From the Publisher

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.

Topics: Food History, Consumerism, Informative, and Provocative

Published: Mariner Books an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on
ISBN: 9780547524849
List price: $14.95
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for The End of Food
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.

Related Articles

Union of Concerned Scientists
2 min read

What We Need Are Farms That Support Farmers, Consumers AND the Environment

Note: This post was co-authored with Marcia DeLonge and originally published in Ensia. The past several years have been rough for many U.S. farmers and ranchers. Net farm incomes this year could fall to 50 percent of 2013 levels in a fourth consecutive year of income declines that is leading some producers to seek alternatives. At the same time, rural and urban Americans share growing concerns related to agriculture: worries that water pollution will be increasingly costly and harmful, that water supplies are at risk from extreme swings in rainfall, and that global warming due to fossil fuel b
Popular Science
5 min read

We Need to Protect the World's Soil Before It's Too Late

Little, Brown and Company The Ground Beneath Us The following is an excerpt from The Ground Beneath Us by Paul Bogard. It’s hard to believe that American society could possibly collapse because of a lack of soil. And it’s true that we in the States are blessed to live in a country so rich in this life-giving source. But in a small world growing smaller all the time, what happens to the soil in other parts of the world—often much more at risk than our soils—will eventually affect us and our economy, and the stability of the world around us. For example, soil scientists fear that we are wasting
Entrepreneur
1 min read
Food & Wine

10 Food & Farming Companies to Watch - Entrepreneur's Brilliant 100

From delivery to minimizing waste, these smart food and farming startups help us make the most of every meal and morsel.  1. Eatsa’s fully automated eatery offers meat-free fast food without cashiers or servers. 2. Bright Cellars, a ‘Pandora of wine,’ built a personalized wine-matching algorithm to help match wine lovers with their next favorite bottle. 3. MintScraps tracks how much food restaurants toss, helping companies calculate potential savings or even spot real-time trends.   4. Maple, a food-delivery startup in Manhattan, works with top chefs to deliver fresh meals -- a major office lu