Not on the Label: What Really Goes Into the Food on Your Plate by Felicity Lawrence (Penguin, 2004)

Treating people like this is not a good idea. We are forcing people to live in squalor, in bad housing with wages so low they cannot live. They are bound to be ill. Bad housing and bad diets these are the sort of conditions that before the war sustained TB. These are the people who are cleaning your salad. -- Nuno Guerreiro, Portuguese Workers' Association

Globalisation of food is not the answer. It is a system designed by finance people and lawyers. -- Manuel Ariza, chief of Spanish agri-environment ministry

I think of myself as a slave. I go to sleep dreaming of work. I live amongst the rubbish like a rat. But I remember that I am a man. Wherever I live, whatever anyone thinks, I am a man. -- Abdel Majid, illegal migrant worker in southern Spain

Felicity Lawrence spent a couple of years in the early 1990s in war-torn Afghanistan, coming back to the UK was a culture shock. The first thing she noticed on shopping in a supermarket was the fight for the car parking space, then what seemed an endless choice in the supermarket, perpetual summer, until she looked a little closer and saw it was the same standardised fruit and vegetables same size, same colour, not a blemish in sight no matter from where they originated in the world. The fruit was hard and unripe, lacking in any aroma or taste. The process of shopping was stressful, the wonky trolley a battering ram to force your way around the isles, dulled-eyed checkout staff on the checkouts.

In Afghanistan a shopping trip would be to pull up at a roadside stall or a trip to the local market. Fruit and vegetables that were fresh and in season mouth-watering strawberries, for just two weeks a year, grapes from glacier-fed vineyards, mangoes, dripping with juice, oranges.

It is not only in Afghanistan or Pakistan that it is possible to shop at road-side stalls, in Tenerife or Cyprus you will find roadside stalls laden with fresh produce.

We live in the West, and yet we suffer from BSE, salmonella, foot and mouth, the list goes on. Something must be wrong with our food supply chain. This is what Felicity Lawrence sets out to uncover.

Chickens on the supermarket shelves at little more than the price of a cup of crap coffee in $tarbucks. Something has to give.

Felicity Lawrence went undercover in a chicken processing factory. It was not the blood that got to her as the birds dangling upside down from a conveyor belt had their throats slit, it was the scalding bath, brown with shit, emptied only once a day. Each and every chicken contaminated as it passes through.

50% of chickens in the UK are contaminated with campylobacter.

My thoughts turned to the chicken sitting in my fridge. My stomach started to turn over. And that was before I read of the waste, unfit for human consumption, that gets laundered and recycled back into the human food chain.

Chickens are pumped up with water. It is difficult to make a chicken carcass retain 50% water, so it is held in place with hydrolyzed animal proteins recovered from animal waste pork, beef. It may be contaminated with BSE. No one knows for sure, no one seems to care. Everyone knows it is going on from the EU down through FSA to trading standards to the supermarkets but everyone turns a blind eye, everyone pretends it is not happening.

The more you ship food around, the easier it is to adulterate food, to commit outright fraud. The trade in laundered recycled waste food is more profitable that narcotics.

Harassed mothers may shovel chicken nuggets down their kids gullets, but would they if they knew it was chopped up, recycled chicken skins and slurry?

Looking on supermarket shelves one could easily be led to believe chickens only produce drumsticks and breasts, and no doubt one day they will, if geneticists have their way. As it is, battery chickens are too weak to stand on their own two legs. This false demand in chicken has led to a global trade in chicken parts. What is left over is waste, to be recycled into pies and ready meals.

I would never by a cheap pie, as we do not know what is going into it.

That 'fresh' chicken in the supermarket may be at least eight days old before it even reaches the supermarket, its sell by date updated, its country of origin replaced by a red tractor.

The villains of the piece are the meat-processers and packers, but complicit are the supermarkets. They know what is going on, it is they who are cutting margins which are resulting in corners being cut.

To be sure of what we are buying we have to buy from local family butchers. An endangered species these days but they can be found in North Camp in south Farnborough, on a stall on the Friday/Saturday market in Guildford (where once there were a dozen or more family butchers lining the street), in the old part of Lincoln, in Farnham (where there is also an excellent greengrocer), there used to be a couple or more in Ludlow in the Shropshire Hills, maybe they too have managed to survive.

