Not on the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on Your Plate

Registered by ermintrude75 of Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on 6/21/2004
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26 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by ermintrude75 from Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Monday, June 21, 2004

A devastating expose of the state of the food production industry in Britain, Not On The Label will change the way we eat and the way we think about what we eat.

Looking at some of our most popular foods, the author sytematically exposes their production and marketing, showing how the food industry causes ill health, environmental damage, urban blight - and starves smallholders in Africa and Asia, and exploits illegal labourers in Britain.

Journal Entry 2 by ermintrude75 from Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Friday, July 09, 2004
I read this book immediately after Shopped, partly because I thought they would complement each other, and partly because it was due out on a ring and I was about to go away for a couple of weeks :) It's true that they do complement each other really well, with this book dealing more with the foods themselves, and the other concentrating on everyone's favourite place to buy them (not), the supermarket. The issues involved are clearly interlinked, and while there were some bits of overlap in terms of stats (and even a couple of spookily similar paragraphs), the books serve as good partners rather than being repetetive.

The chapter titles are initially a bit misleading - "Beans" for example deals with the subject of food miles, the dependency of the whole supply chain on oil, and the link to climate change, all kicked off by considering Kenyan green beans. "Bananas" looks at the devastating buying power of supermarkets and how one store's price cuts force lower prices for all growers (this chapter had the most overlap with Shopped). However, as you're unlikely to pick chapters to read from a book like this, I came to see it as an interesting hook, making me wonder what on earth coffee and prawns had to do with each other, and reading on to find out.

The style is quite easy to read, and overall rather similar to Shopped, which makes it good for casual readers and those who want to find out more. Each chapter's notes and sources are expanded at the back of the book, there's a section devoted to things readers can do to help (which is very realistic in tone), and a really useful selection of addresses and web links (e.g. finding a food co-op in your area, listings of organic butchers, etc.).

This book is a real eye-opener, and should be read by everyone who's ever bought any food (so everyone, really!). Why more noise isn't being made by the general public about the issues, I don't know... maybe this book will raise their profile.

Journal Entry 3 by ermintrude75 from Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Friday, July 09, 2004
Soon to be ringing its way to...

kuju (currently here)

Still taking participants, PM me to join!

Journal Entry 4 by mrsbridgewater from Holybourne, Hampshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Arrived safely this morning!

Journal Entry 5 by mrsbridgewater from Holybourne, Hampshire United Kingdom on Monday, August 09, 2004
A good read, I knew a lot of this already, but learnt a few new things. Very interesting to read in a weekend when 21 chinese workers were rescued from Morcambe beach - you think that the gangmasters would have learnt from last time, but it seems profit is more important than people.

Anyway, we have no green grocer's locally so I have been buying fruit and veg from the supermarket. I will now be investigating an organic box scheme. I love the idea of getting somewhere like the village school to act as a drop off and collection point - wonder if I can get the school interested...

Journal Entry 6 by DYI-991976 on Thursday, August 12, 2004
Arrived in this morning's post. Should be a quick read...

Journal Entry 7 by DYI-991976 on Saturday, August 28, 2004
Finshed last week but trying to sort out a new place to live, new job... will post onwards on Tuesday.

All my reviews are posted to Alex in Leeds.

Released 14 yrs ago (9/21/2004 UTC) at book ring in Mailed to fellow bookcrosser, Postal Release -- Controlled Releases



Posting onto Kuju today, sorry for the delay.

Journal Entry 9 by kuju from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Thursday, September 30, 2004
Came home today after being away for a couple of weeks to find a couple of bookrays sitting in the heap of mail behind the door! I'm off again tomorrow to the Big apple this time and will read this book on the way. I have 6 hours to kill!

Journal Entry 10 by kuju from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Not on the label was a fantastic insight into the effect that globalisation has on the food we eat. It was definitely an eye opener and I'm now thinking twice about what I eat, especially when I eat chicken!

As I'm originally from Australia, one thing I do appreciate in Australia is that they still have the concept of Summertime fruits (as far as I'm aware) and I hope we never lose that. The supermarkets may provide Strawberries all year round but the delights of mangoes, peaches, cherries and nectarines are only available in Summertime. I always look forward to my first mango of the year, my first bag of cherries (when they become cheap enough) and my daily fix of nectarines. That's something I'll miss and even tho I can buy Mango all year round in the UK, I probably won't purchase one during the Winter. You can't let mango drip down your arms when you're wearing a jumper! :P

The organic food box mentioned in the book sounds like a fantastic idea and I will definitely look into it. Also, I'm quite pleased about the mention of the lighthouse bakery. It is just down the road from me! So, I will be going there this weekend and enjoying some real bread and I'll be going on a search for the North Street Deli too.

