An indispensable book. . .the best analysis of the global food economy you are likely to find.—Michael Pollan
Everyone's got to eat, and this spellbinding book makes it clear why that may be a problem.—Bill McKibben
Paul Roberts, best-selling author of The End of Oil, turns his attention to the modern food economy and finds that the system entrusted to meet our most basic needs is failing dramatically.
In this carefully researched, vividly recounted narrative, Roberts lays out the stark economic realities beneath modern food—and shows how our system for making, marketing, and moving what we eat is growing less and less compatible with the billions of consumers that system was built to serve.
At the heart of The End of Food is a grim paradox: the rise of large-scale, hyper-efficient industrialized food production, though it generates more food more cheaply than at any time in history, has reached a point of dangerously diminishing returns. Our high-volume factory systems are creating new risks for food-borne illness—from E. coli to avian flu. Our high-yield crops and livestock generate grain, vegetables and meat of declining nutritional quality. Overproduction is so routine that nearly one billion people are now overweight or obese worldwide—and yet those extra calories are still so unevenly distributed that the same number of people—one billion, roughly one in every seven of us—can't get enough to eat. In some of the hardest-hit regions, such as sub-Saharan Africa, the lack of a single nutrient—vitamin A—has left more than 5 million children permanently blind.
Meanwhile, the shift to heavily mechanized, chemically intensive farming has so compromised the soils, water systems, and other natural infrastructure upon which all food production depends that it's unclear how long such output can be maintained. And just as we've begun to understand the limits of our industrialized superabundance, the burgeoning economies of Asia, where newly wealthy consumers are rapidly adopting Western-style, meat-heavy diets, are putting new demands on global food supplies.
Comprehensive and global, with lucid writing, dramatic detail and fresh insights, The End of Food offers readers new, accessible way to understand the vulnerable miracle of the modern food economy. Roberts presents clear, stark visions of the future and helps us prepare to make the decisions -- personal and global -- we must make to survive the demise of food production as we know it.
Paul Roberts is the author of The End of Oil, which was a 2005 New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Book Award Finalist. He has written about the resource economics and politics for numerous publications, including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, and lectures frequently on business and environmental issues.
Cited from amazon.com