5

votes

Can anyone recommend any good books/blogs on food politics?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 31, 2011 at 4:29 PM

My super slim, fit and healthy 16 year-old daughter is not that interested in the paleo diet from a health point of view but her love of punk rock is leading her towards politics and anarchism in particular. So many young people going down that route end up vegetarian/vegan. Thankfully she loves her meat too much and has read The Vegetarian Myth but I wondered if there was anything else I could recommend to her for understanding the complexity of the food production system. I'm trying to convince her that not supporting industrial agriculture is a much better way of 'sticking it to the man' than eating Ben and Jerrie's. I have had a look at this thread http://paleohacks.com/questions/431/modern-paleos-more-or-less-political-than-the-average-person#axzz1I77qvi8x

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on May 26, 2011
at 03:47 PM

Well we went to an anarchist book fair at the weekend and as we suspected it was full of vegans. But we'd made some anti-vegan pro-paleo flyers and we left them on one of the tables as we left (we weren't up for full on confrontation!! but maybe they made someone think).

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on May 26, 2011
at 03:43 PM

Thoroughly enjoyed (if that's the right word) Against The Grain. Will check out your other suggestions and I've just bought Food Inc - book and DVD so they're next.

61e254571b4c792bca87340a090a3ea1

(480)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:22 PM

yay! more punks. I call my self a hippie but I am really more of a crusty. I was stuck in the same vegan/punk/activist world as a teenager. I was lucky in that I ended up in the land of green anarchism/primitivism of the pacific NW and learned what truly sustainable meant early on. I also couldn't argue against eating roadkill so I succumb to eating meat easily. Great answer Amanda! It is true more of the anarchist/punk scene is coming over to WPF/paloe type diets and it's really encouraging. I just hope people don't take lierre's new book too seriously.

E34fbfa1bca9ae970c9c7313bf9de9f8

(1436)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:13 PM

You can still eat potatoes and rice and be low to moderate carb. It's more a question of quantity.

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:12 PM

I love Tom and Richard, but as a former 16 year old punk rock girl, they would not be my choices for this situation.

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:11 PM

Man, this is so awesome. Punk rock feminists unite under the banner of sustainable local grass-fed meats n things. You are amazing, Amanda.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on May 04, 2011
at 06:20 AM

Thanks for that one - looks interesting.

937163a301e4487f64b14982226ff75c

on May 03, 2011
at 01:58 PM

My mum is awesome, I have to agree. :D

15e684f6f716f88c99f641098a6e06ca

(922)

on April 01, 2011
at 06:36 PM

*applause* p.s. i love seeing that avatar!

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 31, 2011
at 08:04 PM

You're very welcome! Oh--I forgot something: how would you like to combine the douchiest tough guy parts of paleo with a vegan diet? Sounds awesome, right? Get into NY Hardcore and read this book by the singer of the Cro-Mags: http://markbittman.com/bittys-book-review-is-meat-for-pussies

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 31, 2011
at 08:02 PM

you're very welcome! You're welcome. Oh--I forgot something: how would you like to combine the douchiest tough guy parts of paleo with a vegan diet? Sounds awesome, right? Get into NY Hardcore and read this book by the singer of the Cro-Mags (irony, yo!): http://markbittman.com/bittys-book-review-is-meat-for-pussies

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 31, 2011
at 07:59 PM

You're welcome. I forgot something: how would you like to combine the douchiest anti-lady parts of paleo with a vegan diet? Sounds awesome, right? Get into NY Hardcore and read this book by the singer of the Cro-Mags--http://markbittman.com/bittys-book-review-is-meat-for-pussies

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on March 31, 2011
at 07:21 PM

Thanks for the fab links. "Wheat is murder." Loved it

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on March 31, 2011
at 06:45 PM

Iggy Pop advertises insurance - say no more!

922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:46 PM

I like her a lot. When I first read Pollan a few years ago I made the jump from him to Nestle and anything similar. A lot of this is also what spurred my love of documentaries. And all the rest of my non-fiction reading addiction! It's a problem!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:38 PM

Diane @ Balanced Bites mentioned this one during our class, but I haven't had time to pick it up yet.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:15 PM

I'm not in depth familiar with both but Nikolay's food porn doesn't really strike me as "low carb" ?

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:13 PM

Anarchism leads to vegan land ? Sid Vicious died again.

9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on March 31, 2011
at 04:34 PM

Rhys is a former vegan himself and features a ton of interviews with other ex-vegans, as well as in-depth philosophy to an extent not usually found on most food/paleo blogs.

