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Food Fight: The Citizen's Guide to a Food and Farm Bill Paperback – March 15, 2007

6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel Imhoff is an award-winning author and publisher. Roberto Carra is an internationally acclaimed graphic designer, photographer, and art director. They have collaborated on book projects for over fifteen years, including Building with Vision, Farming with the Wild, and Paper or Plastic, all distributed by University of California Press.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Watershed Media; 1 edition (March 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970950020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970950024
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,426,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dan Imhoff is a researcher, author, and independent publisher who has concentrated for nearly 20 years on issues related to farming, the environment, and design. He is the author of numerous articles, essays, and books including CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories; Food Fight: The Citizen's Guide to a Food and Farm Bill; Paper or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World; Farming with the Wild: Enhancing Biodiversity on Farms and Ranches; and Building with Vision: Optimizing and Finding Alternatives to Wood.

Dan is a highly sought-after public speaker who lectures and conducts workshops on a variety of topics, from food and farming to environmental design and conservation. He has appeared on hundreds of national and regional radio and television programs, including CBS Sunday Morning, Science Friday, and West Coast Live. His books have gained national attention with coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsweek, the San Jose Mercury News, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune. He has testified before Congress and spoken at numerous conferences, corporate and government offices, and college campuses, including Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Vermont Law School.

Dan is the president and co-founder of Watershed Media, a non-profit publishing house based in Healdsburg, California. He is the president and a co-founder of the Wild Farm Alliance, a ten-year-old national organization that works to promote agriculture systems that support and accommodate wild nature.

Between 1990 and 1995, Dan worked at Esprit International, where he was communications director for a team at the forefront of environmental product design. He received a B.A. in International Relations from Allegheny College and an M.A. in International Affairs from the Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

He lives on a small homestead farm in Northern California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By S.L. on June 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
Word of the day: "cornification." Cornification, in a nutshell, is the takeover of a diverse landscape by one mighty plant: corn. The "Effects of Cornification" graphic on page 17 of Dan Imhoff's new book shows the results: the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone, factory livestock farms, obesity, immigration problems, food deserts (that's "deserts" not desserts"), the emptying of our rural communities, etc., etc. One look at the "cornification" graphic and a message comes through loud and clear: what the government tells farmers to raise has ramifications far beyond Renville County, Minnesota. Imhoff's book, Food Fight: The Citizen's Guide to a Food and Farm Bill, is full of these kinds of eye-opening, mind-expanding graphics. His message isn't new, but the way he presents it is fresh and important. The phrase "must-read" is much abused (I've thought that ever since someone used "must-read" and the book The Bridges of Madison County in the same sentence). But if you are interested in how U.S. farm policy affects our environment, our communities and what we eat, and you want to do something about reforming the system, then Food Fight, is, yes, a must-read.

Imhoff's book provides a valuable service in a year when a new federal Farm Bill is being written up. It's time to take the development of ag policy out of the hands of large agribusiness and narrowly-focused commodity groups. But creating a Farm Bill that's accountable to society requires an informed public.

That's where Food Fight comes in--it makes a dense topic quite accessible.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Ahhling on June 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No one goes to the grocery store thinking that the government legislates what they buy or eat. But in fact, the government plays an enormously influential role on what products and foods are grown and produced, as well as distributed in your local grocery. The legislation known as the Farm Bill (some call it the Food Bill) has greatly altered the way that farms operate, thereby changing the landscape of food choice, nutrition, biodiversity in our country as well as other poorer countries, quality of life for farmers and eaters, as well as a multitude of other issues. Interestingly, this is legislation that not many citizens know about or realize has such far-reaching implications. This book is simple to read but clearly lays out many of the prominent issues that the Bill deals with and why the allocation of money and priorities in the Bill are so important for us to confront and influence, as eaters and as citizens.

Here is an example of an outcome of the Farm Bill's mismanagement and where we are now: (with some knowledge also gleaned from Michael Pollan's excellent book The Omnivore's Dilemma)

You may think that the US grows a lot of corn and that's a good thing- did you know that most of the corn is not edible by humans and b/c of subsidies by the government to grow it big and cheap, most corn actually gets processed into byproducts: animal feed (forcing cows, who are physically designed to eat grass, to eat corn), processed sugars (corn syrup replaced sugar in many foods simply b/c it is cheaper and it's subsidized) or gets dumped onto poorer countries, driving those country's economics beserk b/c of our subsidization policy?

CHeck this book out if only so that you can be better informed about how the government has their hands in your meal. The Bill is up for re-legislation this year in 2007 so we have to get involved fast!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By WM on May 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
You might think that government agricultural policy is something of interest only to farmers or politicians, but as Daniel Imhoff shows clearly in his engaging new book, Foodfight, such an assumption would be far from the mark. In fact, the various government programs and subsidies created for farmers touch all of us quite directly: in the makeup of the foods we eat (thus influencing the health of our bodies) and in the many environmental side effects of agriculture (thus influencing the health of our planet).

Imhoff explains how the present system evolved over the past seven decades, mostly by virtue of a political alliance between antihunger advocates and agribusiness interests. The sad outcome is that the safety net our nation has put in place has, to use Imhoff's words, "become a calorie delivery system rather than a nutrition program"--one that tends to reward large-scale producers much more than family farmers. Imhoff also describes a more-recent concern: that our agricultural base is being co-opted to power our vehicles (primarily through the production of ethanol), at great cost to our food security and to the environment.

But Foodfight is by no means all doom and gloom. Imhoff explains, for example, how New Zealand, once mired in malfunctioning agricultural policies, decided two decades ago to eliminate most farm subsidies. Although financial support to farmers there now amounts to less than one percent of their incomes, agriculture (including the country's ubiquitous sheep ranching) contributes more to that nation's economy than it did when subsidies amounted to as much as 40 percent.

Imhoff also applauds certain U.S.
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