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‘Fast Food Nation’ author to give lecture

March 26, 2008

Put down that cheeseburger. Back away from the fries. If you want to be able to sit through one of Eric Schlosser’s talks about fast food, you’ll want to give up those greasy bites now.

Best-selling author Schlosser will give a free public lecture on “Fast Food Nation: What the All-American Meal Means to Your Health and Well-Being,’ at 8 p.m., April 3, in ASU’s Gammage Auditorium. His work investigates hidden realms of American business and culture and their far-reaching effects on our lives.

Tickets for the free event are available through Ticketmaster, at Barrett, the ASU Honors College, and also at the door.

In his book, “Fast Food Nation,” Schlosser uncovers the inner workings of the fast food industry, from working conditions in American meat-packing plants to the “flavor industry” that gives fast food its taste. Depicting the tremendous growth and success of the industry, he says fast food has been a revolutionary force in American life, transforming our diet as well as our economy, work force and popular culture.

“A lot of what I write about is what people on some level don’t want to hear about,” Schlosser says. “But it’s also what people need to know.”

He is the 2008 Rhodes Lecturer at Barrett, an annual post that celebrates the public service career and contributions to civic life of John J. Rhodes, U.S. senator whose career embodied personal integrity, fiscal responsibility, respect for persons and international farsightedness.

In his latest book, “Reefer Madness,” Schlosser examines three commodities that have defied government laws and fueled an underground economy: marijuana, one of the nation’s largest cash crops: pornography, whose beneficiaries include Fortune 100 companies; and illegal migrant workers who toil for paltry pay. This black market comprises about 10 percent of the overall economy.

Schlosser offers an alternative view of what has happened in the United States during the past 30 years. His intensive research and first-hand reporting have established him as one of America’s leading cultural critics.

He has been a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly since 1996. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, the Nation and the New Yorker. Both of his books have been on the New York Times’ business best-sellers list. His next book will explore the question, “How does the land of the free come to have the largest prison population in the history of the world?”

Advance tickets are available at by requesting “Schlosser Lecture.” Though tickets are free, a $3.60 processing charge per order applies.

For more information, call (480) 965-4033 or visit the events calendar at