What are Eric Schlosser's critiques of Industrial Agriculture?

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The video clip that I provided below answers this question in an adequate fashion, so I will ask that you watch it.  I will also summarize what Eric Schlosser believes to be a serious problem in the food industry.  Due to the large power of massive corporations that exist in the grocery and restaurant industries, prices of agricultural goods are very low.  They are low because these corporations leverage their considerable purchasing power to demand that suppliers keep prices down.  The people that suffer the most from this are the people at the bottom of the labor chain:  the unskilled workers in the field.  The unskilled worker is exploited by the people that own the farm land. They work a very demanding job picking fruits and vegetables for very low wages.  Schlosser even describes a system of slavery or indentured servitude that still exists in the United States today.  So while it has become very en vogue to decry the abuses of animals in the food production industry, the abuse of humans is even more egregious.  Those Americans that are turning to a vegetarian diet for ethical reasons are actually now eating foods that have been harvested by exploiting unskilled workers, many of whom are recent immigrants.  

 

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