From farmer Joel Salatin's point of view, life in the 21st century just ain't normal. Here, he discusses how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love. Salatin has many thoughts on what normal is and shares practical and philosophical ideas for changing our lives in small ways that have big impacts.
>Salatin, hailed by the New York Times as "Virginia's most multifaceted agrarian since Thomas Jefferson [and] the high priest of the pasture", and profiled in the Academy Award-nominated documentary Food, Inc. and the best-selling book The Omnivore's Dilemma, understands what food should be: wholesome, seasonal, raised naturally, procured locally, prepared lovingly, and eaten with a profound reverence for the circle of life.
And his message doesn't stop there. From child-rearing to creating quality family time, to respecting the environment, Salatin writes with a wicked sense of humor and true storyteller's knack for the revealing anecdote.
Salatin's crucial message and distinctive voice - practical, provocative, scientific, and down-home philosophical in equal measure - makes Folks, This Ain't Normal a must-listen book.
©2011 Joel Salatin (P)2011 Hachette
I downloaded this because I recognized the author from one of Michael Pollan's books (I don't remember which one, I have several). The narration took some getting used to, but it adds character (and wonderful sarcasm) that a 3rd party might not have been able to produce. As I noted, it tends to get a little preachy, but the book is basically an argument for change, so you can't really hold that against the author. All in all, it was interesting and informative. I love the action plans given at the end of major topics.
Chock full of information, new ways of looking at things, and solid reasoning for why our approach to food should change. Granted, not all of his suggestions are practical across the board, but even making one or two small changes can help our health, our environment, and our economy. As I read some of the descriptions of the book/author, I was initially concerned that there might be a preponderance of religion here, but I am happy to say that Salatin's beliefs do guide his thinking but they do not cloud his message. It is very easy to filter through and still retain the meat of the message, regardless of your own religious beliefs.
Author's reading style matches well with his prose, so much so that I have a very hard time imagining what this book would have been like if it had been read by anyone but the author. His voice and his words are entertaining and genuine.
He really made me wish my HOA would allow kitchen chickens!
I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 8 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile and also read a great deal.i play chess,cook,love world music and embrace the outdoors at every opportunity.My favorite listens have all been adventure driven,but I can also appreciate stuff related to science,business and even fiction.
I now know that most of the food I am consuming is not biological,but chemical.In America in particular we are not free to eat what we want.In fact,we are limited to choices that are government regulated and supported only.We are not so free after all.Many of these food jobs we could have in America have been so over regulated that now the food we should be able to get locally probably is grown in a foreign country and shipped via cheap oil.As long as oil is cheap,food will be cheap.The government has kept the prices unusually low,but slowly they are modifying what we eat with chemicals to make the products last longer,and travel over greater distances.I wanted to learn something about nature and instead came away with the disturbed feeling that the food we eat isn't always really food,but some kind of sanitized,and irradiated mess packaged up in brightly colored packages to make us happy.Grow your own vegetables,if you have the space get some chickens and feed them your kitchen wastes.They are just like us and eat a variety of things.They will reward you with eggs 9 months out of the year.
This is easy to listen to, and it opens the conversation on many issues that we, as a nation, need to consider. We are under a frightening number of restrictions on what we are allowed to buy, sell, or eat, and that needs to be changed.
The author argues from the point of view of a small farmer and shows how things are organized in favor of the "big guys" who probably don't have our best interests at heart. It's really eye-opening.
There are a few areas where I really wanted someone to debate him, to see all sides of certain issues, but this book is a good place to start to study the problem of getting good, healthy food in a way that is also good for the planet.
Salatin makes a persuasively argued case for local, non-industrial food production and consumption -- a vision we need to adopt pronto, as our current system is unsustainable. A particular treat is hearing Salatin read his own work -- filled with energy and good humor, as well as passion. Every time I listened, I was inspired and energized.
I'm not sure anyone other than Joel would have done justice to this book. Its very easy to get past the Christianity and the other tendencies towards right-wing - he does tell you his belief system up front - and pick out the real innovative, interesting and informative elements in this story. His indignation with bureaucracy really comes through and it led me to investigate what the story was here in New Zealand. To some degree, he is preaching to the converted in me as a listener, which helps my high rating but I was surprised at just how much I learnt from the audio book. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Michael Pollan's books or Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, MIracle and I'd recommend watching his talk at the GooglePlex on YouTube as well.
... it is jolting - and confirming that we have drank the purple juice of comfort and convenience in America. I have! Therefore, I have determined to make a few steps in the right direction:
(1) have my wife read it so we are on the same page with information and knowledge base
(2) encourage my colleagues to read it
(3) encourage my closest three neighbors to read it (we have a commitment to help each other as 'good neighbors' and practice that with lending, sharing of produce, etc.)
(4) and make a plan to be more community-sufficient and more self-responsible for my family and community
I hope you will take Labor Day or your late Summer vacation to ponder this work :)
This audio book was fantastic!! I've always considered myself to be an educated consumer but Wow folks, I never knew just how food ignorant I really was. This book has launched me into a new arena of knowledge and I am thankful for it!! This is a MUST read/listen book for all- no exceptions!!!
Love the information. Salatin gets right to the heart-of-the matter. The same industries that tell us that high fructose corn syrup and corn feed beef are safe spent the years 1945 - 1975 convincing us that infant formula was healthier than breast milk; all because these huge companies could sell formula and they make nothing when women use breast milk. .
After owning a couple of Joel's other books, I was very happy to see him finally offering a reading of his new work. You can hear the passion in his voice and feel the deep belief in the messages he is relaying about our food, government and state of family life in America. He is an excellent speaker and his narration is superb.
I found the book's message very moving and at the end when Joel's voice was actually breaking with emotion talking about his farm and family, I also had tears in my eyes. As one who feels the same love for his farm and lifestyle it really struck a chord. The message is powerful and the logic is as sane as it gets.
I highly recommend this book. In fact, I can't recommend it enough. Download it and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. It might just change your perspective on life. It reaffirmed mine.
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