Eric Schlosser was called a communist, a socialist and anti-American following the publication of Fast Food Nation five years ago.
Now, thanks to a Richard Linklater film based on the same book, and the publication of a follow-up work, Chew on This, aimed at younger readers, the fast food industry is poised with sticks and stones once more. Yet there is little to fear - from the book at least.
Co-written with Charles Wilson, who was the fact checker on Fast Food Nation, it is a dumbed down version of the original with updates from young people who work for fast food chains. Its main problem is that a lot of water has passed under the bridge since Fast Food Nation - not least Morgan Spurlock&'s Super Size Me - and it seems a bit old hat. The doggedly anti-corporate tone doesn&'t help either.
That said, it is for kids - and Schlosser has made a genuine effort to make the content relevant to them. There are some stomach-churning insights into how tastebuds are manipulated to make food taste good.
A shame then that, on finishing the book, this reader chomped down on her first burger in more than a year.
Published by Puffin Books on 4 May 2006.
Joanna Blythman takes a provocative look at Britain&'s food landscape to expose the attitudes and practices she claims are feeding the nation&'s food illiteracy.
Published by Fourth Estate, 6 June 2006.
In Ian Hills&' fictional take on the dangers of junk food, an unlikely team of heroes take on a criminal and his immoral global fast food chain, Gut Bucket Holdings.
Published by Wizard Books, End of last year.
The pre-release blurb talks of a jar of instant coffee costing 7,000% more than farmers get for it and fast food that affects brain chemistry in a similar way to class A drugs.
Published by Icon Books,
3 August 2006.
Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know about Fast Food
Bad Food Britain: How a Nation Ruined its Appetite
The Toxic Toadburger Conspiracy
101 Facts You Should Know About Food