I've been trying to get in contact with Battypuss who is next on the list but no reply! I'll try again otherwise I might send it on the the next person. Thanks ermintrude75!

Journal Entry 11 by Anfield from Bagshot, Surrey United Kingdom on Monday, April 25, 2005
Arrived on Saturday, thank you.

Journal Entry 12 by Anfield from Bagshot, Surrey United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 16, 2005
sorry ... I have kept this way too long. It was interesting but very heavy and rather depressing so I kept interspersing other books! I'm going to move it on now even though I am only half way through.

Journal Entry 13 by nut from Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny Ireland on Friday, December 16, 2005

This arrived a while ago, but got buried under a pile of papers. I haven't started it yet.

Sorry everyone!

Journal Entry 14 by nut from Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny Ireland on Saturday, December 31, 2005
A depressing must-read. I'm going to see what changes I can make, though it's going to be hard to resist late opening...
I'll keep an eye out for Shopped too.

Will PM YowlYY now for address.

ETA: posted 10/1/06

Journal Entry 15 by YowlYY on Monday, January 16, 2006
Finally this book is here :) I've seen a program on TV with Felicity Lawrence, where she was visiting farms, supermarkets, small shops, interviewing specialists, etc. and that was based on the book, so I am very keen on learning more on the subject.
It is currently No.6 on my Mount TBR of rings and rays, so I expect it to move to the next reader some time in February. I hope it's ok!

Journal Entry 16 by YowlYY on Saturday, February 04, 2006
This was an excellent read - well researched, objective, and sadly so true.

Being a vegetarian, my main interest was to see what was the story behind the vegetables and supermarkets, and I was shocked to read especially about the exploitation of both people and soil that is being perpetraded in the name of "giving choice" to the customer, not to mention the issue on crops highly sprayed with pesticides and poisons just to give the blamishless appearance supermarkets insist on.

Although my personal shopping is about organic vegetables only, I buy huge amounts of salad and greens for my rabbits there, because most of what I give them is not to be obtained in local shops (yes, I know...they're spoiled! LOL). Because I want to change this, I will start growing the salads and veggies for the rabbits in my garden from March on, and spending money on salad of the supermarket only in extreme crisis.

I have experimented with organic boxes delivery schemes for the last two years, but most of our organic vegetables were bought at the supermarket, just because it was so convenient to have the food there whenever you wanted it (or almost!). However, delivering them was at times problematic, especially when I was back in London, as I was working for most of the day and having the box delivered at work wasn't practical, as I would have had to carry it on bus back home. I looked into organic farmers markets, but in London they were nowhere near where I used to live.
Now, I have discovered in Nottingham the organic farmers markets, taking place three Saturdays out of four in a month, twice in West Bridgford, and I will be buying more there. Also, I found out last Saturday at the market that one of the stands do also deliver their veggies to private homes or to the working place, so I will be using the service when I cannot go to the market when I am away travelling the country.

Mostly, I was shocked by the impact that our shopping habits are having on the Third World countries and on the international migration of folks - it is a sad state of affairs that hopefully can be changed if more of us try just a bit to lift off our bum from the comfy sofa we've been resting for so long - not only in order to improve our world, but also for our own health.

Thanks so much to ermintrude75 for sharing this book - I ordered two copies of it, and two in Italian: I have kept one in English for my PC, I have sent the other to a friend in Belgium, and out of the two copies in Italian one will be passed on to my family, and the other will be a bookring for the Italian bookcrossers, because even if in Italy we haven't reached the same tragic situation yet, purchasing habits are sadly changing there too, and some big supermarket chains are slowly taking over.

Photo courtesy of tmanto

Journal Entry 17 by YowlYY on Saturday, February 04, 2006
This book is being offered again to the UK bookcrossers, and so far the new shipping list looks like this:


and back to ermintrude75

I shall pass the book today to droogie at the mini meetup taking place in Beeston at the Bean in approx. two hours.

Photo courtesy of murray_fortescue

Journal Entry 18 by droogie from Nottingham, not specified not specified on Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Thank you to Gabriella for passing this on at the mini meet in Beeston on Saturday. I have read the introduction and the first chapter on chicken and it is a very interesting read so far. Thank you for sharing ermintrude75

Journal Entry 19 by droogie from Nottingham, not specified not specified on Friday, March 03, 2006
A fascinating read - though it turned me into the lunch buddy from h*ll at work!

I have always enjoyed 'real' food and ready meals always taste dodgy - now I know why!

Journal Entry 20 by RuAnderson from Stevenage, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Saturday, March 18, 2006
Reading this currently and its a quick read.
Very interesting
(Winding people up no end by suggesting they might like to read bits!)

