New York Times Book Review (March 14, 2021 by Ted Genoways): Mark Bittman Book: Animal, Vegetable, Junk
After reading a review written by Ted Genoways, Professor Cornwell is interest in locating and reading this book, Animal, Vegetable, Jun: From Sustainable to Suicidal. It contains a “sweeping history of our sources of food, tracking the shift from agriculture to agribusiness.” It will be interesting to understand the path for the future, as Bittman sees it, as we move forward with the nominee for the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture nominee, Tom Vilsack.
What caught Cornwell’s attention was the discussion about how agribusiness has hurt farming and agriculture in smaller rural areas. The reference was to “ranches,” which can be compared to large or factory farms. It is understood that such farms in “rural areas” have been hurt. Professor Cornwell then asks, what about non-factory farms in rural areas such as Upstate New York? Cornwell has always spoken up about the destruction of small business, the backbone of America as it developed, with big corporate “boxes” created by “free market” methods with which Cornwell has no stomach. It has been written that “free markets” are good for some who pick themselves up from nothing and become huge corporations in the process, only to then destroy the “free markets.” This idea can be considered analogous to another an issue discussed in another book review in this edition of the New York Times (“Pilgrim Law,” by Frances J. Bremer in a review of Tobey Pearl’s book, Terror to the Wicked: America’s First Trial by Jury That Ended a War and Helped to Form a Nation). This would be idea that religious organizations which have seen discrimination against their own people but then they become the “discriminators.” Same thing with “free market” advocates like Libertarians and anarchists as big corporations are developed into monopoly-style businesses and then work, like Roman gladiators, to destroy the competition. Religious groups work to destroy the competition, the same as Roman gladiators did to Christians and others in the arenas of Ancient Rome. Dictatorship.
To justify this sense of being “unchecked corporatization” and “laissez-faire economics,” The discussion centers on the “delineation” between this activity in America to what Joseph Stalin did to agriculture in the former Soviet Union. Professor Cornwell has been discussing facts that there IS no delineation between centralized economics of big corporate monopolized industries of ANY kind, to what the big communes of the former Soviet Union. Both are based on supply side economics with no concern for the demand side, which is truly a major part of capitalism and capitalist competition which can be controlled by regulatory practices from a third party: the government. Otherwise, we end up with the supply side of the economic picture regulating itself, similar to a government which controls the supply side by removing corporate businesses completely. Both are dictatorial and in the case of the USA, there is too much influence by the big corporate giants and the 1% of those who own the resources, of our government by way of PACs and lobbyists. Does this type of lobbyist and PAC influence exist in Senator Bernie Sanders’s home state of Vermont? Do not big corporations exist in Vermont only in more densely populated areas of the state, thus helping to make the small businesses more like King David, the underdog, when fighting the big Goliath of the industries?
New York state and other states, too, lose out (perhaps Vermont, too?), due to the hills. Such states were once the largest producers of agricultural goods in the USA. Between Prohibition and the development of factory farms, New York is one state which has been hurt. After all, with soil in hilly areas, big factory farm equipment is unusable. Cornwell’s late father mentioned this when asked why there are no factory farms in New York. Was he correct?
In the hills of Pennsylvania, the observation which could be made is that its industry was the coal industry. Now, without the coal industry, what about factory farms on the hills of Pennsylvania? One could say that Upstate New York and Pennsylvania, with the hills, are hurt by the factory farms.
What was not mentioned in this review of a book was the impact of the fast food industry on the increased obesity and rates of type II diabetes in America. Certainly, America as the breadbasket of the world is one of honor for America. However, in documentaries discussing the low cost of fast foods, those who are low income have turned to the fast foods. In America, which parts of the population generally fall more into the “lower classes?” According to documentaries about the increase of diabetes, which groups of Americans have seen an increase in diabetes to a great extent?
Into the picture comes big pharma. We are delighted at the great role America takes with big pharma, yet we ignore the fact that lower class people are usually those who suffer from larger unemployment or work at jobs which do not provide healthcare insurance (as was done to America by lousy, lousy, lousy former Governor Rick Scott of Florida, now a lousy, lousy, lousy U.S. Senator and the goons who are attempting to destroy Obamacare, designed to help stimulate CAPITALIST COMPETITION, not SOCIALISM, as the liars who wish to destroy it make a lousy false claim. Professor Cornwell is angered by this attitude and its strong influence with money, over people of America.
Yes, there is a wonderful thing for lower cost fast foods. But how much fast food can one eat and then purchase trade name meds at ripoff prices. Fast food and this food industry today, with many of its retailers, do little or nothing to provide foods which are better for diabetics. Yes. “We have the bananas,” but the foods which are highlighted are GF or gluten free. All for those types of diets. Fact. Cornwell’s mother and maternal grandmother rarely ate fast foods. The diabetes developed later in life. Go ahead, twist it all around because of not being comfortable if there might be some truth to this and the truth hurts.
Thanks so much for big fat corporate conglomerate agribusiness and the fast food industry. The fast food industry like McDonald’s, was run by vicious people like Ray Kroc who worked diligently to locate new restaurants in places where there were nearby “mom and pop” restaurants. They grabbed at the “instant gratification” movement. Being blamed for this “reality” today is the development of fast food businesses, due to females of the 1960s who wanted to get out of the kitchen and go work in jobs. Oh, really? What a sad thing to consider. Perhaps it was the big corporate misogynists who just found a way to take advantage of this situation and then work for “anything goes” ideas resulting in sexual harassment?
The bumper sticker was, “Women belong in the House [of Representatives], not the kitchen.” With many female Democrats going to the “House,” Trump and his misogynist friends don’t like that. In fact, he gropes women and gets away with it, along with all the other crap for which he gets acquitted.
Today, McDonald’s wishes to replace employees with robots. Wonderful. And how is this move going to justify what happens to the supply siders in their thrust for dictatorship in America. Then we have people out of work and turning to drugs, then beef up law and order because “idle hands is the devil’s playground.”
Reading the book might help clear up anything, should there be a misunderstanding here. Do we await the availability in Upstate New York libraries or purchase one? Is there a library which rents all the newest books and checks them out to patrons? Hmmmm… That would be nice.
Folks can be thankful for the reviews in the New York Times. Folks can stay abreast of the latest books and that works, too.