The 20th century witnessed the growth of large corporate farms and massive industrial feed lots, along with the demise of family farms. Multinational companies became dominant in the production, packaging, and distribution of food, and American consumers became removed from the sources of their food.

A back-to-the-land movement inspired by the works of Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, and Helen and Scott Nearing emerged in the 1960s to 1970s. Outbreaks of foodborne diseases were not uncommon. In the late 1990s, Eric Schlosser reported some of the more unsavory practices of the meat industry, and Michael Pollan's work made us more conscious of how our food affected our health. Consumers began to be more aware of the dangers associated with an industrialized food supply and looked for ...

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