You May Now Serve The Bride: The Trinity And Gender -- By: Sam Allberry
JBMW 20:1 (Spring 2015) p. 48
You May Now Serve The Bride: The Trinity And Gender
St. Mary’s Church
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Eric Schlosser’s book Fast Food Nation was an exposé of what he called “the dark side” of the fast-food industry. It became a global phenomenon, eventually being made into a movie. The fast-food giants have been on the back foot ever since. The chapter on slaughterhouses put me off burgers for a very long time.
But as well as identifying some of the dubious practices of some well-known fast-food brands, Schlosser’s research also introduced him to some of the amazing technological innovation that lies behind this industry. Just take the technology used to produce French fries:
Conveyor belts took the wet, clean potatoes into a machine that blasted them with steam for twelve seconds, boiled the water under their skins, and exploded their skins off. Then the potatoes were pumped into a preheat tank and shot through a Lamb Water Gun Knife. They emerged as shoestring fries. Four video cameras scrutinized them from different angles, looking for flaws. When a French fry with a blemish was detected, an optical sorting machine time-sequenced a single burst of compressed air that knocked the bad fry off the production line and onto a separate conveyor belt, which carried it to a machine with tiny automated knives that precisely removed the blemish. And the fry was returned to the main production line.
Sprays of hot water blanched the fries, gusts of hot air dried them, and 25,000 pounds of boiling oil fried them to a slight crisp. Air cooled by compressed ammonia quickly froze them, a computerized sorter that spun like an out-of-control lazy Susan used centrifugal force to align the french fries so that they all pointed in the same direction.
JBMW 20:1 (Spring 2015) p. 49
The fries were sealed in brown bags, then the bags were loaded by robots into cardboard boxes, and the boxes were stacked by robots onto wooden pallets.1
All in all, the technology put into making French fries is huge, and so is the money it takes to make French fries. But the end product shows the pay-off: millions and millions of French fries that look, and more importantly taste, exactly the same.
We like uniformity.
Think about it. You could be anywhere on the globe, facing an unfamiliar climate and trying to deal with unfamiliar languages and customs. Immersed in an utterly alien world. And yet step into McDonald’s and you know exactly what they will have and exactly how it will taste. It’s the same with countless global chains...
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