This book is enlightening and upsetting. It makes the case that our current system of food production, reliant as it is on gigantic “industrial” farms emphasizing monoculture and the heavy use of pesticides, is horrendously damaging to the foods we eat, the land it’s grown on, the farming community and local economies. But it also offers alternatives (which keeps you from simply slitting your wrists on the spot) that enrich the land, sustain communities, protect food diversity and purity. The book includes essays by Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Vandana Shiva, Michael Ableman, Jim Hightower, and Alice Waters as well as spectacular and informative photos.
From Barnes & Noble’s review: “Readers will come to see that industrial food production is indeed a “fatal harvest” – fatal to consumers, as pesticide residues and new disease vectors such as E. coli and “mad cow disease” find their way into our food supply; fatal to our landscapes, as chemical runoff from factory farms poison our rivers and groundwater; fatal to genetic diversity, as farmers rely increasingly on high-yield monocultures and genetically engineered crops; and fatal to our farm communities, which are wiped out by huge corporate farms…As it exposes the ecological and social impacts of industrial agriculture’s fatal harvest, the book also details a new ecological and humane vision for agriculture. It shows how millions of people are engaged in the new politics of food as they work to develop a better alternative to the current chemically fed and biotechnology-driven system. Designed to aid the movement to reform industrial agriculture, Fatal Harvest will inform and influence the activists, farmers, policymakers, and consumers who are seeking a safer and more sustainable food future.
Originally published as a very large hardback, the book is now available for sale in paperback.