The Meat Racket

The Secret Takeover of America’s Food Business

Author: Christopher Leonard

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 145164583X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 384

View: 688

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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 Meat We Trust

An Unexpected History of Carnivore America

Author: Maureen Ogle

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544103130

Category: Cooking

Page: 384

View: 4391

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The untold story of how meat made America: a tale of the self-made magnates, pragmatic farmers, and impassioned activists who shaped us into the greatest eaters and providers of meat in history "Ogle is a terrific writer, and she takes us on a brisk romp through two centuries of history, full of deft portraits of entrepreneurs, inventors, promoters and charlatans.... Ms. Ogle believes, all exceptions admitted, that [the food industry] has delivered Americans good value, and her book makes that case in fascinating detail." —Wall Street Journal The moment European settlers arrived in North America, they began transforming the land into a meat-eater’s paradise. Long before revolution turned colonies into nation, Americans were eating meat on a scale the Old World could neither imagine nor provide: an average European was lucky to see meat once a week, while even a poor American man put away about two hundred pounds a year. Maureen Ogle guides us from that colonial paradise to the urban meat-making factories of the nineteenth century to the hyperefficient packing plants of the late twentieth century. From Swift and Armour to Tyson, Cargill, and ConAgra. From the 1880s cattle bonanza to 1980s feedlots. From agribusiness to today’s “local” meat suppliers and organic countercuisine. Along the way, Ogle explains how Americans’ carnivorous demands shaped urban landscapes, midwestern prairies, and western ranges, and how the American system of meat making became a source of both pride and controversy.

The American Way of Eating

Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table

Author: Tracie McMillan

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439171955

Category: Cooking

Page: 319

View: 9589

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An award-winning journalist traces her 2009 immersion into the national food system to explore issues about how working-class Americans can afford to eat as they should, describing how she worked as a farm laborer, Wal-Mart grocery clerk and Applebee's expediter while living within the means of each job. 25,000 first printing.

Foodopoly

The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America

Author: Wenonah Hauter

Publisher: The New Press

ISBN: 159558790X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 355

View: 2640

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Argues that lobbyists and the consolidation and corporate control of food production is to blame for the unhealthy and unfair agricultural policies of the United States.

Good to Eat

Riddles of Food and Culture

Author: Marvin Harris

Publisher: Waveland Press

ISBN: 1478608927

Category: Social Science

Page: 289

View: 986

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Why are human food habits so diverse? Why do Americans recoil at the thought of dog meat? Jews and Moslems, pork? Hindus, beef? Why do Asians abhor milk? In Good to Eat, best-selling author Marvin Harris leads readers on an informative detective adventure to solve the worlds major food puzzles. He explains the diversity of the worlds gastronomic customs, demonstrating that what appear at first glance to be irrational food tastes turn out really to have been shaped by practical, economic, or political necessity. In addition, his smart and spirited treatment sheds wisdom on such topics as why there has been an explosion in fast food, why history indicates that its bad to eat people but good to kill them, and why children universally reject spinach. Good to Eat is more than an intellectual adventure in food for thought. It is a highly readable, scientifically accurate, and fascinating work that demystifies the causes of myriad human cultural differences.

Chew On This

Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food

Author: Charles Wilson,Eric Schlosser

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547531168

Category: Young Adult Nonfiction

Page: 304

View: 5232

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Kids love fast food. And the fast food industry definitely loves kids. It couldn’t survive without them. Did you know that the biggest toy company in the world is McDonald’s? It’s true. In fact, one out of every three toys given to a child in the United States each year is from a fast food restaurant. Not only has fast food reached into the toy industry, it’s moving into our schools. One out of every five public schools in the United States now serves brand name fast food. But do kids know what they’re eating? Where do fast food hamburgers come from? And what makes those fries taste so good? When Eric Schlosser’s best-selling book, Fast Food Nation, was published for adults in 2001, many called for his groundbreaking insight to be shared with young people. Now Schlosser, along with co-writer Charles Wilson, has investigated the subject further, uncovering new facts children need to know. In Chew On This, they share with kids the fascinating and sometimes frightening truth about what lurks between those sesame seed buns, what a chicken ‘nugget’ really is, and how the fast food industry has been feeding off children for generations.

