Glorious Beef: The Lafrieda Family and the Evolution of the American Meat Industry

Pat Lafrieda & Cecilia Molinari. Ecco, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-296670-4
Celebrity butcher Lafrieda (Meat) mixes autobiography with a tepid defense of the beef industry in this uneven work. In 1971, at age 10, he was already assisting his father by cutting meat at Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors’ Manhattan facility. After a stint in the military and some unhappy experiences as a Wall Street stockbroker, Lafrieda joined the family business in 1994, a time, he claims, when “no one really cared about where the meat came from.” He describes the business’s safety measures, arguing that “meat is one of the safest things you can buy now because of federal regulations,” and supports this with a look into the USDA’s rigorous grading process and the expansion of high-quality butchers. Though he maintains he’s “just seeking the truth,” he’s hasty to surmise whether plant-based burgers are healthier than all-natural beef: “I think it’s been openly proven and accepted that they’re not.” A closing section of recipes is useful, but some tips for consumers (“When you walk up to your butcher’s counter, look around. Is the counter and surrounding area clean?”) aren’t novel, and his grandiose statements about the virtues of eating meat (“[It’s] what made us the thinking and evolved humans we are”) tend to fall flat. This account is underdone. Agent: Johanna Castillo, Writers House. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/13/2021
Release date: 10/26/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-296671-1
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