Knowledge for better food systems

Book: Pig tales: An omnivore's quest for sustainable meat

Author Barry Estabrook explores the American pork industry in search of more responsible production systems.

Publisher’s summary

"Estabrook, a reporter of iron constitution and persistence, has dug deep into the truth about the American pork industry without losing his sense of humor and humanity." —Christopher Kimball, Wall Street Journal

In Pig Tales, New York Times best-selling author of Tomatoland Barry Estabrook turns his attention to the dark side of the American pork industry. Drawing on personal experiences raising pigs as well as sharp investigative instincts, Estabrook covers the range of the human-porcine experience. He shows how these intelligent creatures are all too often subjected to lives of suffering in confinement and squalor, sustained on a drug-laced diet just long enough to reach slaughter weight. But Estabrook also reveals how it is possible to raise pigs responsibly and respectfully, benefiting producers and consumers—as well as some of the top chefs in America.

Provocative, witty, and deeply informed, Pig Tales is bound to spark conversation at dinner tables across America.

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North America

North America is the northern subcontinent of the Americas covering about 16.5% of the Earth's land area. This large continent has a range of climates spanning Greenland’s permanent ice sheet and the dry deserts of Arizona. Both Canada and the USA are major food producers and some of the largest food exporters in the world. Industrial farms are the norm in North America, with high yields relative to other regions and only 2% of the population involved in agriculture.

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