About the Sometimes Unsavory Sources of American Food

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-AmericanMeal
by Eric Schlosser, 2005
Eric Schlosser examines every step of the process behind the now-ubiquitous fast food business.  We meet a wide variety of characters, from the underpaid, frequently injured slaughterhouse workers to the top-level executives.  It's also an eye-opening exposé of the ingredients in your favorite franchise meals, and it tells you what makes them so addictive.  In addition to everything you've ever wanted to know about the fast food industry, brace yourself for a lot you didn't want to know. However, if you're a regular consumer of fast food products, this is mandatory reading.
Winner of the National Magazine Award, Schlosser is a graduate of Princeton and Oxford universities. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and Atlantic Monthly.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
by Michael Pollan, 2007
Michael Pollan's book traces the origin of four meals from four different sources: a fast food chain, a supermarket, a farm, and directly from the wild.  The journeys cover a wide variety of subjects, from the ethics of eating animals to the organic farming industry to explanations of mysterious-sounding ingredients to boar-hunting, but perhaps the most startling discovery is how so many roads lead back to corn, both as a basic ingredient of many of our foods as well as the primary means of fattening the animals we eat.  The book forces the reader to examine one's own food choices and priorities, both in terms of nutrition and how any given meal has arrived on one's plate. 
The author of the multiple award-winning The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and several other books, Pollan is the former executive editor of Harper's Magazine and a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine; he is currently the Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley.


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