Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights: The Escalating Battle Over Who Decides What We Eat

David E. Gumpert. Chelsea Green, $19.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-60358-4-043
Journalist Gumpert (The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights) chronicles the increasing government regulator crackdowns on private food clubs and the farmers who provide for them, drawing vocal and heretofore unnoticed attention to the lack of freedom Americans have over what they eat, due to the watchful eye of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The book contains many disturbing examples, from the farmer who faced jail time for providing raw milk to customers without proper licensing or labeling—though they were clamoring for the product, owned the cows through a co-op, and also never became sick—to the distributors for food clubs who saw close to six figures worth of food destroyed by regulators on cursory evidence, followed by their own trip in the back of a paddy wagon. Unfortunately, the book reads like a call to arms for those who already share Gumpert’s point of view. The book would have benefitted from further discussion of the few examples where people did become sick from private food sources, and analysis of the government regulators’ perspective. Despite the occasionally chaotic narrative, Gumpert commendably draws attention to a multitude of injustices committed in the name of food safety. Agent: Jennifer Unter, the Unter Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/22/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
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Open Ebook - 264 pages - 978-1-60358-405-0
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