Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms by Nicolette Hahn Niman

Book CoverRighteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms, Nicolette Hahn Niman (William Morrow, 2009)

When Bobby Kennedy, Jr. first asked Nicolette Hahn Niman to head up his environmental organization’s “hog campaign,” she balked. Investigating hog manure pollution was hardly the glamorous assignment she pictured when leaving everything to work for him in New York. But Kennedy, she discovered, is not a man who takes no for an answer.

Starting her work for Kennedy’s organization in North Carolina, Nicolette uncovers the shocking practices of hog factory farms, including inhumane animal confinement and devastating water and air pollution. She organizes a national reform movement to fight these practices and shows again and again that livestock farming can be done a better way—not only for hogs, but also for poultry, fish, and dairy cows.

Through her work, she also tours the best of farms, where traditional farmers and ranchers treat their animals humanely and have joined with other farmers to successfully market the foods they produce. She profiles the innovative and cost-effective methods these operations have incorporated to make a profit by ethical, sustainable means.

In telling her story, Nicolette details not only why to choose meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, and fish from traditionally farmed sources (and avoid products tainted by chemicals and antibiotic-resistant bacteria), but also how to do so. She reveals what to look for on labels, why to skip animal products from outside the U.S., and the questions to ask when eating out.

A riveting account of an industry gone awry and one woman’s passionate fight to remedy it, Righteous Porkchop is a must-read for anyone who cares about food sources or good eating.

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Chelsea Green