On Sunday afternoon at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT, Marion Nestle will be here for Book Salon to discuss her book "What to Eat."

Marion’s work on food politics has been extraordinary, and she’s won numerous awards — including a prestigious James Beard — for her food and nutrition writing.

What To Eat continues that tradition of muckraking on the intersection of food, science, politics and health with some intriguing tidbits on the politics and marketing strategery behind the food we buy.  Especially how it gets onto our grocer’s shelves.

And it ain’t pretty.

Marion recently wrote a few thoughts about the peanutbutter recall:

Bill Marler, the lawyer whose specialty is helping clients obtain compensation for food poisonings, knows as much about food safety – or the lack thereof – as anyone I know. He estimates the total cost of the peanut butter recalls as close to $1 billion.  This accounts for the costs of the recalls themselves ($75 million to Kellogg alone), as well as the costs of lost sales, advertising and public relations, and stock prices.  And that’s just to the companies. Perhaps he will do another estimate for the 677 people (as of March 1) who are known to have become ill as a result. 

In the meantime, the fact that Peanut Corporation of America filed for bankruptcy is unlikely to affect victims’ ability to collect damages. Much of those costs will be covered by insurance.

I guess food companies think it’s cheaper to do things this way than to produce safe food in the first place. That, of course, is why we need better federal oversight, and the sooner the better.

Wouldn’t it be nice to think we had governmental oversight that actually worked for the public’s safety instead of for the good of the big producers bottom lines? Not exactly holding my breath on that one, but then I’ve read Marion’s books. You should, too, if you know what is good for you.

I certainly hope folks can join us for book salon on Sunday! It promises to be a great one.

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com