The End of Food

The End of Food

Book - 2008
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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.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c2008
ISBN: 9780618606238
0618606238
Branch Call Number: 363.8 ROBERTS
Characteristics: xxvi, 390 p. ; 24 cm

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zipread
Mar 07, 2016

The End of Food --- by --- Paul Roberts.
This is indeed a thought provoking book: one t that should set off klaxons and send politicians and economists and activists scurrying. It’s a tale about food and what we eat; it’s about how we grow our food; it’s about food security and monocultures; it’s about soil degradation and what all of these things mean to the ability of our planet to continue to feed us adequately in spite of our burgeoning numbers. And the prospects don’t look good: in fact, they’re downright scary.
A seriously written book with bibliography and ample footnotes.

l
Lauren31
Jan 12, 2015

A bit outdated now given how many things have changed since the recession, but still some very interesting concepts to think about.

r
readingchef
Sep 08, 2011

Certainly food for thought ,fascinating and downright scary.

h
Hadley
Jun 09, 2009

A thoughtful, balanced and well-researched book about how unsustainable our current food production methods are.

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Hadley
Jun 09, 2009

...when researchers at Skippy realized that the traditional mode for peanut butter consumption -- the sandwich -- had become too complex for time-pressed families and kids, the company introduced single-serving tubes of peanut butter, called Squeeze Stix, that kids empty directly into their mouths....And according to Datamonitor, as companies continue to tailor the snack concept to specific demographics -- working parents, for example, or teenagers whose hands are full of iPods or cell phones -- the critical thresholds for product development will be whether it "can be consumed one-handed, and whether packaging causes a mess." The future of food is as an accessory.

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