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The Meat You Eat

How Corporate Farming Has Endangered America's Food Supply

Ken Midkiff; Foreword by Wendell Berry

St. Martin's Griffin

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ISBN10: 0312325363
ISBN13: 9780312325367

Trade Paperback

240 Pages



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A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year

In this book, Sierra Club director Ken Midkiff exposes the dangers posed by corporate control of agriculture (agribusiness)—to our health as human beings, and to the health of the nation's economy and security and the environment at large.

The Meat You Eat explores the current practices of 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, family-owned operations into big businesses concerned with volume, efficiency, uniformity, and profits above all. Thus, Midkiff reveals the true cost of agribusiness on all levels—environmental, financial, moral, legal, and medical—while balancing startling findings and truths with practical answers and solutions.

Rather than advocate a 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, this book encourages all of us to take an active interest in what we put on our plates and in our months, 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 important—and loud and clear—call to arms.


Praise for The Meat You Eat

"The best collection of fact and figures about the sorry state of our meat supply."—San Francisco Chronicle

"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

"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 of the Waterkeeper Alliance

"Don't just gag—act!"—Jim Hightower, author of Let's Stop Beating Around the Bush

"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.) . . . [This book] certainly reveals the contamination risks in our meat and eggs."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Ken Midkiff; Foreword by Wendell Berry

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.