With Eric Schlosser's vistit to Syracuse next Tuesday we have now played host to some of the most influential people in the world of food politics and sustainable agriculture. Speaking on investigative journalism as part of the University Lecture Series, Schlosser will be a Hendricks Chapel at 4pm on Tuesday, March 1. The event is free and open to the public.
Schlosser has written about important topics other than food but his book, Fast Food Nation, put him on the literary map and literally changed my life. I remember reading Fast Food Nation in the spring of 2002 as I prepared to move to Berkeley, CA. There was an "aha moment" on nearly every page and I'm pretty sure that I was stopping people on the street to tell them about how messed up our food system had become. I remember urging all my friends to read the book immediately. And within the space of a week I overhauled my diet from top to bottom.
Sure, I'd read Pollan's Botany of Desire the year before, but Schlosser is the one I credit with me learning to ask hard questions about where my food came from and what was in it. I used to go to McDonald's quite often but had given up chicken mcnuggets in the late 80s upon learning about the horrific working conditions of those who worked the line to turn birds into nuggets. Reading FFN was the death knell to what was a love affair with fast food and I've never looked back.
By August of 2002 I had settled in Berkeley, subscribed to a farm share (oh River Dog Farm, how I miss you still!) and traded strange things in my Big Mac for "strange things" in my farm box--hello celery root and persimmons!
Schlosser will probably speak about more than food--his topic is investigative journalism--but it is sure to be a fascinating time. I hope to live tweet the event in case you can't be there.