Finished and read (in part) by half a dozen others willingly or otherwise in the office. Sadly main foodbuyer in the house argues on basis of cost and farmers markets and organic - cost more. Still am employing pester power to at least see that stonegrowned bread and trips to local farmer for eggs and the occasional tray of chicken are on the agenda.

Its an uphill struggel - but the reality of that struggel is firmly brought home when the book mentions that the oil protesters who barricaded the fuel distribution centres over road and fuel taxes, left the govt with little choice but to break the deadlock as the country was literally running out of bread.

Have PM'd next on list for address.

Journal Entry 21 by wingrahar109wing from Ash Vale, Surrey United Kingdom on Friday, April 28, 2006
Received in the post this morning, thank you.

Journal Entry 22 by wingrahar109wing from Ash Vale, Surrey United Kingdom on Saturday, July 29, 2006
Apologies for taking so long to get around to reading this.
A very interesting and disturbing book that has made me think about my food buying. I shall be looking into veg box deliveries as our local farmer's market is only every other month.

PMing wyldetwo for her address.

Journal Entry 23 by wingrahar109wing from Ash Vale, Surrey United Kingdom on Monday, July 31, 2006
Posted to wyldetwo today.

Journal Entry 24 by wingwyldetwowing from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Thursday, August 03, 2006
This arrived in the post yesterday. Will try to get round to reading it soon.

Journal Entry 25 by wingwyldetwowing from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Wednesday, October 18, 2006
I have only read the first few chapters I have to confess, but my OH (who does most of the shopping chez nous) has read it cover to cover and he "enjoyed" it, if that is the right word.

It's certainly made us both think more about what we eat, although being vegetarian and trying to eat a lot of organic and fairtrade food already, I suppose we had already done quite a lot of thinking!

Will PM tiggsybabes to get this moving again soon.

Journal Entry 26 by wingwyldetwowing from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Still trying to get hold of Tiggsybabes .....

Journal Entry 27 by wingwyldetwowing from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Friday, November 10, 2006
The ring is now being extended with the following new members:


PMing Decembermum for her address now ....

Journal Entry 28 by Decembermum from Basingstoke, Hampshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Arrived this morning.

I'm looking forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 29 by Decembermum from Basingstoke, Hampshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Christmas got in the way of me reading this. It is now next on my TBR list so I won't be stalling the ring too much longer.

Journal Entry 30 by nocton4 from Lincoln, Lincolnshire United Kingdom on Friday, March 16, 2007
Arrived in Nocton, thanks so much.

Journal Entry 31 by nocton4 from Lincoln, Lincolnshire United Kingdom on Friday, June 01, 2007
My goodness .. I didn't think I needed my eyes opening much more but boy they are fully open and appalled now.
Thanks for sharing.
all love & care

Journal Entry 32 by dirtmother from Matlock, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Thursday, June 07, 2007
Received from nocton4 and I'm ready to read.

Just to set out my starting point, as this seems one of those books which has the potential to effect change: I'm a lacto-ovo-vegetarian with a keen interest in food issues and a young and fussy family (including a non-vegetarian husband) Our current shopping habits are a weekly fruit veg and salad box from the local organic shop and an Ocado/Waitrose delivery every 10 days or so, with top-ups of things which are unavailable or especially expensive from Sainsbury's which is our nearest supermarket and we drive there. My husband, having worked in a local greengrocer as a teenager is adamantly opposed to using them and neither of us find the majority of local shops to provide personal, friendly service with good information about their products - if anything, worse than the supermarkets. We eat a fair few 'meat substitutes' and ready meals due to ill-health compromising my energy levels, but I enjoy cooking when I am up to it. I like to ponder ethical issues and do try to buy with an eye to health and ethics.

So...let's see!

Journal Entry 33 by dirtmother from Matlock, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Friday, June 08, 2007
A quick read as I anticipated. A lot of this is now fairly widespread public knowledge but the book has been out a while.

I liked the way the book doesn't just single out The Baddy and presents a more complex picture, pointing out that even the directors of the big supermarkets are under pressure, although some parts of the chain are clearly more powerful and more blameworthy than others. I have long felt that our obsession with cheap food is a big part of the problem. Occasionally when there is discussion of just how much we spend on food I feel embarrassed and extravagant, rather than a prudent investor. However, she shows that it isn't as simple as being prepared to pay more, that the money isn't always going into improved quality or production methods.

