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The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto About the Politics of Your Plate
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The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto About the Politics of Your Plate

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3.3  ·  Rating details ·  168 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
A rollicking indictment of the liberal elite's hypocrisy when it comes to food.

Ban trans-fats? Outlaw Happy Meals? Tax Twinkies? What's next? Affirmative action for cows?   
     A catastrophe is looming. Farmers are raping the land and torturing animals. Food is riddled with deadly pesticides, hormones and foreign DNA. Corporate farms are wallowing in government subsidies
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Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Crown Forum (first published January 1st 2013)
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Katie
May 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I had really high expectations for this book, and it greatly disappointed me. Let me preface this by saying that I agree with the author on many (not all) of the ISSUES he discusses (particularly the chapters on organics and local foods), but it is so difficult to find the substantive arguments buried within the dozens of pages of ranting and name-calling that I almost gave up. I'm really not sure about what the author's goal was in writing this book. If his objective was to start a conversation ...more
Jennifer
May 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
While I agree with a few of the author's points (esp. that we should not attempt to legislate what others eat...did we learn nothing from Prohibition?) I found his overall tone overbearing and offensive. I felt that he was deliberately missing some of the important issues that those he refers to as the "food police" put forward. Yes, most of our food is genetically modified in that it has been selectively bred over time. My concern is transgenic organisms; I don't believe that we know the long t ...more
Megan Piotrowski
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
As a dietetics student there was much that I wanted to disagree with from a nutritional perspective however, I must reluctantly concede to many of Jayson Lusk's points because the major theme was, in my opinion, that: food choices should, first and foremost, be left up to the consumer. Mr. Lusk advocates the freedom of choice, right to consumer education and transparency in policy.
Sarah
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As an agricultural producer involved in large scale grain and cattle farming, and local vegetable production, I found this a fascinating read. There are plenty of differences between Canadian and American policies and regulations, but there are many issues that are similar. The number of references was great, and I'd like to see more. A lot of people mentioned that the author liked to rant, and I feel it prudent to point out that many people rant about food issues, but they generally don't have ...more
Linda
Oct 21, 2014 rated it liked it
If you consider yourself to be open-minded, you should read this book, especially if you've seen Food, Inc. or read anything by Michael Pollan. It offers a different perspective, and makes you think about some things in a way you haven't before.

But here's the thing: it comes at it from a mostly economic perspective, but the writing isn't nearly as appealing as that of Freakonomics, etc. It's harsh, it's combative, and it will turn many people off.

Still, stick with it. Read and think about the i
...more
Calypso
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I won a copy of this book though a contest here on goodreads and I love it. The book was well written and had a good editor. The book reminded me of a book that I would have read for school. While reading it I wanted to highlight what I thought were important parts that I may need to remember! I would recommend this book to people who are interested in the politics behind the food industry. I would also caution them that this is one guys perspective despite how well decorated Jayson Lusk is in h ...more
Trey Malone
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wendell Berry nailed it when he said, "Eating is an agricultural act." With that being said, anyone who eats should more actively participate in the food system. This book shines light on the often-overlooked side of the agricultural discussion. Jayson Lusk writes the book in an easy-to-follow format that will make you think and challenge you to seriously consider your opinions on food.

Do yourself a favor and at least read the first chapter. I'd venture to guess if you're a red-blooded human be
...more
Nancy
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
5 stars because it was interesting to read, NOT because I agree with it. The author is a blooming idiot, who admits he'd rather be fat and lazy and let someone else do the food prep and work. The book is based more on his opinions than any real fact. He actually seems pleased that the butterflies are dying so he can eat wheat and corn cheaply and easily - schmuck! I wanted to toss this across the room on several occasions, but as it was a library book and I don't want to pay damaged book fees, I ...more
Andrea Clarke
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Many have bought hook, line, and sinker, into the local, organic, and natural food movements without carefully considering where they are being led— or in many cases pushed.” Lusk provides a well-informed perspective of the politics and policies behind the food industry, from farm to fork. Enjoyed his thorough research, humble explanations and questions, and clarity.
David
Jul 23, 2014 rated it liked it
agricultural economist speaks up (and up and up -- some of his key points suffer a bit from excessive repetition) on behalf of modern efficient big farming and the beleaguered Big Food capitalists who aim to give us what we want and in opposition to nanny state liberals like Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, Michelle Obama, and (disclaimer: my friendly acquaintance) Kelly Brownell who want to ban trans fats, impose taxes on all things unhealthy, and hector you and your kids [via school lunch rules] ...more
Doreen
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crown-winnings
This book is such a disaster. While I agree with Jayson Lusk's underlying thesis -- that hysteria is far too pervasive in our modern discussion of sustainable American food policy -- his presentation of his arguments is just as knee-jerk and problematic as the attitudes of the "food police" he decries. And who are these food police anyway? Mostly, they're a moving target encompassing whomever Mr Lusk disagrees with: socialists are a common target, and Michael Pollan, Alice Waters and Michelle Ob ...more
Brian
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I think Mr. Lusk points out quite nicely that food companies are just doing there jobs, which is giving the consumer the kinds of foods we wish to buy via the principles of the free market economy. And there are a ton of good reasons to be optimistic that the food we eat is quite safe and that the free market can continue to produce those foods. It is always in the best interest of the free market to produce safe food at a very reasonable price; if it doesn't the free market loses customers.

