The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto about the Politics of Your Plate

Jayson Lusk. Crown Forum, $24 (240p) ISBN 978-0-307-98703-7
Taking a strategic cue from other pop-political thinkers and writers, Midwestern academic and food economist Lusk redubs the food elite the "food police" and proceeds to dismantle what he calls their ideological agenda and its resulting public policies. The broader topic becomes a snarky take on the relationship between policy and political liberty, addressing how better-known spokespeople become ideologues and their agendas, ideologies of regulation. Lusk casts his sharpest eye on reform politics and its recent manifestations, scrutinizing connections between behavioral economics and food policy, taking on the multi-headed Hydra that is organics, and looking at genetically modified foods in-depth. While Lusk pretends to argue all sides, his criticisms overwhelmingly target left-leaning politicians and better-known food pundits, obscuring the soundness of his reasoning on topics such as federal subsidies, obesity, locavorism, and free-market farming. In regards to taking nutrition advice from an economist, readers would be wise to heed Lusk's own warning: "don't ask [specialists] to run your lifeā€¦ [t]hey take the one thing that is important to them and assume it should be most important to everyone else, too." In Lusk's case, the important item is personal freedom. This is foodie-ism by way of Edmund Burke, and worth a clear-eyed read. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/15/2013
Release date: 04/16/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Show other formats
Discover what to read next