When it comes to food, I think that the great books are the ones that don’t try to achieve some kind of moral clarity. The production, distribution, and consumption of food are too interconnected with the rest of the world for there to be any easy villains or simple solutions.
I think The Secret Life of Groceries accomplishes this admirably. Lorr tells great stories about Joe (of Trader Joes) and about Whole Foods and an upstart condiment brand, and he paints likeable, entertaining pictures of the people involved, and connects some of the parts of the food system. This book connected in my head to Big Team Farms, another food-related book that I really enjoyed.
It’s a really solid read. I use the audiobook, which is read by the author, and was really impressed by his performance there, too.
Thanks to David Infante for the recommendation!