part-time McDonald's employee, Elisa Zamot represents the chain's many young employees who work long hours for little pay.
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Fast Food Nation? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!