Look before you eat

  • Safe Food cover scan

  Surely, we would feel better if we knew that food companies were doing everything possible to minimize food hazards, and that the government was looking out for our interests and making sure food companies were doing what they were supposed to. In the absence of such reassurance, we lose trust.

— Marion Nestle, Safe Food


The politics of your plate is one of Marion Nestle’s favorite subjects. Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, is the author of last year’s Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. In her newest book, Safe Food, she takes on the long and often shameful history of food safety in the United States.

Nestle shows how corporate consolidation within the food industry has made contamination both more likely and more deadly; describes how federal food-safety regulations became scattered among disparate agencies; and documents the beef industry’s dogged — and largely successful — resistance to tougher federal oversight. Nestle then links this background to the newer debate over genetically modified food crops. Here, too, murky federal regulation and industry stubbornness characterize the controversy, while public “dread and outrage” has reached new heights. The conclusion of Safe Food takes a brief, post-September 11 look at the risks of food bioterrorism.

Nestle is by no means an impartial observer: On the book’s clever cover, a parody of a food label, the phrase “You Eat What We Tell You To Eat” is hidden in an imitation UPC symbol. Yet Nestle’s careful documentation and willingness to consider all sides make Safe Food a convincing piece of work.

Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology and Bioterrorism

By Marion Nestle

356 pages, hardcover: $27.50.

University of California Press, 2003.
High Country News Classifieds
  • SECLUDED COLORADO HIDEAWAY
    This passive solar home sits on 2 lots and offers an abundance of privacy and views while being only 15 minutes to downtown Buena Vista....
  • COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
    Introduction: Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with offices located in Kanab and Escalante, Utah. We are committed to the conservation...
  • CARETAKER
    2.0 acre homestead needing year-round caretaker in NE Oregon. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    For more information visit www. wyofile.com/careers/
  • THRIVING LOCAL HEALTH FOOD STORE FOR SALE
    Turn-key business opportunity. Successful well established business with room to grow. Excellent highway visibility.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    For more information, visit www.wyofile.com/careers/
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING www.westernlaw.org/about-us/clinic-interns-careers The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a high-impact, nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 27-year legacy using...
  • PROJECT MANAGER
    Position Summary Join our Team at the New Mexico Land Conservancy! We're seeking a Project Manager who will work to protect land and water across...
  • SEEKING PROPERTY FOR BISON HERD
    Seeking additional properties for a herd of 1,000 AUM minimum. Interested in partnering with landowners looking to engage in commercial and/or conservation bison ranching. Location...
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • WILDLIFE HAVEN
    Beautiful acreage with Teton Creek flowing through it. Springs and ponds, lots of trees, moose and deer. Property has barn. Easy access. approx. 33 acres.
  • ARIZONA CONSERVATION CORPS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Arizona Conservation Corps is seeking a Program Director in Flagstaff or Tucson
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...