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Food, Inc.: Mendel to Monsanto--The Promises and Perils of the Biotech Harvest

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  768 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
For most people, the global war over genetically modified foods is a distant and confusing one. The battles are conducted in the mystifying language of genetics. A handful of corporate "life science" giants, such as Monsanto, are pitted against a worldwide network of anticorporate ecowarriors like Greenpeace. And yet the possible benefits of biotech agriculture to our food ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 8th 2005 by Simon & Schuster (first published June 10th 2003)
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Dec 20, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it
In Food, Inc. Peter Pringle explains the scientific, political, and legal history of genetically modified foods. The book was written in 2003, so it is incredibly dated as far as the subject matter goes, but I was looking for a book that was somewhat unbiased and not sensationalist, and they are few and far between with this incredibly controversial issue.

I don’t think I will ever completely understand how genetics works or how scientists have been able to do all that they have with genomes, bu
Andrew Masters
Mar 18, 2016 Andrew Masters rated it really liked it
Food, Inc. is a book dedicated to revealing the truths in the battle over genetically-modified foods. Peter Pringle tells both the truths and lies that both sides have made, explaining in-depth as he goes. He explains different scenarios involving these genetically modified foods from around the world to truly give insight into the industry.

Personally I enjoyed Food, Inc. I thought it was very helpful in clearing up questions that may arise involving genetically-modified foods. It gave me a true
Nov 01, 2012 Torrey rated it it was amazing
The Book that I read for this assignment is called Food Inc. The author of this book is Peter Pringle.The book is about the food industry in the united states of america. Food inc is 243 pages. A Common name in my book is monsanto. They are a corporation who specializes in GMO's ( Genetically Modified Organisms.

In Chapter four, " A New Sort of Tomato" Peter talks about GMO Tomatoes. He speaks on how in the early days of bio- engenieering, the petunia flower and tobacco leaves were the only two
Jan 15, 2008 Nicko rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Omnivores
Comprehensively covers a complex subject in an understandable and engaging way.

This is a book to own. It will change your perspective on food: where you buy it, what you buy and why. Not necessarily an 'alarmist' type of book. Just one that opens your eyes to the history of industrialized food production and where it is headed. A sustainable food supply should be at least of some importance to most people.

Consider some points in the book:
- insecticide and herbicide companies have bought out th
Nov 17, 2014 Graham rated it it was ok
I found the lack of organization in this book its greatest downfall. The book subtitle "Mendel to Monsanto -- The Promises and Perils of the Biotech Harvest" would make it seem that it traces a scientific history beginning with Mendel and ending with Monsanto, though there is somewhat of a coherent connection made in this book, the chronology is extremely skewed. Each chapter is a jumble of the same and the chapter titles are only vaguely related to the chapter content. To write a book this way ...more
Aug 29, 2012 Brianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Expanded on GMO crops - was a little out of date. Repeated things and expanded on things from the world according to Monsanto, however shed some light on a few new things I didn't know. The authors point of view was also rather interesting and refreshing.
Michelle Lensing
Jun 02, 2016 Michelle Lensing rated it liked it
This book does a great job at informing its reader of the pros and cons of GMOs. It really describes many different reasons why GMOs could be very harmful to us, but at the same time Pringle doesn't leave out how they could benefit us as well. Because he informs the reader on both sides to the argument, it is really left up to the reader to decided what they ultimately think about GMOs. This book is extremely informative; however, it can get boring to read through all of these somewhat scientifi ...more
Aug 11, 2009 Mic rated it really liked it
This is a really excellent book. Before I bought it I remember reading an review that more or less said this book was a shill for corporate agribusiness, but I don't agree at all. Peter Pringle seems to have presented the pertinent issues, important events, and opinions around them in an informative, unbiased manner, which I really appreciate.
Alot of the events covered in this book were also covered in one of my favorite documentaries, The Future of Food, and it was interesting to se
Jul 29, 2012 Litbitch rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, food
Excellent. I don't understand why I thought it was dull and put is aside when I started reading it a few years ago. Pringle has this really interesting style of seeming to mock the argument, credentials, or public statements of a certain advocate or group, then delving into their point of view to the extent that it becomes either reasonable or deeply flawed - but you can't usually tell which it's going to be when you start reading about them. It's rather blatant skepticism, and once I got used t ...more
Apr 14, 2015 Andy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People looking for knowledge, not reinforcement of current opinions.
The kind of "argument" I like: Well-researched and impartial.

