EAT YOUR HEART OUT: Food Profiteering in America by Jim Hightower

EAT YOUR HEART OUT: Food Profiteering in America

Email this review


Hightower covers some familiar ground but he does so with considerable ferocity, which will please those in active rebellion against his chief targets, agro-business, which is responsible, he feels, for standardizing, manipulating and chemicalizing our food. Although Hightower trots forth familiar abominations (the gassed, rubber-skinned, tasteless tomatoes; less-than-truthfully packaged Log Cabin Syrup with only three percent maple syrup) he is most interested in investigating the economic effects on farmer and consumer of the ""vertically integrated"" oligarchies. He supplies charts and documented reports on the activities of a few huge food corporations which own or control the production of raw food, farmers' supplies, processing and canning plants, and the supermarket chains. The farmer fares badly. Corporate middlemen have the power to restrict his markets, and thereby control prices; ""corporations cannot out-farm the family farm, but they can out-muscle it. Good farmers are going out of business."" The American Agricultural Marketing Association estimates that by 1985 75 percent of our food supply will be produced under corporate contract. Hightower castigates corporate marketing methods (e.g., packaging fresh produce increases sales by requiring bulk purchases) and as for nutrition: a McDonald's hamburger patty rates 18 percent on a 0-100 scale of food value; Alpo dog food rates 30 percent. But fast food is not the only culprit in our brave new world of standardized, flat provender--read Hightower's analysis of the ""Good Old-Fashioned Hearty Breakfast"" and weep. The answer? Join a food co-op or grow your own. A solid survey of our food dilemma with no perceptible artificial ingredients.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1975
Publisher: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co.