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Throughout his essays, Berry compares the costs of production of a conventional farm to one that is highly independent of outside resources, relying instead on the cheap labor of animals for energy, fertilizer, natural pest control, etc., and attributes their success to this self-reliance.
In the last part of the book which focuses on food, Berry incorporates numerous excerpts from fictional pieces he has written which involve the act of eating, the community that is built around eating, and the art of cooking itself.
In my opinion, the gem in this book is the very last essay entitled “The Pleasures of Eating,” in which Berry responds to the inevitable question that follows his lectures on the decline of rural America and traditional farming practices—What can city people do? The typical answer to this question is to eat responsibly, and Berry dedicates the essay to a more in-depth consideration of what this truly entails.
Get the book: Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food