He a
...more
Srivas
Feb 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: stopped-reading
Poorly written rant basically, not much argumentation, let alone research. I should say I share most of the substantive views of the author on food matters - I have little patience for "organic" or "local" or "natural" or similar fads. But I don't need to buy a blog rant on such issues, when there's plenty of that for free on the web.
Dawn
Oct 19, 2012 marked it as to-read
Just got my free copy of "The Food Police."
Kyle Grindberg
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a refreshing book. It's so nice to here a reasonable response to all of the food fascism, and persistent half-truths with food. Will probably reread.
Douglas Wilson
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture-studies
Very informative. Good stuff. Coercion is odious everywhere, but especially at the dinner table.
Ajay Palekar
Jul 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
One of the easiest books to put down in disgust at its lack of intellectualism and poor writing. Simply put this is a book with a strawman of a Left-Wing Food Police waging a war on your individualism with misguided idealism.

The book ignores the critical health science and real social arguments upon which the policies it comments are based and more critically fails to educate anymore than a Fox News broadcast. I was also left less than impressed by what felt to be clear pandering to corporate i
...more
Richard
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Lusk has written not just an entertaining book but one that should be read by every food activist. There is entirely too much unscientific misunderstanding and advice about food, production and characterization of safety and nutrition. This book fills a big gap for food production. I intend to read his next book, Unnaturally Delicious, as well.
Doug Arbesfeld
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ll eat what I damn well want to eat.
F*ck Michael Pollan and all the other busybodies who want to control our lives!

I gave it an extra star to counter the reviews by the anti-capitalist snowflake crowd.
Maggie Smith
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book! Jayson Lusk does not pull any punches.
Robin
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I apreciated his response to authors such as Michael Pollen and his toned-down approach to food compared to so much of what we hear in the media.
Katie
Sep 25, 2014 rated it liked it
So conflicted with this book. So many pages dog-eared. I agree with a lot of what he says, but not the reasons that he gives or the rationale to justify those ideas. He uses smarmy tactics to make his points, but distorting some facts or only telling the half of the story that suits his purposes. I groaned audibly several times and got angry at others. Many times I had to put the book down and walk away.

To be fair, some of the people he "attacks" do this too. But his tone is argumentative and c
...more
Marta Veenhof
Jul 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
There were good an bad parts about this book. Right from the beginning the tone was a bit hostile and defensive. Jayson is very opinionated, which is fine and important when trying to bring (a) point(s) across, however, his lack of neutrality as I'll call it, is a bit overwhelming and distracting. It often feels like he is jumping from idea to idea. It is written more like a diary where the author is ranting constantly rather than portraying the necessary information to get his point across, whi ...more
Greggd
Aug 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Wanted to like this more. Love Mr Lusk's blog. The premises of the book are absolutely solid in my opinion, but the tone comes off as right wing snarky. It's as if it was more important to slaughter a few left wing sacred cows (Michelle Obama's plant your own garden program for instance)than to show the science/economics that back up his premises. It makes for a great show for the already converted, but I wouldn't recommend this title to someone who I wanted to convince. The science can speak fo ...more
Laura
Jul 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book was recommended to me by a friend so I went into it with a positive, open mind. The disappointment I felt was a complete shock. The whole book is an inflammatory, emotional rant. It's full of hyperbole and manipulated half-truths. The data is twisted so as to make it appear as if it supports what he's saying. Honestly, if there's anyone who can taste the difference in the Dunkin' Donuts chocolate doughnut without the trans fats it would be a grande surprise.
This Book is written for st
...more
Joe Haack
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book was referenced in an essay about identity written by UVA professor James Haydn Gilmore (http://magazine.mbird.com/true-colors...). I love this article, and because I am interested in the food industry and love cooking, I immediately checked it out from the library.

As for content, Lusk applies F.A. Hayek to food. Hayek applied to anything is interesting to me. But as for tone, Lusk is scrappy and polemic, which puts the reader in a defensive posture - and the multitude of footnotes and
...more
Elizabeth
Jan 02, 2014 rated it liked it
An obviously conservative economist's views of current efforts to change food policy. I liked it better then I thought that I would. Also an obvious rant against Michael Pollen's views (and others, but Pollen is mentioned more then most). I am looking for all views on food issues, so this was a welcome change in my usual readings. I actually agreed with many of his thoughts and was able to compare them to theories learned in Eco. He lost me in the last few chapters with repetitive writing/though ...more
M. Mangan
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the fisking that this book delivered to some foodie folks. You know--Pollan, Bittman, Waters, Salatin--the ones that are constantly given unchallenged platforms to spout unrealistic (at best) to downright fictional (at worst) fear-mongering claims about the food available to us. But it also assessed some of the other topics like locavorism and technology in a general way.

Unfortunately, I expect that the people who need to see it the most are unlikely to get the message.

Jennifer Nicole
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure what to expect starting this book. I recently had read "Mindless Eating," plus several books authored by Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle. This book was a refreshing perspective change from those concepts. I can now better understand both the intention and reality of both sides of the coin, although I'm more in favor of the populace having more control over their food choices.
Paul
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was a good book by a great author (nice to read something of his that is not an academic article). My thoughts on this book are summed up with this quote from a true American, not John Wayne, Ron Swanson "The whole point of this country is if you want to eat garbage, balloon up to 600 pounds, and die of a heart attack at 43, you can. You are free to do so. To me, that's beautiful."
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“The nutritional composition of beef provides much-needed protein, vitamins and iron.... Let us also not gloss over what is beef's most obvious benefit: Livestock take inedible and untasty grains and convert them into a protein-packed food most humans love to eat.” 2 likes
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