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Agriculture & Food

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  1. 11.6 hrs • 9/20/2016 • Unabridged

    A disquieting and meditative look at the biggest food fight of our time from a journalist and mother who learned that genetically modified corn was the culprit behind what was making her and her child sick. A must-read for anyone trying to parse the incendiary discussion about GMOs.GMO products are among the most consumed and the least understood substances in the United States today. They appear not only in the food we eat, but in everything from the interior coating of paper coffee cups and medicines to diapers and toothpaste. We are often completely unaware of their presence.Caitlin Shetterly discovered the importance of GMOs the hard way. Shortly after she learned that her son had an alarming sensitivity to GMO corn, she was told that she had the same condition, and her family’s daily existence changed forever. An expansion of Shetterly’s viral Elle article “The Bad Seed,” Modified delves deep into the heart of the matter—from the cornfields of Nebraska to the beekeeping conventions in Brussels—to shine a light on the people, the science, and the corporations behind the food we serve ourselves and our families every day. Deeper than an exposé, and written by a mother and journalist whose journey had no agenda other than to understand the nuance and confusion behind GMOs, Modified is a rare breed of book that will at once make you weep at the majestic beauty of our Great Plains and force you to harvest deep seeds of doubt about the invisible monsters currently infiltrating our food and our land and threatening our future.

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    Modified

    11.6 hrs • 9/20/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.3 hrs • 5/3/2016 • Unabridged

    From Christian libertarian farmer Joel Salatin, a clarion call to readers to honor the animals and the land and produce food based on spiritual principles. Joel Salatin is perhaps the nation’s best known farmer, whose environmentally friendly, sustainable Polyface Farms has been featured in Food, Inc. and Time magazine. Now in his first book written for a faith audience, Salatin offers a deeply personal argument for earth stewardship and calls for fellow Christians to join him in looking to the Bible for a foodscape in line with spiritual truth. Salatin urges Christians to rethink America’s allegiance to cheap corporate food that destroys creation in its production, impoverishes third-world countries, and supports oligarchical interests. He wonders why Christians ignore and even revel in unhealthy eating habits and factory farming that runs counter to God’s design. With scripture and biblical stories, Salatin presents an alternative and shows listeners that in appreciating the pigness of pigs, we celebrate the Glory of God.

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    The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs

    Foreword by J. Matthew Sleeth, MD
    Read by Joel Salatin
    10.3 hrs • 5/3/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 12.4 hrs • 5/3/2016 • Unabridged

    A provocative look at how and what Americans eat and why—a flavorful blend of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Salt Sugar Fat, and Freakonomics that reveals how the way we live shapes the way we eat. Food writer and Culinary Institute of America program director Sophie Egan takes readers on an eye-opening journey through the American food psyche, examining the connections between the values that define our national character—work, freedom, and progress—and our eating habits, the good and the bad. Egan explores why these values make for such an unstable, and often unhealthy, food culture and, paradoxically, why they also make America’s cuisine so great. Egan raises a host of intriguing questions: Why does McDonald’s have 107 items on its menu? Why are breakfast sandwiches, protein bars, and gluten-free anything so popular? Will bland, soulless meal replacements like Soylent revolutionize our definition of a meal? The search for answers takes her across the culinary landscape, from the prioritization of convenience over health to the unintended consequences of “perks” like free meals for employees; from the American obsession with “having it our way” to the surge of Starbucks, Chipotle, and other chains individualizing the eating experience; from high culture—artisan and organic and what exactly “natural” means—to low culture—the sale of 100 million Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos in ten weeks. She also looks at how America’s cuisine—like the nation itself—has been shaped by diverse influences from across the globe. Devoured weaves together insights from the fields of psychology, anthropology, food science, and behavioral economics as well as myriad examples from daily life to create a powerful and unique look at food in America.

