‘Fast Food Nation’ author says cheap, quick meals carry a heavy price


Author Eric Schlosser says he first
became interested in where we get our food in the early 1990s, when he
was doing research for a magazine article on strawberry harvesting.

He learned that strawberry farms, once small-scale
operations, had become vast corporate enterprises. And that the people
who picked the strawberries were poor, underpaid, exploited immigrants.

Schlosser, now an outspoken critic of the processed
food industry, is best known for his 2001 book “Fast Food Nation.” He
also co-produced and narrated the 2008 documentary “Food, Inc.,” which examines corporate farming in the United States. The film was nominated for an Academy Award.

His goal in speaking out is to make people think, he said.

“Choices have consequences,” he said. Processed
foods may be inexpensive and tasty, but they take many tolls: They lead
to animal cruelty, low, stagnant wages, and widespread health problems,
including heart disease and obesity.

Buying organic or locally produced food is more
expensive. But Schlosser said it’s worth it, especially for meat and
dairy products.

Consumers looking to buy sustainable foods should
look for products that are free of steroids or antibiotics, Schlosser
said. They should look for products from grass-fed animals. And they
should seek out farmers markets, where locally grown products are often


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