itibaren Zavadivka, Cherkas'ka oblast, Ukrayna
I absolutely love this series, but by book 4 it's starting to get really bizarre. The storyline gets really complicated to a point where you can't really follow what's going on. That's too bad, still really enjoyed it though.
Wowwwww. By the time you finish reading this book, you will strongly consider becoming either a vegan or a hard-core local eater, or both. I took a tiny bit of comfort in knowing that I eat vegan about half the days in the year; still, the book really scared me. It's hard, factual journalism with a huge section of footnotes in the back. As much as I'd love to dispute some of Schlosser's claims, I look around me and see evidence to support what he says about the amount of cheap food we eat and what it's doing to us. Contrary to popular opinion, this is not a book that vilifies fast food. Chains like In-N-Out Burger are extolled for using fresh, safe meat and peeling their own potatoes. Nor does it vilify carnivores. The gist of the book is that, in our relentless demand for a cheaper, more efficient system, we have neglected the human element of each phase of food preparation, from farm to plate. Something has gone horribly wrong. The author avoids what could be a smug, glib attitude in favor of an urgent, prodding tone: it is clear he believes we are in a crisis, and he is probably right. It's hard to go back to your favorite restaurant and order a hamburger after reading "What's in the Meat," or to complain about work after finishing "The Most Dangerous Job." Serious stuff. I do think Schlosser comes down way too hard on conservatives in the book, and he admits in the epilogue that to be fair, many liberals are guilty of the same sins. For instance, the Clinton family has close ties to the poultry industry in much the same was as the Bush family does to the beef industry (which is the primary subject of his research.) Finally, I applaud his conclusion, which is a very pragmatist (and even capitalist) approach: in a free market, we vote in dollars spent. If, through our purchases, we demand safer meat, fresher produce, and fair pay for food service industry workers, we will get what we want. It's a simple matter of doing research before we buy, of supporting small farms who do things the old, slow, respectful way. Well, I'd say "enjoy" . . . but I read it too! I gave it three stars only because I couldn't justify saying I "loved it" when it consistently made me want to skip dinner. But I'm glad I read it. You should read it too. Kyrie eleison!
Great book! Watch out for the movie!