A prominent food journalist follows the trail from Big Pizza to square tomatoes to exploding food prices to Wall Street, trying figure out why we can't all have healthy, delicious, affordable food In 2008, farmers grew enough to feed twice the world's population, yet more people starved than ever before--and most of them were farmers. In Bet the Farm, food writer Kaufman sets out to discover the connection between the global food system and why the food on our tables is getting less healthy and less delicious even as the the world's biggest food companies and food scientists say things are better than ever. To unravel this riddle, he moves down the supply chain like a detective solving a mystery, revealing a force at work that is larger than Monsanto, McDonalds or any of the other commonly cited culprits--and far more shocking. Kaufman's recent cover story for Harper's, ""The Food Bubble,"" provoked controversy throughout the food world, and led to appearances on the NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, Fox Business News, Democracy Now, and Bloomberg TV, along with features on National Public Radio and the BBC World Service. Visits the front lines of the food supply system and food politics as Kaufman visits farms, food science research labs, agribusiness giants, the United Nations, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and more Explains how food has been financialized and the powerful consequences of this change, including: the Arab Spring, started over rising food prices; farmers being put out of business; food scientists rushing to make easy-to-transport, homogenized ingredients instead of delicious foods Explains how the push for sustainability in food production is more likely to make everything worse, rather than better--and how the rise of fast food is bad for us, but catastrophic for those who will never even see a McNugget or frozen pizza
Paul Roberts, the best-selling author ofThe End of Oil, turns his attention to the modern food economy and finds that the system entrusted to meet our most basic need is failing. In this carefully researched, vivid narrative, Roberts lays out the stark economic realities behind modern food and shows how our system of making, marketing, and moving what we eat is growing less and less compatible with the billions of consumers that system was built to serve. At the heart ofThe End of Food is a grim paradox: the rise of large-scale food production, though it generates more food more cheaply than at any time in history, has reached a point of dangerously diminishing returns. Our high-volume factory systems are creating new risks for food-borne illness, from E. coli to avian flu. Our high-yield crops and livestock generate grain, vegetables, and meat of declining nutritional quality. While nearly one billion people worldwide are overweight or obese, the same number of people--one in every seven of us--can't get enough to eat. In some of the hardest-hit regions, such as sub-Saharan Africa, the lack of a single nutrient, vitamin A, has left more than five million children permanently blind. Meanwhile, the shift to heavily mechanized, chemically intensive farming has so compromised soil and water that it's unclear how long such output can be maintained. And just as we've begun to understand the limits of our abundance, the burgeoning economies of Asia, with their rising middle classes, are adopting Western-style, meat-heavy diets, putting new demands on global food supplies. Comprehensive in scope and full of fresh insights, The End of Food presents a lucid, stark vision of the future. It is a call for us to make crucial decisions to help us survive the demise of food production as we know it. Paul Roberts is the author ofThe End of Oil, which was a finalist for the New York Public Library's Helen Bernstein Book Award in 2005. He has written about resource economics and politics for numerous publications, including theLos Angeles Times, theWashington Post,Harper's Magazine, andRolling Stone, and lectures frequently on business and environmental issues.
"A terrific primer on the corporate control of food in the United States, and the actions of those who fight back" (Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved), Foodopoly takes aim at the real culprit behind America's food crisis: the ever-growing consolidation and corporatization of food production, which prevents farmers from raising healthy crops and limits the choices that people can make in the grocery store. In the tradition of the bestselling The World According to Monsanto, Foodopoly tells the shocking story of how agricultural policy has been hijacked by lobbyists, driving out independent farmers and food processors in favor of companies such as Cargill, Tyson, Kraft, and ConAgra. "A meticulously documented account of how we have lost control of our food system" (Steve Gliessman, professor emeritus of agroecology, UC-Santa Cruz), the book demonstrates how the impacts ripple far and wide, from economic stagnation in rural communities at home to famines in poor countries overseas. In the end, author Wenonah Hauter argues that solving this crisis will require a complete structural shift, a grassroots movement to reshape our food system from seed to table--a change that is about politics, not just personal choice.
