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
Mon., Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m., 2011

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Juliet Wittman is an investigative reporter and critic with a passion for theater, literature, social justice and food. She has reviewed theater for Westword for over a decade; for many years, she also reviewed memoirs for the Washington Post. She has won several journalism awards and published essays and short stories in literary magazines. Her novel, Stocker's Kitchen, can be obtained at select local bookstores and on Amazon.
Contact: Juliet Wittman