A bag of washed salad in a supermarket may cost you 99p. On close inspection, you will find it will only contain a handful of green leaves. Well okay, they have washed it for you. It is all about added value, to the supermarket that is, not the consumer. The more cynical would say it is all about ripping people off.

Would we pay this extortionate price for salad leaves if we knew that they were several days old, washed in chlorine solution twenty times the concentration of a swimming pool (ie a mild bleach), have a marked reduction in vitamin and micro-nutrient content, and that the rise in the sale of these washed salad leaves is linked to a sharp rise in E. coli and salmonella outbreaks?

Migrant labour is employed in the meat-processing plants and packing sheds, picking crops, washing salads. Much of this labour is illegal, coordinated by organised crime. Workers guarded by men wielding clubs, knives and Kalashnikovs! The criminal groups extend across the world, engaging in people trafficking, prostitution and drug smuggling. Extreme violence is used to keep the illegal workforce subjugated. The migrants live in appalling insanitary conditions. They suffer from ill-health.

Everyone knows that illegal migrant labour is used. The supermarkets know, the farmers know, the packers and processors know, the local authorities in whose area they work and are housed know. Everyone knows, apart from maybe the end consumer, everyone turns a blind eye.

These are the people who wash and pack our salads, prepare our meats. This is the price we pay for 'cheap' food in our supermarkets.

To guarantee year round 24 hour delivery to supermarkets, farms import from abroad, many have also invested in the south of Spain. This arid region, suitable for olives and almonds together with a few scraggy sheep and goats has become an agricultural and economic miracle, but it is in reality a mirage. The ground water is contaminated and over-extracted, the soil cannot sustain three crops a year.

Intensive monoculture leads to a build up of pests and diseases. Lettuces have a two and half month growing period in southern Spain. They are sprayed weekly except for the last two weeks with a mixture of pesticide and fungicide. Because of the build up of pest and diseases, many of these sprays are extremely toxic.

Pesticide residues, exceeding the legal limits, is a common problem in lettuces. Many of these residues, organochlorines, endocrine disrupters, are the ones that are of most concern. Many of the pesticides are illegal.

Where the soil is exhausted, piles of rubbish litter the ground, discarded pesticide containers. In amongst this rubbish live the illegal migrant workers from Senegal and Morocco. This is not the Third World, this is southern Spain, along the coastal strip is to be found the fat, overfed drunken holidaymakers, allegedly having a good time.

The illegal workers in Spain, who pay 1000 each to be smuggled in, are hired by the day. On some days they work, on other days they starve. This is the price we pay for our 'cheap' all-year-round salads.

We are in a pre-Dickensian world, where day labourers sit by the roadside, hoping for a day's work. But this is not Dickensian rural England, this is East Anglia, southern Spain, today in the early 21st century.

Global trade has created the potential for new wealth. But in Europe it is as though we have gone back to the dark days of the early nineteenth century. In the name of a 'flexible workforce', we have effectively thrown away two centuries of reforming legislation. We have bypassed the Factory Acts and employment regulations that were introduced to curb the abuses and excesses of the Industrial Revolution, so that its enormous contribution to the affluence of society as a whole would not be undermined by squalor and suffering.

We have allowed a structure to emerge that allows our shops to be resupplied at short notice by casual labourers picked up from the roadside whatever the hour in the Costa del Sol, or collected from their Dickensian housing in rural England. These workers are at the mercy of pecking orders as brutal as those in the turn-of-the century American docks. We are told this has happened because people want cheap food.

Maybe those few salad leaves at 99p a bag, were not so cheap after all.

At the core of the stranglehold supermarkets have on our food supply is their just-in-time delivery system. They have no storage in their stores, nor, in their depots. This is why we have a cheap casualised labour force, as suppliers have to be able to supply at a drop of a hat, the demand placed on them by the supermarkets.

Safeway, prior to its takeover by Morrisons, had just six depots to supply all of its stores. Its Aylesford depot, built in the 1970s and by no means the latest, is the size of several Wembley Stadiums. Its 120 loading bays can turn around 170 lorries in a night, day in, day out, 365 days of the year. The food and other goods that come in from the suppliers, are off-loaded by an army of men, to be immediately reloaded onto other lorries for outward dispatch to their stores.

The Aylesford depot is by no means the largest. Sainsbury's are replacing smaller depots with ever larger depots. Their Greenham Common depot has 700 lorries going in and out every 24 hours.