Eating Animals

Author: Jonathan Safran Foer

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316086649

Category: Social Science

Page: 368

View: 7772

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Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood-facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child's behalf-his casual questioning took on an urgency His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong. Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, memoir and his own detective work, Eating Animals explores the many fictions we use to justify our eating habits-from folklore to pop culture to family traditions and national myth-and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting. Marked by Foer's profound moral ferocity and unvarying generosity, as well as the vibrant style and creativity that made his previous books, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, widely loved, Eating Animals is a celebration and a reckoning, a story about the stories we've told-and the stories we now need to tell.

Food for Thought

The Debate Over Eating Meat

Author: Steve F. Sapontzis

Publisher: Pyr Books

ISBN: N.A

Category: Nature

Page: 382

View: 987

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For anyone who has ever wondered about the ethics of killing animals for food, this is the definitive collection of essays on the ethical debate. Written by internationally recognized scholars on both sides of the debate, the provocative articles here compiled will give vegetarians and meat-eaters a thorough grounding in all aspects of this controversial issue. After an introduction to the nature of the debate by editor Steve F. Sapontzis, Daniel Dombrowski reviews the history of vegetarianism. There follows a discussion of health issues and what anthropology has to tell us about human diet. Also included are the classic cases for vegetarianism from philosophers Peter Singer and Tom Regan, and new essays rebutting those classic positions from humanists Roger Scruton and Carl Cohen, among others. Various scholars then examine religious teachings about eating animals, which are drawn from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as Native American and Eastern traditions. Finally, Carol J. Adams, Deanne Curtin, and Val Plumwood, among other outstanding advocates, debate the ethics of eating meat in connection with feminism, environmentalism, and multiculturalism. Containing virtually a "Who’s Who" of philosophers, social critics, environmentalists, feminists, and religious scholars who have participated in the vegetarianism debate over the past quarter century, this outstanding anthology of expert articles, most of them new, provides the latest thinking on a subject of increasing public interest.

Reefer Madness

Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market

Author: Eric Schlosser

Publisher: HMH

ISBN: 9780547526751

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 3514

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New York Times Bestseller: The shadowy world of “off the books” businesses—from marijuana to migrant workers—brought to life by the author of Fast Food Nation. America’s black market is much larger than we realize, and it affects us all deeply, whether or not we smoke pot, rent a risqué video, or pay our kids’ nannies in cash. In Reefer Madness, the award-winning investigative journalist Eric Schlosser turns his exacting eye to the underbelly of American capitalism and its far-reaching influence on our society. Exposing three American mainstays—pot, porn, and illegal immigrants—Schlosser shows how the black market has burgeoned over the past several decades. He also draws compelling parallels between underground and overground: how tycoons and gangsters rise and fall, how new technology shapes a market, how government intervention can reinvigorate black markets as well as mainstream ones, and how big business learns—and profits—from the underground. “Captivating . . . Compelling tales of crime and punishment as well as an illuminating glimpse at the inner workings of the underground economy. The book revolves around two figures: Mark Young of Indiana, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for his relatively minor role in a marijuana deal; and Reuben Sturman, an enigmatic Ohio man who built and controlled a formidable pornography distribution empire before finally being convicted of tax evasion. . . . Schlosser unravels an American society that has ‘become alienated and at odds with itself.’ Like Fast Food Nation, this is an eye-opening book, offering the same high level of reporting and research.” —Publishers Weekly

The Chain

Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food

Author: Ted Genoways

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062288776

Category: Social Science

Page: 320

View: 4963

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A harrowing investigation of the tortuous path our food products take—from slaughter to Spam On the production line in American packing-houses, there is one cardinal rule: the chain never slows. Under pressure to increase supply, the supervisors of meat-processing plants have routinely accelerated the pace of conveyors, leading to inhumane conditions, increased accidents, and food of questionable, often dangerous quality. In The Chain, acclaimed journalist Ted Genoways uses the story of Hormel Foods and its most famous product, Spam—a recession-era staple—to probe the state of the meatpacking industry, including the expansion of agribusiness and the effects of immigrant labor on Middle America. Interviewing scores of line workers, union leaders, hog farmers, and local politicians and activists, Genoways reveals an industry pushed to its breaking point. Along the way, he exposes alarming new trends: sick or permanently disabled workers, abused animals, water and soil pollution, and mounting conflict between small towns and immigrant labor. The narrative moves across the heartland—from Minnesota, to witness the cut-and-kill operation; to Iowa, to observe breeding and farrowing in massive hog barns; to Nebraska, to see the tense town hall meetings and broken windows in reaction to the arrival of Hispanic workers; and back to Minnesota, where political refugees from Burma give the workforce the power it needs to fight back. A searching exposé in the tradition of Upton Sinclair, Rachel Carson, and Eric Schlosser, The Chain is a mesmerizing story and an urgent warning about the hidden costs of the food we eat.

