Books: The Politics and Practice of Food
Public health attorney Michele Simon describes how the food industry uses junk science, spin doctoring, lobbying, deep pockets, and outright threats to hobble government regulators and deceive the public. One example: the use of “free speech” arguments to defend manipulative advertising of junk food to children. She also debunks myths and offers a hilarious “anti-glossary” of corporate spin words.
Born With a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks, and
Hacks Pimp the Public Health, by Martha Rosenburg
Are you suspicious of Big Food and Big Pharma? In this hard hitting expose, leading national muckraker Martha Rosenberg blows the lid off of everything you thought you knew about these gigantic industries. What’s going on behind the scenes is more suspicious, more devious, more disreputable than you could ever have imagined. Born with a Junk Food Deficiency includes explosive interviews with a number of military families whose loved ones fell victim to suicides by antidepressants. There are also behind-the-scenes looks at farms and slaughterhouses and interviews with farm workers that will profoundly affect food consumers. The message is clear: The pharmaceutical and agricultural industries are tainting public health through marketing disguised as medical education and research,aggressive lobbying, and high-level conflicts of interest. If you’re concerned about the safety of the food you eat and the drugs you take, you owe it to yourself to read this important book.
No Happy Cows: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Food
Revolution, by John Robbins
John Robbins has continued his observations and investigations into food politics and food-related issues of the day in his popular HuffingtonPost column, foodrevolution.org. No Happy Cows collects these recent observations along with never before published material for the first time in book form. Robbins shares his dispatches from the frontlines of the food revolution: From his undercover investigations of feed lots and slaughterhouses, to the rise of food contamination, the slave trade behind chocolate and coffee, what he calls the sham of “Vitamin Water,” and the effects of hormones on animals and animal products. In No Happy Cows, Robbins’ provocative observations about food politics and eating more consciously give you potent tools to take positive action for a healthier life and a healthier world.
Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and
Health, by Marion Nestle
Marion Nestle (no relation to the food corporation) has revealed how the food industry successfully suppressed government attempts to offer the simple, sane advice, “eat less.” If you had any doubt that agribusiness is not looking out for the public welfare, here is the truth from a nutrition expert who has also served as a regulatory insider.
It’s a perverse fact of modern life: There are more starving people in the world than ever before, while there are also more people who are overweight. To find out how we got to this point and what we can do about it, Raj Patel launched a comprehensive investigation into the global food network. It took him from the colossal supermarkets of California to India’s wrecked paddy-fields and Africa’s bankrupt coffee farms, while along the way he ate genetically engineered soy beans and dodged flying objects in the protestor-packed streets of South Korea. Going beyond ethical consumerism, Patel explains,
from seed to store to plate, the steps to regain control of the global food economy, stop the exploitation of both farmers and consumers, and rebalance global sustenance.
The son of a sharecropper, Will Allen had no intention of ever becoming a farmer himself. But after years in professional basketball and as an executive for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Procter & Gamble, Allen cashed in his retirement fund for a two-acre plot a half mile away from Milwaukee’s largest public housing project. The area was a food desert with only convenience stores and fast- food restaurants to serve the needs of local residents. In the face of financial challenges and daunting odds, Allen built the country’s preeminent urban farm—a food and educational center that now produces enough vegetables and fish year-round to feed thousands of people. Employing young people from the neighboring housing
project and community, Growing Power has sought to prove that local food systems can help troubled youths, dismantle racism, create jobs, bring urban and rural communities closer together, and improve public health.
The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and
the Control of the World’s Food Supply, by Marie-Monique Robin
Charts award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin’s three-year journey across four continents to uncover the disturbing practices of the multinational agribusiness corporation Monsanto. Following its long history of manufacturing hazardous chemicals and environmentally destructive herbicides, Monsanto now controls the majority of the yield of the world’s genetically modified corn and soy—ingredients found in more than 95 percent of American households—and engages in alarming legal and political tactics to maintain this monopoly.
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, by
Fast food has hastened the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelled American cultural imperialism abroad. That’s a lengthy list of charges, but here Eric Schlosser makes them stick with an artful mix of first-rate reportage, wry wit, and careful reasoning. Schlosser’s myth-shattering survey stretches from California’s subdivisions where the business was born to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey Turnpike where many fast food flavors are concocted. Along the way, he unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths — from the unholy alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought in food production, popular culture, and even real estate. He also uncovers the fast food chains’ disturbing efforts to reel in the youngest, most susceptible consumers even while they hone their institutionalized exploitation of teenagers and minorities.
Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond
Factory Farms, by Nicolette Hahn Niman
The author’s fascinating odyssey through the inner workings of the “factory farm” industry culminated in this searing account of an industry gone awry and one woman’s passionate fight to remedy it. Righteous Porkchop chronicles Niman’s investigation and her fight to change the shocking practices of industrial animal operations. She offers necessary alternatives, showing how livestock farming can be done in a better way—and she details both why and how to choose meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, and fish from traditionally farmed sources.
The Meat You Eat explains how the quality of our food has been compromised in the name of profit. Large corporations controlling the food supply put our health at risk, mistreat animals, reduce diversity in the food supply, and harm the environment. We can fight back: support local farmers and sustainable farming, and demand that our supermarkets and restaurants sell organically grown, free-range, and local products. Featuring a resource guide to sustainable producers
of meat, milk, and eggs across the country.
Organic, Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grew, by Samuel
We often hear the questions, “Has organic been betrayed by its own success?”; “Have organic foodmakers sold out to big business?”; and “Why is there organic junk food?”. Sincere people can and
often do disagree over the best way to heal our food system. Travel with business journalist Samuel Fromartz as he investigates purists vs. pragmatists, the inconsistent behavior of consumers, and the
complexities of the marketplace.