This reliance on depots and just-in-time delivery is very vulnerable. Anti-GM protesters, protesting against the use of GM animal feed to Sainsbury's dairy herd, were able to shut down Sainsbury's with a dawn raid on their depots.

It is just-in-time delivery, that has been making life hell for near-neighbour's of Asda in Farnborough with their nighttime and early hours delivery. The local manager bleats he cannot keep his shelves stocked, but that is his problem, not an externalised cost that should be imposed on the rest of society.

35-45% of the lorry traffic on our roads is for food distribution and production. Between 1978 and 2000, the distance food traveled by lorry on UK roads doubled. Asda, Marks and Spencer, and Tesco, increased their lorry fleets by 20% in 2002/3.

The depots for fresh produce are not warehouses almost nothing is held in stock. Instead, millions of boxes of goods are ordered 'just in time' from suppliers and fed in and out of the distribution centres along the motorway network within twelve hours.

Where once depots held a day's supply of fresh produce, now they hold none.

Suppliers receive an order hours before it has to be delivered. The do not know beforehand what a supermarket may want, other than their own guesstimate If there is a shortfall, they somehow have to make good the difference. If the order is low, they are stuck with a surplus. They have to be able to do this day after day, 365 days of the year. If the suppliers fail to deliver, at best they face a hefty financial penalty, at worst, they lose their 'privileged' position as supplier.

Just-in-time delivery has a second vulnerability, oil. It is totally dependent on a scarce commodity from an extremely volatile part of the world. The trucking around the UK, the air-freighting in of 'fresh' produce, the biocides applied to fresh produce, the excess plastic packaging, all is dependent on oil. Oil, the reason we went to war with Iraq. Oil, the reason we continue to occupy Iraq.

During the 1990s, there was a 90% increase in food being shipped between the UK and Europe.

In the economics of the madhouse, aviation fuel is not taxed no excise duty, no VAT making it viable to airfreight 'fresh' food half way around the world. Fresh strawberries in the winter from California, fresh peaches and nectarines from South America. Most of the vegetables we eat are airfreighted from Africa, eg fresh green beans from Kenya.

Twee vegetables tied together with a string of chives shrink-wrapped on a plastic tray in Marks and Spencer: the chives and plastic airfreighted out to Kenya, the vegetables grown in Kenya tied in chives, airfreighted back to the UK. A round trip of 8,500 miles, a bargain at 2-99!

Packaging makes up a quarter of household waste, 70% of it comes from supermarkets.

We have entered a vicious circle. Food miles leads to increase in CO2, which leads to global warming and an unstable climate, which leads to unstable food production.

The hot summer of 2003, led to a record demand for lettuce, which the suppliers had to airfreight from California (at a huge loss to themselves) as heat and drought had decimated UK lettuce production.

Andy Jones, author of the excellent report Eating Oil from Sustain, has calculated that the amount of CO2 released by importing a basket full of 'fresh' fruit and vegetables is equivalent to the amount released by a typical four-bedroom household during eight months of cooking!

It is not just our environment that suffers from excessive food miles, our health does too, and not only from increases in air pollution. The further a 'fresh' food travels, the lower its nutritional content.

We are also travelling further to shop, as superstores have eliminated nearly all the independent food retailers in the ten years from the mid-80s to the mid-90s, up from 14 km per shopping trip to 22km per shopping trip.

Many would like to see a return to shopping at the local shop, assuming any are left, but supermarkets are making this more and more difficult. First they have destroyed local shops. Now, their own logistics, are destroying long established distribution networks. Wholesale markets have been all but wiped out, as there is no one left to supply, making it more and more difficult for those who remain to be supplied.

Tesco have recently notched up the pressure. Instead of agreeing a price for the delivered goods, they are now seeking quotes for factory-gate prices, excluding transport costs. Tesco will then decide whether to use their own fleet of lorries (which are currently underutilised) to collect goods or that of the supplier. If other supermarkets follow the lead set by Tesco, the supermarkets will then have taken over entirely the distribution network, making it near-impossible for anyone else to receive supplies.

Terrorist are hitting the wrong targets. If they were to take out supermarket depots, we would be without food within days. That is how fragile the food distribution system has become in the UK.

During the fuel protests, when farmers and lorry drivers blocked fuel distribution, we came within days of a food shortage, hours of a bread shortage. That is how brittle our just-in-time system has become.

