The Meat You Eat: How Corporate Farming Has Endangered America's Food Supply

Overview

In This Eye-Opening Book, Sierra Club director Ken Midkiff exposes the dangers posed by corporate control of agriculture (agribusiness) -- to our health, and to the health of the nation's economy and security and the environment. The Meat You Eat explores the current practices of the corporations that have taken over the raising and slaughtering of farm animals (and farmed fish, such as salmon). These companies use a model that has transformed livestock farming from quality-driven, familyowned operations into big...
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The Meat You Eat: How Corporate Farming Has Endangered America's Food Supply

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Overview

In This Eye-Opening Book, Sierra Club director Ken Midkiff exposes the dangers posed by corporate control of agriculture (agribusiness) -- to our health, and to the health of the nation's economy and security and the environment. The Meat You Eat explores the current practices of the corporations that have taken over the raising and slaughtering of farm animals (and farmed fish, such as salmon). These companies use a model that has transformed livestock farming from quality-driven, familyowned operations into big businesses concerned with volume, efficiency, uniformity, and profits above all. Midkiff reveals the true cost of agribusiness on all levels -- environmental, financial, moral, legal, and medical -- balancing startling truths with practical solutions.

Rather than advocate a vegan or vegetarian diet, Midkiff argues that using and supporting local farmers will improve the quality of life for us all, as well as for the animals whose meat we eat. Complete with resource sections about where to find local farmers and lists of agribusiness culprits, the book encourages us to take an active interest in what we put on our plates and in our mouths, and to use the power of our pocketbooks to make it clear that our health, our environment, and our communities are of vital importance. With a foreword by Wendell Berry, hailed by The New York Times Book Review as the "great moral essayist of our day," The Meat You Eat is an informative and ringing call to arms.

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Editorial Reviews

Matthew Scully
"Ken Midkiff has written a serious and trenchant critique of modern livestock farming and the merciless spirit that drives it on. He has also pointed the way out, by advancing clear and decent standards in the care of animals."
Jim Hightower
"Don't just gag — act!"
Publishers Weekly
There are probably few surprises in this expos of American agribusiness; if you haven't read horror stories about megafarms and slaughterhouses in Fast Food Nation, you've undoubtedly heard animal rights activists talking about the deplorable conditions in which cattle, poultry and hogs are processed "from semen to cellophane." To these tales Midkiff adds an overwhelming flood of animal feces (usually referred to in much more pointed terms), from frightened cattle that soil themselves in the slaughterhouse and don't get fully cleaned to liquefied manure that seeps into the land of neighboring small farms. Using formulaic left-wing parlance, Midkiff points out how giant food corporations wield political influence to save themselves from reform-ensuring, for example, that despite their size they will continue to be classified as farmers exempt from EPA regulation. He also advocates buying from local farms that practice "sustainable agriculture" as a means of resisting corporate meat without going vegetarian. (A useful appendix offers contact information for farmer's market associations across the country.) The book doesn't quite follow through on the claim to depict "the decline of the American diet"; although it certainly reveals the contamination risks in our meat and eggs, not much is said about the direct health consequences for consumers. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Robert F. Kennedy

The factory meat industry has polluted thousands of miles of America's rivers, killed billions of fish, pushed tens of thousands of family farmers off their land, sickened and killed thousands of U.S. citizens, and treated millions of farm animals with unspeakable and unnecessary cruelty. But, as Ken Midkiff shows in this wonderful book, the meat barons' most frightening threat is to American democracy.
atthew Scully

Ken Midkiff has written a serious and trenchant critique of modern livestock farming and the merciless spirit that drives it on. He has also pointed the way out, by advancing clear and decent standards in the care of animals.
From the Publisher
"Ken Midkiff has written a serious and trenchant critique of modern livestock farming and the merciless spirit that drives it on. He has also pointed the way out, by advancing clear and decent standards in the care of animals."

- Matthew Scully, author of Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy

"Don't just gag — act!"

- Jim Hightower, author of Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush

"The factory meat industry has polluted thousands of miles of America's rivers, killed billions of fish, pushed tens of thousands of family farmers off their land, sickened and killed thousands of U.S. citizens, and treated millions of farm animals with unspeakable and unnecessary cruelty. But, as Ken Midkiff shows in this wonderful book, the meat barons' most frightening threat is to American democracy. "

- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President, Waterkeeper Alliance

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312325350
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.66 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Midkiff is the Sierra Club Clean Water Campaign Director. He has appeared on National Public Radio's Living on Earth and All Things Considered. A leading expert on the subject of agribusiness and sustainable agriculture, he lives in Columbia, Missouri.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction : get big or get out 1
Big pig 43
Big chicken and big egg 65
Big milk 105
Big beef 123
Big fish 141
Conclusion : stay small and stay alive 157
App The agribusiness companies 185
App Land-grant schools 209
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2006

    One-Sided, but Interesting

    In response to an earlier comment this is a one-sided book, but that does not make it any less factual or interesting. It is a quick read and does and excellent job explaining vertical integration and the corporate take over of US agriculture. If you want to read or learn about small farmers, this is not the book for you. Otherwise, acknowledge the bias of the author and read on.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2006

    One Sided

    This book mostly talked about animal life on feed lots. This may be confusing to some people because they may take it as thats how all farming is. I was very disappointed. This book made me very sad. It didn't even talk about all the good hard working farmers who don't work on feed lots or for giant cooperations.

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