The Meat Racket

The Meat Racket

The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business

Book - 2014
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Baker & Taylor
A former AP national agribusiness reporter critically assesses the corporate meat industry as demonstrated by the practices of Tyson Foods, documenting the meat supply's takeover by a few powerful companies who the author argues are raising prices and outmaneuvering reforms.

& Taylor

A former agribusiness reporter critically assesses the corporate meat industry as demonstrated by the practices of Tyson Foods, documenting the meat supply's takeover by a few powerful companies who are raising prices and outmaneuvering reforms.

Simon and Schuster
An investigative journalist takes you inside the corporate meat industry—a shocking, in-depth report every American should read.

The biggest takeover in American business that you’ve n ever heard of

The American supermarket seems to represent the best in America: abundance, freedom, choice. But that turns out to be an illusion. The rotisserie chicken, the pepperoni, the cordon bleu, the frozen pot pie, and the bacon virtually all come from four companies.

In The Meat Racket, investigative reporter Christopher Leonard delivers the first-ever account of how a handful of companies have seized the nation’s meat supply. He shows how they built a system that puts farmers on the edge of bankruptcy, charges high prices to consumers, and returns the industry to the shape it had in the 1900s before the meat monopolists were broken up. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the greatest capitalist country in the world has an oligarchy controlling much of the food we eat and a high-tech sharecropping system to make that possible.

Forty years ago, more than thirty-six companies produced half of all the chicken Americans ate. Now there are only three that make that amount, and they control every aspect of the process, from the egg to the chicken to the chicken nugget. These companies are even able to raise meat prices for consumers while pushing down the price they pay to farmers. And tragically, big business and politics have derailed efforts to change the system.

We know that it takes big companies to bring meat to the American table. What The Meat Racket shows is that this industrial system is rigged against all of us. In that sense, Leonard has exposed our heartland’s biggest scandal.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2014
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781451645811
Branch Call Number: 338.476649 L5522m 2014
Characteristics: p. cm


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Sep 10, 2015

Excellent muckraking in the vein of Sinclair Lewis and Robert Sherrill. About the time you think Tyson can't get any more devious or underhanded, he does. Fascinating and infuriating. Five stars.

Sep 03, 2014

I found this book to be excellent in exposing TYSON & other similar poultry & meat companies regarding their monopoly in this industry. It seemed like Don Tyson's entire life was devoted to being the giant in this business & he did not care what he was doing to small farmers. He took pride in being the dictator to small operations concerning payment for poultry, wages & putting them out of their livelihood. Unfortunately, it seems that his vision is still being carried forth by the current management & their narcissism & greed are their primary focus.

Mark_Daly May 23, 2014

Leonard concisely sketches the brutal economic forces that leave chicken and hog farmers near bankruptcy and cattle ranchers struggling while Tyson Foods reaps record profits. There's a quiet outrage fueling this book, but Leonard is a reporter, not a polemicist. He allows the discomforting facts to speak for themselves.


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