In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America

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9780151013401: In Meat We Trust: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America

The untold story of how meat made America: a tale of the self-made magnates, pragmatic farmers, and impassioned activists who shaped us into the greatest eaters and providers of meat in history

"Ogle is a terrific writer, and she takes us on a brisk romp through two centuries of history, full of deft portraits of entrepreneurs, inventors, promoters and charlatans.... Ms. Ogle believes, all exceptions admitted, that [the food industry] has delivered Americans good value, and her book makes that case in fascinating detail." —Wall Street Journal

The moment European settlers arrived in North America, they began transforming the land into a meat-eater’s paradise. Long before revolution turned colonies into nation, Americans were eating meat on a scale the Old World could neither imagine nor provide: an average European was lucky to see meat once a week, while even a poor American man put away about two hundred pounds a year.

Maureen Ogle guides us from that colonial paradise to the urban meat-making factories of the nineteenth century to the hyperefficient packing plants of the late twentieth century. From Swift and Armour to Tyson, Cargill, and ConAgra. From the 1880s cattle bonanza to 1980s feedlots. From agribusiness to today’s “local” meat suppliers and organic countercuisine. Along the way, Ogle explains how Americans’ carnivorous demands shaped urban landscapes, midwestern prairies, and western ranges, and how the American system of meat making became a source of both pride and controversy.

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From the Inside Flap:

The untold story of how meat made America: a tale of the self-made magnates, pragmatic farmers, and impassioned activists who shaped us into the greatest eaters and providers of meat in history
The moment European settlers arrived in North America, they began transforming the land into a meat-eater s paradise. Long before revolution turned colonies into nation, Americans were eating meat on a scale the Old World could neither imagine nor provide: an average European was lucky to see meat once a week, while even a poor American man put away about two hundred pounds a year.
Maureen Ogle guides us from that colonial paradise to the urban meat-making factories of the nineteenth century to the hyperefficient packing plants of the late twentieth century. From Swift and Armour to Tyson, Cargill, and ConAgra. From the 1880s cattle bonanza to 1980s feedlots. From agribusiness to today s local meat suppliers and organic countercuisine. Along the way, Ogle explains how Americans carnivorous demands shaped urban landscapes, midwestern prairies, and western ranges, and how the American system of meat making became a source of both pride and controversy.
"

From the Back Cover:

From the colonial origins of America s carnivorous culture to the emergence of factory farming, Maureen Ogle provides clear-eyed analysis of America s meat-loving lifestyle, showing that concerns about the role of large corporations and worries about safety are far from new. This is history you can really sink your teeth into. Tom Standage, author of A History of the World in 6 Glasses
To understand why we feel the way we do about meat, we have to know how we got here. Maureen Ogle illuminates today s debates by making us understand yesterday s. That will help us with our choices tomorrow. -- Alan Bjerga, author of Endless Appetites: How the Commodities Casino Creates Hunger and Unrest
Ogle lucidly demonstrates how the American meat-making machine came to span the entire continent . . . . Ogle s quick wit helps her corral such a large topic, keeping the involved history to an easily digestible format. Given the recent onslaught of publications picking sides on the issues of food production, Ogle s bipartisan approach is a breath of fresh air. Publishers Weekly

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