The End of Food by Paul Roberts

The End of Food

byPaul Roberts

Paperback | April 30, 2009

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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.

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 iss...
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Details & Specs

Title:The End of FoodFormat:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1.03 inPublished:April 30, 2009Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0547085974

ISBN - 13:9780547085975

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Table of Contents

Contents Prologue ix

I 1 Starving for Progress 3 2 It’s So Easy Now 29 3 Buy One, Get One Free 57 4 Tipping The Scales 82

II 5 Eating For Strength 113 6 The End Of Hunger 144 7 We Are What We Eat 175 8 In The Long Run 205

III 9 Magic Pills 239 10 Food Fight 269

Epilogue: Nouvelle Cuisine 298 Acknowledgments 323 Notes 324 Bibliography 363 Index 366

Editorial Reviews

An indispensable book. . .the best analysis of the global food economy you are likely to find.-Michael PollanEveryone's got to eat, and this spellbinding book makes it clear why that may be a problem.-Bill McKibben