Tag Archives: The Meat Racket



The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America’s Food Business
Author: Christopher Leonard
Publisher: Simon and Shuster
Genre: nonfiction
370 pages
Source: Personal copy

One word describes this book: fascinating. It reads like a good mystery. Yes, I’m interested in farming in America. Yes, I am shocked at the Tyson tactics and those of other giant food companies. Yes, I found the story of the Tyson family spell-binding. But, who would have thought that chicken sheds and farm politics could keep a reader going. The Meat Racket is a real page-turner.

Following the rising jaggernaut of Tyson Foods gives the reader an inside look at the American Food business. This author is a national agribusiness reporter whose reporting skills are top-notch. He turns the story inside-out. He is an excellent writer who draws a human face on every aspect of the situation. When you finish this book you will know more information about Tyson Foods than you thought possible. It’s bigger and more far reaching than you might think. It’s more than chicken, more than Arkansas. It is both triumph and tradgedy.

If you believe you should care about how the food you eat is manufactured, if you believe in fairness, if you want safe food, or if you want cheap food, you need to read this book. If you want a good quality steak, if you care about the farmers who produce the food you eat, if you care about the workers in food factories, or if you don’t, this book has much to say to you. It is carefully researched and documented. It is totally readable. It will inform the decisions you make about the food you buy and eat.

I admired many things about John Tyson and his son Don, laser focus and hard work to name two. I found their story most interesting. They created something huge out of meager resources. I learned about the high cost of cheap food. And, I’ll admit this book made me wish Teddy Roosevelt would come back to life and wield his big stick against big food business.

I urge you to read this book. We are waiting for your comments.