The Dirty Life

Nathanael Yellis By Nathanael Yellis • Last Updated May 18, 2021

This review has been in my queue for a while. It's seems more vitriolic than I remember feeling about this book. The Dirty Life was enjoyable to read. The author was good.

My takeaway, a month removed, was this: simply because farming is hard and some have chosen it doesn't mean we owe them our money. Some farmers, especially those of the organic flavor, seem to think we do.


Thank the divinities, a decent writer moved to an organic farm and wrote a memoir. No more do we have to rely on New York Times magazine pieces that don't really understand, or longreads on the internet that don't have the wholesomeness of a book. Thank the divinities. How else would we know exactly and illustratively what the trendpeople are trendfeeling for their organic-slowfood-wholefood-localfood pretentiousness?

I could not put this book down. When you'll have sex with anyone but will only eat food that meets a 17-item list of criteria, you are riveting as a person. You must be. (Speaking of sex, the author's recipes are erotica for the foodies. So there's your trigger warning.)

Also: the tone of "we were here first" is not as prominent as you'd think. The overriding tone is more: our great grandparents lived like this and now you know why everyone else got the hell out as quickly as they could. Riveting.

Read other posts