The End of Food

The End of Food

by Paul Roberts
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Overview

The End of Food by Paul Roberts

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547524849
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 05/06/2009
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 612,667
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

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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The End of Food 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Journalist Paul Roberts investigated the global food-delivery system and he reports that food product production and prices have advanced like the production and prices of other contemporary consumer goods. The economics of the food system push an ever-faster product cycle driven by supply-and-demand pressures. The infrastructure that delivers food to consumers uses ever-advancing technology. However, food itself is not an ordinary consumer ¿product.¿ Inexpensive food is an illusion, because the process externalizes many food production costs as cheap labor or cheap oil. Roberts explains why the food-delivery system is mired in economic, political and cultural problems, and examines the crisis that looms if it runs out of fuel or water, or both. getAbstract recommends this investigation to readers who want to understand the production, market and consumer implications involved in feeding the people on our planet.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The End of Food' is a highly organized nonfiction novel in which the author, Thomas F. Pawlick, reveals the dismal truth behind The United States' disjointed food industry. The case proposed is convincingly supported by statistics and data throughout the novel, and raises the reader's awareness in a subjective manner. Pawlick begins by focusing the reader¿s attention towards a personal experience regarding his conflict between the appetizing appearance of store bought tomatoes, and the reality of their unfavorable firmness. From this point, Pawlick details the system which provided the tomatoes, exposing a labyrinth of issues which negatively portray the fast, attractive, yet deficient food industry of The United States. In addition, Pawlick elaborates on the statistical evidence suggesting a decrease in nutrition of commercially grown agriculture over the past forty years. The reader is also introduced to the poor utilization of fertile soil, water, and fossil fuels by these industries which, afterwards, discharge dead soil and chemically saturated water, leaving the surrounding environment uninhabitable. Furthermore, as the reader discovers the unnatural condition of the modern food industry, Pawlick suggests alternatives, such as to plant private gardens using heirloom seeds. Major corporations which profit as a result of the food industry are accused of stealing our humanity and health. The wellness of our health is a monumental priority of daily life in order to yield an improved body performance. This, coupled by the nature of our humanity, which has provided food with cultural significance for centuries, are meaningful aspects of our existence. These characteristics should not be reduced by the government's inability to provide reasonable amounts of food with higher quality, opposed to a surplus of food with lower quality. In conclusion, 'The End of Food' is a fascinating journey inside America's flawed agricultural industry. The novel succeeds in arguing food's significance to humanity, suggesting that food sustains our life, strengthening our relationship to the Earth which provides us with sustenance. He further argues that food is more than a product to be consumed without awareness, but rather something to be cherished and cultivated naturally. Thomas F. Pawlick thrives in highlighting the importance of not only our nutrition and relationship with the world around us, but also the importance of indulging our lives with quality instead of quantity.
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Corn is awesome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NOPE NOT HERE?