It is now possible to buy freshly baked bread, even fresh baked wholemeal bread, in superstores, and yet somehow it is not like the real thing. It is still little removed from tasteless, sliced plastic white bread. Squash a wholemeal loaf from Sainsbury's as you are trying to cut it, and it remains in its deformed state, you have to pull and tug at it to restore it to some resemblance of its former state, it does not voluntarily bounce back into shape.

What is wrong with supermarket bread? Apart from the name, it seems to have little in common with bread from a traditional baker, one who knows the art of baking bread.

The answer is in the ingredients. Wholemeal bread is flour, water and yeast. Look at the ingredients list for that which is sold in supermarkets. The additives help to hold the bread together, stop it going mouldy, and enable it to hold more water.

Water is cheap. An investigation of factory bread in 1978 found the water content had risen from 36% to 40%. A subsequent investigation in 1986 found it had risen again to 45%.

The other clue is the way bread is made. Traditionally it is kneaded, left to prove (ie rise) then baked. That sold in supermarkets, comes as pre-baked dough, that is re-heated, and those that don't, buy in pre-mixed dough. Many independent bakers, even when they bake on the premises, are following the same bad practices.

Only a tiny fraction of independent bakers bake bread on the premises, made in the traditionally way from flour, yeast and water.

Look on the supermarket shelves and you will only see 2-3 varieties of apples. It is very unlikely that any of the varieties on sale are sourced from the UK, even at the height of the apple season.

There used to be an apple trail that ran through Kent, once the Garden of England. It doesn't run any more as most of the orchards have been grubbed up.

It is not surprising when growers are paid 21p/kg, when they need 32p/kg just to break even.

When you see 3lb of apples for the price of 2lb, it is the grower who throws in the extra pound free. To add insult to injury, he has to pay for the special offer labels too.

Apples are graded according to colour and size. Out on either, if only by 2mm on size, and your apples will be rejected. The rejected apples are waste, the grower, may, if lucky, get a few pence per kilo as animal feed.

To achieve the desired cosmetic perfection, apples have to be regularly sprayed. A typical cox may have been sprayed sixteen times before it reaches the shelf.

English plums fare little better than apples. It is possible, through a range of varieties, to have plums on sale from mid-July to the end of October. The only English plum you are likely to see is Victoria, and even then, not liked by the supermarkets as it lacks the handling qualities of the inedible varieties imported from abroad.

It is not only fruit where there is this terrible waste. A Lincolnshire carrot grower found that of every 30 tonnes of carrots harvested, only ten tonnes makes it onto the supermarket shelves.

This appalling waste is bad enough in a land of plenty, but what of Third World countries who are exporting in the midst of hunger?

Kenya grows green beans for export to the UK. Green beans have to be 95mm long, 5-7.5 mm in diameter, and it goes without saying, the beans have to be straight, as a curved bean would never do. Surprisingly the waste is as little as 35%, some of the rejects make it to local markets or cattle feed, most is just waste.

In 2002, Wal-Mart asked banana suppliers to bid for its worldwide banana contract. Only a handful of global players were in the running. This forced down the retail price of bananas, but also forced down the price paid to growers below production costs.

The price of bananas in Asda fell from 1-08/kg to 81p/kg. For every 1 you spend on bananas in a supermarket, the supermarket gets to keep 40p, the grower receives a mere 10p.

At the new prices (81p/kg), a grower in Costa Rica would receive less than the legal minimum for a box of bananas. At these prices the grower in turn would have to pay his workers less than the legal minimum wage.

Bananas, like bread, are a known value item (KVI), that is shoppers note the price. Very often these loss leaders, like bread, are examples of predatory pricing, used to force the competition out of business. The supermarkets rip us off elsewhere, by pushing up the prices of other goods.

In 2003, coffee reached a 30 year low, not that this was reflected in the retail price of coffee. The reasons were varied: a handful of global players control the world market, speculators, overproduction, dumping of rubbish coffee.

Vietnam was encouraged to go into coffee by the World Bank and IMF. Within ten years, Vietnam came from nowhere to become number two coffee producer to Brazil. Only there was nowhere for this coffee to go, coffee consumption has remained static, there is a world glut in coffee. The situation has been worse by the dumping of shit coffee, chemically adulterated to make it acceptable, the sort of shit coffee you get served in $tarbucks.

