Biting the Hands that Feed Us was published in Sept. 2016 by Island Press, the nation's leading publisher of books that center on environmental themes. The book sounds the alarm about the many ways that federal, state, and local laws and regulations both restrict sustainable food practices and promote unsustainable food practices, and urges immediate and lasting changes. You can click on the "buy" button above to order the book from Amazon, buy it from an independent bookseller near you, or buy it directly from the publisher, Island Press.
Praise for Biting the Hands that Feed Us
“Equal parts tragedy and comedy, Biting the Hands that Feed Us exposes many absurdities in current food law, while celebrating ethical entrepreneurs. This witty, incisive book will outrage and ultimately inspire you.”
--John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO, Whole Foods Market, and author of Conscious Capitalism
"A well-researched, fascinating investigation into how misguided government rules hinder our dreams for a future of sustainable, local food in America. From the unintended consequences of well-meaning rules to sheer manipulation of the system by Big Food, Linnekin shows again and again how small farms and family businesses lose out. Biting the Hand That Feeds Us reveals how the simple act of bringing food to market, has, under a thicket of regulations, become a Herculean task. For anyone interested in the farm-to-table movement, this book is a must-read."
--Nina Teicholz, author of the New York Times' bestseller The Big Fat Surprise
"As Biting the Hands that Feed Us explains in an accessible and entertaining way, too often our legal system not only fails to protect us, but even undermines our efforts. While I don't always agree with Baylen Linnekin, I appreciate his willingness to challenge assumptions about food regulations. His book is an important contribution to the food policy discourse."
--Michele Simon, author of Appetite for Profit and executive director, Plant Based Foods Association
"If you ever wondered why local, sustainable, innovative food is either expensive or difficult to find, Linnekin lays out the reason brilliantly: a plethora of antagonistic government rules. A must-read for all who desire the ultimate personal liberty: the right to choose our food."
--Joel Salatin, third generation farmer, Polyface Inc., and author of Folks, This Ain't Normal
"The book makes a strong case that the biggest issues facing our nation’s food supply are ones deserving of bipartisan solutions — and that those solutions might actually entail fewer, better food laws instead of a spate of new ones."
"Applies a critical eye to the unintended consequences of many rules and regulations... Linnekin doesn't just rely on stats, he tells the personal stories of small-business owners who've been harmed by various rules."
"Linnekin is fervent about flawed policy. His book cleverly and precisely decries how the federal government's rules and restrictions regarding food are a serious disservice to producers and consumers alike."
"Promoting a libertarian take on the regulation of organic food, this engaging book presents a fresh perspective on a popular topic... With example after example, Biting effectively makes the case that organic farmers should be allowed to do what they do best, with less regulation and oversight... Regardless of their political affiliation, many audiences will find this book fascinating."
"Linnekin mixes his mastery of history and law with a great sense of humor and frustration at a regulatory and cultural system that is completely at odds with itself.... It's a primer not just in the law of unintended consequences but in the proliferation of unnecessary rules in the first place."
"A detailed, fascinating... account of the unforeseen consequences of FDA rules and regulations."
"In this provocative book, lawyer Baylen Linnekin makes a case for why U.S. food policy might benefit from a 'less is more' approach. He shares examples of how laws have created unnecessary food waste, prevented residents from growing food in home gardens, and overburdened small producers and growers with regulations requiring them to use pricey equipment—instead of less expensive methods that would achieve similar outcomes. Linnekin leaves the reader with guiding principles of how we can transform food policy in a direction that promotes—not inhibits—sustainability."
"A seasoned food lawyer and law professor, [Linnekin] keeps an eagle eye out for the head-smacking inanities that creep into the regulatory language... Linnekin's book is must reading for anyone affected by food regulations."
"Impressively well researched, written, organized and presented, "Biting the Hands that Feed Us" is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. A critically important contribution to our on-going national conversations over food safety, animal management, contemporary hunger management, and related social issues."
--Midwest Book Review