Eric Schlossers Fast Food Nation, published in 2001, arguably began the current debate about our broken food system. Schlosser has since written a book for children, and one about marijuana titled Reefer Madness, and he is working on an investigation into nuclear weapons called Command and Control but Nation remains his most influential work.
The book isnt just another diatribe on obesity, diabetes, and how unhealthy our food has become: Schlosser places the topic within a sociopolitical context. He shows how the frantic highway building after WWII and the proliferation of fast-food outlets went together, with devastating results for small communities; the way the push for reliably homogeneous products led to ever larger farms, as well as horrors in the animal husbandry system. He writes about how fast-food outlets help depress wages and cut into worker autonomy and about the exploitation of farm workers, teenagers working long shifts in fast-food joints, and the immigrants who staff slaughterhouses. Amid all the talk of local and organic, Fast Food Nation remains more important than ever.