Offers Galore as We're Exactly One Month from Publication of My Book!

I'm thrilled to let you know that my book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable, will be published exactly one month from today!

To celebrate the book's September 15 publication, Island Press, my publisher, is now offering discounted sale prices on both the hardcover and e-Book versions of the book. And there's a special twist with the e-Book: you can start reading it today!

Here's how to take advantage of these great Island Press offers:

Hardcover - From my Island Press author page, enter code 4LINNEKIN to pre-order the hardcover at a 20% discount!

e-Book - From my Island Press author page, enter code 5FOOD to download the e-Book (for iPad/iPhone/Android)! This is the only way you can start reading Biting the Hands that Feed Us today--a whole month before it's officially published!

Island Press isn't the only one offering hot specials on Biting the Hands that Feed Us. Right now, Amazon also has great offers on both the hardcover and e-Book formats. Pre-order the hardcover and save 28% today! Or pre-order the e-Book for 31% off the list price!

If you'd rather pick up a copy from your local bookseller (kudos!), I've got book talks scheduled in New Orleans, Washington, DC, and Portland, ME, with others planned this fall. Check out my speaking schedule to see where I can sign a copy for you! And if you're a bookseller and would like to have me give a book talk and sign copies of Biting the Hands that Feed Us at your store, please contact me today!

I'm Giving a Book Talk at Politics & Prose Bookstore on October 8

I am thrilled--thrilled!--to reveal that I'll be giving a book talk on Saturday, October 8 at Politics & Prose, Washington, DC's venerated bookseller. I'll be speaking about my book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable, at the bookstore starting at 1 p.m. I'll also be signing copies of the book, which goes on sale on September 15, after my talk. If you're like me and you can't wait for my book to be released, you can pre-order a copy right now at the Politics & Prose website.

Why am I so thrilled to be speaking a Politics & Prose? It's safe to say this wonderful bookstore has been home to more of my book browsing and book purchases than any other.

I've sat on the other side of the speaker's podium at Politics & Prose literally hundreds of times, dating back to my undergraduate days and, particularly, to the mid-1990s, when my partner Roxanne and I lived just a block north of the Connecticut Avenue bookstore. During that time, Chelsea Clinton used to frequent the downstairs cafe (which has tripled in size since those days). We saw Isabella Rossellini read from her 1997 autobiography (at a P&P event at a church across the street). We saw David Brinkley speak. I recall cooking veal parmigiana for a Big Night-themed potluck event at the bookstore, shortly after the film's release.

What's more, I still own (and wear!) a Politics & Prose t-shirt from the late 1990s. "So many books," the shirt's tagline reads. "So little time." Maybe I'll wear that shirt (dressed up with sport coat) during my book talk. Who knows? You'll have to show up on Saturday, October 8 at 1 p.m. to find out!

My Piece on Food & Sustainability in the Delaware Journal of Public Health

I have a new piece in the Delaware Journal of Public Health on ways that food rules often handcuff sustainability and hurt public health. The piece, Policies that Challenge Food Sustainability and Public Health, is based largely on the issues and topics I focus on in my forthcoming book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us, but with a more specific focus both on public health and on issues relevant to Delaware readers.

Here's an excerpt from the article, which is part of an issue that's devoted solely to food:

Our food system is awash in rules. Some of these rules—like those that help keep toxins or harmful bacteria out of the food supply—are vitally important. But many food rules are wasteful and counterproductive.
Rather than combating many of the environmental, economic, and health problems that plague our food system, such rules instead exacerbate these problems. Consider that local laws on the books in many cities around the country prohibit people from growing fruits and vegetables in their yards. If produce can be expensive, and if there are important public-health benefits to be gained from eating more fruits and vegetables, then laws that make it more difficult to grow one’s own food are simply counterproductive.

Read the rest of the article and the full issue of the Delaware Journal of Public Health here. My article appears on pp. 18-19.

I Organized Fellow Food Law & Policy Faculty to File Idaho Ag-Gag Amicus Brief

I'm excited to announce that this week I joined fourteen fellow Food Law & Policy faculty around the country in filing an amicus curiae brief in support of the plaintiffs in Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Wasden, a challenge by animal-welfare and free-speech advocates to Idaho's unconstitutional ag-gag law, a case that is now before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Our brief was written by Minnesota appellate attorney Mahesha Subbaraman.

Ag-gag laws, which are on the books in eight states, including Idaho, are laws that effectively ban journalists, whistleblowers, and activists from conducting or sharing the results of undercover investigations at agricultural and livestock processing facilities. In our brief, we argue that Idaho's ag-gag law violates the First Amendment because it unnecessarily burdens the rights of consumers to access information in the marketplace of ideas about the way livestock are treated--or, specifically, sometimes mistreated--during the time they are raised and slaughtered.

"By silencing journalists, whistleblowers, and activists, the ultimate effect of Idaho’s ag-gag law is to keep consumers in the dark about what goes on behind closed doors at agricultural and livestock processing facilities," said Subbaraman, the author of the brief. "Such censorship violates the First Amendment rights of consumers as much as it violates the First Amendment rights of journalists, whistleblowers, and activists."

In preparing the brief, my role was to recruit potential signers, organize our work, update the potential signers, serve as the point of contact between the brief author and brief signers, and consider and incorporate many of the signers' proposed edits.

In an email to my fellow signers announcing that the brief had been filed, I noted that the brief will be an important tool for fighting Idaho's ag-gag law. "More broadly," I noted, "I think our work on the brief shows the collaborative impact that we and others in our field can have on a variety of important Food Law & Policy issues in the future."

Read our brief here. For questions or comments on the brief, please contact me here.

I'm Speaking at Farm-to-Table Experience in NOLA in August

I'm excited to report that I'll travel to New Orleans later this summer to deliver a talk that highlights my forthcoming book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us. I'll be giving the book talk on Aug. 19, as part of the three-day Farm-to-Table Experience. From the session description:

This talk will highlight Baylen Linnekin’s new book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable (Island Press; September 15, 2016). Drawing on his work as a food lawyer and scholar, the book and related talk will tell the human stories of farmers, food producers, sellers, and consumers who have been hurt by—or are working against—bad laws that promote unsustainable food practices or prohibit sustainable food practices.

I'll also be joining a plenary panel on Thursday, Aug. 18 to discuss the impact of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).