So you can imagine how out-of-this-world-excited I was today when I saw that NYU had posted the booklist for my first Food Studies class. Because I’m soooo geeky that way.
- Of Frankenfoods and Golden Rice: Risks, Rewards, and Realities of Genetically Modified Foods by Frederick Buttel (Woo hoo!)
- Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West by William Cronon (Yeah, baby!)
- Agrarian Dreams: the Paradox of Organic Farming by Julie Guthman (Bring it on!)
- Sunset Limited: The Southern Pacific Railroad and the Development of the American West, 1850-1930 by Richard Orsi (Awesome!)
- American Agriculture in the Twentieth Century by Bruce L. Gardner (Fantastic!)
- Centrality of Agriculture: Between Humankind and the Rest of Nature by Colin A.M. Duncan (Okay, I paused here – it’s an $80 book. Whatever! I’ll use plastic!)
- Larding the Lean Earth by Richard Stoll (Rock on!)
- Dolly Mixtures: The Remaking of Genealogies by Sarah Duncan (Sheep? Cool!)
- Home Grown: The Case of Local Food in a Global Market by Bruce Halweil (Brilliant!)
So I bought everything on the list, except for American Ag in the 20th Century, which I checked out from the library. I clutched my card like a 5-year-old using it for the first time. I checked out the book. I took it back to my desk at work and cracked it open with enormous anticipation. Here is a sample of what I read:
The bearing of inequality on poverty is that, for a given income standard, or poverty line, and a given level of mean income of a group, the greater the inequality of income the larger the percentage of the group below the poverty level.
And I do not lie: The Whole Book Reads Like This. Don’t believe me? Let me randomly skip 100 pages ahead…Okay, here’s a sample from this page:
Although the sales and membership of cooperatives grew under the Capper-Volstead Act, it soon became evident that exemption from antitrust was not sufficient to confer decisive market power upon agricultural producers.
To quote Georgia Nicholson: Oh, what in fresh hell?
Eat, drink, and try not to second-guess your decisions.