Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Book of the Year: The End of Food

The End of Food by Paul Roberts (2008, Houghton-Mifflin) is a compelling look at our food supply. Well researched and documented, Roberts explores every angle of our modern food system, revealing massive problems with global supplies and where this system is headed. Roberts' narrative drives stories that are heavy with details, covering such topics as:

  • The inertia of the industrial food system and how farm subsidies support this failing system

  • Externalities and the true cost of cheap food

  • The lobbying power of large agricultural operations

  • The increasing incidence of food-borne illnesses and the obesity epidemic

  • Counting on consistent crops as some growing regions rack up record doughts

  • Rising middle classes all over the world adopting meat-based diets

This is a must read, in-depth look into the myriad problems of our food system. You won't be able to put it down.

In the end, Roberts suggestions for these problems include:

  • Lobby Congress to change farm bills and remove subsidies from large-scale commodities like wheat, soybeans and corn.

  • Demand more government funding for sustainable and organic farm methods.

  • Urge school boards to improve school lunches with fresh local and regional foods.

  • Build regional food systems

Get this book as a gift for yourself this season. Read it, and give thanks for our local squash, potatoes, apples, kale, and every other Northwest vegetable or fruit that graces our plates.

No comments: