The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business

The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business

by Christopher Leonard


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

How much do you know about the meat on your dinner plate? Journalist Christopher Leonard spent more than a decade covering the country’s biggest meat companies, including four years as the national agribusiness reporter for the Associated Press. Now he delivers the first comprehensive look inside the industrial meat system, exposing how a handful of companies executed an audacious corporate takeover of the nation’s meat supply.

Leonard’s revealing account shines a light on the inner workings of Tyson Foods, a pioneer of the industrial system that dominates the market. You’ll learn how the food industry got to where it is today, and how companies like Tyson have escaped the scrutiny they deserve. You’ll discover how these companies are able to raise meat prices for consumers while pushing down the price they pay to farmers. And you’ll even see how big business and politics have derailed efforts to change the system, from a years-long legal fight in Iowa to the Obama administration’s recent failed attempt to pass reforms.

Important, timely, and explosive, The Meat Racket is an unvarnished portrait of the food industry that now dominates America’s heartland.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451645835
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 02/24/2015
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 468,862
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Christopher Leonard is a business reporter whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and Bloomberg Businessweek. He is the critically acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller Kochland, which won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award, and The Meat Racket.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Hidden King 1

Part 1 "Things are Born. Things Die."

1 How Jerry Yandell Lost the Farm (2003-2004) 17

2 The Eden Crash (1929-1958) 47

3 Expand or Expire (1960-1967) 63

4 The Industrial Animal (1970-1995) 91

5 Cage Match (2004-2012) 113

Part 2 The Great Chickenization

6 Pig Cities (1973-1994) 149

7 The Next Generation (1995-2006) 159

8 Squeal (1996-2011) 183

9 Pulling the Noose (2011) 207

10 The Food Dictatorship (1994-2006) 229

Part 3 Tyson's Pride

11 The Transition Team (2007-2011) 261

12 Street Fight (2010-2011) 279

13 Don's Horizon (2011-2012) 305

Acknowledgments 321

Notes 325

Index 353

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The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honest and good research behind this book and thoughtfully written.  It's important for everyone to understand how an oligarchy or monopoly like we see in the meat industry can be damaging and open to abusive practices.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly researched and easy to read