Marri's Reviews > The End of Food

The End of Food by Paul       Roberts
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's review
Jul 22, 11

bookshelves: food, united-states
Read from June 11 to July 22, 2011

Roberts is generally fair in the weighing of pros and cons with each facet of the food system -- and the alternative models that propose to replace it. Just as one raises a mental objection, Roberts seems to address it in the next paragraph. Such moderation is difficult to find in many discussions of food politics, and readers on both ends of the spectrum of argument about what should be done to feed the planet will be able to find pertinent perspectives from the other side relayed clearly in a way that should promote collaboration of opposed idealogues rather than continued opposition.

There is a lot of information to take in here, as Roberts has endeavoured to weave together the cultural, political, and practical expressions of our extant and proposed food systems. This means that sometimes reading drags, and it's difficult to find a specific piece of information again once you've read past it (if you didn't note the page) because of the interconnection rather than segmentation of ideas, but there are a lot of such pieces of information that one will likely want to discuss.

In the end, it might leave the average consumer feeling helpless and discouraged, and therefore justified in maintaining the status quo in the face of such seemingly impossible odds. Nevertheless, the problems here are problems which any self-ordained 'thoughtful consumer' should be aware of, even if they're tough to swallow. The truly thoughtful consumer will take up Roberts' small rallying cry to engage with the systems of food production in a politically active manner in addition to making informed choices. As a guideline to do this, The End of Food isn't effective, but as a justification for doing so and a persuasive argument for others, it can be.


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