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Bitter Harvest: A Chef's Perspective on the Hidden Danger in the Foods We Eat and What You Can Do About It Hardcover – June 13, 2000
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
-" Gastronomica, Fall 2001
"Part expose, part consumer guidebook, this carefully researched and readable work highlights the connections between the food we eat and the conditions of its production. In doing so, it offers practical advice on how the average shopper can contribute toward both a healthier food supply and a more sustainable environment.."
-E (Westport), Allentown Call, James E. McWilliams, April 2001
"Recommended for public and academic libraries."
"To counter these environmentally damaging trends, Cooper shows how farmers, cooks, and concerned-citizen groups are striving to grow and market food that is sustainable, safe, and healthy. An appendix of resources offers the reader ways to learn moe about sustainable agriculture and environmentally sound practices. Recomended for public and academic libraries.."
-Ilse Heidmann, San Marcos, TX
""Bitter Harvest offers some fascinating reading about the history of agriculture and the politics of food and power.."
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Top Customer Reviews
It turns out that, in search of the maximum profit, the massive agribusinesses engage in pratices that make vegetables much less healthy, and, in some cases, toxic.
Since allowing land to fallow and regain its nutrients reduces profits that could be generated from using that land, agribusinesses use the same land over and over again, and pump it full of chemicals to try to restore the nutritional content of the soil. This is not some wild claim, it is simply how agribusiness works according to their own information.
As a result, many vegetables are becoming less healthy and less nutritional. For instance, a USDA report comparing American broccoli between 1975 and 1997 shows that it has decreased in many important nutrients: broccoli in 1997 had 53% less calcium, 20% less iron, 38% less Vit A, 17% less Vit C, 35% less thiamin, 48% less riboflavin, and 29% less Niacin than 1975 broccoli. Additionally, food that is transported loses nutrients over time. Our vegetables travel an average of 1500 miles.
Unfortunately, thanks to NAFTA and GATT, our vegetables can be toxic. Mexico currently does not ban at least 6 pesticides that are banned due to health effects in the USA. Why does this matter to us? We get most of our off-season vegetables from Mexico: 97% of tomatoes, 93% of our cucumbers, 95% of our squash, 99% eggplant, and 85% of our strawberries. We are eating the poisons Mexico allows in its food.
The news is not all bad, and this book is largely a celebration of life, food, and nature.Read more ›
Some highlights include:
Turkeys are now bred to be so large that they can no longer mate and need to be artificially inseminated.
Chicken is consistently infected with salemolla and the "solution" in your bagged chicken contains bleach.
Beef cattle are fed antibiotics, not because they're sick, but so they grow faster.
RGBH hormone is being used to reduce corporate costs and put small milkers out of business.
Nutrition in fruits and vegetables has been declining since the 70's because of corporate farm practices.
Out of season produce is burning up tons of fossil fuels and imported produce may be treated with pesticides that are illegal in the United States.
A lot of good political stuff here about the food industry. Giants like Monsanto and ADM throw their weight around with resulting negative impact on the safety and nutrition of our food.
This was written in 2000 when the national organic standards were still in a state of flux. Since then they have passed, it would be interesting to hear weather or not the author finds them satisfactory.
Recommended for Parents, teachers, students, farmers, or anyone with an interest in the food industry.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book provides a candid explanation of how our food is produced in this country. You'll learn about sustainability. Read morePublished 12 months ago by PinCVA
A must read for all those interested in where our food comes from and who has been controlling its production. Frightening and enlightening.Published on February 5, 2011 by Joyce D
Sad thing is, this keeps popping up as an issue, what is happening to our precious supply of fabulous fresh foods, that truly sustain and delight. Read morePublished on April 17, 2004