The book again claims that food has become tasteless and scentless - well, I don't remember strawberries tasting or smelling as fantastic as the organic ones I have enjoyed over the past couple of years. The comments about salt content - follow most recipes for home made and there's a lot of salt in there (which can be left out) I've had some stuff in my veg box that I would not have chosen for myself - and I don't mean just muddy or misshapen or a bit blemished, I mean past it and tasteless. The staff at my local Sainsbury's are friendlier than most small shops (though our Tesco is a truly miserable experience - I wonder if it is a mass work placement for the severely depressed?)

I was very interested in the section about changes in wheat possibly being responsible for the rise in gluten allergy and intolerance.

I find Nigel Slater's Toast a good corrective to the notion that we've never had it so bad in our lifetimes, but there's no doubt from this book that we really do have a lot that is bad and something, many things, need to be done.

Off to Cloggy as soon as the address is confirmed.

Journal Entry 34 by cloggy from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, June 11, 2007
Arrived at my desk safe and sound this morning ---- at the same time as another ring book. Would you believe it. Haven't had any books for months and now I got 7 in 2 weeks.
Oh well, so there's a few books ahead of this one, but I'm last before the book goes back home to ermintrude75, so maybe I can take an extra week to read it? Unless it sneaks its way to the top of the pile of course......

Journal Entry 35 by ermintrude75 from Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Returned from its travels - thanks everyone!

Journal Entry 36 by ermintrude75 from Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 05, 2008
On its way to biba89, by request, to step in on a stalled book ring.

Journal Entry 37 by biba89 from Olst, Overijssel Netherlands on Friday, August 08, 2008
It arrived in the mail this morning. Thank you for this step-up! I will continue the ring now, surely there will be more participants. I might reread it first.

Journal Entry 38 by biba89 from Olst, Overijssel Netherlands on Friday, August 08, 2008
Het exemplaar wat ik las, drie jaar geleden, ging terug naar de eigenaar. Het ringexemplaar van Niana is kwijt, liever gezegd blijven hangen bij bookcrosser uhmmm. Nu hebben we een nieuwe. Ik plak maar even mijn journal van dat eerste exemplaar erbij:
Journal entry 2 by biba89 from Deventer, Overijssel Netherlands on Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Een draad in het bookcrossing forum over dit boek:
Het is twee uur in de nacht en ik kan er niet van slapen. Ik heb het nog niet eens uit. "Not on the label" van Felicity Lawrence. Het gaat over onze voeding.
Nou probeer ik, zoals meer van jullie, om zoveel mogelijk schoon, dwz biologisch, te eten, zoveel mogelijk producten hier uit de streek, in verband met vervoer en zo, geen Braeburn appels uit Nieuw-Zeeland (no offence Niana), zo min mogelijk bewerkte voedingsmiddelen, al helemaal geen kant-en-klaar maaltijden of in elkaar geknutselde high-tech rommel zoals de kip-nugget. En Max Havelaar, waar mogelijk.
Maar nou weet ik ook weer waarom. Felicity Lawrence, een journaliste voor de Guardian, deed undercover onderzoek naar de oorsprong van onze meest geconsumeerde voedingsmiddelen. Brood, kip, fruit, koffie en nog een paar. Van de achterkant van het boek, een ruwe vertaling:
"Van boerderij naar fabriek en van opslag naar verpakking, ontdekt ze waarom afval van de rundvlees- en varkensslachterij in kipfilet terechtkomt, waarom één derde van alle appels wordt weggegegooid, en waarom brood vol lucht en water zit. En ze laat zien hoe overgewicht, de op slavernij lijkende omstandigheden voor migrante arbeiders, eindeloze files met vrachtverkeer, verruïneerde akkers in Europa en hongerende boeren in Afrika allemaal verband houden met een handjevol grootwinkelbedrijven, die een niet eerder vertoonde controle hebben over wat we eten en waar we het vandaan halen."

Stel je een zandloper voor. Aan de ene brede kant, 160 miljoen Europese consumenten. Aan de andere kant, drie-en-een half miljoen boeren en voedselproducenten, overal ter wereld, die produceren voor de Europese markt. Nou de wespentaille in het midden: 110 inkopers, van alle grote Europese supermarktketens - Ahold, Lidl, Aldi, Carrefour, Sainsbury's en zo nog een paar. Zet een pijltje bij de wespentaille. Een woord bij het pijltje: Macht. Beter gezegd: Almacht. Bijvoorbeeld om de producenten uit te wringen met inkoopprijzen die hem dwingen om onderbetaalde en zwartwerkende illegalen in te huren - voor zo lang als de oogst duurt. Om van een appelboer te eisen dat een bepaald soort appels een 'blozing' - rood op een groene ondergrond - van tussen de 15 en 17 % mag hebben. Daar is een apparaat voor, de "Greefa Intelligent Quality Sorter" die dat meet, per vierkante millimeter, al het anders gebloosde fruit wordt tot pulp vermalen, daar krijgt de boer geen geld voor. Ach, je hebt het allemaal wel gehoord, het geknoei met vlees, de hoeveelheid pesticiden, het gesleep met grondstoffen de wereld over, het verlies van smaak ten gunste van 'shelf life' en zo verder. Ik wist er ook wel van, zelfs meer dan gemiddeld, maar niet eerder zag ik de verbanden tussen het één en het ander zo duidelijk en werd ik zó boos van de voorbeelden en de immense onrechtvaardigheid.
Denk nou niet meteen: maar dat wil ik helemaal niet weten, want ik kan er toch niks aan doen - dat kun je wel. Er zijn alternatieven genoeg en God weet dat we het niet redden met 160 miljoen consumenten die het niet willen weten en er gewoon aan mee blijven betalen.

