Biting the Hands that Feed Us

How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable

  • Baylen J. Linnekin

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Baylen J. Linnekin
    Pages 1-13
  3. Baylen J. Linnekin
    Pages 15-61
  4. Baylen J. Linnekin
    Pages 107-143
  5. Baylen J. Linnekin
    Pages 145-174
  6. Baylen J. Linnekin
    Pages 175-187
  7. Baylen J. Linnekin
    Pages 189-200
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 201-257

About this book


Food waste, hunger, inhumane livestock conditions, disappearing fish stocks—these are exactly the kind of issues we expect food regulations to combat. Yet, today in the United States, laws exist at all levels of government that actually make these problems worse. The author argues that, too often, government rules handcuff America’s most sustainable farmers, producers, sellers, and consumers, while rewarding those whose practices are anything but sustainable.
This volume introduces readers to the perverse consequences of many food rules. Some of these rules constrain the sale of “ugly” fruits and vegetables, relegating bushels of tasty but misshapen carrots and strawberries to food waste. Other rules have threatened to treat manure—the lifeblood of organic fertilization—as a toxin. Still other rules prevent sharing food with the homeless and others in need. There are even rules that prohibit people from growing fruits and vegetables in their own yards.

The author also explores what makes for a good food law—often, he explains, these emphasize good outcomes rather than rigid processes. But he urges readers to be wary of efforts to regulate our way to a greener food system, calling instead for empowerment of those working to feed us—and themselves—sustainably. 


food laws and regulations food safety FSMA Good Samaritan laws USDA

Authors and affiliations

  • Baylen J. Linnekin
    • 1
  1. 1.BethesdaUSA

Bibliographic information