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Where Am I Eating an Adventure Through the Global Food Economyby Kelsey Timmerman
Synopses & Reviews
The local food movement is growing, but not as fast as the global food movement. The United States now imports twice as much food as it did a decade ago. What does this reliance on imported food mean for us, and for the people around the globe who produce our food?
Kelsey Timmerman, author of the acclaimed Where Am I Wearing?, decided to find out. He traveled around the world on a quest to meet and work alongside the farmers and fishermen who feed us.
He followed his Starbucks coffee to Colombia where he met farmers Starbucks didn't want him to meet, loaded lobster boats in Nicaragua for divers who have the world's deadliest job, discovered that slavery is alive and well in the cocoa industry of the Ivory Coast, shouldered loads of bananas with Costa Rican workers who longed for the good ol' days of banana farming, met apple farmers in Michigan fighting against a changing climate and the global economy, and apple farmers in China who were thrilled to have cornered the apple juice market.
In Where Am I Eating?, Timmerman explores the global food economy and the issues surrounding it—including workers' and human rights, rural poverty, the loss of cultural and bio-diversity, climate change, and fair trade—through the lives of the workers he met along the way. Timmerman argues neither for nor against the globalization of food, but personalizes the issue by observing the hope and opportunity, and the lack of both, which the global food economy gives to the world's poorest producers. Before you scoop your next batch of coffee into your French press, indulge in a mid-afternoon chocolate bar, or slice a banana, discover how each of your small choices has shaped the lives of a worker thousands of miles away.
Praise for Where Am I Eating?
"Where Am I Eating is a candid travelogue describing one of the noblest, and most imperative, culinary adventures of our time. With remarkable curiosity and compassion, Kelsey gives voice to the millions of people who produce the food we eat every day. By uncovering the realities of our global food economy, he empowers readers to turn the trade of essential commodities into a powerful lever for poverty alleviation and social change. You will never look at a bar of chocolate or a cup of coffee the same way again."
—PAUL RICE, President & CEO, Fair Trade USA
"In an ideal world, all of us would travel to the factories and farms where our food is produced and grown. Barring that, Kelsey Timmerman's eco-culinary adventure provides a comprehensive, scenic, and enlightening look into the real costs and hidden consequences of filling our fridges."
—Dan Koeppel, author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World
Bridges the gap between global farmers and fishermen and American consumers
America now imports twice as much food as it did a decade ago. What does this increased reliance on imported food mean for the people around the globe who produce our food? Kelsey Timmerman set out on a global quest to meet the farmers and fisherman who grow and catch our food, and also worked alongside them: loading lobster boats in Nicaragua, splitting cocoa beans with a machete in Ivory Coast, and hauling tomatoes in Ohio. Where Am I Eating? tells fascinating stories of the farmers and fishermen around the world who produce the food we eat, explaining what their lives are like and how our habits affect them.
This book shows how what we eat affects the lives of the people who produce our food. Through compelling stories, explores the global food economy including workers rights, the global food crisis, fair trade, and immigration.
Where Am I Eating? does not argue for or against the globalization of food, but personalizes it by observing the hope and opportunity, and sometimes the lack thereof, which the global food economy gives to the world's poorest producers.
About the Author
KELSEY TIMMERMAN is a full-time speaker and writer and has spoken at more than seventy colleges and high schools about his first book, Where Am I Wearing?: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes. He has written for the Christian Science Monitor and has been interviewed by media outlets around the world, including U.S. News & World Report, LA Weekly, News Talk Radio (Ireland), the Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia), NPR's Talk of the Nation, FoxNews Radio, and the World Vision Report. Kelsey lives in Muncie, Indiana, with his wife and two children.
Table of Contents
Part I Coffee: Product of Colombia 1
Chapter 1 The Starbucks Experience 3
Chapter 2 The Grande Gringo Picks Coffee 20
Chapter 3 The Cup of Excellence 30
Chapter 4 The Heart of the World 44
Part II Chocolate: Product of West Africa 61
Chapter 5 Solo Man 63
Chapter 6 Slavery and Freedom 91
Chapter 7 Is It Peace? 109
Part III Banana: Product of Costa Rica 121
Chapter 8 The Banana Worker’s Commute 123
Chapter 9 Banana Worker for the Day 132
Chapter 10 Nowhere to Go But Bananas 153
Part IV Lobster: Product of Nicaragua 165
Chapter 11 Life, Death, and Lobster 167
Chapter 12 The Lobster Trap 184
Chapter 13 The Future of Fish 190
Part V Apple Juice: Product of Michigan China 195
Chapter 14 No Apples 197
Chapter 15 Mr. Feng’s Apple Empire 214
Chapter 16 As American as Apple Juice Concentrate from China 225
Part VI My Life: Product of USA 235
Chapter 17 Food as Faith 237
Chapter 18 Farmers No More 242
Chapter 19 Imagined Futures 252
Chapter 20 Decisions About Man and Land 257
Appendix A A Guide to Ethical Labels 269
Appendix B The Journey Continues 275
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