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Articles by Ali Macalady

Ali Macalady lives, writes, and eats in New Haven, Conn.

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In 2001, Eric Schlosser published Fast Food Nation — an expose of America’s increasingly consolidated and industrialized food system, and how that system contributes to a whole range of societal ills, from obesity and resistance to antibiotics to urban sprawl, habitat destruction, and poor labor conditions. The book was a smashing success — 66 weeks and running on the New York Times bestseller list — and it captured the nation’s attention in a way no book about food has since Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, the 1906 classic about the Chicago meatpacking industry.

In a new afterword to Fast Food Nation‘s paperback edition, Schlosser says the reason his book struck a nerve didn’t have much to do with his prose, or even his politics, but rather with his timing. “Not just in the United States, but throughout western Europe, people are beginning to question the massive, homogenizing systems that produce, distribute, and market their food.” Indeed food — the most fundamental bond between people and the environment — is becoming a nexus for outrage and activism on issues ranging from globalization and trade to ... Read more