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    Devoured by Sophie Egan

    Devoured

    12.4 hrs • 5/3/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 8.4 hrs • 3/1/2016 • Unabridged

    How a midwestern family with no agriculture experience went from a few backyard chickens to a full-fledged farm—and discovered why local chicks are better When Lucie Amundsen had a rare night out with her husband, she never imagined what he’d tell her over dinner—that his dream was to quit his office job (with benefits!) and start a commercial-scale pasture-raised egg farm. His entire agricultural experience consisted of raising five backyard hens, none of whom had yet laid a single egg. To create this pastured poultry ranch, the couple scrambles to acquire nearly two thousand chickens—all named Lola. These hens, purchased commercially, arrive bereft of basic chicken-like instincts, such as the evening urge to roost. The newbie farmers also deal with their own shortcomings, making for a failed inspection and intense struggles to keep livestock alive (much less laying) during a brutal winter. But with a heavy dose of humor, they learn to negotiate the highly stressed no-man’s-land known as middle agriculture. Amundsen sees firsthand how these mid-sized farms, situated between small-scale operations and mammoth factory farms, are vital to rebuilding America’s local food system. With an unexpected passion for this dubious enterprise, Amundsen shares a messy, wry, and entirely educational story of the unforeseen payoffs (and frequent pitfalls) of one couple’s ag adventure—and many, many hours spent wrangling chickens.

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    Locally Laid by Lucie B. Amundsen

    Locally Laid

    8.4 hrs • 3/1/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    13.0 hrs • 12/1/2015 • Unabridged

    We do not come into the world with an innate sense of taste and nutrition; as omnivores, we have to learn how and what to eat, how sweet is too sweet, and what food will give us the most energy for the coming day. But how does this education happen? What are the origins of taste? In First Bite, the beloved food writer Bee Wilson draws on the latest research from food psychologists, neuroscientists, and nutritionists to reveal that our food habits are shaped by a whole host of factors, including family, culture, memory, gender, hunger, and love. An exploration of the extraordinary and surprising origins of our tastes and eating habits—from people who can only eat foods of a certain color to an amnesiac who can eat meal after meal without getting full—First Bite also shows us how we can change our palates to lead healthier, happier lives.

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    First Bite by Bee Wilson

    First Bite

    13.0 hrs • 12/1/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 11.1 hrs • 11/10/2015 • Unabridged

    Award-winning journalist Simran Sethi explores the history and cultural importance of our most beloved tastes, paying homage to the ingredients that give us daily pleasure, while providing a thoughtful wake-up call to the homogenization that is threatening the diversity of our food supply. Food is one of the greatest pleasures of human life. Our response to sweet, salty, bitter, or sour is deeply personal, combining our individual biological characteristics, personal preferences, and emotional connections. Bread, Wine, Chocolate illuminates not only what it means to recognize the importance of the foods we love but also what it means to lose them. Award-winning journalist Simran Sethi reveals how the foods we enjoy are endangered by genetic erosion—a slow and steady loss of diversity in what we grow and eat. In America today, food often looks and tastes the same, whether at a San Francisco farmers market or at a Midwestern potluck. Shockingly, 95 percent of the world’s calories now come from only thirty species. Though supermarkets seem to be stocked with endless options, the differences between products are superficial, primarily in flavor and brand. Sethi draws on interviews with scientists, farmers, chefs, vintners, beer brewers, coffee roasters, and others with firsthand knowledge of our food to reveal the multiple and interconnected reasons for this loss and its consequences for our health, traditions, and culture. She travels to Ethiopian coffee forests, British yeast culture labs, and Ecuadoran cocoa plantations collecting fascinating stories that will inspire readers to eat more consciously and purposefully, better understand familiar and new foods, and learn what it takes to save the tastes that connect us with the world around us.

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    Bread, Wine, Chocolate

    11.1 hrs • 11/10/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 7.7 hrs • 9/1/2015 • Unabridged

    A Pollanesque look at the truth about wheat: meal or menace? No topic in nutrition is more controversial than wheat. While megasellers like Grain Brain and Wheat Belly suggest that wheat may be the new asbestos, Stephen Yafa finds that it has been wrongly demonized. His revealing book sets the record straight, breaking down the botany of the wheat plant we’ve hijacked for our own use, the science of nutrition and digestion, the effects of mass production on our health, and questions about gluten and fiber—all to point us toward a better, richer diet. Wheat may be the most important food in human history, reaching from ancient times to General Mills. Yafa tours commercial factories where the needs of mass production trump the primacy of nutrition and reports on the artisan grain revolution. From a Woodstock-like kneading conference to nutrition labs to a boutique bakery and pasta maker’s workshop in Brooklyn, he also finds that there may in fact be a perfect source of wheat-based nutrition. Its name is sourdough. For readers of Salt Sugar Fat and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Grain of Truth smoothly blends science, history, biology, economics, and nutrition to give us back our daily bread.

