Barons: Money, Power, and the Corruption of America's Food Industry

By Austin Frerick

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Amazon   |   Island Press 

Barons: Money, Power, and the Corruption of America's Food Industry by Austin Frerick | An Island Press book

“In this eye-opening debut study, Frerick, an agricultural policy fellow at Yale University, reveals the ill-gained stranglehold that a handful of companies have on America’s food economy…It’s a disquieting critique of private monopolization of public necessities.”  - Publishers Weekly, starred

Barons is the story of seven titans of the food industry, their rise to power, and the consequences for workers, eaters, and democracy itself. Readers will meet a secretive German family that took over the global coffee industry in less than a decade, relying on wealth traced back to the Nazis to gobble up countless independent roasters. They will visit the Disneyland of agriculture, where school children ride trams through mechanized warehouses filled with tens of thousands of cows that never see the light of day. And they will learn that in the food business, crime really does pay—especially when you can bribe and then double-cross the president of Brazil. Barons paints a stark portrait of corporate consolidation, but it also shows that a fair, healthy, and prosperous food industry is possible—if we take back power from the barons who have robbed us of it.

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