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Publisher's Summary

On the production line in American packinghouses, there is one cardinal rule: the chain never slows. Under pressure to increase supply, the supervisors of meat-processing plants have routinely accelerated the pace of conveyors, leading to inhumane conditions, increased accidents, and food of questionable and often dangerous quality.

In The Chain, acclaimed journalist Ted Genoways uses the story of Hormel Foods and its most famous product, Spam, to probe the state of the meatpacking industry. Interviewing scores of line workers, union leaders, hog farmers, and local politicians and activists, Genoways reveals an industry pushed to its breaking point. Along the way, he exposes alarming new trends: sick or permanently disabled workers, abused animals, water and soil pollution, and mounting conflict between small towns and immigrant labor.

©2014 Ted Genoways (P)2014 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"An exhaustive examination of this industry. . . . [Listeners] curious about meatpacking and agriculture as well as the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the food industry will find Genoways's nonfiction debut a valuable and stimulating read." ( Library Journal )

What listeners say about The Chain

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Great Writing, Performance and Content

Years from now people will look back on meat production in much the same way as we now look upon the idea of slavery. It immortal and grotesque.

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informative

Very educational, it will teach you a lot of history on why things are the way they are. It does have a leaning towards one particular side of the issues it addresses. However, it seems that those involved with the other side of some of these issues were simply unwilling to be interviewed. It is still a very good read.

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Good and informative but not easy

This was enjoyable to me. My wife couldn't listen to the talk of the packing plants.