The End of Food

by Paul Roberts (Author)

Editorial Reviews

An indispensable book. . .the best analysis of the global food economy you are
likely to find.—Michael Pollan

Everyone's got to eat, and this spellbinding book makes it clear why that may be
a problem.—Bill McKibben

Product Description
Paul Roberts, 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
needs is failing dramatically.

In this carefully researched, vividly recounted narrative, Roberts lays out the
stark economic realities beneath modern food—and shows how our system for
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,
hyper-efficient industrialized 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.

Overproduction is so routine that nearly one billion people are now overweight
or obese worldwide—and yet those extra calories are still so unevenly
distributed that the same number of people—one billion, roughly 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 5
million children permanently blind.

Meanwhile, the shift to heavily mechanized, chemically intensive farming has so
compromised the soils, water systems, and other natural infrastructure upon
which all food production depends that it's unclear how long such output can be
maintained. And just as we've begun to understand the limits of our
industrialized superabundance, the burgeoning economies of Asia, where newly
wealthy consumers are rapidly adopting Western-style, meat-heavy diets, are
putting new demands on global food supplies.

Comprehensive and global, with lucid writing, dramatic detail and fresh
insights, The End of Food offers readers new, accessible way to understand the
vulnerable miracle of the modern food economy. Roberts presents clear, stark
visions of the future and helps us prepare to make the decisions -- personal and
global -- we must make to survive the demise of food production as we know it.

Paul Roberts is the author of The End of Oil, which was a 2005 New York Public
Library Helen Bernstein Book Award Finalist. He has written about the 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.

Product Details

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (June 4, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0618606238



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