A Brief Look at 2 New Books on the Farm Bill and Changing Agriculture

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Daniel Imhoff's 'Food Fight' provides a better explanation of the Farm Bill, which Congress is currently fussing with, than anyone else.

Joshua Lott/Reuters

It's spring and the books about food and farms are flooding in. I'll start with these.

Daniel Imhoff, Food Fight: The Citizen's Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill, Watershed Media, 2012

Michael Pollan and Fred Kirschnmann introduce this new, gorgeously illustrated edition of Imhoff's lucid explanation of the farm bill and the vast number of issues it covers. I'm not aware of anything else that comes close to explaining this most obscure and obfuscated piece of legislation. Congress is fussing with the bill right now. If you want to understand what your elected officials are fussing about, start here. I will use this book in my New York University classes and will borrow the stunning illustrations for talks.

Jim VanDerPol, Conversations With the Land, No Bull Press, 2012

This is a book of personal reflections on farms, farming, and farmers. VanDerPol talks about the weather, people, and communities, and better ways to produce food and to live. From his base in Minnesota, he gives his thoughts about the way agriculture has changed and what can be done to make it better.

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This post originally appeared on Food Politics, an Atlantic partner site.

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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