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13 Answers

best answer

11
95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 31, 2011
at 06:23 PM

My formative years were spent as a punk rock vegan and it instilled in me a very specific brand of vegan guilt. Radical politics, food politics, music and lifestyle all became so intertwined that it was hard to extricate myself further down the line, despite years of terrible health. Veganism/animal liberationism was really the only option presented for a smart lady who leaned left and cared about stuff in that subculture. Meat is presented as 1:1 analogous to all the other atrocities in the world that many kids drawn to more political punk care deeply about--and nuance means little to self-righteous teenagers. I'm looking at you straight edge hardcore, post punk kitchen, bands like Conflict, etc. Songs like this are beyond hilarious to me now--they almost seem parodic, but when I was younger similar ones meant a lot to me. So I wish your daughter luck.

Having read Vegetarian Myth puts her so far ahead of my curve it makes me want to jump up and down with joy for her. Seriously. When I was heavy into veganism, there was pretty much ZERO ex-vegan literature out there. Now we have Lierre and Rhys (I second the LTEM recc.) and a growing number of others who are speaking from a similar socialization that some just can't understand. When I first read some of the ex-vegan interviews on Let Them Eat Meat it was like someone who was sure they were going to hell for leaving their cult (me and veganism) encountering people who had similarly escaped and not only didn't feel guilty, BUT GOOD, about their decision. I cried for like three days straight while I devoured the whole site and Vegetarian Myth. I started eating Paleo right away. The guilt had been absolved.

Things are looking up. I still hang out with lots of punk kids and it seems veganism is falling out of favor in my area, even among the young. More and more potlucks w/ punks I am invited to specify to bring gluten or sugar free dishes over vegan ones, something that never would have happened fifteen years ago. There are people like that dude who used to be in Shelter (straight edge Hari Krishna band that was very influential in pushing a vegan agenda) being a huge proponent of paleo. There are radical feminists who are paleo. Locavorism is huge. Most punk kids love working or aspire to work on small farms and not just veganic ones. Some I know have backyard chickens. And on and on. This, combined with having a mom who is into awesome stuff, open to new ideas, thinks critically about things and wants her to as well is a a really rock solid foundation.

(As a side note, I would have hated FTA as a high schooler. I had this simplistic Carol Adamsy thing going on. Meat= misogyny and dudes really into being dudes and dudes loudly talking about how awesome meat is and how dumb vegans are all the time. I think this is why paleo is the most reprehensible thing ever to a lot of radical punk rock ladies because it does little to dispel those simple notions unless you do some digging. That's why Lierre Kieth was so much more influential on me.)

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on March 31, 2011
at 07:21 PM

Thanks for the fab links. "Wheat is murder." Loved it

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 31, 2011
at 08:04 PM

You're very welcome! Oh--I forgot something: how would you like to combine the douchiest tough guy parts of paleo with a vegan diet? Sounds awesome, right? Get into NY Hardcore and read this book by the singer of the Cro-Mags: http://markbittman.com/bittys-book-review-is-meat-for-pussies

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 31, 2011
at 08:02 PM

you're very welcome! You're welcome. Oh--I forgot something: how would you like to combine the douchiest tough guy parts of paleo with a vegan diet? Sounds awesome, right? Get into NY Hardcore and read this book by the singer of the Cro-Mags (irony, yo!): http://markbittman.com/bittys-book-review-is-meat-for-pussies

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 31, 2011
at 07:59 PM

You're welcome. I forgot something: how would you like to combine the douchiest anti-lady parts of paleo with a vegan diet? Sounds awesome, right? Get into NY Hardcore and read this book by the singer of the Cro-Mags--http://markbittman.com/bittys-book-review-is-meat-for-pussies

15e684f6f716f88c99f641098a6e06ca

(922)

on April 01, 2011
at 06:36 PM

*applause* p.s. i love seeing that avatar!

937163a301e4487f64b14982226ff75c

on May 03, 2011
at 01:58 PM

My mum is awesome, I have to agree. :D

61e254571b4c792bca87340a090a3ea1

(480)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:22 PM

yay! more punks. I call my self a hippie but I am really more of a crusty. I was stuck in the same vegan/punk/activist world as a teenager. I was lucky in that I ended up in the land of green anarchism/primitivism of the pacific NW and learned what truly sustainable meant early on. I also couldn't argue against eating roadkill so I succumb to eating meat easily. Great answer Amanda! It is true more of the anarchist/punk scene is coming over to WPF/paloe type diets and it's really encouraging. I just hope people don't take lierre's new book too seriously.

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:11 PM

Man, this is so awesome. Punk rock feminists unite under the banner of sustainable local grass-fed meats n things. You are amazing, Amanda.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on May 26, 2011
at 03:47 PM

Well we went to an anarchist book fair at the weekend and as we suspected it was full of vegans. But we'd made some anti-vegan pro-paleo flyers and we left them on one of the tables as we left (we weren't up for full on confrontation!! but maybe they made someone think).

