Real Dirt is a groundbreaking book for any reader interested in learning more about where food comes from. Harry Stoddart shares years of experience and knowledge in his quirky dissection of agriculture and what we eat. Among his many achievements, he has developed a farming system he believes is the starting point for genuinely sustainable agriculture. A sixth-generation farmer, Harry bought his parent’s swine confinement animal feeding operation two decades ago. He converted the farm to be a certified organic system and then to a new one he feels will transform the way we raise and grow our food. He shares this story and more with readers in Real Dirt: An Ex-industrial Farmer’s Guide to Sustainable Eating.
Harry tackles the major food industry problems, delving into the science and economic issues surrounding sustainable farming. He navigates the “whys” and “hows” of GMOs, resistance-building doses of antibiotics, pesticides, and confinement animal housing, while elaborating on how he damaged the environment more in his first years as an organic farmer than as a conventional farmer.
Harry skillfully educates eaters about how they can individually participate in and demand sustainable agriculture. Real Dirt challenges consumers to choose a better future for food production.
“I found it very persuasive on many points. Also well written and clear and funny. Congratulations-- it's an important contribution to the conversation.” - Michael Pollan, Author of Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (2013) and New York Times bestseller Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010)
“The most important person to read the message contained in these pages is every consumer, and that's you! Your life will be better for it….You may be shocked but you won't be disappointed.” — Elwood Quinn, La Ferme Quinn, Rare Breeds Canada
“[Real Dirt] provides the casual reader with a thoughtful and deeper understanding as to how society can have an impact on the way our food is produced…. Read it – you will be informed, entertained and find a personal role for your involvement in our food production practices.” — Dr. Frank Ingratta, Retired Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ontario
“Real Dirt is a thoughtful and well researched look at our agriculture and food system…Real Dirt is a must read for anyone who is actually interested in learning about and discussing how to improve our food system for the long term.” — Rob Hannam, Owner, Synthesis Agri-Food Network
About the author
The Stoddart Family Farm pioneered the use of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) style of selling meat in Canada and now uses CSA share programs for meat, eggs, and wool. Harry’s farm has the largest 100% grass-fed cattle herd and sheep flock grazing on certified organic pastures in Ontario. His customers tell him he has the best meat going. Harry Stoddart holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics. He has completed agricultural policy analysis for the federal government and almost every provincial government in Canada. Harry is an associate at the George Morris Centre, Canada’s foremost agri-food industry think tank, and he sits on the advisory board and is a faculty member of the Sustainable Agriculture Program at Fleming College, Ontario.