Eric Schlosser in conversation with Orville Schell.
Investigative journalist Eric Schlosser has been called "society's quiet crusader," earning comparisons to Upton Sinclair for exposing often overlooked issues in his bestselling books Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness. In Fast Food Nation, Schlosser uncovers the unsanitary and discriminatory practices of the fast food industry. He reveals how fast food has transformed America's diet as well as its economy, workforce, and popular culture. Schlosser based the groundbreaking book on a two-part article written for Rolling Stone and helped adapt it into a 2006 film directed by Richard Linklater.
In 2006, Schlosser and Charles Wilson released a children's book called Chew On This, challenging the fast food industry's biggest consumers to think critically about what they eat. Eric Schlosser has been a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly since 1996 and his work has also appeared in Vanity Fair, The Nation, and The New Yorker. He is currently at work on a book about America's prison system- City Arts & Lectures
Orville Schell is the Arthur Ross director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York. He is a former professor and dean at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Schell is the author of 14 books, nine of them about China, and a contributor to numerous edited volumes. His most recent books are Virtual Tibet, The China Reader, and Mandate of Heaven. He is also a contributor to such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, and many others. He is a fellow at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, a senior fellow at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a recipient of the Overseas Press Club Award and the Harvard-Stanford Shorenstein Prize for Asian Reporting.
Eric Schlosser has been a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly since 1996. After graduating from Princeton with a degree in American History, Schlosser tried his hand at several professions (playwright, novelist, script writer) before finally turning to non-fiction in his early thirties. Although his idea for an article on homosexuals in the military was turned down by the Atlantic Monthly, the magazine offered him another assignment: writing about the New York City bomb squad after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Other assignments followed, one of which was about America and its fast food industry. What began as a simple magazine article turned into an international bestseller. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All American Meal, was on the New York Times bestsellers list for nearly two years. It appeared on the bestseller lists of the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, USA Today, Business Week, and Publishers Weekly, as well as on bestseller lists in Canada, Great Britain and Japan.
His second New York Times bestseller, Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market (May 2003), was also inspired by his earlier articles on the enforcement of marijuana laws in America and illegal immigration in California. His two-part series, "Reefer Madness" and "Marijuana and the Law" (Altantic Montly, August and September, 1994), won a National Magazine Award for reporting, and his article, "In the Strawberry Fields" (Atlantic Monthly, November 1995), received a Sidney Hillman Foundation award.
Schlosser has appeared on 60 Minutes, CNN, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, FOX News, The O'Reilly Factor, and Extra!. He has been interviewed on NPR and covered in Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, and the New York Times. His work also has appeared in Rolling Stone and The New Yorker.
Agriculture operated by business; specifically, that part of a modern national economy devoted to the production, processing, and distribution of food and fibre products and byproducts. Commercial farming has largely supplanted the family farm in production of cash crops. Some food-processing firms that operate farms have begun to market fresh produce under their brand names. In recent years, conglomerates involved in nonagricultural businesses have entered agribusiness by buying and operating large farms.
Schlosser is a reasonable, brilliant and ethical man. Ties together history and present conditions in a very accessible way.
If individuals of his caliber were elected to office and remained courageous enough to act on their morals, this country would get beyond so many of the problems that we find ourselves mired in. Maybe now that the curtain has finally been pulled away from the "invisible hand" free trade mythical nonsense and even middle-class people are feeling the hurt, things can finally go toward more democracy and "actual" Christian values in this country - caring about ones fellow humanity and planet.
1) Our agriculture is moving overseas. Have you looked at a can of apple sauce, fruit chunks, legumes etc? Most of it is made overseas.
2) The Canadian meat packing industry was outsourced and moved offshore (or rather to another end of the same shore). Almost all Canadian meat packing is done in the USA because of the lesser labour laws. If the Americans start paying slaughter plant workers more, the plants will close and the live animals will be shipped to Mexico for processing. In Canada we truck animals thousands of miles to slaughter plants, it is easy to ship a another thousand and skip over the entire American packing industry.
3) American high tech is not what it used to be and is mostly gone overseas as well. Have you bought a piece of technology made in North America lately? The only one I can think of is BlackBerry and that would be made in Canada.
4) OPEC does not have enough of the global supply to act effectively as a cartel, mostly because the Saudis do not really co-operate and the other large exporters like Russia, Canada, Norway, and Kazakhstan are not members. The high price of oil is speculation based.