Don’t assume from the title that this is an anti-meat book. Katy Keiffer wrote What’s the Matter with Meat? in a straightforward, investigative manner. An omnivore herself, she isn’t preaching at you to stop eating meat, but rather encouraging readers to be informed consumers and citizens, whether they are carnivorous or not.
Meat consumption is a contentious issue for a myriad of reasons: health, animal welfare, antibiotic resistance, food safety, environmental impact, workers’ rights, and more – Katy Keiffer does an excellent job of addressing all of these. Beginning with a brief examination of the evolution of industrialized meat production, Keiffer then organizes key issues into the subsequent chapters of What’s the Matter with Meat?
Keiffer does an excellent job of weaving into her chapters a mix of the numbers, facts, incidents, and assaults to human rights that lurk behind the industrialization of the meat industry. From food fraud incidents (like the horsemeat scandal in the EU) to the use of poultry litter as a supplement in cattle feed, Keiffer succeeds in combining a huge array of topics into a cohesive book. One vital issue she addressed that often isn’t considered in discussions of the meat industry is that of land grabs and trade deals which – though they occur between governments and major players in industry – can affect ordinary individuals in the associated countries in devastating ways.
Civil Eats proclaimed What’s the Matter with Meat? one of their favorite food books of 2017, and for good reason. To be an educated consumer and make wise choices for our health, our planet, and our communities, we should also be informed. So pick up this book and get ready to take notes – and while you’re at it, check out Katy Keiffer’s fantastic podcast, What Doesn’t Kill You, on Heritage Radio Network for more food for thought!