Felicity Lawrence travelled to Uganda to see how this slump in world prices was hitting coffee growers. She goes up into the mountains where quality arabica coffee is grown, but even here the growers are not able to maintain a decent price. She found a dilapidated shack, the roof leaking, the grower too poor to be able to afford repairs. An organic grower, but not by choice, as he can no longer afford the inputs. All the workers sacked as he can no longer afford to pay them. His children working in the fields as he can no longer afford school fees. In one corner of the ramshackle shack, two children dying, the father unable to pay for medicines, in another corner the grandfather dying, again for lack of money to pay for medicines.

A 1kg of coffee beans: the grower 14c, the middleman 5c, the miller 5c, 2c for transport, making the price 26c when it reaches the exporters warehouse, the exporter adds a further 19c bringing the price up to 45c, freight, importers margin, brings the price to the roaster at $1-64. Sold in the shops as instant coffee, the retail price will be the equivalent of $26-40, ie a 7,000% increase on what the grower received.

The only good news to come out of Uganda is that growers are defying the government and ripping up coffee bushes to grow food crops.

[for more on coffee see the excellent report by Oxfam, Mugged: Poverty in Your Coffee Cup]

Bananas, coffee, are not the only cash crops farmers can grow. They can always grow other cash crops such as coca plants for the manufacture of cocaine. After all the world is supposed to operate in a free market.

Around the world mangrove swamps are being destroyed for shrimp farms. Local people are being kicked off their lands, often at gun point, to make way for the shrimp farms. Ground water is over-extracted leading to salinisation, offshore waters are polluted. The shrimp farms have a viability of a few years at best, often much less, leaving behind poisoned land.

[for more on shrimps see Tropical Shrimp Farms by Keith Parkins]

On the packet, ready meals look appetising, the description reinforces that view. Cook it, taste it, and the reaction is yuk. Look at the list of ingredients on the back and you begin to see why, salt (close too or exceeding the recommended daily intake of 6g), sugar, fats, modified cornflour starch in various form, and lots and lots of additives. Modified cornflour starch has a number of uses. Apart from being cheap and used to bulk out a product, it can also, for example, be used to mask unpleasant odours and flavours.

The UK government has recently (September 2004) warned the supermarket about the amount of salt in processed foods and that they are not doing enough quick enough to reduce salt levels. Sainsbury's, more concerned at its profits than the health of its customers, took great umbrage at the criticism. [Britons told to cut salt intake, BBC News on-line, 13 September 2004]

Salt does not only appear in ready meals, it appears in all highly processed foods, often where least expected. Take a look at the contents list for breakfast cereals.

Despite their appearance of being 'fresh', ready meals from the chill counter are less fresh than frozen food (and are usually made from frozen ingredients not fresh), of less nutritional value, but cost on average 40% more for the same basic ingredients.

If you think of low-fat yoghurt as a healthy alternative, think again. Not unless you enjoy gums, pectin, and of course modified starch, not counting the chemical flavours and artificial colours. If it is labeled 'strawberry flavour' it means it has been nowhere near a strawberry, 'strawberry flavoured' means it has had a brief whiff of a strawberry, 'strawberry yoghurt' means it contains something that sometime in its life bore some resemblance to a strawberry.

When Andrew Cosslett Managing Director of Cadbury Schweppes for Europe, the Middle East and Africa read the ingredients and did a few calculations he was surprised to discover a pot of low-fat yoghurt contains more calories than a large Crunchie bar! If Andrew Cosslett can be fooled, he thought at the time he was buying a healthy product, what hope is there for mere mortals such as ourselves?

If you have a weight problem, eat less exercise more, not eat crap like low-fat yogurt.

Ready meals, yoghurt, even sandwiches, use the same ready mix list of ingredients: water, salt, sugar, hydrogenated fats (from soya oil, palm oil and rapeseed oil) and modified cornflour starch. They all use these same ready mix ingredients because they are cheap. They are cheap because they are heavily subsidised. The heavy subsidies do not necessarily make farmers rich (though the big farmers do alright out of it), but the subsidies do give food processors and supermarkets cheap raw ingredients, on which they can add value by disguising as something else.

Fat, sugar and starch does not taste too good, so a $20 billion industry is devoted to adulterating our food.

Quality tomato sauce is made with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and not much else. Cheap tomato sauce is made from sugar, modified starch and flavourings and other additives to disguise the lack of tomatoes.

Quality pizza is made from dough of flour, yeast, olive oil, a little salt, and not much else. Cheap pizza is bulked out with sugar, modified starch, corn syrup and additives to mask the adulteration.

