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Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  347 ratings  ·  36 reviews
The gargantuan effort needed to feed cities across the world on a daily basis has a massive and vastly underappreciated social and physical impact on both human populations and the planet. Yet few eaters are conscious of the processes that are required to bring food into a metropolis. This original and revolutionary study examines the way in which modern food production ha ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 5th 2008 by Random House UK
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Sean Goh
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, science
5 stars for the sheer scope of this book, which covered the entire value chain of food, from the land it is grown on, how it gets to the city, how it gets distributed in the city, how it is prepared, and how it is disposed of (or wasted, as the case may be). Thought-provoking, to say the least.
Hammers home Maslow's Hierarchy pretty strongly. Without food, what use is everything else? Or in other words: 可以吃的吗?(Can it be eaten?)
Architecture as the embodiment of human dwelling in its fullest sen
Sashko Valyus
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Одна з кращих книг що читав за останні роки. Просто по 100 сторінок за вечір ковтав. Книга описує розвиток міста з точки зору їжі. Місто, яке саме їжу не виробляє, сильно залежить від зовнішніх поставок із сіл та інших міст. Саме цей фактор багато в чому сприяв як розквіту, так і занепаду багатьох міст. Розглядається також фактор того, де ми купуємо їжу, як супермаркети витягують "соки" з місцевих малих підприємств. Ставлення і дизайн кухні також змінювався досить часто, якщо дивитись на те, що ...more
Dan Prichard
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Genuinely has changed the way I think about food, and my relationship to it. Cook more, buy local, grow your own!
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-planning
Роман о человеке и городе, в котром мы живем.

Отличное исследование длинною в целую книгу, информативно, позновательно без лишний воды. Легкая подача информации, вдохновляет на создания более горманичной жизни в городе, позволяет понять каким образом люди соотносят себя с местом где живут и что его любят. Указывает на проблемы глобального масштаба, которые двигают к мысли как действовать дальше и что стоит пересмотреть.

Город — это не только кирпич и бетон: он населен живыми людьми, и потому за
Pieter Post
May 13, 2020 rated it liked it
The book covers almost every aspect of the food chain, it's history and impact today. Found this very interesting and definitely taught me some things. However, it is not groundbreaking, has a strong focus on England and a bit of a lack of a clear point she wants to make. I think the book is more insightful for people that know less about the food sector
Александр Шушпанов
Вообще, я люблю поесть. Бешеный метаболизм позволяет мне это делать зачастую не в рамках понятия "хочу есть", а в рамках понятия "могу поесть". Расплачиваюсь я за это телосложением типа dadbod в зимние месяцы, в летние нагрузка повышается и я возвращаюсь к своей нормальной астении.

Но многих людей этот образ жизни приводит в ловушки, путь из которых долог и тернист.

Кстати, вы вправе не соглашаться с автором, но если хотите узнать о концепции, в которой застройщик привязан к супермаркету (а я, чёр
Gil Lopez
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: foodie, urbanism
I really enjoyed this book, Steele took a lot of my interests and combined them in a very succinct and useful way. Being a landscape designer, dating an architect, living in New York City, as a member of Slow Food USA, and other foodie groups and a guerrilla gardener to boot. Before being introduced to this book, I found myself looking at all of the issues covered and wishing there was a cohesive narrative. I learned a lot from the book especially since it has written from a very strong British ...more
Jeff Van Campen
Aug 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in argriculture, urban histories or food production.
This is a fascinating history of the relationship between food production and the city by Carolyn Steel, an architect. At times, the book is a bit London-centric, though she also on Paris. As a Londoner who has previously lived in Paris, this just made the book all the more interesting for me.

Most impressively, she not only covers agriculture and architecture, but has the courage to discuss waste management, food production's darker side. She provides another brilliant history of our relationshi
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Carolyn Steel is an architect with an interest in food. In her book she argues that food and its production and distribution is one of the most important influences in the world, and shows how it has affected our countryside, cities, and even homes. Full of great stories (how the Piggy Wiggy stores in the US created the idea of the self-service supermarket) and stats (in 1950 only 1 in 8 UK homes had a fridge), at times it’s very depressing (30 huge conglomerates control the bulk of the world’s ...more
Алёна Москалец
Очень ёмкая книга.
С античности до наших дней, с грядки до урны. Каждый аспект путешествия еды.
Начинаешь считать не только энергетическую ценность своего обеда, но и фактическую.
Еда — это не нефть, это гораздо более ценный ресурс. Но, чтобы понять это, мы сначала должны почувствовать её дефицит.
Учите детей готовить, потребляйте осознанно.