Biotech companies will tell you that antibiotech people are uninformed Luddite nutjobs. Antibiotech people will tell you that biotech companies are greedy, heartless Malthusians. This book shows you how both sides are wrong -- about their opposition and themselves.

Warning: This book will have you asking the planet to stop spinning for a minute so you can get off.
Jan 09, 2015 Amanda marked it as to-read
Shelves: health
I have watched the movie and it shifted my perspective on the food industry... hoping the book is even better!
Feb 03, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
The author presents an "unbiased" discussion of genetically modified crops. He does a fairly good job. Sometimes his jumping back and forth across an issue is confusing, but he tries not to stay too long on any one side. Despite (or perhaps because of) his unbiased opinion there is much in here that should concern the public about the safety of GM crops, although the author still holds out hope that GM crops can help feed the world. This book isn't as extensive or well researched as "The World A ...more
An excellent DVD version is available.
Jun 11, 2009 Jenifer rated it liked it
This was an interesting book. I always just thought about the health ramifications of genetically modified food, but there are so many other issues. Like the way big corporations have exploited poor farmer's from underdeveloped countries and how GM foods affect the economy of third world countries. It was also really scary to learn how the government regulates this industry. The regulations are SO lax that it is really scary!!!!!
May 08, 2007 Ashley rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who want to understand the GM debate and with interests in politics, science, and economics
Shelves: general
This gives a well-balanced account of the many arguments on both sides of the GM debate. Its a relatively quick read and provides important background information on the subject. What I like most is that after providing you with the "facts", as close as one can come, it leaves the reader to maker his/her own decision.
Oct 19, 2013 Nick rated it it was amazing
Have you eaten genetically modified food? If you're American, yes. Yet how much do we actually know about this new technology. This book is fair and unbiased. The author points out faults on both sides as to why there is so much FUD about them. I learned a lot about it's history and where we'll go from here.
Mar 02, 2013 Jenny rated it liked it
The first chapter was slow and I didn't find it as compelling as the rest of the book. I think the author did a good job of providing a balanced view while highlighting the lax regulations and patent law oversights that are creating problems in the industry.
Mar 20, 2014 Lisa added it
I'm hoping that by watching the documentary I will be able to retain some of the facts a bit better.
Jun 23, 2013 Linda rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Did not thoroughly read the last couple of chapters as it was just more of the same. I agree with the message, appreciated the background information and examples but didn't need quite so much of it.
Feb 24, 2011 RUSA CODES rated it it was amazing
This was one of the 2004 RUSA Notable Books winners. For the complete list, go to
Mar 26, 2010 Tatiana rated it really liked it
i'd really love to take Monsanto down a notch or two, or ten.
Yes, watch the film, but definitely read the book.
Michael De Paola
Nov 04, 2009 Michael De Paola marked it as to-read
I'd have liked to see the documentary too but I don't think it played outside of New York or L.A.
Aug 09, 2009 Patrick rated it it was amazing
A frightening look at the food industry. Now a independent film
Luc marked it as to-read
Sep 25, 2016
Michelle Lam
Michelle Lam marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2016
Elizabeth Hough
Elizabeth Hough rated it it was amazing
Sep 20, 2016
October is currently reading it
Sep 18, 2016
Cam Rzadki
Cam Rzadki marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2016
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Sep 11, 2016
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Peter Pringle is a veteran British foreign correspondent. He is theauthor and coauthor of several nonfiction books, including th ebestselling Those Are Real Bullets, Aren't They? He lives in New York City.

* Arthur Hemmings Mystery
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