Review

PUBLICATION DATE: OCTOBER 10, 2011

F

olks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin is a nonfiction look into the current farming climate in America. The legal struggles they face, the government restrictions on pure output, and which foods are best for you are just some of the many issues covered in this book. Joel is an organic farmer with a lifetime of experience in the field.

If you are looking for a gentle nudging into going organic, Folks, this ain’t it. Mr. Salatin makes no apologies and no concessions for his organic farming methods. He has solid, inspiring stories that will push anyone on the fence clear over onto the other side of the pasture. From statistics about beef safety to the dissection of an egg, this is an in-depth look at what is wrong in the food industry and what you can do to get the problems out of your home. Each chapter has action steps at the end that give the reader much to think about.

A few of the chapters were written as rants. Personal attacks on his farm apparently needed to be vindicated. While I did learn a bit from those chapters, after a while it began to feel slightly gratuitous. However, to each his own. The chapters I gleaned the most from were the ones with hard facts, statistics on exactly why organic food is better. The chapters on the government confiscating equipment of the small farmers and looking the other way as the big “food” companies all but poisoned the masses was awful, but necessary to read.

As a vegetarian, I am always a bit wary to read animal farmers’ views on food. After all, I do represent an easy target for them to swing a pitchfork at. However, Salatin was respectful of alternative food choices and simply longed to educate people on where they should put their hard-earned money. He has many things to say about putting the green initiatives into action.

Even if you don’t agree with everything Mr. Salatin stands for, there is much that can be taken away from reading his book. Since finishing his book, I have implemented a few of his parenting tips, started composting more often, and put together my very own greenhouse. From the start of this book to the end, I now have my very first successful in-door plants peaking their heads above the soil for my family and I to eat. Thank you, Joel Salatin for the push in the green direction!