The #1 New York Times bestseller answers: What if one simple change could save you from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer? For decades, that question has fascinated a small circle of impassioned doctors and researchers--and now, their life-changing research is making headlines in the hit documentary Forks Over Knives. Their answer? Eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet--it could save your life. It may overturn most of the diet advice you've heard--but the experts behind Forks Over Knives aren't afraid to make waves. In his book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn explained that eating meat, dairy, and oils injures the lining of our blood vessels, causing heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. In The China Study, Dr. Colin Campbell revealed how cancer and other diseases skyrocket when eating meat and dairy is the norm--and plummet when a traditional plant-based diet persists. And more and more experts are adding their voices to the cause: There is nothing else you can do for your health that can match the benefits of a plant-based diet. Now, as Forks Over Knives is introducing more people than ever before to the plant-based way to health, this accessible guide provides the information you need to adopt and maintain a plant-based diet. Features include: Insights from the luminaries behind the film--Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. John McDougall, The Engine 2 Diet author Rip Esselstyn, and many others Success stories from converts to plant-based eating--like San'Dera Prude, who no longer needs to medicate her diabetes, has lost weight, and feels great! The many benefits of a whole-foods, plant-based diet--for you, for animals and the environment, and for our future A helpful primer on crafting a healthy diet rich in unprocessed fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, including tips on transitioning and essential kitchen tools 125 recipes from 25 champions of plant-based dining--from Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins and Sunny Orange Yam Bisque to Garlic Rosemary Polenta and Raspberry-Pear Crisp--delicious, healthy, and for every meal, every day.
If capitalism is such an efficient system, why does 40 percent of all U.S. food production go to waste--while one in six people in the nation face hunger? This startling truth has stirred increasing interest and action of late, but none so radical as that of the freegans, who live on what capitalism throws away--including food culled from supermarket dumpsters. Freegans is a close look at the people in this movement, offering a broader perspective on ethical consumption and the changing nature of capitalism. Freegans object to the overconsumption and environmental degradation on which they claim our economic order depends, and they register that dissent by opting out of it, recovering, redistributing, and consuming wasted goods, from dumpster-dived food to cast-off clothes and furniture. Through several years of fieldwork and in-depth interviews with freegans in New York City, Alex Barnard has created a portrait of freegans that leads to questions about ethical consumption--like buying organic, fair trade, or vegan--and the search for effective forms of action in an era of political disillusionment. Barnard's analysis of this pressing concern reveals how waste is integrally bound up with our food system. At the same time, by showing that markets do not seamlessly translate preferences expressed at the cash register into changes in production, Freegans exposes the limits of consumer activism.
With food scarcity driven by falling water tables, eroding soils, and rising temperatures, control of arable land and water resources is moving to center stage in the global struggle for food security. "In this era of tightening world food supplies, the ability to grow food is fast becoming a new form of geopolitical leverage. Food is the new oil," Lester R. Brown writes. What will the geopolitics of food look like in a new era dominated by scarcity and food nationalism? Brown outlines the political implications of land acquisitions by grain-importing countries in Africa and elsewhere as well as the world's shrinking buffers against poor harvests. With wisdom accumulated over decades of tracking agricultural issues, Brown exposes the increasingly volatile food situation the world is facing.
This book to analyses the food industry from a Marxist perspective.Let The Eat Junk argues that the capitalist system, far from delivering on the promise of cheap, nutritious food for all, has created a world where 25% of the world population are over-fed and 25% are hungry. This malnourishment of 50% of the world's population is explained systematically, a refreshing change from accounts that focus on cultural factors and individual greed. Robert Albritton details the economic relations and connections that have put us in a situation of simultaneous oversupply and undersupply of food.This explosive book provides yet more evidence that the human cost of capitalism is much bigger than those in power will admit.
