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 "
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 sold.
(c) 2010, The Dallas Morning News.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.