Twee redenen om niet meer te eten wat de voedingsindustrie je voorzet:
Je wordt genaaid waar je bijstaat
Je kunt er ziek van worden.
Nog een paar redenen, die ik ook wel zwaarwegend vind: de planeet wordt er ziek van, de mensen die de grondstoffen produceren, worden genaaid waar ze bijstaan en alle winsten gaan naar een paar multinationals. Nou, laat mij dan maar lekker van de boerderij eten en dan wat minder vaak vlees.

Dit exemplaar van het boek heb ik geleend, van een niet-crosser, maar misschien mag ik hiervan een ring maken, anders zorg ik zelf voor een exemplaar.
Ik schrijf vast in, ik ben zo vrij:
- niana
- papaver
En verder? iiwi? dutch-flybaby? Elefteria? nrrdgrrl? Plinius? owlet, als je tijd hebt?

Grappig, drie van de recensie-uitspraken zijn zeer van toepassing: "I can't remember when a book made me more angry."
"This book doesn't make for a good night's sleep (nee, inderdaad, het is nu kwart voor drie 's nachts) but is compusily readable. It is the sort of book that changes attitudes."
"This is a great book that anyone who eats, should read." En daar besluit ik het maar mee.

Journal entry 3 by biba89 from Deventer, Overijssel Netherlands on Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Er vormt zich een ring.
- niana, maar die heeft 'm zelf inmiddels
- papaver
- iiwi - leest hem nu
- olifant
- nrrdgrrl
- mopperhond
- janna2
- dutch-flybaby
- gnoe
- uhmmm
- jehanne
- granuaile
en terug naar mij.

Journal entry 4 by biba89 from Deventer, Overijssel Netherlands on Wednesday, October 19, 2005

En nu heb ik het uit. Vooral het laatste hoofdstuk is zeer inspirerend, want het is niet allemaal ach en wee en wat is het toch verschrikkelijk, maar vooral: en nu is het genoeg geweest. Dit kunnen wij zelf allemaal doen om iets te veranderen. En dan beschrijft ze hoe ze zelf de dingen organiseert met betrekking tot het eten voor haar gezin met drie kinderen, midden in Londen.

Journal Entry 39 by biba89 from Olst, Overijssel Netherlands on Saturday, August 09, 2008
NOTE: It would be a curtesy to the former readers, to write your journal in English, if possible. Thanks!

Een nieuwe ringlijst:
Het vorige exemplaar is via Olifant, iiwi en gnoe bij uhmm terechtgekomen en daar gebleven. Ik zal de overige ringdeelnemers nog even aanschrijven of ze nog mee willen doen. Dan werk ik deze lijst wel bij.
- nrrdgrrl
- mopperhond -wil weer meedoen
- janna2
- dutch-flybabe - wil meedoen
- Emmeken - hier is-ie nu
- jehanne - wil meedoen
- granuaile - wil meedoen
- wandering
- bookguide
- elefteria
- rroos
- Barbje
- MrBarbje
- 061019alexandra
- yinny
- iez
en terug naar biba89.

Released 10 yrs ago (8/24/2008 UTC) at Controlled Release, --by post or by hand (ie ring, ray, RABCK, trade) -- Controlled Releases



Handed over to nrrdgrrl, the first one on the list. She would read it and send it off before returing to South Africa!

