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Food, Sex and Salmonella: Why Our Food Is Making Us Sick Paperback – February 12, 2008

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*Starred Review* To say that veterinary epidemiologist and ecosystem health specialist Waltner-Toews has an attitude about the biological, chemical, and environmental insults humans inflict upon the food supply and hence the planet in the name of globalization is, however long-winded, an understatement. If we think, he says, that “we can fornicate with the environment and not bear a cost,” we’re delusional. If Mainers decide they must have fresh raspberries in February, they have to be prepared to pay the price, not just in cash but in suffering the consequences of how those berries are planted, grown, harvested, and transported as well as in the costs of having grossly underpaid farmers and laborers living with pesticides, deforestation, and substandard lavatory facilities. In other words, we all live in regions good for growing certain foods and not others for a reason. Likening our wanton culinary habits (humans will pretty much eat literally anything—think pufferfish) to the dangers of promiscuous sex, Waltner-Toews explores the gamut of risks associated with food-borne disease, from acute (vomiting and worse) to chronic (cancer), as outcomes of a greedy industry happy to enable our undisciplined appetites. In the process of satisfying those appetites, we’re ingesting a host of known and unknown natural and manmade toxins, many of which also jeopardize the earth. Talk about truth on a cracker! --Donna Chavez

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