Friday, January 8, 2010

Holy Cows and Hog Heaven: A Book Review

Over winter break I had time to read quite a few books. One of the books that I was able to finish was Joel Salatin's Holy Cows and Hog Heaven. This book is a buyers guide to farm fresh food that empowers consumers to take matters into their own hands. After reading this book I have a new-found understanding for what local farmers have to do and the hurdles they have to jump through.

The book kicks off with a foreword from the food reform guru himself, Michael Pollan. Michael briefly explains that while doing research for his book Omnivore's Dilemma he came across Polyface Farms. He decided to order some beef from Joel and have it shipped to him in New York. The following conversation is a result of that desire.

"Sure come by the farm any time."

Michael then explained that he lived in Connecticut, so maybe instead he could ship a rib eye or two.

"Sorry but we only sell locally."

Michael then misinterpreted this statement as meaning he wasn't set up for shipping.

"No I don't think you understand. We have a policy here of never shipping food more than fifty miles from the farm. I have a problem with Fed-Exing meat clear across the country..."

This sentiment easily sums up Polyface farms -- local, dedicated, and honest. The book also includes some great stories and anecdotes on the FDA and some of its idiotic policy, Monsanto and its goal to copyright every gene in our food system, and lastly corporate farming.

So in conclusion I recommend this book to anyone who eats. Remember, we can't wait for the government or big corporations to save us. We have to be the change that we seek.

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