Journal Entry 41 by nrrdgrrl from Johannesburg - Fourways, Gauteng South Africa on Thursday, August 28, 2008
many thanks to biba, who brought me this ring book on my holiday address. what service!

ever since i moved to south africa i have been wondering whether food processes run differently there. the food tastes much much better... it also costs much much less. which seems to be a consequence of government pricing policy, not of shady subsidies. but who am i to know? maybe i'll find out now. i already know quite a bit about the european food industry so i'm curious to learn new things.

eet smakelijk!/enjoy your meal!/geniet die kos!/[i will fill in the zulu or setswana version once i find out :) ]

Journal Entry 42 by nrrdgrrl from Johannesburg - Fourways, Gauteng South Africa on Wednesday, September 03, 2008
after i wrote the previous journal entry i remembered something else about this book. i had bought my own copy, planning to read it and write about that on the ring's page without anyone actually having to send me the book, my being far away from most other bookcrossers.

my husband was educated as a food technologist and worked as an institutional chef later. hence he hijacked the book. he took it with on a business trip to the middle east - i think it was dubai but it could have been anywhere in that region.
and he left the book.

anyway. i did read it now. or, to be more truthful, i read it diagonally. either ms. lawrence is very long-winded or i am very impatient. most likely both of the above. i just couldn't find the patience to follow every sidetrack, however interesting, without a hint of where we were going. it may also have been caused by my previous knowledge.

never mind that. it is interesting stuff, it seems well researched, and it must be great as reference material. that is also worth something.

i have received mopperhond's address and will send the book off this week. i might not have internet access at that time to report so properly, so now you know already :)

edit: haven't managed to get to a post office in the past week, am taking the book home and will send it off from south africa.

Journal Entry 43 by nrrdgrrl at - by post , -- By post or by hand/ in person -- South Africa on Saturday, October 04, 2008

Released 10 yrs ago (10/4/2008 UTC) at - by post , -- By post or by hand/ in person -- South Africa



"it looks like a christmas tree" said the post office employee after affixing all the stamps. ah well, as long as it gets there...

apologies for not having been able to make the detour to the post office sooner. book is finally on its way to mopperhond and should arrive within two weeks.

(made this a release note due to the low reliability ratings of sa post)

Journal Entry 44 by mopperhond from Großenkneten, Niedersachsen Germany on Sunday, October 19, 2008
And indeed ... the book made it from South Africa to Belgium within 2 weeks. I have been away for a few days so it might have been less. Thanks Nrrdgrrl for going to the reliable post office. I also enjoyed the stamps and your African card. Started to read the book so hopefully it will travel on soon.

Journal Entry 45 by mopperhond from Großenkneten, Niedersachsen Germany on Wednesday, November 19, 2008
It took me some time to finish this book; it is no chicklit after all. I would agree with Nrrrdgrrl: interesting, sometimes shocking but a bit long-winding. Also because of the details on British politics of 5 years ago which are not so interesting to the foreign reader. I knew about the chicken nuggets, having once seen a program on that topic on BBC television. What I did not know is how labour is being organized in order to provide the supermarkets with the food they want.
Last week I was in my local supermarkets and noticed tomatoes announced as "smaaktomaten" (taste tomatoes) and apples as being extra tasty as well. Apparently taste does matter for the consumer. And yes, of course they were more expensive than other tomatoes and apples.
Anyway, I am happy to have had the chance to read this book finally after the previous one got lost somewhere. I'll PM Janna2 for her address.

Journal Entry 46 by wingjanna2wing from Castricum, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Vandaag binnengekregen, het gaat nog even op de stapel.

Biba bedankt voor het ringen en Mopperhond voor het versturen!

Journal Entry 47 by wingjanna2wing from Castricum, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Saturday, June 27, 2009
Because of the illness of my mother and all the time this takes I still did not read this book. Fiction is o.k. at the moment, non-fiction is more difficult to concentrate on. Tomorrow I will take this book to the Castricum-meeting en give it to the following reader (dutch-flybabe). Perhaps it is possible to warn me when the ring is almost finished?

Journal Entry 48 by dutch-flybabe from Ede, Gelderland Netherlands on Monday, June 29, 2009
Received on the meeting yesterday. It'll have to wait for a bit on the ringbook-pile.

8-8-2009: boek uit. PM naar Emmeken omdat ze in Nijmegen woont en ik daar volgende week toch moet zijn.

Journal Entry 49 by dutch-flybabe from Ede, Gelderland Netherlands on Friday, August 14, 2009
The first chapter of this book is ok, it's actually about the food itself. Of the 40 or so pages of chapter 2 only 8 are about food the rest is about politics/economics surrounding the production of food. Unfortunately the rest of the book was mostly not about food itself either. Although this is a bad situation for people all around and it's important to inform people about this, that situation could have been told in many less pages and I was disappointed that the book was not more about the food itself.
Anyway, what am I going to do about eating protein now... I can't seem to get myself to buy meat in the supermarket at the moment. I didn't mind eating chicken on my pizza in the Italian restaurant this evening, but preparing it myself... ? Not at the moment. I've bought a bio-falafel burger a few days ago instead :-Haha, I'm NOT going to be a veggie, but might think twice about preparing meat in the future :-P

Journal Entry 50 by dutch-flybabe at Nijmegen, Gelderland Netherlands on Friday, August 14, 2009

Released 9 yrs ago (8/14/2009 UTC) at Nijmegen, Gelderland Netherlands



Handdelivered at Emmeken's this morning :-) Happy reading!

