The Dirty Secret on the Farm

October 17, 2010 • Farming Practices, Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Kathleene Parker for this article.

When we write about food, the accounts are generally superficial, analogous to the way we cast our politics as celebrity and glitter. We ponder sauces and seasoning, but ignore the flow of real power that lies beneath. This is especially odd, given that food is so fundamentally significant to the human endeavor, the one story each and every one of the 6.865 billion of us engages directly and daily, the luckiest among us three times a day, with sauces and seasoning.

Nonetheless, when somebody does delve deeply into this story, the telling can enlighten, entertain, and unsettle. Such is the case with Empires of Food: Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations by Evan D. G. Fraser, an academic specializing in farming, climate change, and the environment, and Andrew Rimas, a journalist based in Boston.

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