Food, Science, Policy and Regulation in the Twentieth Century: International and Comparative Perspectives

Routledge
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This highly topical book offers a comprehensive study of the interaction of food, politics and science over the last hundred years. A range of important case studies, from pasteurisation in Britain to the E coli outbreak offers new material for those interested in science policy and the role of expertise in modern political culture.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Apr 15, 2013
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9781135128609
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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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.
This new edition offers a timely update to the leading textbook dedicated to all aspects of U.S. food policy. The update accounts for experience with policy changes in the 2014 Farm Bill and prospects for the next Farm Bill, the publication of the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the removal of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status for trans fats, the collapse of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty, stalled child nutrition reauthorization legislation, reforms in food-labeling policy, the consequences of the 2016 presidential election and many other developments. The second edition offers greater attention both to food justice issues and to economic methods, including extensive economics appendices in a new online Companion Website.

As with the first edition, real-world controversies and debates motivate the book’s attention to economic principles, policy analysis, nutrition science and contemporary data sources. The book assumes that the reader's concern is not just the economic interests of farmers and food producers but also includes nutrition, sustainable agriculture, food justice, the environment and food security. The goal is to make U.S. food policy more comprehensible to those inside and outside the agri-food sector whose interests and aspirations have been ignored.

The chapters cover U.S. agriculture, food production and the environment, international agricultural trade, food and beverage manufacturing, food retail and restaurants, food safety, dietary guidance, food labeling, advertising and federal food assistance programs for the poor.

The author is an agricultural economist with many years of experience in the nonprofit advocacy sector, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and as a professor at Tufts University. The author's blog on U.S. food policy provides a forum for discussion and debate of the issues set out in the book.

The New York Times bestselling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Then came SuperFreakonomics, a documentary film, an award-winning podcast, and more.

Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally—to think, that is, like a Freak.

Levitt and Dubner offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems, whether your interest lies in minor lifehacks or major global reforms. As always, no topic is off-limits. They range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain. Along the way, you’ll learn the secrets of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, and why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they’re from Nigeria.

Some of the steps toward thinking like a Freak:

First, put away your moral compass—because it’s hard to see a problem clearly if you’ve already decided what to do about it. Learn to say “I don’t know”—for until you can admit what you don’t yet know, it’s virtually impossible to learn what you need to. Think like a child—because you’ll come up with better ideas and ask better questions. Take a master class in incentives—because for better or worse, incentives rule our world. Learn to persuade people who don’t want to be persuaded—because being right is rarely enough to carry the day. Learn to appreciate the upside of quitting—because you can’t solve tomorrow’s problem if you aren’t willing to abandon today’s dud.

Levitt and Dubner plainly see the world like no one else. Now you can too. Never before have such iconoclastic thinkers been so revealing—and so much fun to read.

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