Journal Entry 51 by Emmeken from Nijmegen, Gelderland Netherlands on Saturday, August 15, 2009
Received the book yesterday. Thanks, Dutch-flybabe! I'll start reading in this one after finishing my current ring-book.

Journal Entry 52 by Emmeken from Nijmegen, Gelderland Netherlands on Sunday, August 30, 2009
Hmmm, I'm getting a bit depressed reading this book. I knew questionable things were happening in the food chain, but this is just 225 pages of bad news :-( Well, I'd better start looking for the nearest bakery!!
I did enjoy reading it though, it was very informative and I will definitely change my shopping-habits...

Thanks for ringing this book, biba89. I'll pm the next one.
EDIT: Jehanne wants to be skipped, so the book will be send to Granuaile tomorrow.

Journal Entry 53 by Emmeken at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Released 9 yrs ago (9/8/2009 UTC) at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



On its way to the next reader. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 54 by granuaile from Amsterdam, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Sunday, September 13, 2009
thanks Emmeken! this book was on my wish list for so long. so my expectations are up. not sure if that is a good thing though! haha.
will read this soon.
thank you ermintrude for letting the Dutchies get on with this thread too! :D dankjewel.

Journal Entry 55 by granuaile at Amsterdam, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Friday, April 29, 2011
Ooh oh. This has been on my bookshelf for way too long! It's time to move on.
Did I read it? Yes. All of it? No. But I did read parts and chapters. Interesting stuff. But as we live in 2011: the info in the book is not new anymore.
Still, if you are not familiar with how your food is treated, or how the people who deal with your food are treated: then this is a must read!

I did contact the next reader up. Will move this book within the next few weeks.

Journal Entry 56 by biba89 at Deventer, Overijssel Netherlands on Saturday, April 30, 2011
I did not catch this book, I was the one who made it into a ring. Apparently it was stalled for some years. I am thrilled to see it moving again, thanks! Not many books have touched me like this one did and I often turned to my bookshelf to look something up, only to discover that it was gone. I am looking forward to receive it again some day. And yes, I could have gone and buy another copy, but that is not the point of bookcrossing, now is it?

Journal Entry 57 by wandering at Den Haag, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Thursday, May 12, 2011
In my mailbox today, it's next on mount to be read!

Journal Entry 58 by wandering at Den Haag, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Monday, June 13, 2011
This is not the first book that I have read about the food industry, but still I have learned new things from this one. For example, I didn't know that 'supermarket bread' has a lot less nutrients in it because of the production process. I figured there was not that much that could be done to harm a simple bread, besides adding stuff to keep it somewhat longer. The other books I read were mainly USA centered, but this book focuses on Europe and the food industry is just as despicable. The industry is global nowadays anyway. I do wonder how people can *knowingly* do what they do to the food they sell to consumers? Do they eat it themselves? Boggs the mind...

Edit: sent to bookguide on 15 June

This book is well written, an it kept my attention. It could have used some more white lines, though, for there were many long stretches of text.

With each food book I read, I get more determined to be more aware of what I eat. I've actually started baking my own bread while I was reading this one. It is really hard, however, to know what you eat at all times. For example, I normally have lunch at work and I have the sneaking suspicion that none of the food there - except the milk and butter milk - is from outside of the global food industry. So, I guess I'm taking up bringing my own sandwiches again...

Journal Entry 59 by bookguide at Wijchen, Gelderland Netherlands on Friday, June 17, 2011
I'd almost given up hope of this ever getting to me, so I'm really glad it got moving again because it's a subject that really interests me.

Journal Entry 60 by bookguide at Wijchen, Gelderland Netherlands on Monday, August 15, 2011
I consider myself pretty well informed on many of the issues covered in this book, but it still managed to give me more food for thought. The strength of the book is the synthesis of the full global impact of globalisation and industrialisation of the food we eat, and the impact is has on society, communities, economies, the environment, diet and our freedom of choice. Basically, we're doomed, and there's not a lot we can do about it! All we can do is try to make the best choices we can, buy local / organic / Fairtrade as much as possible in local shops (if they still exist) or farmers' markets, grow our own fruit and vegetables if we can and cook from scratch whenever possible. Voting with our feet and supporting campaigns for more accountability and better nutrition are also good steps.

