I found The Way We Eat as a book on tape at the library and thought, “If I enjoyed American Way of Eating, I ought to enjoy this book too”. It turned out to essentially be a giant research paper on how our food is raised and grown. I was excited to learn more about how my food gets to my plate. While listening to the book I appreciated the information regarding how animals are raised, why its important to be cautious about both small and large-scale organic producers and why the ability to visit a farm enables me to observe reality.
So what is my take on the book? While the authors did go and visit several families and then explained where the food those families ate came from, The Way We Eat was more concerned with the ethics of where the food came from rather how it was raised. Yes, they visited farms. Yes, they visited processing factories. And yes, they explained why we should be concerned with how food production affects our environment as a whole. My problem with the book was that they defined what was good and what was bad for the reader. I want to be aware of how I am affecting the planet. I want to gather information from multiple resources so that I can make a more informed decision about one of the few things I absolutely do need in my life: food. The bias in this book was extreme enough that there were times when I could identify their exaggerations and one or two misleading figures. I should not be able to do this as a novice to the subject. I found this frustrating because I must question the validity of the entire book. To view the question as the authors would, is it ethical for the authors to mis-lead their readers so that they can achieve their goals?
I can’t recommend the book because if I could identify figures that did not add up (to me) while listening to the book, there must be other facts and figures that are hidden beneath all of the authors attempts to seem authentic. Its unfortunate because this is a book meant to start the conversation concerning the ethics of how our food is grown and raised. Its a valid conversation. I just don’t agree with the presentation method utilized by the authors.