Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Five top books on food production

Tomatoland, Barry Estabrook’s book about how industrial agriculture has ruined the tomato in all ways–gastronomic, environmental, and in terms of labor abuse–was published in the summer of 2011.

Estabrook blogs at politics of the plate.

One of his top five books on food production, as told to Daisy Banks at The Browser:
Fast Food Nation
by Eric Schlosser

Another group of corporations on many people’s black list in the world of food production are fast-food businesses. Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation really got people thinking about just what eating a burger a day is actually doing to us.

Eric Schlosser takes apart a single fast-food meal and shows not only how it affects our health but also how the people who serve it to you are treated. He also looks at how the people in the slaughterhouses working with the cattle are treated, and so it shows you the true picture of the all-American meal – burgers and fries.

And this book has had an effect on that industry. Big companies like McDonald’s seem to be going out of their way to show how things are sourced and making an effort to provide healthier options and give more information about their food.

Yes, it has been 10 years since that book came out and I recently interviewed Eric Schlosser and asked him if things have improved and he said yes. People are getting much more aware of childhood obesity and the role fast food plays. And certainly in the States fast-food restaurants are required to give calorie counts, so people can see just how much sugar and fat are in some of these things. Eric said there had been a lot of progress on that front, but sadly the situation with the labour has got worse.
Read about another book Estabrook tagged at The Browser.

--Marshal Zeringue