The fate of food : what we'll eat in a bigger, hotter, smarter world

by Little, Amanda, 1974-

Format: Print Book [2019]
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In the fascinating story of the sustainable food revolution, an environmental journalist and professor asks the question: Is the future of food looking bleak--or better than ever?

"In The Fate of Food, Amanda Little takes us on a tour of the future. The journey is scary, exciting, and, ultimately, encouraging."--Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction

Climate models show that global crop production will decline every decade for the rest of this century due to drought, heat, and flooding. Water supplies are in jeopardy. Meanwhile, the world's population is expected to grow another 30 percent by midcentury. So how, really, will we feed nine billion people sustainably in the coming decades?

Amanda Little, a professor at Vanderbilt University and an award-winning journalist, spent three years traveling through a dozen countries and as many U.S. states in search of answers to this question. Her journey took her from an apple orchard in Wisconsin to a remote control organic farm in Shanghai, from Norwegian fish farms to famine-stricken regions of Ethiopia.

The race to reinvent the global food system is on, and the challenge is twofold: We must solve the existing problems of industrial agriculture while also preparing for the pressures ahead. Through her interviews and adventures with farmers, scientists, activists, and engineers, Little tells the fascinating story of human innovation and explores new and old approaches to food production while charting the growth of a movement that could redefine sustainable food on a grand scale. She meets small permaculture farmers and "Big Food" executives, botanists studying ancient superfoods and Kenyan farmers growing the country's first GMO corn. She travels to places that might seem irrelevant to the future of food yet surprisingly play a critical role--a California sewage plant, a U.S. Army research lab, even the inside of a monsoon cloud above Mumbai. Little asks tough questions: Can GMOs actually be good for the environment--and for us? Are we facing the end of animal meat? What will it take to eliminate harmful chemicals from farming? How can a clean, climate-resilient food supply become accessible to all?

Throughout her journey, Little finds and shares a deeper understanding of the threats of climate change and encounters a sense of awe and optimism about the lessons of our past and the scope of human ingenuity.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "This is an optimistic look at the future of the world's food supply, a subject that causes considerable angst when linked to climate change, rising sea temperatures, exploding population figures, clean water shortages . . . . Well, enough with the negatives. This take is positive and entertaining, as Little (Power Trip, 2009) documents her travels visiting farmers, botanists, and entrepreneurs: visionaries working to secure sustainable nourishment at the personal to international-conglomerate levels. The text is upbeat and peppered with wry observations (a blood-splattered chicken farmer looks like Katniss Everdeen crossed with a Jackson Pollock painting ), snippets from Robert Frost and Dr. Seuss, and personal critiques of engineered foods (one being Soylent, an adult baby formula available through Amazon). Some projects are still small scale, and most are still in the tinkering stage (robot crop harvesters; 3D-printed sandwiches), but the conclusion is that while food may someday look and taste a little different, science and ingenuity will keep it on our tables.--Kathleen McBroom Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Food supply -- Environmental aspects.
Food security.
Sustainable agriculture.
Publisher New York :[2019]
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 340 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 289-320) and index.
ISBN 9780804189033
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