In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America

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How and why did the United States shift from being a nation of many individual farmers to giant ‘agribusinesses’ in control of most of the food supply? Why do Americans struggle with concerns about factory farms, giant feedlots, slaughterhouse safety, and corollary environmental issues? Why do we eat so much meat? Americans want cheap meat, and a lot of it, but don’t want the attendant problems.

This book is somewhat of a response to books such as Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, both of which I have read (and enjoyed), both of which harshly condemn our current food system. I was expecting this book to be a defense, but I was surprised (and pleased) to find that instead it is a balanced, unbiased history only, well-written and addressing the questions but avoiding the arrogance that would assume the answers. The issues are complex and multifaceted, and author Maureen Ogle does a wonderful job of showing the direct line of connection between Americans’ insatiable desire for meat and our current situation. If she pinpoints a culprit, that is it, but she is very careful to leave conclusions to the reader. Do we want our cheap, plentiful meat? Or do we agree that the environmental, health, and animal welfare concerns (among others) need primacy? We can’t have it both ways.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publish Date 2013-Nov-12
ISBN 9780151013401 Buy this Book
Issue January 2014
Category History


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