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Modern day food muckrackers

Posted by on December 31, 2009

I remember reading The Jungle by Upton Sinclair in high school and reveling in the gory tales of human body parts and other contaminants entering the assembly line of the meatpacking plants of Chicago. In college, I would read Diet for a New America and have the image of hundreds of chickens soaking in shit baths impressed upon my mind. I sublimated these books and happily ate my way without really thinking about my food over the past two decades. Recently, I’ve become engrossed in the works of the modern day food muckrakers via books like Fast Food Nation, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Fatland, In Defense of Food, and Eating Animals. What I take away from these books is that we shouldn’t take for granted what we eat. Not in a sense that we should be thankful that we have enough to eat, but we should really take a close look at WHAT we are eating and how it finally arrived on your plate. As the decade ends, I’ll try to think and act more upon my daily food decision, not only for me, but also for my children. I find it sad that over a hundred years after the publication of the Jungle, the U.S. is still having so many issues with its food. The battle will probably never end though as long as assembly line production methods and profits are paramount factors for modern civilization’s food supply.