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    Grain of Truth by Stephen Yafa

    Grain of Truth

    7.7 hrs • 9/1/15 • Unabridged
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  8. 1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
    11.4 hrs • 7/15/2015 • Unabridged

    Project Animal Farm provides a riveting and revealing look at what truly happens behind farm doors, as discovered by a fearless young woman. Sonia Faruqi, a twenty-five-year-old Ivy League graduate and investment banker, had no idea that the night she arrived at the doorstep of an organic dairy farm would mark the beginning of a journey that would ultimately wind all the way around the world. Instead of turning away from the animal cruelty she would come to witness, Sonia made the most courageous decision of her life—a commitment to change our current system of food production. Driven by impulsive will and a new passion, Sonia left everything she knew and loved behind to search the planet for solutions that would benefit not only farm animals, but also human health, the environment, farmers, and consumers. In doing so, she would live with farmers, hitchhike with strangers, and repeatedly risk her life. Heartfelt and brimming with rare insights, Project Animal Farm takes listeners through a top secret tour of egg warehouses in Canada, dairy feedlots in the United States, farm offices in Mexico, lush Mennonite pastures in Belize, flocks of chickens in Indonesia, and factory farms in Malaysia. Lively and filled with insight and suspense, Project Animal Farm illuminates a hidden world that plays a part in all of our lives.

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    Project Animal Farm by Sonia Faruqi

    Project Animal Farm

    11.4 hrs • 7/15/15 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5 (1)
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  9. 11.8 hrs • 1/21/2015 • Unabridged

    Beginning naked in the darkness Brian Brett takes us on a journey through a summer’s day that also tells the story of his affectionately named Trauma Farm—exploring the garden, orchards, fields, the mysteries of livestock and poultry, and the social intricacies of rural communities. Both a memoir and a natural history of the small mixed farm, this eighteen-year-long day travels forward and backward in time, taking us all the way from Babylon to globalization and demonstrating the importance of both tall tales and rigorous science as Brett contemplates the perfection of the egg and the nature of soil or offers a scathing critique of agribusiness and the modern slaughterhouse. Whether discussing the uses and misuses of gates, examining the energy of seeds, or bantering with his family and neighbors, Brett remains aware of the miracles of life, birth, and death and the ecological paradoxes that confront the rural world every day. Threaded with a deep knowledge of biology and botany, Trauma Farm is an erudite, poetic, passionate, and frequently hilarious portrait of rural life and a rich and thought-provoking meditation on the modern world.

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    Trauma Farm

    11.8 hrs • 1/21/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 8.3 hrs • 1/13/2015 • Unabridged

    Tasty is a fascinating and deeply researched investigation into the mysteries of flavor—from the first bite taken by our ancestors to scientific advances in taste and the current “foodie” revolution. Taste has long been considered the most basic of the five senses because its principal mission is a simple one: to discern food from everything else. Yet it’s really the most complex and subtle. Taste is a whole-body experience, and breakthroughs in genetics and microbiology are casting light not just on the experience of french fries and foie gras, but the mysterious interplay of body and brain. With reporting from kitchens, supermarkets, farms, restaurants, huge food corporations, and science labs, Tasty tells the story of the still-emerging concept of flavor and how our sense of taste will evolve in the coming decades. Tasty explains the scientific research taking place on multiple fronts: how genes shape our tastes; how hidden taste perceptions weave their way into every organ and system in the body; how the mind assembles flavors from the five senses and signals from body’s metabolic systems; the quest to understand why sweetness tastes good and its dangerous addictive properties; why something disgusts one person and delights another; and what today’s obsessions with extreme tastes tell us about the brain. Brilliantly synthesizing science, ancient myth, philosophy, and literature, Tasty offers a delicious smorgasbord of where taste originated and where it’s going—and why it changes by the day.

