In Meat We Trust
An Unexpected History of Carnivore America
By Maureen Ogle
(Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, 9780151013401, 368pp.)
Publication Date: November 2013
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"Ogle is a terrific writer, and she takes us on a brisk romp through two centuries of history, full of deft portraits of entrepreneurs, inventors, promoters and charlatans.... Ms. Ogle believes, all exceptions admitted, that the food industry] has delivered Americans good value, and her book makes that case in fascinating detail." --"Wall Street Journal"The moment European settlers arrived in North America, they began transforming the land into a meat-eater's paradise. Long before revolution turned colonies into nation, Americans were eating meat on a scale the Old World could neither imagine nor provide: an average European was lucky to see meat once a week, while even a poor American man put away about two hundred pounds a year.
Maureen Ogle guides us from that colonial paradise to the urban meat-making factories of the nineteenth century to the hyperefficient packing plants of the late twentieth century. From Swift and Armour to Tyson, Cargill, and ConAgra. From the 1880s cattle bonanza to 1980s feedlots. From agribusiness to today's "local" meat suppliers and organic countercuisine. Along the way, Ogle explains how Americans' carnivorous demands shaped urban landscapes, midwestern prairies, and western ranges, and how the American system of meat making became a source of both pride and controversy.
MAUREEN OGLE is a historian whose previous books include All the Modern Conveniences and Key West. She lives in Ames, Iowa.