Fast and Furious

Eric Schlosser’s 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 isn’t 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.

Schlosser will speak tonight at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Denver Post Pen and Podium series at the University of Denver’s Newman Center, 2344 East Iliff Avenue. Tickets are $39 to $52. For more information, call 303-871-7720 or go to www.penandpodium.com.
Mon., Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m., 2011

 
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