We know the federal farm bill is up for renewal this year. We also know that the farm bill is a mucked-up sludgy mess of a bill that doesn't properly serve the food producers or eaters. Want to know exactly what the whole fuss is over and what's really going on?
We have the answer.
We recently received a review copy of Food Fight: The Citizen's Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill by Daniel Imhoff. It's a fantastic primer.
It's a bit like a Ken Burns documentary/Food Inc. style movie in a book that's not quite 200 pages with 38 gorgeous graphics. So it's not like you're needing to put a ton of study time into enlightening yourself about our damaged food system. This easy to read but not dumbed down book is for everyone. Use the pictures to explain the topics to your kids who aren't able to read this sort of book quite yet.
It's written by Watershed Media publisher Daniel Imhoff, who wrote an earlier version of this book in 2009 as well as many other farming and environmental issues like CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories. His buddy Michael Pollan wrote the forward for this edition.
Marion Nestle, the queen of food politics, had this to say bout it:
This [is a] new edition of Imhoff's lucid explanation of the farm bill and the [many] issues it covers. I'm not aware of anything else that comes close to explaining this most obscure and obfuscated piece of legislation. I will use this book in my NYU classes and borrow the stunning illustrations for talks.
It covers so many topics -- like the history of the bill, who is actually getting the hundreds of billions of farm bill dollars, how ethanol is connected throughout the entire food production process and what that means, that what you consider the vegetables you eat for dinner (not soy, wheat and corn) are considered speciality crops, how big agriculture came to be in control, how nutrition fits into all of this, the U.S. vs food systems around the world, the new food hub trend (we've got one: Chow Locally), how Seattle has their own farm bill and even an activist tool kit. That's just a teeny tiny list of food topics covered in this book.
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We think that every household should have a copy. The food we eat is just too important and intimate of a topic not to. Check it out. Changing Hands in Tempe is carrying this book if you want to try and get a copy today: http://www.changinghands.com/book/9780970950079