Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating
By Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall, a renowned scientist of primatology, ethology, and anthropology, began her studies when she ventured to Africa to work for Dr. Louis Leakey in 1957. From there Goodall earned her PhD at Cambridge University in 1965. She continued her studies, focusing especially on the study of chimpanzees; hence Goodall's nickname "the chimpanzee lady." In 1977, she established the Jane Goodall Institute to educate young people about conserving chimpanzees and all the other animals of this planet.
Most of Goodall's books focus on her progressing studies, however, in Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating, she discusses another issue focusing on human consumption. Goodall begins her book by touching on the roots of early agriculture, including national dishes from many different cultures and traditions. Then, she dives into modern agribusiness, a new lifestyle where commonsense farming has become more and more rare, especially in the United States. She discusses how mass consumption has developed from the idea of a monoculture, where farmers plant acres of the same crop. This creates a problem because if that one crop fails to grow, then the farmer has no other crop to rely on for profit, causing the farmer to use chemical pesticides. Insects developing resistance towards these pesticides led to the idea of genetically modifying crops so that they develop their own "natural" pesticide. Nonetheless, all of these techniques are poisoning our foods and our environment. The issue is rapidly destroying all farms mainly because GMO's spread easily through pollination and are difficult to kill.
Furthermore, Goodall addresses the issue of animal rights, going into detail of animal treatment and cleanliness of animal factories. For example, battery farms, or sheds filled with hundreds of cages crammed together, contain up to 70,000 caged birds. The farmers will trim their beaks to prevent them from pecking at one another. Their claws are also sometimes trimmed at the end of their toes, keeping them from growing again. Farmers are not gentle when trimming the beaks or claws of the birds, inflicting much pain on the animal. Farmers use methods such as shocking the birds through starvation and reversing the cycle of light and dark to control their egg laying. After a few weeks of laying eggs, the bird is of no more used, other than chicken soup. The male birds are considered useless and are thrown in plastics bags to suffocate. Goodall continues to describe the treatment of other farm animals, which are treated just as badly, or even worse, than what is described of the birds.
Goodall goes into the issue of bacteria, viruses, hormones, and antibiotics in animal products. Just to give an example of one of the issues, hormones have created great health hazards in our milk. The Bovine Growth Hormones are fed to cows in order to fatten them rapidly, leading to udder infections. These udder...