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Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy Of Industrial Agriculture Paperback – May 1, 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Foundation for Deep Ecology; 1 edition (May 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559639415
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559639415
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 12.4 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

"We ... find ourselves in the midst of a historic battle over two very different visions of the future of food in the 21st century. A grassroots public movement for organic, ecological, and humane food is now challenging the decades-long hegemony of the corporate, industrial model." With 58 essays and more than 250 photographs, Kimbrell, director of the Center for Food Safety, aims to provide "a timely treasure trove of ammunition" for that movement. The ammunition includes a litany of environmental harms caused by industrial agriculture and a strategy for bringing about "the end of agribusiness."

Editors of Scientific American

From Booklist

How and why has agriculture, an endeavor that for millennia involved intimate knowledge of and profound respect for nature and place, become so industrialized that it's wreaking havoc all around the world? And what can people do about it? Editor Kimbrell, author of The Human Body Shop (1993), has assembled an eloquent group of contributors to answer these urgent questions in a book distinctive for its wealth of clarifying information and illuminating interpretations as well as for its generous design and striking use of photographs. Seminal thinkers such as Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, and Ron Kroese make the distinction between agrarian and industrial agriculture, assess the treacherous divide between them, and chronicle the catastrophic unintended consequences of monoculture farming, genetically engineered seeds, and the massive use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers. Kimbrell and company not only testify to the myriad ill effects of agriculture based solely on profit rather than the well-being of people and the planet, they also discuss alternative farming practices and the prospect for a new agrarianism and a brighter future. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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His work is pioneering a new awareness for the entire world.
Because of your initiative the rest of us will travel our own path with more confidence and with greater speed.
Perhaps the most important book since Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring".

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By "msl32" on September 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
A coffee table book about the dangerous practices of industrial agriculture might not be the most appetizing addition to your coffee break, especially if you are dining on food composed of conventionally grown ingredients. But this book does such a compelling job of cataloging the failures and hazards of traditional American agriculture - as well as the solutions - that you won't be able to put it down, despite the hard-to-swallow truths about our unsustainable food system.
Fatal Harvest features impressive design, stunning photography and intriguing side-by-side comparisons of industrial versus agrarian based agriculture systems. Thoughtful essays by leading agricultural thinkers complement the commanding images. If you need one book to show you how our current food system is not only unsustainable but also hazardous to you, your family, the environment and wildlife, this is it. It should be required reading in agriculture schools, Cooperative Extension agencies, the halls of Congress and anywhere else that the seeds of future farming policy are sown, for if we don't work to change this system, we will face many more farm crises in the future.
For years we have been told that American farmers must grow bigger, use more chemicals and genetically engineered organisms to `feed the world.' The current rate of soil loss, chemical damage and crop failures expose how this corporate model of farming will soon exhaust the land and water supply, poisoning the very earth that is supposed to sustain us. We will no longer be able to feed the world, and perhaps ourselves, unless farming policies and practices change. This book not only offers stark evidence of agriculture's dirty little secrets, but real world solutions to the problems industrial agriculture create.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By DAVID-LEONARD WILLIS on February 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
When I received this book recently as a gift I was completely overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the considerateness of the donor. Overwhelmed by the high quality of the production. Overwhelmed by the large number of "big names" who had contributed. Overwhelmed by the quality and meaningfulness of the photographs. Overwhelmed by the quality of the message that it gets across. Overwhelmed by the ammunition it gives me in my own personal drive for safer, more reliable food. Overwhelmed by how helpful it will be to the waverers who have not yet plucked up the courage to break their links with the chemical establishment.
Let me start with the photos which are not only high quality but extremely helpful because side by side we are given a picture of crops grown under two systems which represent the two poles of producing our food. The text on the left page goes like this: "Industrial Eye: see what you are looking at: MELONS: More than half the melons sold in the U.S. are grown in California where industrial melon farms stretch for miles and miles ... Two of the most heavily used toxins in industrial melon production are ... Life is also difficult for the melon pickers ..." On the right page we have: "Agrarian Eye: See what you are looking at: MELONS: These melons are one crop among dozens at the Live Earth's 23-acre farm near Santa Cruz, CA. The melons are part of a diverse system of annual and perennial fruit and vegetable crops that rely on soil health to support the plant's natural ability to deter pests. But it's not done so easily - there are many challenges ... Coastal fog also poses potential fungal problems for melons, which Broz addresses by using fungal-resistant varieties of melons ...
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72 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The central message of this rather large book (put some legs on it and it could serve as a coffee table itself) is that industrial agriculture is unnatural, inhumane, dangerous; that big farms and big chemical multinationals are destroying the land and causing massive hardship for not only the ecology of the planet but for humans as well.
One of the arguments is that industrial agriculture actually leads to hunger and starvation for millions because it forces people off the land, land that is then used to produce foods or other products that are exported to the developed nations. The poor farmer cannot compete with the industrial farms and so has to go out of business. In the underdeveloped countries, land that once supported a variety of food plants that fed the local people has been turned into land that supports only a single crop destined for export, the profits going to middle men and the large land owners.
Clearly then, this is a polemic against industrial agriculture and in favor of a return to an agrarian life style. It is a tract against the use of pesticides and herbicides and in favor of organic farming. It is against monoculture farming and in favor of biodiversity and crop rotation. It is against genetic modified foods and Round Up ready seeds and in favor of the slightly blemished but flavorful produce from fields tended by hand and hoe. It is beautifully illustrated with breath-taking photos of farms, farmers, farm equipment and especially fields of verdant crops.
I am in substantial sympathy with the message of this book, but I do not appreciate facile or phony arguments in support of even the most agreeable message. I think unsubstantiated claims and superficial understandings do not help a worthy cause.
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