tamarayork's review against another edition

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4.0

Overall this book offers some fantastic points about the importance of returning to historically normal food practices. I found the content interesting and thought-provoking. It led to a lot of “hey, listen to this” conversation prompts with my husband as I was reading it. However, I got bogged down in the middle and set it aside for a while. It took me 2 months to finish it, which is abnormal for me. I found the author’s personality and delivery a bit much. He’s definitely a strong character. Also, I would have loved to have a bibliography included to verify the statistics and facts he used. I’m more likely to believe his data when it is backed up. Overall, I’m glad that I read it as we continue our family journey to eat better food.

lintu's review against another edition

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5.0

Wonderful book that everyone should read. Inspiring.

deeder25's review against another edition

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2.0

his ideas and knowledge about farming and food are fabulous...his ideas about gender roles and lifestyles are a little...well...conservative

giantsdancefarm's review against another edition

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4.0

SOOOOO much to consider in this book. I'd honestly rate it a 4.85 for thought provocation. There are so many valid points, so many great suggestions, but there are many unanswered issues as well. But I HIGHLY recommend it, and truthfully, all of Joel's books. Wish we lived close enough to visit his place!

jbracken's review against another edition

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2.0

Read "The Omnivore's Dilemma" or "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" instead. The tone of this book is nigh unbearable.

squeakadillo's review against another edition

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3.0

I like a lot of what Salatin has to say, but I think he could really benefit from condensing his meandering arguments down to the main points. But then he wouldn't be Joel Salatin.

nycscribe102's review against another edition

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4.0

Visit my site to read my review: http://sofia-perez.com/?p=1849

mrdasman's review against another edition

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2.0

Some good to great points, obscured by an incredibly condescending narrative.

naturalistnatalie's review against another edition

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3.0

I really enjoyed some parts of this book, but I felt Salatin went on a long rant in the second half of the book. It seems that Salatin is a staunch libertarian and strongly believes the government should get out of the regulation business. I’m not so sure that would be as safe as he believes it will be. Salatin certainly has some strong opinions about where society’s gone wrong in terms of food (at least on the production side of things, Michael Pollan covers the food we’re eating), and he’s not afraid of expressing those opinions. He finds most elements of food production to be too big or too far away. Small-scale, local production is the way to go. He makes it sound simple to solve those problems, and even provides solutions to the problems he brings up. I appreciate that list of steps to take. I find it frustrating when you read all about a problem, and then there’s no discussion of what to do next. However, Salatin makes the solutions sound simple, and I distrust simple solutions. Sure, there are actions anyone can take, and I am re-inspired to preserve more of my food. But, I don’t feel that removing regulations will make everything better. However, the book did make me think, even if I don’t agree with it all.

zade's review against another edition

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5.0

Joel Salatin is an icon of the sustainable agriculture movement. His Polyface Farm enjoys international renown and Salatin is in great demand as a speaker and educator. He is also quite personable and down-to-earth, having not let his celebrity go to his head.

If you have a chance to listen to this book on audio, I highly recommend doing so. Saladin narrates it himself and his irascible humor comes through so clearly in the recording that for once, I think the audio book is at least as good as the print text--not a claim I make for many non-fiction books.

Now, I recommend all of Salatin's books, even for non-farming people. He has earned through hard work a great deal of insight into farming, animals, ecology, and economy. This book, however, is particularly good because he addresses such a wide variety of topics, all linked by the theme that our culture has strayed from what is "normal" (meaning sustainable and healthy). He is by no means a Luddite, but he definitely takes issue with a lot of the core values (or lack thereof) in modern American society. Because he covers so many different topics in these essays, there's something of interest for everyone here. And because he does such a good job of linking apparently diverse subjects, you'll likely find out you're interested in things you didn't think you would be.

A word of caution: approach this book with an open mind and be willing to listen to what Salatin says even when you disagree with him. And you will disagree with him more than once. Saladin is an independent thinker and does not easily fit any mold. He is a conservative Christian, Libertarian, Eco-warrior farmer who expresses himself bluntly and without apology. He also has a great sense of humor, a deep humanity, and a willingness to learn from others and admit his mistakes.

This book is great fun to read and full of fascinating stories and great information. It will make you laugh, make you angry, and inspire you to think seriously about how you live and what you value.