Стоит отметить, что каждый факт, каждая цифра подкреплена ссылкой на источник или исследование, что важно для такого рода литературы.

Jori Ann
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most informative and interesting books I’ve read in recent memory. I’ll never look at cities or food the same way. It’s very dense but worth the effort!
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maybe
Книга-страшилка, отток, как раньше было лучше и как нынче всё плохо. Местами очень интересно, но я часть страниц и целые главы пролистывала очень бегом, чтобы читать только то, что меня занимало.
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: city
Интересный взгляд на города с позиции пищи. Исторические отсылки включены.
Apr 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
There's nothing earth-shatteringly new in this book, it just combines mostly well-known facts in an interesting way. The subtitle is "How food shapes our lives" and Steel adresses food all the way from growing it to disposing of the results. The basic point is that our current methods of production and consumption are unsustainable for a multitude of reasons. It's polemical in places, and I found the last chapter on utopias a bit dull. But it had its good moments and interesting insights, especi ...more
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Our relationship to food in the modern world, particularly in the West, is one we take for granted. The products on offer in our supermarkets are mostly worthless: bad for us, not particularly tasty, and dull. Ms. Steel writes about this with great authority, covering everything from the history of the production and delivery of food in our large cities, to the remarkable waste of the 21st century. Despite the seriousness of her subject, she has very little of the strident tone of Naomi Klein, i ...more
Rhona McAdam
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Essential reading for anyone interested in urban agriculture. Steele's TED talk brought her ideas to a deservedly wider attention. Her focus is London but her ideas touch us all. I recommend the book's website as well, for those who want to read or listen to podcast previews of the book's concepts, and learn more about Steele and her work through her blog and articles.
Hanneke Mwk
Apr 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: food, sustainability
Written in an accesible style, the author takes you on a journey to where foods comes from behind the scenes. Very informative, although sometimes a bit long winded. The conclusion, if there is any, is not very well worked out. I thought the first few chapters were better than the later chapters on society and architecture. I felt the author's point was not as convincing as it was in the earlier chapters.
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very-detailed read on different aspects of food production and consumption, on architecture and how it interlinks with food, on how interior design of our kitchens in massive production disenables us to cook and what to do about it. Finally, why we need to cook, how our children benefit from learning about eating habits in the family and why on earth we need to go to the market! :)
Highly recommended.
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Despite a few faint moments when you suspect the author is liberally interpreting some findings in order to further her thesis - Hungry City was a thoroughly researched, deeply engaging, highly relevant, and incredibly educational discussion about food-eating and city-making. Both topics are well-served (see what I did there!), and anyone interested in either should read this book.
Dec 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
The NYU library wants its copy of this book back tonight. Funny how the faster I take notes, the more snarkily critical I get...

However, I must give mad props to the author for the line "Never in the field of human consumption has so much been fed to so many by so few." (94) Here's planning to quote that sucka every chance I get!
Doug Mckeever
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well researched look at the evolution of cities, problems with the food supply and just precisely how unsustainable our current ways of supporting the population are. I'm sure there was a lot I missed since I am not very familiar with London but nonetheless this is a great book to read if you are interested in how food systems affect urban design.
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
A really interesting history of food and how it has shaped our lives. Steel suggests several ways of moving forward, arguing that there is a need for a cultural shift in the way we value and consider food if we are to move toward a sustainable future. I would recommend Hungry City to anyone interested in issues of food security or simply food in general!
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
It was an OK read....some interesting chapters on the history of restaurants and how kitchen designs have evolved. The bigger point for me was that food plays a very big part in our lives, but we don't treat it as such. It has the power to mold the fabric of our lives and communities and we treat it as an after thought.
Nov 23, 2012 rated it liked it
A good but sometimes somewhat overlong read. Steel touches upon a lot of interesting subjects, but the relationship with urban planning is often somewhat blurred. The books conclusion is unspectacular, but it well written and certainly worth your time.
Nick Harris
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
An excellent, and well written book which romps through all aspects of food and cities, although the author is much stronger on architecture/planning, rather than ecology.
Aug 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful book that deserves a better review than I have time to write at the moment, but definitely worth the read.
Superb! A must read for anyone concerned with food, food security and cities. Focuses very much on the UK but relevant to anyone from anywhere. It is an inspiring read.
Sep 27, 2011 added it
example-heavy, not overly concerned with theorizing
Brian Sullivan
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful book with an almost poetic feel that presents psychosocial and economic realities of eating on planet earth.
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