4
9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on March 31, 2011
at 04:33 PM

Rhys Southan's "Let Them Eat Meat":

http://letthemeatmeat.com/

9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on March 31, 2011
at 04:34 PM

Rhys is a former vegan himself and features a ton of interviews with other ex-vegans, as well as in-depth philosophy to an extent not usually found on most food/paleo blogs.

2
937163a301e4487f64b14982226ff75c

on May 03, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Yo, Queen of the Stone Age. It's your awesome punk rock daughter. Please pick up some paleo foodstuffs on the way home. I'm starving!

2
065bc9a541c742defb28b9c58ad34fbd

(1783)

on March 31, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Great book on the science and politics behind meat-eating and the environment:

http://www.amazon.ca/Meat-Benign-Extravagance-Simon-Fairlie/dp/1603583246

Joel Salatin is a very inspiring "Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-capitalist farmer":

http://www.amazon.ca/Everything-Want-Do-Illegal-Stories/dp/0963810952/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1301595347&sr=1-1

2
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:28 PM

Fat Politics: The Real Story Behind America's Obesity Epidemic, by J. Eric Oliver.
[Full disclosure: he is my PhD advisor.]

I haven't read it in a while, but as I remember it, Oliver outlines the triangular relationship between government, private industry, and interest groups. It's a 'follow the money' sort of account whose general story is that the multi-billion dollar weight loss industry lobbied the government to change the BMI standards in order to medicalize a larger swath of the population as obese, thereby drastically expanding their market and, essentially, creating an epidemic over night. Again, I haven't read the book in years, so I'm sure that my memory of it is not to be trusted.

2
922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:12 PM

Marion Nestle has a book entitled "Food Politics" that I've read and a website by the same name.

http://www.foodpolitics.com/

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:38 PM

Diane @ Balanced Bites mentioned this one during our class, but I haven't had time to pick it up yet.

922038b6c0ca6a051cc4858218931456

(392)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:46 PM

I like her a lot. When I first read Pollan a few years ago I made the jump from him to Nestle and anything similar. A lot of this is also what spurred my love of documentaries. And all the rest of my non-fiction reading addiction! It's a problem!

2
71a4ae590946d0940acbcc0e3038c94d

on March 31, 2011
at 05:08 PM

Fat Head and Free the Animal. Both bloggers are very intelligent Libertarian Paleo/Low Carbers. Politics often come through in their posts.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 31, 2011
at 05:15 PM

I'm not in depth familiar with both but Nikolay's food porn doesn't really strike me as "low carb" ?

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:12 PM

I love Tom and Richard, but as a former 16 year old punk rock girl, they would not be my choices for this situation.

E34fbfa1bca9ae970c9c7313bf9de9f8

(1436)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:13 PM

You can still eat potatoes and rice and be low to moderate carb. It's more a question of quantity.

1
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:09 PM

I just finished Buffalo for the Broken Heart: Restoring Life to a Black Hills Ranch and absolutely loved it. It chronicles a farmer in South Dakota who transitions his farm/ranch from cattle to buffalo. That sounds kind of lame on its own, but his descriptions of the life and people in SD and his own growth and conversion are really moving. It very rarely gets into making any case for "paleo" but through his own experience the message gets across very clearly. I highly recommend it!

And I think you already know about Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization. It might be a little too academic for someone dubious to start, but I found it one of the best books on this topic I've read. Also personal and moving like the Buffalo one, but more organized around building a case, and more global in scope. It's very good.

I see some recommendations for the Joel Salatin books in other answers - I agree, those are wonderful too!

Would also suggest some Wendell Berry essays. I thought his book The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture was an absolutely life-changing book for me, but it was one of the first books to open my eyes to the whole issue (decades ago!), so might be a little dated/old hat to this savvy crowd.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on May 26, 2011
at 03:43 PM

Thoroughly enjoyed (if that's the right word) Against The Grain. Will check out your other suggestions and I've just bought Food Inc - book and DVD so they're next.

1
99946d97fc74107612d8331dd940ed6b

on May 03, 2011
at 08:00 PM

Go to http://karendecoster.com/ she is brilliant!

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on May 04, 2011
at 06:20 AM

Thanks for that one - looks interesting.

1
83d549c2356b4c2d038915030d698887

on March 31, 2011
at 05:59 PM

I second Free the Animal. Very opinionated and an excellent writer. He is also working on a book but I am unsure what yo expect with it. I am sure you have heard of this but Food Inc was an eye opener for me about agriculture and the production of food.

0
C8b4068fa3bb4055c91904fec4b920e7

on May 03, 2011
at 02:34 PM

UK 1980s crass et al had a big influence on us kids.

I evolved from there to anarchism, left behind the pacifist/vegan stance with "Class War'' and eventually the whole anarchist lable and I have subscribed to left communism for 20 years.

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