August 21, 2013

Meatonomics: An Intense Journey Through the Alleys of the Food Industry. {Book Review}

Image: Red Wheel Weiser – World

“Until we are willing and able to make the connections between what we are eating and what was required to get it on our plate, and how it affects us to buy, serve, and eat it, we will be unable to make the connections that will allow us to live wisely and harmoniously on this earth.”

~ Will Tuttle

This is not an economy book. It is not a law book. It is not a dieting book. It is the mix of the best from all the above and much more.

This is a book that digs deep into the abyss of the repercussions of our everyday choices to ecology, health, economy and law enforcement in order to live in a more conscious way.

Whether you are vegan, omnivore, vegetarian, etc. you will find how the facts discussed in the text affect you directly.

This book will teach you something you had not realized about the system we are part of and most importantly, how to live trough sustainable practices that start at the reach of our hands.

The experience of reading the book kept me interested literally from cover to cover; yes, even the end notes—there’s nearly 700 scientific resources backing up the facts the author discusses over the text.

Despite the subject matter throughout the book, the language is completely accessible to anyone even if economy/law making are not your favorite subjects—yes, I’m talking about me. But he is also clear and explanatory when it comes to the dietary/nutritional issues and health related topics—now, this is what I love.

The first part of the book touches delicate topics regarding the influence of not only the marketing, but the government agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in the consumer’s food selection.

The author also finds errors and misleading methodologies in key studies that support the animal industry; such papers are sponsored by leaders of the nutrition and dietetics guidelines makers such as the American Dietetic Association (ADA.) In this section also discusses how the leaders of the American Meat Institute (AMI) control the recommendations of meet so that the American diet looks good and within normal limits.

He addresses the important issue of animal cruelty that is present by the minute, explains the loops and holes in the regulation of these practices but goes beyond when he touches the repercussions of these everyday practices in relation to its costs—which we all pay.

In the second part of the book, the author pulls from the dark the real costs in the industry. He discloses facts from production, processes and consumption to health and sustainability.

In the process, he debunks myths related to dietary concerns such as, where should we get our protein? Isn’t animal protein the one and only resource to get “complete proteins”? Isn’t fish the one source for omegas? The answers are cleverly answered and backed up with scientific research and paper analysis.

To make a complete argument, he proposes the solution to these problems (which, if continued as usual would not get us an unsustainable world.) He proposes real solutions that go from something as simple as making inform choices and consume less—or avoid—meat, dairy, fish and eggs.

Apply a tax in meat that would ultimately save billions of lives—humans and no humans—as well as cash. To get a more inside explanation of how this solution is not so magical and instead it is actually feasible, you are going to have to read the book.

David Robinson Simon is the author of this spectacular piece. He is a lawyer who works in the health care field. He is also an advocate for sustainable consumption and animal protection, serving on the board of the APRL Fund, a non-profit organization on the same subject.

The book will be launched this September 2013, you can RSVP here. In the eve of the Toronto Vegetarian Festival David Robinson Simon will be giving an interview on September 3rd and speak in the Festival on September 6th. You can catch him on his book tour here.

This is a passionate, bold reading that I would recommend to anyone disregarding their profession or their different views on the food industry and eating habits. It has something for everyone.

I was looking forward to get my eyes in this book and I was not disappointed at all. A book that might incommode a few, but it is certainly an eye opener.

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

~ Aldous Huxley

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Ed: Bryonie Wise

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