Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food Paperback – October 20, 2015
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2017 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“A muckraker for our times, Ted Genoways goes behind the scenes in the meatpacking industry and shows us how the sausage is really made... An insightful chronicle of a changing American heartland, and of lives trampled in the headlong rush to industrialize the food system. Upton Sinclair would surely approve.” (Dan Fagin, Pulitzer-prize winning author of Toms River)
“Ted Genoways has crafted an unflinching, intimate portrait of America’s industrialized meat system, centered on pork but conveying lessons that go beyond it. The Chain is a must-read for anyone concerned with our nation’s food system, and the phenomenal cost—animal, human, and environmental—of cheap meat.” (Tracie McMillan, author of The American Way of Eating)
“An exhaustive examination of this industry. . . . Readers curious about meatpacking and agriculture as well as the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the food industry will find Genoways’s nonfiction debut a valuable and stimulating read.” (Library Journal (starred review))
“A searing indictment . . . [Genoways] writes with passion and a sense of mission . . . He should get people thinking about the trade-offs that the public makes in return for low-cost meat.” (Associated Press)
“Formidably researched and vividly told, The Chain is the definitive story of American pork. Ted Genoways intercuts intimate portraits of towns and factories with longer views of labor, business, and immigration history, making painfully clear the true cost of the ‘other white meat.’” (Ted Conover, author of The Routes of Man)
“A scathing report on the consequences of factory farming….Genoways…shows that little has changed in more than 100 years….[He] tells a sad, horrifying story, a severe indictment of both corporate greed and consumer complacency.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Comparable to Sinclair’s classic expose, The Jungle, Genoways’s blistering account of the meatpacking industry makes the case for tighter monitoring of this powerful sector of American agribusiness.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A disturbing exposé . . . Genoways makes a compelling case that the meatpacking industry’s relentless drive for higher output poses a threat to food safety.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
“A scathing report on the consequences of factory farming. . . . A sad, horrifying story, a severe indictment of both corporate greed and consumer complacency.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“…a worthy update to Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and a chilling indicator of how little has changed since that 1906 muckraking classic.” (Mother Jones)
“The Chain[is an] important [book], well worth reading, full of compelling stories, genuine outrage and the careful exposure of corporate lies.” (New York Times Book Review)
From the Back Cover
A harrowing investigation of the tortuous path our food products take—from slaughter to Spam
On the production line in American packing-houses, there is one cardinal rule: the chain never slows. Under pressure to increase supply, the supervisors of meat-processing plants have routinely accelerated the pace of conveyors, leading to inhumane conditions, increased accidents, and food of questionable, often dangerous quality. In The Chain, acclaimed journalist Ted Genoways uses the story of Hormel Foods and its most famous product, Spam—a recession-era staple—to probe the state of the meatpacking industry, including the expansion of agribusiness and the effects of immigrant labor on Middle America.
Interviewing scores of line workers, union leaders, hog farmers, and local politicians and activists, Genoways reveals an industry pushed to its breaking point. Along the way, he exposes alarming new trends: sick or permanently disabled workers, abused animals, water and soil pollution, and mounting conflict between small towns and immigrant labor.
The narrative moves across the heartland—from Minnesota, to witness the cut-and-kill operation; to Iowa, to observe breeding and farrowing in massive hog barns; to Nebraska, to see the tense town hall meetings and broken windows in reaction to the arrival of Hispanic workers; and back to Minnesota, where political refugees from Burma give the workforce the power it needs to fight back.
A searching exposé in the tradition of Upton Sinclair, Rachel Carson, and Eric Schlosser, The Chain is a mesmerizing story and an urgent warning about the hidden costs of the food we eat.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
Through painstaking research and investigative journalism, the book describes in detail the various negative effects Hormel's aggressive business practices had on its workers, the communities in which it operates, the environment and the pork producers who supply it and the welfare of the pigs they raised. Genoways describes how the pork processing jobs changed over the last few decades from stable middle-class, unionized jobs to poorly-paid, non-union jobs mostly filled by undocumented workers. He also explores how pork farming moved from large numbers of small-scale farmers raising a few dozen hogs on traditional outdoor pasture to the gigantic corporatized farms of today, where vast sheds house thousands of hogs who live their whole lives in concrete and never see daylight.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Similar in style to Eric Schlosser's "Fast Food Nation", "The Chain" is engagingly written and engrossing. Overall it is an indictment of the factory farming system that exists in the United States today to satisfy consumer demand for cheap meat. It is an important book for anyone interested in animal welfare, the environment and worker rights. My only criticism is that some portions were a somewhat prolix and could have used some editing to assist with ease of reading.
there is just no way to fight again that corporation and it's horrendous acts of worker disregard and animal cruelty. how can such a plague on the nation ever be stopped? Plus there will never be enough people who will stop eating pork--in particular bacon!
No one can get inside their plants, they have full security all around. no one can stop their progress.
what does that even begin to say about us as a nation of greed at all costs.
Very informative book--if it doesn't make you cringe and want to stop eating pork I don't know what other book could.
I read some reviews that were unfavorable because the book did not focus enough on the suffering of animals (and presumably, the superiority of veganism). Yeah, the book isn't about that. It's about humans. It may be a book from an omnivore's perspective, but there's nothing wrong with that. This book shows that people who do eat meat should be paying more attention to the safety and regulation of their food. Even if you are a vegan, giving this book to an omnivore friend could lead them to eat less meat, or look further into the suffering of animals, even if it wasn't a main emphasis. The morality of eating meat is never brought up in The Chain, but the book is effective and important without it.