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Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism (California Studies in Food and Culture) Paperback – March 25, 2003
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"Highlights of the food industry's hostility to safety regulation can be found in Marion Nestle's "Safe Food . . . a book which, like Eric Schlosser's "Fast Food Nation, makes you think before you eat."--"The Washington Monthly
From the Inside Flap
"Marion Nestle has emerged as one of the sanest, most knowledgeable, and independent voices in the current debate over the health and safety of the American food system. All of us who eat should count ourselves lucky to have this indispensable book."Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
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The kindle version of this book is not perfect. Some diagrams and charts were cut off or difficult to follow. Though maybe now slightly out of date, overall, "Safe Food" is an important book, and one well worth reading by anyone concerned about the quality of the food we eat.
While the main body of the text is full of examples that now seem far away in time, this book remains worth reading for those seeking an understanding of the cross currents still alive in the national policy debates over safe food. (For those following current events, there is pending legislation in the U.S. Senate that would reform federal food safety policy.)
I do think the author is correct in her assertion that food safety is as much about politics as science. Social norms, commercial realities, and other factors often do trump pure science.
This is decidedly a book written by an advocate: one who sees corporations as bad actors (unless the firm is Ben and Jerry's) and one who is sold on both a King's Cure--human pathogen testing and HACCP--and, above all, one single federal food agency.
Professor Nestle believes that with more government inspectors working for one powerful food agency, all auditing and enforcing private farms' and processors' paper-work systems, which in turn would be based on the best available science (unless some other social good trumps), we would have a country with fewer people sick from what they eat.
Meanwhile, I think most people in American agriculture do have good motives and find it amazing that this country feeds 300 hundred-plus million every day with so relatively few food safety incidents.