Overbooked

The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism

Author: Elizabeth Becker

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439161003

Category: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS

Page: 448

View: 8613

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"Travel is no longer a past-time but a colossal industry, arguably one of the biggest in the world and second only to oil in importance for many poor countries. One out of 12 people in the world are employed by the tourism industry which contributes $6.5 trillion to the world's economy. To investigate the size and effect of this new industry, Elizabeth Becker traveled the globe. She speaks to the Minister of Tourism of Zambia who thinks licensing foreigners to kill wild animals is a good way to make money and then to a Zambian travel guide who takes her to see the rare endangered sable antelope. She travels to Venice where community groups are fighting to stop the tourism industry from pushing them out of their homes, to France where officials have made tourism their number one industry to save their cultural heritage; and on cruises speaking to waiters who earn $60 a month--then on to Miami to interview their CEO. Becker's sharp depiction reveals travel as a product; nations as stewards. Seeing the tourism industry from the inside out, the world offers a dizzying range of travel options but very few quiet getaways"--

Shopped: The Shocking Power of British Supermarkets

Author: Joanna Blythman

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 0007388837

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 400

View: 6205

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An elegant demolition of the supermarket miracle, this book charts the impact that supermarkets have had on every aspect of our lives and culture.

The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark

The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism

Author: Dean Starkman

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231536283

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

View: 9826

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In this sweeping, incisive post mortem, Dean Starkman exposes the critical shortcomings that softened coverage in the business press during the mortgage era and the years leading up to the financial collapse of 2008. He locates the roots of the problem in the origin of business news as a market messaging service for investors in the early twentieth century. This access-dependent strain of journalism was soon opposed by the grand, sweeping work of the muckrakers. Propelled by the innovations of Bernard Kilgore, the great postwar editor of the Wall Street Journal, these two genres merged when mainstream American news organizations institutionalized muckraking in the 1960s, creating a powerful guardian of the public interest. Yet as the mortgage era dawned, deep cultural and structural shifts—some unavoidable, some self-inflicted—eroded journalism's appetite for its role as watchdog. The result was a deafening silence about systemic corruption in the financial industry. Tragically, this silence grew only more profound as the mortgage madness reached its terrible apogee from 2004 through 2006. Starkman frames his analysis in a broad argument about journalism itself, dividing the profession into two competing approaches—access reporting and accountability reporting—which rely on entirely different sources and produce radically different representations of reality. As Starkman explains, access journalism came to dominate business reporting in the 1990s, a process he calls "CNBCization," and rather than examining risky, even corrupt, corporate behavior, mainstream reporters focused on profiling executives and informing investors. Starkman concludes with a critique of the digital-news ideology and corporate influence, which threaten to further undermine investigative reporting, and he shows how financial coverage, and journalism as a whole, can reclaim its bite.

Defending Beef

The Case for Sustainable Meat Production

Author: Nicolette Hahn Niman

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603585362

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 274

View: 2443

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For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists that livestock--goats, sheep, and others, but especially cattle--are Public Enemy Number One. They erode soils, pollute air and water, damage riparian areas, and decimate wildlife populations. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization bolstered the credibility of this notion with its 2007 report that declared livestock to be the single largest contributor to human-generated climate-change emissions. But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly. In her new book, Defending Beef, environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for the Earth. The impact of grazing can be either negative or positive, depending on how livestock are managed. In fact, with proper oversight livestock can actually play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by performing the same functions as the natural herbivores that once roamed and grazed there. She shows how dispersed, grass-based, smaller-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production. And while no single book could definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth's growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world's future food system looks like, livestock can and must be part of the solution.

