The End of Food

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008 - Business & Economics - 390 pages
34 Reviews
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.

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Review: The End of Food

User Review  - Leah - Goodreads

"The End of Food" is one of the more comprehensive books released in the past couple of years that explores the intricacies of the global food economy. Personally, this was a fitting follow-up for me ... Read full review

Review: The End of Food

User Review  - Bertv23 - Goodreads

Dense, dry, redundant. However, Thoughts/Interesting bits: -Check out the Sierra Club's "The True Cost of Food" website -I think a food chem class would be very cool -"Neither organic farming nor any ... Read full review

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Contents

Prologue
ix
I
1
STARVING FOR PROGRESS
3
ITS SO EASY NOW
29
BUY ONE GET ONE FREE
57
TIPPING THE SCALES
82
II
111
EATING FOR STRENGH
113
IN THE LONG RUN
205
III
237
MAGIC PILLS
239
FOOD FIGHT
269
NOUVELLE CUISINE
298
Acknowledgments
323
Notes
324
Bibliography
363

THE END OF HUNGER
144
WE ARE WHAT WE EAT
175

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About the author (2008)

Paul Roberts is the author of The End of Oil, 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, and Rolling Stone, and lectures frequently on business and environmental issues. He lives in Washington State.

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