Paul Roberts, the 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 need is failing.
In this carefully researched, vivid narrative, Roberts lays out the stark economic realities behind modern food and shows how our system of 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 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. While nearly one billion people worldwide are overweight or obese, the same number of people--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 five million children permanently blind.
Meanwhile, the shift to heavily mechanized, chemically intensive farming has so compromised soil and water that it's unclear how long such output can be maintained. And just as we've begun to understand the limits of our abundance, the burgeoning economies of Asia, with their rising middle classes, are adopting Western-style, meat-heavy diets, putting new demands on global food supplies.
Comprehensive in scope and full of fresh insights, The End of Food presents a lucid, stark vision of the future. It is a call for us to make crucial decisions to help us survive the demise of food production as we know it.
Paul Roberts is the author of The End of Oil, which was a finalist for the New York Public Library's Helen Bernstein Book Award in 2005. He has written about resource economics and politics for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Harper's Magazine, and Rolling Stone, and lectures frequently on business and environmental issues.
A Hudson Booksellers Staff Pick for the Best Books of 2013
One of Publishers Weekly's Top Ten Spring Science Books
A Bookshop Santa Cruz Staff Pick
Dinosaurs, with their awe-inspiring size, terrifying claws and teeth, and otherworldly abilities, occupy a sacred place in our childhoods. They loom over museum halls, thunder through movies, and are a fundamental part of our collective imagination. In My Beloved Brontosaurus, the dinosaur fanatic Brian Switek enriches the childlike sense of wonder these amazing creatures instill in us. Investigating the latest discoveries in paleontology, he breathes new life into old bones.
Switek reunites us with these mysterious creatures as he visits desolate excavation sites and hallowed museum vaults, exploring everything from the sex life of Apatosaurus and T. rex's feather-laden body to just why dinosaurs vanished. (And of course, on his journey, he celebrates the book's titular hero, "Brontosaurus"--who suffered a second extinction when we learned he never existed at all--as a symbol of scientific progress.)
With infectious enthusiasm, Switek questions what we've long held to be true about these beasts, weaving in stories from his obsession with dinosaurs, which started when he was just knee-high to a Stegosaurus. Endearing, surprising, and essential to our understanding of our own evolution and our place on Earth, My Beloved Brontosaurus is a book that dinosaur fans and anyone interested in scientific progress will cherish for years to come.
In hisNew York Times bestseller, National Magazine Award-winning journalist Eric Schlosser charts the fast food industry's enormous impact on our health, landscape, economy, politics and culture as he transforms the way America thinks about what it eats.
A world-renowned paleontologist takes readers all over the globe to reveal a new science that trumps science fiction: how humans can re-create a dinosaur.
In movies, in novels, in comic strips, and on television, we?ve all seen dinosaurs?or at least somebody's educated guess of what they would look like. But what if it were possible to build, or grow, a real dinosaur, without finding ancient DNA? Jack Horner, the scientist who advised Steven Spielberg on "Jurassic Park," and a pioneer in bringing paleontology into the twenty-first century, teams up with the editor of "The New York Times, /I>'s Science Times section to reveal exactly what's in store.
In the 1980s, Horner began using CAT scans to look inside fossilized dinosaur eggs, and he and his colleagues have been delving deeper ever since. At North Carolina State University, Mary Schweitzer has extracted fossil molecules?proteins that survived 68 million years?from a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil excavated by Horner. These proteins show that T. rex and the modern chicken are kissing cousins. At McGill University, Hans Larsson is manipulating a chicken embryo to awaken the dinosaur within: starting by growing a tail and eventually prompting it to grow the forelimbs of a dinosaur. All of this is happening without changing a single gene.
This incredible research is leading to discoveries and applications so profound they?re scary in the power they confer on humanity. "How to Build a Dinosaur" is a tour of the hot rocky deserts and air-conditioned laboratories at the forefront of this scientific revolution.
When Ettlinger's young daughter asked him, What's polysorbate 60? he was at a loss--and determined to find out. The result is a fascinating, thoroughly researched exploration into the food industry that demystifies some of the most commonly processed food ingredients.
Beyond what we already know about "food miles" and eating locally, the global food system is a major contributor to climate change, producing as much as one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. How we farm, what we eat, and how our food gets to the table all have an impact. And our government and the food industry are willfully ignoring the issue rather than addressing it.
In Anna Lappe's controversial new book, she predicts that unless we radically shift the trends of what food we're eating and how we're producing it, food system-related greenhouse gas emissions will go up and up and up. She exposes the interests that will resist the change, and the spin food companies will generate to avoid system-wide reform. And she offers a vision of a future in which our food system does more good than harm, with six principles for a climate friendly diet as well as visits to farmers who are demonstrating the potential of sustainable farming.
In this measured and intelligent call to action, Lappe helps readers understand that food can be a powerful starting point for solutions to global environmental problems."
An IACP Award-Winning Cookbook
In this entertaining, informative guide, one of the leading experts in culinary science--a chef, consultant, and scientist who has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, from Thomas Keller to Daniel Humm--paints a portrait of each of the fundamental building blocks of food, giving all cooks a way to visualize and respond to what's really happening in the pan.
There are ingredients, and then there are Ingredients. An ingredient is a tomato, a tortilla, or some tarragon. An Ingredient (with a capital "I") is a fundamental building block or recurring theme that works behind the scenes in everything we cook. There are millions of ingredients, but only eight Ingredients: Water, Sugars, Carbs, Lipids, Proteins, Minerals, Gases, and Heat.
Each Ingredient has its own personality, a set of things it does or doesn't do. Ever been blown away by a wonderfully fragrant dish? From soup and mashed potatoes to French toast and barbecue, lipids act like glue to stick aromas to your food. Is a batter too thin or sauce not clinging correctly? The best bets for thickening any liquid are carbs and proteins, which we can find anywhere from a bag of flour to a roasted garlic clove or a piece of braised meat. This book teaches you the personalities of the Ingredients, where to find them, and how to put them to work.
Ingredient isn't a book of recipes, nor is it a definitive treatise on the science of the kitchen. It's an illustrated guide to visualizing and controlling food's invisible moving parts, regardless of your skill level or how you like to cook.
Through this lively, engaging, and accessible guide, renowned culinary scientist Ali Bouzari shifts our focus from secret ingredients to the secrets of Ingredients.