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    Tasty

    8.3 hrs • 1/13/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 8.5 hrs • 11/11/2014 • Unabridged

    A powerful and important work of investigative journalism that explores the runaway growth of the American meatpacking industry and its dangerous consequences On the production line in American packinghouses, there is one cardinal rule: the chain never slows. Every year, the chain conveyors that set the pace of slaughter have continually accelerated to keep up with America’s growing appetite for processed meat. Acclaimed journalist Ted Genoways uses the story of Hormel Foods and soaring recession-era demand for its most famous product, Spam, to probe the state of the meatpacking industry, including the expansion of agribusiness and the effects of immigrant labor on Middle America. Genoways interviewed scores of industry line workers, union leaders, hog farmers, and local politicians and activists. He reveals an industry pushed to its breaking point and exposes alarming new trends: sick or permanently disabled workers, abused animals, water and soil pollution, and mounting conflict between small towns and immigrant workers. The narrative moves across the heartland, from Minnesota, to witness the cut-and-kill operation; to Iowa, to observe breeding and farrowing in massive hog barns; to Nebraska, to see the tense town hall meetings and broken windows caused by the arrival of Hispanic workers; and back to Minnesota, where political refugees from Burma give the workforce the power it needs to fight back. A work of brilliant reporting, The Chain is a mesmerizing story and an urgent warning about the hidden cost of the food we eat.

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    The Chain

    8.5 hrs • 11/11/14 • Unabridged
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  12. 8.7 hrs • 7/29/2014 • Unabridged

    Journalist Maximillian Potter uncovers a fascinating plot to destroy the vines of La Romanée-Conti, Burgundy’s finest and most expensive wine. In January 2010, Aubert de Villaine, the famed proprietor of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, the tiny, storied vineyard that produces the most expensive, exquisite wines in the world, received an anonymous note threatening the destruction of his priceless vines by poison—a crime that in the world of high-end wine is akin to murder—unless he paid a one million euro ransom. Villaine believed it to be a sick joke, but that proved a fatal miscalculation, and the crime shocked this fabled region of France. The sinister story that Vanity Fair journalist Maximillian Potter uncovered would lead to a sting operation by some of France’s top detectives, the primary suspect’s suicide, and a dramatic investigation. This botanical crime threatened to destroy the fiercely traditional culture surrounding the world’s greatest wine. Shadows in the Vineyard takes us deep into a captivating world full of fascinating characters, small-town French politics, an unforgettable narrative, and a local culture defined by the twinned veins of excess and vitality and the deep, reverent attention to the land that runs through it.

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    Shadows in the Vineyard

    8.7 hrs • 7/29/14 • Unabridged
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  13. 3.7 hrs • 6/10/2014 • Unabridged

    Fifty ways to be an enlightened carnivore, while taking better care of our planet and ourselves, from the founder of Slow Food USA We have evolved as meat eaters, proclaims Patrick Martins, and it’s futile to deny it. But, given the destructive forces of the fast-food industry and factory farming, we need to make smart, informed choices about the food we eat and where it comes from. In fifty short chapters, Martins cuts through organized zealotry and the misleading jargon of food labeling to outline realistic steps everyone can take to be part of the sustainable-food movement. With wit, and insight, and no small amount of provocation, The Carnivore’s Manifesto is both a revolutionary call to arms and a rollicking good read that will inspire, engage, and challenge anyone interested in the way we eat today.

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    The Carnivore’s Manifesto

    Foreword by Alice Waters 
    Read by Mike Edison
    3.7 hrs • 6/10/14 • Unabridged
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  14. 0 reviews 0 5 4 4 out of 5 stars 4/5
    13.4 hrs • 5/13/2014 • Unabridged