Pandora's Lunchbox

How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal

Author: Melanie Warner

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451666748

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 267

View: 1831

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Originally published: New York: Scribner, c2013.

Meathooked

The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Meat

Author: Marta Zaraska

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 046509872X

Category: Cooking

Page: 272

View: 5896

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A few years ago, Marta Zaraska's mother decided to go vegetarian after stumbling upon an article on the health risks of eating meat. Her resolve lasted about a fortnight before the juicy hams and the creamy pâtés began creeping back into her refrigerator. Prodded to explain her lapse, she replied, “I like meat, I eat it, end of story.” Many of us have had a similar experience. What makes us crave animal protein, and what makes it so hard to give up? And if all the studies are correct, and consuming meat is truly unhealthy for us, why didn't evolution turn us all into vegetarians in the first place? In Meathooked, Zaraska explores what she calls the “meat puzzle”: our love of meat, despite its harmful effects. Scientific journals overflow with reports of red meat raising the risk of certain cancers; each hamburger contributes as much to global warming as does driving a car 320 miles; and the horrors of industrial meat production are now well-known. None of these facts have prompted us to give up our hamburgers and steaks. On the contrary, meat consumption has only increased over the past decades. Taking the reader to India's unusual steakhouses, animal sacrifices at temples in Benin, and labs in Pennsylvania where meat is being grown in petri dishes, Zaraska examines the history and future of meat and meat-eating, showing that while our increasing consumption of meat can be attributed in part to the power of the meat industry and the policies of our governments, the main “hooks” that keep us addicted to meat are much older: genes and culture. An original and thought-provoking exploration of carnivorousness, Meathooked explains one of the most enduring features of human civilization—and why meat-eating will continue to shape our bodies and our world into the foreseeable future.

A Bone to Pick

The good and bad news about food, with wisdom and advice on diets, food safety, GMOs, farming, and more

Author: Mark Bittman

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

ISBN: 0804186553

Category: Cooking

Page: 272

View: 8944

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Since his New York Times op-ed column debuted in 2011, Mark Bittman has emerged as one of our most impassioned and opinionated observers of the food landscape. The Times’ only dedicated opinion columnist covering the food beat, Bittman routinely makes readers think twice about how the food we eat is produced, distributed, and cooked, and shines a bright light on the profound impact that diet—both good and bad—can have on our health and that of the planet. In A Bone to Pick, Mark’s most memorable and thought-provoking columns are compiled into a single volume for the first time. As abundant and safe as the American food supply appears to be, the state of our health reveals the presence of staggering deficiencies in both the system that produces food and the forces that regulate it. Bittman leaves no issue unexamined; agricultural practices, government legislation, fad diets, and corporate greed all come under scrutiny and show that the issues governing what ends up in our market basket and on our tables are both complex and often deliberately confusing. Unabashedly opinionated and invariably thought provoking, Bittman’s columns have helped readers decipher arcane policy, unpack scientific studies, and deflate affronts to common sense when it comes to determining what “eating well” truly means. As urgent as the situation is, Mark contends that we can be optimistic about the future of our food and its impact on our health, as slow-food movements, better school-lunch programs, and even “healthy fast food” become part of the norm. At once inspiring, enraging, and enlightening, A Bone to Pick is an essential resource for every reader eager to understand not only the complexities inherent in the American food system, but also the many opportunities that exist to improve it.

How the Chicken Crossed the World

The Story of the Bird that Powers Civilisation

Author: Andrew Lawler

Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co

ISBN: 0715650262

Category: Nature

Page: 336

View: 4826

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Queen Victoria was obsessed with it. Socrates' last words were about it. Charles Darwin and Louis Pasteur made their scientific breakthroughs using it. Hailed as a messenger of the gods, powerful sex symbol, gambling aid, all-purpose medicine and handy research tool, the humble chicken has been also cast as the epitome of evil, and the star of the world's most famous joke. Beginning with the recent discovery, that the chicken's unlikely ancestor is the T. Rex, How the Chicken Crossed the World tracks the chicken from its original domestication in the jungles of Southeast Asia some 10,000 years ago to today's Western societies, where it became the most engineered of animals, to the uncertain future of what is now humanity's single most important source of protein. In a masterful combination of historical sleuthing and journalistic exploration on four continents, Lawler reframes the way we feel and think about all domesticated animals and even nature itself.