The "thinking man's farmer" offers an informative - and entertaining - look at America's food: what's in it, where it's coming from, and how it gets to the table. His easy-to-implement plan for rebuilding our country starts with the family farm - and learning to eat naturally, shop wisely, and cook healthfully again.
From farmer Joel Salatin's point of view, life in the 21st century just ain't normal. In FOLKS, THIS AIN'T NORMAL, 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 impact.
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 bestselling 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--make FOLKS, THIS AIN'T NORMAL a must-read book.
Joel Salatin is a third generation family farmer working his land in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley with his wife, Teresa, son Daniel, daughter Rachel and their families. The Salatin Polyface Farm, an organic grass-fed farm, services more than 3,000 families, 10 retail outlets and 50 restaurants through on-farm sales and metropolitan buying clubs. Joel Salatin writes extensively in magazines such as Stockman Grass Farmer, Acres USA, and American Agriculture.
Salatin, an experienced farmer notable for cameos in Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and the documentary, Food Inc., contributes a convincing group of essays about the way we fail ourselves and the environment through industrial monoculture farming. Dedicated to producing real food for a local market, much of his written work (he has self-published seven books, including Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal) is concerned with nonsensical government regulations and this book is no exception. Topics range from child-rearing to the importance of herbivores in farming and food cycles; readers will learn more about excrement than they ever cared to know. Perhaps the biggest question threading the collection is one Salatin asks himself: Is this way of living "normal or anachronistic? Most readers will reach mixed conclusions, but likely feel compelled to make a few lifestyle changes following what he preaches--his handy bullet points for action at each chapter's end make it easy to try. Liberals and conservatives alike will find things to love and hate from this self-described "Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic, but that makes this book all the more fun and challenging. (Oct.) Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World Michael Lewis Norton, $25.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-393-08181-7 Essentially an offbeat travelogue, Lewis's latest examines the recent global financial crisis by visiting the locales that have faltered beyond reasonable expectation. Though journalistic, there is a distinctly anthropological approach to vivid depictions of how particular cultural values contributed to such a bizarre, devastating series of events. In his dynamic narrative, Lewis simplifies complex financial systems without condescension, applies a degree of rationality to absurd decisions, and presents key individuals' profiles without denigration. Dark, deadpan humor is injected throughout: Iceland as a nation of fishermen-cum-hedge fund managers with "no idea what they were doing; Greece's "fantastic mess of scandalous monasteries, tax-evasion and top-down corruption; Ireland's busted banks and stratospheric losses debilitating a now "distinctly third world country. Germany is singled-out for its "preternatural love of rules and naiveté regarding the so-called "riskless asset while California tops the list of "America's scariest financial places following their ratings downgrade and piling debts. Easily devoured in one sitting, Lewis (Moneyball) manages to gracefully explain what happened with a unique regard for both the strengths and weaknesses of humankind. (Oct.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.
"Joel Salatin might seem like a vision of our agrarian past, but in fact, he's distinctly modern, looking beyond the conventional toward a new "normal" based on community, ecology, and flavor, too. Salatin's book is as practical as it is reflective; as necessary as it is radical."Dan Barber, Chef/Co-Owner, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns
"Joel Salatin is a down-to-earth 21st century pioneer, one of those rare contrarian thinkers whose words and work have the power to transform the way a generation thinks. 'Folks This Ain't Normal' will help seed the new nature movement and inspire people everywhere -- especially young people in need of some practical hope. And here's the bonus: The book is great fun to read. Sacred cows beware."Richard Louv, author of "The Nature Principle" and "Last Child in the Woods"
"In Folks, This Ain't Normal, Joel Salatin says it's high time we stopped taking our industrialized food system as a given and instead consider local, sustainable food production as the norm. Good plan. Whether or not you agree with his contention that we would be better off if the government got out of food regulation, his ideas are compellingly written, fun to read, and well worth pondering."Marion Nestle, Dept. of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, NYU, and author, Food Politics
"Chances are slim you'll agree with everything in this wonderfully cranky book. But I'm almost certain you'll agree that Joel Salatin has earned the right to his convictions, and that they shine a powerful light on some of the paths out of the predicament we find ourselves in as a world."Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
"Joel...is one of the most creative, productive and sustainable farmers working in America today...His message is that we eaters can change the world, one meal at a time."Michael Pollan, in the introduction to Holy Cows and Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer's Guide to Farm Friendly Food
Have a question about this product? Ask us here.