    Dish up the red meat, eggs, and whole milk! In this well-researched and captivating narrative, veteran food writer Nina Teicholz proves how everything we’ve been told about fat is wrong. For decades, Americans have cut back on red meat and dairy products full of “bad” saturated fats. We obediently complied with nutritional guidelines to eat “heart healthy” fats found in olive oil, fish, and nuts, and followed a Mediterranean diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, and grains. Yet the nation’s health has declined. What is going on? In The Big Fat Surprise, Teicholz reveals how sixty years of nutrition science has gotten it so wrong: how overzealous researchers have made basic scientific mistakes that, through a mix of ego and bias, allow dangerous misrepresentations to become dogma, and how scientists who dared oppose this consensus have been ostracized. For eight years, Teicholz has pored over the massive research literature and interviewed hundreds of leading experts to unravel the shockingly distorted claims of nutrition studies. She brings these researchers to life and shows how their ambitions, loyalties, and rivalries have undermined a field of research already full of difficult pitfalls. With a lively narrative style akin to Michael Pollan’s in The Omnivore’s Dilemma and the scientific rigor of Gary Taubes in Good Calories, Bad Calories, Teicholz convincingly upends the conventional wisdom about all fats. Her groundbreaking claim is that more dietary fat leads to better health, wellness, and fitness. Science shows that reducing the saturated fat in our diets has been disastrous for our health as a nation, and we can, guilt-free, welcome these “whole fats” back into our lives.

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    The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz

    The Big Fat Surprise

    13.4 hrs • 5/13/14 • Unabridged
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  15. 13.3 hrs • 1/15/2014 • Unabridged

    If you had the resources to accomplish something great in the world, what would you do? Legendary investor Warren Buffett posed this challenge to his son in 2006, when he announced he was leaving the bulk of his fortune to philanthropy. So, Howard G. Buffett set out to help the most vulnerable people on Earth—nearly a billion individuals who lack basic food security. And Howard has given himself a deadline: forty years to put more than $3 billion to work on this challenge. Each of us has about forty chances to accomplish our goals in life. Howard learned this lesson through his passion for farming: all farmers can expect to have about forty growing seasons, giving them just forty chances to improve on every harvest. This lesson applies to all of us, however, because we all have about forty productive years to do the best job we can, whatever our passions may be. Forty Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World is a book that captures Howard’s journey. We join him around the world as he seeks out new approaches to ease the suffering of so many. It is told in a unique format: forty stories that will provide readers a compelling look at Howard’s lessons learned, ranging from his own backyard to some of the most difficult and dangerous places on Earth.

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    Forty Chances by Howard G. Buffett

    Forty Chances

    By Howard G. Buffett, with Howard W. Buffett
    Foreword by Warren E. Buffett
    13.3 hrs • 1/15/14 • Unabridged
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  16. 0 reviews 0 5 4.7 4 out of 5 stars 4.7/5
    11.0 hrs • 6/4/2013 • Unabridged

    Eating on the Wild Side is the first book to reveal the nutritional history of our fruits and vegetables. Starting with the wild plants that were central to our original diet, investigative journalist Jo Robinson describes how four hundred generations of farmers have unwittingly squandered a host of essential fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. New research shows that these losses have made us more vulnerable to our most troubling conditions and diseases, obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, and dementia. In an engaging blend of science and story, Robinson describes how and when we transformed the food in the produce aisles. Wild apples, for example, have from three to one hundred times more antioxidants than Galas and Honeycrisps, and are five times more effective in killing cancer cells. Compared with spinach, one of our present-day “superfoods,” wild dandelion leaves have eight times more antioxidant activity, two times more calcium, three more times vitamin A, and five times more vitamins K and E. How do we begin to recoup the losses of essential nutrients? By “eating on the wild side,” choosing present-day fruits and vegetables that come closest to the nutritional bounty of their wild ancestors. Robinson explains that many of these jewels of nutrition are hiding in plain sight in our supermarkets, farmers markets, and U-pick orchards. Eating on the Wild Side provides the world’s most extensive list of these superlative varieties. Drawing on her five-year review of recently published studies, Robinson introduces simple, scientifically proven methods of storage and preparation that will preserve and even enhance their health benefits: Squeezing fresh garlic in a garlic press and then setting it aside for ten minutes before cooking it will increase your defenses against cancer and cardiovascular disease. Baking potatoes, refrigerating them overnight, and then reheating them before serving will keep them from spiking your blood sugar. Cooking most berries makes them more nutritious. Shredding lettuce the day before you eat it will double its antioxidant activity. Store watermelon on the kitchen counter for up to a week and it will develop more lycopene. Eat broccoli the day you buy it to preserve its natural sugars and cancer-fighting compounds. The information in this surprising, important, and meticulously researched book will prove invaluable for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike, and forever change the way we think about food.

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    Eating on the Wild Side

    11.0 hrs • 6/4/13 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.7 4 out of 5 stars 4.7/5
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