America’s Two-Headed Pig
reviewed by Dr. Stephanie Gilfoy, ND
The front cover clearly states the goal of America’s Two-Headed Pig: to explain how to go about treating nutritional deficiencies and disease in a genetically modified, antibiotic resistant, and pesticide dependent world. Author Leah Dunham is the daughter of a veterinarian and as such grew up seeing her father diagnose and cure herd illnesses through providing cattle with proper nutrition. As this book clearly describes in great detail, however, proper nutrition is a lot harder to come by and has been getting even more difficult in the more recent years as politics, money, and health collide.
The author deeply explores how alternative motives and vested interested affect our plants, animals, and us; how what we once thought were quick and cheaper solutions have become complex and very expensive issues; and how if we don’t do something soon to change it, there may no longer be any nutrition in our food. For example, this book gives a fantastic description of how the weeds and pests solution was ‘fixed’ with herbicides and pesticides, but how that lead to the genetic modification of plants, animal food, and as a results, our food. It describes how the GMO plants then affect the animals, making them weak, deformed, and ill, and how that lead to antibiotic and hormonal treatment. These sick plants and animals, covered in herbicides and pesticides, and pumped with medications are supposed to provide us with the best nutrition. The style of this book is interesting in that each chapter describes an animal illness and how it has been affected by a political agenda, and in reality, has nothing to do with providing our nation, or world, with healthy food, and especially not animal welfare.
As a naturopathic physician, I found this book to be of great interest and importance. Although much of this book is written to explain the relationship between animal illness and disease, I could not help to draw parallels between all that is going on in our food supply and the patients that I see daily in my practice. A huge part of treating patients from a naturopathic perspective is to replace the nutritional deficiencies. In my office, I always try to start with healthy food, but as this book clearly points out, it can be difficult to do so if our food itself is full of nutrient deficiencies. Overall, I found this book to be a very interesting and informative. I was eager to learn more about the animal illnesses and relate them to what I see in humans; I was frustrated to learn about what is actually going on; and I am happy to have a much clearer understanding of how to feed my family and guide my patients. I think everyone who cares about or is interested in their health, animal health, or the environment should read this book.