The Evolution of Processed Foods
I found the core reading for this assignment to not only just educational, but also eye-opening to say the least. The reading for this assignment was Fast Food Nation: Why the Fries Taste Good by Eric Schlosser. It gives detailed accounts of how the French fry has evolved from hard to prepare side dish at fast food restaurants to convenient and easy to make staple of the fast food industry. The article also gives great detail about how most of today’s foods are processed and treated with chemicals to not only make them look more desirable to eat, but also to taste and smell a certain way.
The beginning of the report details the life of J.R. Simplot, a young man who dropped out of school at age 15 because of a domineering father and found work at a potato warehouse in Delco, Idaho. Simplot made a variety of smart business deals like buying 600 hogs at $1 a head and then selling them the next year at $12.50 a head. After making a big profit on the hogs, Simplot became a potato farmer. He leased 160 acres and learned how to grow potatoes from his landlord, Lindsay Maggert. Simplot also had some luck on his side as he and Maggert had differences on how to use an electric potato sorter. After a coin flip that Simplot won, he took control of the sorter and started his own business sorting potatoes for farmers. Not long after Simplot opened warehouses for buying and selling potatoes. Within a decade Simplot was the largest potato shipper in the West (Schlosser).
After World War II most refrigerators were built with built in freezers. This began what was known as “the Golden Age of Food Processing”. More Americans were looking for convenient, easy to fix meals at home. More companies were looking into frozen food technology, but needed a way to stand above the competition. Simplot began investing in frozen food technology, hoping it would help provide the meals of the future. He broke ground by introducing the frozen French fry to...