A Bone to Pick by Mark Bittman is a thoughtful and thought provoking book on our food system in America. The author tells by way of his column which he writes for the New York Times about the food system in the United States. He tells how it nourishes us, and how the chemicals added to it by both the farmer as well as the manufacturer or storage mechanisms changes how the food is allowed to either continue to nourish us or to change the way our body works (good or bad). He is pretty honest about how difficult it is to maintain the good qualities of the food contents while enabling shelf life to be extended to allow for an increasing profit margin for the middlemen between farmer and consumer. He raises many points about how different farming and storage techniques as well as eating locally grown food could be done for the same money and maintain the profit margin. He makes the point that our government talks about being concerned about the heath of its citizens but when the reader looks at where the money is actually going it is obvious that it is not really changing any real policies. This is a book that reads as though the author is actually concerned about the practices protecting the food in our country and not just creating sensationalism to sell books. He also tells ways to improve the way that the reader eats even if they cannot go all organic because of price. He tells of some laws preventing the growing of vegetables in one's own yard in some communities. So sad that the looks of vegetables growing is disagreeable to the elite but grass growing is not. What have we come to?
I started reading this book with somewhat of a chip on my shoulder. I come from farming and feel that the family farm is pretty much ignored in the so called farm bill. This bill seems to be concerned with the nonworking poor and the factory farms and not the small "just want to continue to raise my family on the farm" type farmer. Mr. Bittman sounds like a common sense kind of a guy though he admits to being able to afford what ever food he chooses to eat can understand the poor not being able to and raising different ways of eating safely. I would recommend this book as good reading for any and especially those who are raising children and are concerned about their health and willing to do something to raise them the safest way possible.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.