Staff Review: "The Fate of Food"
In today’s world, more and more people want to know about the food they eat, where it comes from, and how it’s grown. But what does the future hold for consumers – and the food on their plates – in a world that’s getting increasingly hotter, drier and that has more extreme weather?
In The Fate of Food, author Amanda Little explores the different techniques and technologies that scientists, experts, and inventors around the world are developing to help prepare for a future that may include more droughts and famines. Little travels to New Jersey, where vertical indoor farms are growing leafy greens in the heart of urbanized neighborhoods; to Kenya, where small villages rely on genetically modified crops to combat pests and droughts; to San Francisco, where plant-based and lab-grown meats are being developed as an alternative to mass-produced meat from factory farms; and to Massachusetts, where military scientists are developing 3D-printed food for soldiers and, eventually, the general public.
Little also visits Norway, where salmon farms are becoming more environmentally-friendly; to Arkansas, where robotic weeders and produce pickers are being perfected through artificial intelligence; to Israel, where the country went from a water deficit to a surplus by employing water-saving and desalination methods; and to Utah, where a variety of vacuum-sealed meals are being developed to cater to a growing number of doomsday preppers. In addition, the topics of food waste, pesticide use, unpredictable weather, and the proliferation of ancient grains are also addressed.
Little writes in a manner that is educational but also highly accessible. She explains various agriculture processes and techniques in an easy-to-understand way, and includes statistics that are often eye-opening and, sometimes, alarming. The book also includes over 30 pages of notes and sources, so the reader knows exactly where Little has gotten her facts and figures from.
I would highly recommend this book to people interested in agriculture, slow food, science, or technology, or to anyone who wants a glimpse of what could be on their plate in the next 15 to 20 years.