Many things shocked me in this book, but one thing which stuck out as absolutely crazy was the example of the lettuce imported to the UK from California! Also the fact that organic chickens, whilst reared more naturally and humanely, are subsequently killed in the same plants as industrial chickens. I am beginning to think my vegan friends may be right.

Living in the Netherlands, I think that the situation is slightly better here than in the UK, as town centres still contain bakers, greengrocers and fishmongers, although the butchers are becoming few and far between. Many people shop daily, and cycle to get there, so local supermarkets are common in housing estates, usually franchised from regional or national chains, so they still perform a function as a community meeting place. There are larger supermarkets, but the out-of-town hypermarket common in the UK is not common at all. The ready meal is also less prevalent here, although plenty of people cook using packets of spices. As a side note, it always amuses me that if you ask a Dutch person what they're planning to cook, they will tell you the vegetable, not the meat, as would be the case in England; I'd like to think that is because they value the vegetables more highly, but it may be because everyone knows what the accompaniment will be if you tell them you're eating red cabbage or cauliflower.

The concept of "food deserts" is quite shocking, and I like the idea of cooperative projects being set up to solve the problem at a grass-roots level. Equally, despite the fact that supermarkets in the UK now carry 20,000 lines (instead of 8,000 previously), the consumer's choice is being limited to what the food industry can make the most money on: "What we are allowed to purchase, from the type of music to the variety of tomato or brand of beer, is being determined by buyers operating in the supermarkets' interests rather than the consumers'." (p.153) That supermarkets can blackmail suppliers and manufacturers into paying them for shelf space and advertising beggars belief. Equally, foods are broken down into their constituent pieces, adulterated with chemicals, then reassembled into something that resembles a recognisable food in such a way that the consumer, even if he reads the label, cannot decide if the product will feed him or harm him in the long term. I've long been suspicious that the fat that's removed from some products to make them low fat, must be being reused somewhere else in a disguised form.

One of the things which I wasn't so aware of was the social impact of the global market, both in the UK and in developing countries. I hadn't realised that British sugar was subsidised and dumped, undercutting cane sugar producers in the tropics, and that the supermarkets have such a stranglehold on farmers in developing countries, as well as those in the EU. Just-in-time systems are all very well for factories producing consumer goods (although the children kept waiting for the latest Nintendo console at Christmas may not agree), but the same system for food can be disastrous. It seems unimaginable that so many migrant workers around Europe (as well as elsewhere) are allowed to live in such squalor, without rights, and more often than not illegally, at a time when governments all seem to want to cut down on immigration.

This book is absolutely essential reading, and I also recommend 'Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World' by Greg Critser, which goes deeper into the scandalous subsidies paid to palm oil producers in Malaysia, and the insiduous addition of palm oil and high fructose corn syrup into almost everything we eat and drink. It is another eye-opening book.

ETA: Elefteria wil het niet meer lezen. PM naar rroos op 15 aug.

Journal Entry 61 by bookguide at Wijchen, Gelderland Netherlands on Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Released 7 yrs ago (11/12/2011 UTC) at Wijchen, Gelderland Netherlands


Rroos is no longer active (what a shame!), so I've finally sent the book on to the next on the list, Barbje.

This book has been released as part of the following BookCrossing challenges:
- The Ultimate Challenge - read and release books, with extra points for a monthly theme
- Reduce Mount TBR (To Be Read) - read and release books on the TBR list since before June 2010. My reading goal is 75 books.
- Pages Read Challenge - read a self-set target number of pages in 2011. My goal is 25,000.

Journal Entry 62 by wingBarbjewing at Gouda, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Sunday, January 15, 2012
Sorry! Ik wilde gaan schrijven wat MrBarbje van het boek vond, en toen zag ik dat ik het nooit als aangekomen gemeld heb! Excuus daarvoor, is nogal slordig en respectloos. Weet wel hoe het kwam: het boek kwam binnen, MrBarbje zei 'oh interessant' (zoals voorspeld) en het boek verdween naar zijn nachtkastje.

Anyway, hij heeft het niet uitgelezen, vond het wel interessant maar wat langdradig na een tijdje. Ik heb de samenvatting gekregen, en het boek mag weer verder reizen! Ik ga Alexandra pm'men. Maak releasenotes als het op de post gaat.

Journal Entry 63 by wingBarbjewing at Gouda, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Monday, February 06, 2012

Released 7 yrs ago (2/6/2012 UTC) at Gouda, Zuid-Holland Netherlands


Op naar Yinny!

Journal Entry 64 by Yinny at Capelle aan den IJssel, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Wednesday, February 08, 2012
The book is with me now! I'm a bit of a foodie, so I know already quite a bit about food. So what will I learn from this book? :)

Thanks for sending it en ringing it! Will be back soon with a review.

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