By: Eric Mittenthal

Looking for a gift for the meat lover in your life this holiday season? Here are a few ideas to make your last week of shopping before Christmas a bit easier (and though Hanukkah is over already, it’s never too late for a gift!)

This year was a big one for books focused on agriculture and meat production. Three stood out as particularly well done (no pun intended):

  • In Meat We Trust: Author Maureen Ogle tells the untold story of how meat made America: a tale of the self-made magnates, pragmatic farmers, and impassioned activists who shaped us into the greatest eaters and providers of meat in history. As a historian, Ogle writes the book as a history lesson on the different factors that shaped the meat industry from colonial times to today. The book was recently favorably reviewed in the Wall Street Journal.
  • No More Food Fights: Author Michele Payn-Knoper bridges the conversation about food, looking at the farmer’s perspective and consumer perspectives of modern food production. In an effort to break stereotypes, one side of this book describes farmers who don’t wear overalls but who do use technology in producing food and preserving the environment, dairy farmers who work on “cow comfort,” and how hard farmers work on sustainability. On the other side, the book reminds farmers that only a tiny percentage of the population lives on a farm and urges farmers to tell their stories through social media and everyday conversation to correct mistaken beliefs about food production perpetuated by traditional media. Knoper’s background lends to her expertise on the topic, as a farmer who started the online AgChat conversation, she understands the current conversations around food from both sides as well as anyone.
  • The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto About the Politics of Your Plate: Author Jayson Lusk takes on the so called “food police” in “A rollicking indictment of the liberal elite’s hypocrisy when it comes to food.” The book takes on many of the myths surrounding modern food production and challenges those who perpetuate those myths. As a professor in the department of agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University, Lusk’s research focuses on predicting and understanding consumer behavior as it relates to food. He has published more than 135 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals on a wide assortment of topics ranging from the economics of animal welfare to consumer preferences for genetically modified food to the impacts of new technologies and policies on livestock and meat markets to analyzing the merits of new survey and experimental approaches eliciting consumer preferences.

Stocking Stuffers

For those looking for something a little more fun for the holidays we also found a few stocking stuffers you might enjoy:

  • For the dog lovers, check out the hot dog leash.
  • Need a unique hostess gift?  Beef lovers will enjoy this steer ornament with cuts conveniently marked.  Pig and lamb companions, also with cuts marked, are available, too.
  • Want that delicious fried chicken smell without having to do the cooking? Get your loved one a fried chicken scented candle. Sadly this is sold out for Christmas delivery.
  • Two words: Meat Socks
  • Finally, you can never go wrong with a meat thermometer.

Those are a few of our ideas. What meaty gifts did we miss that you will be giving this year?

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