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Raising Less Corn, More Hell: The Case For The Independent Farm And Against Industrial Food Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 13, 2005

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, June 13, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Can American farmers feed more of the world's hungry by growing fewer crops? Veteran journalist Pyle argues that they can—and they must, if the planet's food supply is to remain ample and safe. Growing too much food, Pyle says, actually exacerbates world hunger. Grain gluts, for example, result in dumping of crops in developing countries. Local farmers can't compete against the cheap American imports and go out of business. Large-scale industrialized agriculture threatens food safety, impoverishes American farmers and contributes to obesity and other health problems. Contrary to agribusiness's insistence that we need bigger factory farms and more genetically modified crops, Pyle claims that we can better feed the world by decreasing production (and thus heavy reliance on polluting fertilizers and pesticides), diversifying crop species, honoring local production methods and supporting small-scale independent farms. "The problems of food will not be solved with industrial solutions," he writes, "because food, no matter how hard we try to rationalize otherwise, is not an industry." His well-researched, lucid and passionate argument explains not only what is wrong with U.S. agricultural policy but why it matters. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"What this book does is take all the different issues that affect agriculture...and ties them all together." -- Dan Nagangast, Executive Director of the Kansas Rural Center, June 22, 2005

AAA clearly (and strongly) worded argument against our current system of producing cheap food. -- Salt Lake City Tribune, July 24, 2005

This is an important book. -- Desert News, June 3, 2005

WWWhile readers may not agree with all the recommended fixes, Pyle's argument will force them to consider the possibilities. -- Library Journal, July, 2005 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 229 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (June 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586481150
  • ASIN: B000VYOD0I
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,529,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By H. Bryant Pierpont on May 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I've known farmers and always wished them well. However, I never really had a burning passion for their survival. Growing up in Houston didn't exactly make me a "man of the soil".

Yet, after reading George's book, I understand and finally do care about their success. This is a great book for folks who, like myself, don't understand. A side bonus - unlike a textbook, it's fun to read. George brings the issue down to the level of the consumer, then elevates that level to greater understanding. You learn about the health, security, and economic reasons that you care...even if you didn't know you cared.

I had the honor of working with George in Salina. Anyone who knows his body of work has to feel that, whether you agree with him or not, he's an excellent and entertaining writer. He's also a great guy.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Stacey M Jones on September 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
RAISING LESS CORN, MORE HELL: THE CASE FOR THE INDEPENDENT FARM AND AGAINST INDUSTRIAL FOOD by George Pyle is an eye-opening treatise on the damage that overproduction and overdevelopment of food does to our economy, our health and our ways of life. These wrongs are committed through the industrialization of food that has occured in the United States in the twentieth century, and Pyle makes a convincing case in easy-to-read reportage that outcomes of this process are not good.

Pyle, who is currently an editorial writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, was raised in Kansas and spent several years as editorial page editor at a newspaper in Salina, Kan. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1998, and this book shows his valuable journalistic sensibilities in an issue of great public interest. He is able to clearly (and colloquially) make his case in all the areas he focuses on through thorough citation and primary reporting.

The book (after an interesting prologue titled "Searching for Roots: Or, How I Learned to Start Worrying and Love the Small Farm") is divided into sections with chapters that explore the aspects of "Wealth," "Health" and "Security." "Wealth" deals primarily with the faulty economic assumptions that spur American growers to grow not just crops but their own operations, borrow money for bigger and better machinery, and commoditize themselves right out of a profit. He also deals with the corporate farms and giant cattle and hog farms that are springing up all over the nation. (The farmers make all the investments in facilities and the corporations take none of the risks, but control all the prices. The corporations can also decide not to use a farmer for whatever reason after he or she has made the investments in all the facilities...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kay M. Gilbert on June 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In this engaging book, George Pyle avoids clichéd hand-wringing about the "Crisis of the American Farmer." Instead, he delivers an informative, fascinating farmers'-eye-view account of US agricultural policy within the larger context of economic globalization, the energy crisis, global warming, water pollution, the US obesity epidemic, genetically modified foods and terrorism. Pyle enriches his account with links to slavery, communism, the Dust Bowl, Star Trek and Nobel economist Amartya Sen. Sprightly, direct writing, clear information and convincing analysis, all in 200 pages. Read this book, and you'll to understand where your dinner fits into the Big Picture.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Diane Costello on August 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I 'm a city girl and though I was raised in Kansas, I know little about the argricultural market. This book was an eye opener. The author's premise is sound and believe me, it took a lot of convincing on his part to bring me to this point.

Let's stop feeding the poorer nations with our "surpluses."
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