As it’s written by meat scientists, The Meat We Eat is very heavy on the scientific aspect of meat production. There’s more info than you probably ever wanted to know about growth of Staphylococcus Aureus, or depilating hog carcasses. Unlike almost any other book on the market, this one has footnotes that direct you to studies relevant to what’s being discussed. It’s one thing to discuss the use of emulsifiers in sausage production, it’s another thing altogether to point readers to Mitraki, et al.’s relevant paper on protein folding defects in commercially available polypeptide binders. Yeah, have a dictionary handy.
At the end of the day, my recommendation isn’t for anyone to read The Meat We Eat straight through. There’s just a ton more important things you could be doing with your time. The beauty of this book is that it’s such a broadly focused reference that just about any meat related question you may have can be answered with a quick trip to the index. From there, you have enough information to move on to more specialized sources - the Marinanski’s books on sausages or Adam Danforth’s great books on slaughter and breakdown. If my last post inspired you to go out and pick up the River Cottage Meat Book (and it should have), then you could do much worse than putting The Meat We Eat right next to it on the shelf.