A Solid Primer On Food "Controversies"

As many of you know, it's difficult, maddeningly so, to find balanced neutral information on the nation's food system. Much of what's out there is either woefully biased or written for scholars. (Translation: us normal people can't make sense of all that jargon.)

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So I was pleased to obtain a copy of and read a new book by F. Bailey Norwood and some of his colleagues: Agricultural & Food Controversies: What Everyone Needs to Know. I knew about Norwood, a professor of agricultural economics at Oklahoma State, because I read some of his academic work while research the meat book. That work includes another book that I recommend, which Norwood co-authored with Jayson Lusk (also an OSU ag economist), Compassion, By the Pound: The Economics of Farm Animal Welfare. (Lusk, by the way, has a first-rate website where he writes short, pithy commentaries on food controversies.)

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Norwood's new book, co-written with a trio of other academics, examines the arguments for/against such topics as the use of pesticides and fertilizers, GMOs, and farm subsidies. They're less interested in taking sides than they are in using solid science and data to examine the pros and cons of each topic. The book's intended audience, I'm guessing, are undergraduates (and believe me, they'll learn waaay more about the food system from this book than from reading Omnivore's Dilemma). But that means that anyone with at least a high school education can read and understand this book.

Highly recommended! For what, cough, that's worth.

Disclosure: Norwood's publisher sent me an advance copy of the book. Free. And, yes, you suppose right: That had nothing to do with this commentary on the book's quality.