Do Americans have the right to privately obtain the foods of our choice from farmers, neighbors, and local producers, in the same way our grandparents and great grandparents used to do? Yes, say a growing number of people increasingly afraid that the mass-produced food sold at supermarkets is excessively processed, tainted with antibiotic residues and hormones, and lacking in important nutrients. These people, a million or more, are seeking foods outside the regulatory system, like raw milk, custom-slaughtered beef, and pastured eggs from chickens raised without soy, purchased directly from private membership-only food clubs that contract with Amish and other farmers. Public-health and agriculture regulators, however, say no: Americans have no inherent right to eat what they want. In today's ever-more-dangerous food-safety environment, they argue, all food, no matter the source, must be closely regulated, and even barred, if it fails to meet certain standards. These regulators, headed up by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with help from state agriculture departments, police, and district-attorney detectives, are mounting intense and sophisticated investigative campaigns against farms and food clubs supplying privately exchanged food-even handcuffing and hauling off to jail, under threat of lengthy prison terms, those deemed in violation of food laws. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights takes readers on a disturbing cross-country journey from Maine to California through a netherworld of Amish farmers paying big fees to questionable advisers to avoid the quagmire of America's legal system, secret food police lurking in vans at farmers markets, cultish activists preaching the benefits of pathogens, U.S. Justice Department lawyers clashing with local sheriffs, small Maine towns passing ordinances to ban regulation, and suburban moms worried enough about the dangers of supermarket food that they'll risk fines and jail to feed their children unprocessed, and unregulated, foods of their choosing. Out of the intensity of this unprecedented crackdown, and the creative and spirited opposition that is rising to meet it, a new rallying cry for food rights is emerging.
An investigative journalist takes you inside the corporate meat industry--a shocking, in-depth report every American should read. The biggest takeover in American business that you've n ever heard of The American supermarket seems to represent the best in America: abundance, freedom, choice. But that turns out to be an illusion. The rotisserie chicken, the pepperoni, the cordon bleu, the frozen pot pie, and the bacon virtually all come from four companies. In The Meat Racket, investigative reporter Christopher Leonard delivers the first-ever account of how a handful of companies have seized the nation's meat supply. He shows how they built a system that puts farmers on the edge of bankruptcy, charges high prices to consumers, and returns the industry to the shape it had in the 1900s before the meat monopolists were broken up. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the greatest capitalist country in the world has an oligarchy controlling much of the food we eat and a high-tech sharecropping system to make that possible. Forty years ago, more than thirty-six companies produced half of all the chicken Americans ate. Now there are only three that make that amount, and they control every aspect of the process, from the egg to the chicken to the chicken nugget. These companies are even able to raise meat prices for consumers while pushing down the price they pay to farmers. And tragically, big business and politics have derailed efforts to change the system. We know that it takes big companies to bring meat to the American table. What The Meat Racket shows is that this industrial system is rigged against all of us. In that sense, Leonard has exposed our heartland's biggest scandal.
In the tradition of Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore's Dilemma comes an "indispensable," (New York Newsday) fascinating, and cutting-edge look at the scary truth about what really goes into our food. If a piece of individually wrapped cheese can retain its shape, color, and texture for years, what does it say about the food we eat and feed to our children? Former New York Times business reporter and mother Melanie Warner decided to explore that question when she observed the phenomenon of the indestructible cheese. She began an investigative journey that took her to research labs, university food science departments, and factories around the country. What she discovered provides a rare, eye-opening--and sometimes disturbing--account of what we're really eating. Warner looks at how decades of food science have resulted in the cheapest, most abundant, most addictive, and most nutritionally inferior food in the world, and she uncovers startling evidence about the profound health implications of the packaged and fast foods that we eat on a daily basis. Combining meticulous research, vivid writing, and cultural analysis, Warner blows the lid off the largely undocumented--and lightly regulated--world of chemically treated and processed foods and lays bare the potential price we may pay for consuming even so-called healthy foods.