Toxic to the Tongue

How Big Business Feeds You Hazardous Food

The killing fields: Since 1989, overall pesticide use has risen by about 60 million pounds.
photo: Michael Ableman, from Fatal Harvest
The killing fields: Since 1989, overall pesticide use has risen by about 60 million pounds.

If organic farming has failed in any way, Fatal Harvest doesn't let on. It remains steadfastly optimistic. Parts Four through Six deal with biodiversity and wildlife and the social and economic impact of industrial agriculture. Part Seven looks forward to ways organic farming can mitigate the problems created by industrial agriculture, and the book ends with a note on hope by Wendell Berry—but how can you feel hopeful when the power of industrial agriculture mutes numerous attempts to properly label genetically modified foods, squeezes out the organic farmer, and appears to have little concern for the rising incidences of cancer among Americans? It's hard, but the point of the book is to keep demanding change armed with the information provided. What Fatal Harvest does best is make the invisible visible by transforming numbing statistics and hard-to-imagine pesticides into something concrete that the reader sees with many eyes.


Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture
Edited by Andrew Kimbrell
Island Press, 396 pp., $45.00
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