Although my work with our Food for Thought initiative keeps me talking and thinking about food throughout the day, it’s still not quite enough to satisfy all of my interest in the topic. I’m nearly finished with Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, and I love the book!
Safran is straightforward, intelligent and passionate. He writes the book while awaiting the birth of his son– on the brink of making dietary decisions on someone else’s behalf. Eating Animals takes readers through childhood memories, factory farms, medical research and government documents.
As I’m sure you can guess from the title, this book is about meat production. For the queasy readers or those who would “rather not know,” this probably isn’t your read. However, Safran does a fantastic job of letting people speak for themselves and presenting the facts as he encounters them. He’s empathetic, straightforward and interesting.
What I love about this book is its emphasis on how our decisions affect more than just ourselves. Foer reflects on the past and dissects emotions from food. He explains how food is connected with disease, the environment and those who produce and consume it. Plus, there’s a quick explanation on how food has evolved throughout the years: did you know that turkeys can fly?!?
Foer’s explanation on culture, family, traditions, facts and myths that we use to justify food decisions is compelling and interesting. His own reflection and discovery challenges readers to examine the ways adding deliberation to eating habits can be enriching and fulfilling. Plus the Eating Animals website even has a storytelling opportunity, and what kind of humanities fan doesn’t love that???
Written by Kristin Hess, the Council’s Food for Thought ambassador and graphic designer.