Book Reviews

Book review: Food, Sex and Salmonella.

The author, a veterinarian by training, tells it like it is. Food, Sex, and Salmonella is a book every professional cook, homemaker, and culinary student must read to understand how “modern” food is produced, “inspected”, distributed, and the politics in all the steps before it finally ends up in kitchens.

The book is full of facts, science, and diseases caused by contaminated foods. It may save the lives of your family or yours and help professionals understand the implications of poor handling of raw or cooked food.

As a consumer you will be well equipped to make reasoned decisions about your food choices, what to avoid, and what type for restaurants to frequent in your home town or while traveling.

This book is all the more timely that unprecedented amount6s of food already on retailers’ shelves have been recalled and continue to be recalled in North America.

The good doctor explains how “factory produced” chicken, pork, and unnaturally fed cattle become contaminated. Unscrupulous huge-volume slaughterhouses also contribute occasionally to already questionable practices by some farmers.

“Eating is one of the great sensual pleasures of life. It is that fuzzy sense of mystical at-oneness with the world meets, and celebrates hard biological necessity. When we eat we are, quite literally, turning the world outside in.” writes Dr. Walter-Toews, and it is here that all sins knowingly or out-of-ignorance start creating havoc with one person or hundreds.

In most industrialized western countries significant amounts of foods are imported, and occasionally contaminated foods enter the food chain creating unforeseen tragedies. Agencies in charge of checking all the foodstuffs entering the fast-paced distribution network cannot keep track of everything. More importantly, much of the imported food is relatively safer; North American food production occurs in assembly line fashion with little regard to safety and flavour. Much of this is due to reduce production costs and keep prices low. The author addresses all these problems and more by scientifically explaining causes, embellishing them with real life stories and all these with unequalled humour.

In short, this is a book to keep on your bookshelf after reading it thoroughly, keep referring to it from time to time.

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