Cheese can be a quality product straight from the farm as found on local farmers markets or quality cheese counters, or factory cheese bulked out with vegetable oils, proteins, modified starch, and flavourings to disguise that it is cheap cheese.

Quality sausages can be as found on Hunts Hill Farm stall on local farmers market at Guildford and the surrounding area, or an excuse to package waste from the food industry.

Every wondered why supermarket ham is slimy and is like chewing rubber? Felicity Lawrence explains the tricks of the trade used to convince us we are eating real ham, off the leg of a real pig. It is stomach churning to read, and you will not wish to eat supermarket ham again.

The worst rip-off is coke: sugary water with a flavour added. Hold a can of coke in your hand and the most expensive item is not what's in the can but the can itself.

Does it matter if we are being conned into consuming cheap (cheap that is to the processors) nutrient deficient junk food where the only beneficiaries are the supermarkets and their suppliers?

Poor diet is now on a par with smoking as a major cause of ill-health.

Half the world starves, the other half is overweight. Both suffer from malnutrition.

Malnutrition and obesity are now at such endemic levels in the West that our children are likely to die before their parents.

A survey in the UK carried out in 2001, found obesity had trebled in the period 1980-1998. A more recent survey has shown levels of obesity to have risen still further. A third of all children are now obese, a rise of 50% since 1990!

Children consume thirty times the amount of soft drinks, twenty-fives the amount of confectionery as they did in the 1950s. Consumption of soft drinks has doubled in the last 12 years. School dinners, with rare exceptions, are the same junk as served up by High Street McVomits.

Type 2 diabetes, which only used to occur in adults, is now being found in children.

In the UK, the food industry spends 450 million promoting its rubbish, three-quarters of that budget is aimed at children. Coca-Cola spends 23 million, Walker's Crisps 16.5 million. A survey by Sustain in 2001, found that over half the adverts on children's TV were for food and drink, almost 100% of which was for junk food.

Additives are causing toxic, carcinogenic and allergic reactions.

Processed foods don't just taste bad, they are bad for our health too.

At the beginning of 2003, six supermarket chains in the UK, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Safeway, Morrisons and Sommerfield, controlled three-quarters of the food market. Tesco alone accounted for 25%. By the end of 2004, four supermarket chains, Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons/Safeway, are expected to control three-quarters of the food market. Since acquiring Safeway, Morrisons seems to have lost its way and is rapidly losing market share.

Supermarkets are the gateway. They decide what we will eat, they decide what farmers grow.

It does not have to be.

We can exercise choice. If we do not exercise choice now, whilst we still can, we may find in the future that we have no choice.

Felicity Lawrence recommends that we bear three principles in mind when shopping: local, direct, seasonal.

That is we support local shops, we buy direct from the producer, ie at farmers markets or via vegetable box schemes, and we buy fruit and vegetables that are in season. Wherever possible we buy organic or produced using traditional methods. We buy Fairtrade, but not from supermarkets who exploit a gullible but well-meaning public by adding a hefty premium.

There are a number of statutory provisions that should come into play:

This is a start to redress the balance of power.

Change will come when ordinary people, realizing that our current food system is environmentally, ethically and even biologically unsustainable, exert their buying power and finally say, 'Enough is enough.'

Felicity Lawrence has with Not on the Label done to the globalised food industry, what Naomi Klein did to globalised sweatshops with No Logo. An excellent compliment to Joanna Blythman's expose of the downside of supermarkets in Shopped.

Not on the Label has made me think twice about ever setting foot in a supermarket again, and I do all my shopping wherever possible off local markets, farmers markets and from local independent traders, but I also now think very carefully about what I am eating and where it has come from.

Highly recommended.

Also worth reading

Christine Ahn, Shafted: Free Trade and America's Working Poor, Food First Book, 2003

Joel Bakan, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, Constable, 2004

Joanna Blythman, Shopped: The Shocking Power of British Supermarkets, Fourth Estate, 2004

Andrew Kimbrell (ed), Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture, Island Press, 2002

Naomi Klein, No Logo, Flamingo, 2000

Marion Nestle, Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Diet and Health, U-Cal Press, 2002

Marion Nestle, Safe Food, University of California Press, 2003

Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation, Penguin/Allen Lane, 2001

Books Worth Reading
(c) Keith Parkins 2004 -- November 2004 rev 2