Landscape of Displacement and Place
Keywords:Pigs, Pork, Local Food
As I was reading Brad Weiss’s book Real Pigs: Shifting Values in the Field of Local Pork, Hurricane Matthew was wreaking havoc on the U.S. East coast, and North Carolina’s industrial pig farm lagoons of waste were overflowing (New York Times Editorial Board, 2016). The storm brought the horrific environmental effects of North Carolina’s confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) into view once again. Once again, because the lagoons were breached in 1996 and again in 1999, when Hurricane Floyd and Hurricane Fran set down. Around the same time, journalists were uncovering the unsavory political and legislative changes that fostered North Carolina’s CAFO model of pork production, including the growth of contracting and excessive corporate control. While this story will be familiar to many readers, Weiss has written a fascinating account of how a niche market has developed, centered on pastured local pork in reaction to this CAFO “landscape of displacement.”
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