However, finding important news about how our food is grown or raised in the newspaper can be difficult. Enter Nicolette Hahn Niman and her new book, The Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms.
The urban lawyer, former city commissioner, vegetarian and environmentalist knew nothing about factory farms until she joined Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s environmental group, Waterkeeper Alliance in 2000 in New York City as a senior attorney. Her first big assignment was to take charge of a fledgling national hog campaign, which involved investigating hog factory farms in North Carolina, including their inhumane animal confinement and devastating water and air pollution--and her life changed forever.
At first, Hahn Niman baulked at the prospect of researching "poop," but after visiting a couple farms, she became interested--and concerned--not only about the way meat was raised and the environmental damage it was doing but the costs to human health and the traditional farmers' way of life.
Hahn Niman tells a good, compelling story and it's one readers will find difficult putting down. It provides enough technical details to get the picture about what is happening to farm animals that eventually become our meat. However, the facts are accessible enough and not overwhelming or burdensome to non-technical people, probably because it is written from the point of view about her own journey of discovery.
Hahn Niman does the research for readers but never leaves them behind as she describes the disgusting practices of industrial factory farming--which are all done for the almighty dollar and without concern for the animals or the health of people that will eventually eat them.