Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights by David E. Gumpert
The Escalating Battle over Who Decides What We Eat

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...he does not write with an overly alarmist tone and fairly portrays the quirks and flaws in the individuals involved...
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Do Americans have the right to privately obtain the foods of our choice from farmers, neighbors, and local producers, in the same way our grandparents and great grandparents used to do?



Yes, say a growing number of people increasingly afraid that the mass-produced food sold at supermarkets is excessively processed, tainted with antibiotic residues and hormones, and lacking in important nutrients. These people, a million or more, are seeking foods outside the regulatory system, like raw milk, custom-slaughtered beef, and pastured eggs from chickens raised without soy, purchased directly from private membership-only food clubs that contract with Amish and other farmers.



Public-health and agriculture regulators, however, say no: Americans have no inherent right to eat what they want. In today's ever-more-dangerous food-safety environment, they argue, all food, no matter the source, must be closely regulated, and even barred, if it fails to meet certain standards. These regulators, headed up by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with help from state agriculture departments, police, and district-attorney detectives, are mounting intense and sophisticated investigative campaigns against farms and food clubs supplying privately exchanged food-even handcuffing and hauling off to jail, under threat of lengthy prison terms, those deemed in violation of food laws.



Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights takes readers on a disturbing cross-country journey from Maine to California through a netherworld of Amish farmers paying big fees to questionable advisers to avoid the quagmire of America's legal system, secret food police lurking in vans at farmers markets, cultish activists preaching the benefits of pathogens, U.S. Justice Department lawyers clashing with local sheriffs, small Maine towns passing ordinances to ban regulation, and suburban moms worried enough about the dangers of supermarket food that they'll risk fines and jail to feed their children unprocessed, and unregulated, foods of their choosing.



Out of the intensity of this unprecedented crackdown, and the creative and spirited opposition that is rising to meet it, a new rallying cry for food rights is emerging.

 

About David E. Gumpert

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David E. Gumpert has become a nationally recognized writer and authority on the intersection of food, health, and business by virtue of his widely acclaimed book The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America's Emerging Battle Over Food Rights , as well as his provocative and popular blog, The Complete Patient ( www.thecompletepatient.com ), and his many articles about food rights on Grist.org and The Huffington Post. He gained behind-the-scenes access to the key participants and vast government documentation necessary to write Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights . A former reporter with The Wall Street Journal and editor at Inc. and Harvard Business Review , Gumpert has brought his considerable investigative and journalistic experience and business expertise (author or coauthor of seven books about small business and entrepreneurship) to bear in articulating the corporate, legal, and political forces driving Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights. Joel Salatin and his family own and operate Polyface Farm, arguably the nation's most famous farm since it was profiled in Michael Pollan's "New York Times" bestseller, "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and two subsequent documentaries, Food, Inc., and Fresh. An accomplished author and public speaker, Salatin has authored seven books. Recognition for his ecological and local-based farming advocacy includes an honorary doctorate, the Heinz Award, and many leadership awards.
 
Published June 5, 2013 by Chelsea Green Publishing. 283 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Science & Math, Business & Economics, Professional & Technical, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on May 05 2013

...he does not write with an overly alarmist tone and fairly portrays the quirks and flaws in the individuals involved...

Read Full Review of Life, Liberty, and the Pursui... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Apr 22 2013

...Gumpert commendably draws attention to a multitude of injustices committed in the name of food safety.

Read Full Review of Life, Liberty, and the Pursui... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

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