Friday Food Talk: Righteous Porkchop Hits Eastern Iowa

An acclaimed investigation into the conditions and effects of factory farms has been selected as the 2012 title for the community reading program known as Linn Area Reads. Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms by Nicolette Hahn Niman will be the centerpiece of this year’s programming.

“When Bobby Kennedy, Jr. first asked Nicolette Hahn Niman to head up his environmental organization’s “hog campaign,” she balked. Investigating hog manure pollution was hardly the glamorous assignment she pictured when leaving everything to work for him in New York. But Kennedy, she discovered, is not a man who takes no for an answer.

Thus began Nicolette’s fascinating odyssey into the inner workings of the “factory farm” industry and her transformation into an intrepid environmental lawyer who goes up against the big business farming establishment and—unexpectedly—finds love along the way.

Starting her work for Kennedy’s organization in North Carolina, Nicolette uncovers the shocking practices of hog factory farms, including inhumane animal confinement and devastating water and air pollution. She organizes a national reform movement to fight these practices and shows again and again that livestock farming can be done a better way—not only for hogs, but also for poultry, fish, and dairy cows.”

Hahn Niman will give a presentation on Friday, May 11, at 7 p.m. at the Hotel at Kirkwood as the finale of the Linn Area Reads program. The presentation will also be part of the 2012 edition of Out Loud! The Metro Library Network Author Series.

Book discussions will be held each Thursday in March at 6:30 p.m. at the Cedar Rapids Barnes & Noble.

There will be an ongoing blog conversation about the book and the issues it raises. The blog can be found at

On Saturday, April 14 at 2 p.m. at the Marion Public Library, The Gazette will host a panel discussion entitled “Beyond Factory Farms.”

On Sunday, April 22 from 1 to 5 p.m., a “Farm to Market” vendor fair will be held at Westdale Mall, offering attendees the opportunity to learn more about local food production.

Linn Area Reads is a program of the Metro Library Network, which is made up of the Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha Public Libraries.


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