So Shall We Reap: What's Gone Wrong with the World's Food - and How to Fix it

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9780141009506: So Shall We Reap: What's Gone Wrong with the World's Food - and How to Fix it

A work that focuses on the relentless drive for maximum food production at rock-bottom cost. As health scares spiral, rural workers are driven off the land and poor nations are forced to export their goods in a cut-throat marketplace. Colin Trudge proposes an alternative, looking at the global food industry and showing how - without resorting to GM crops - corporate barons can be stripped of control, the world can be fed and humanity can survive.

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Review:

So Shall We Reap, award-winning writer Colin Tudge's latest book, has a revealing if lengthy subtitle How everyone who is liable to be born in the next ten thousand years could eat very well indeed; and why, in practice, our immediate descendants are likely to be in serious trouble. Tudge is a Cambridge zoology graduate who has worked as a science journalist and has written several well known and very successful books on agriculture and conservation (such as Food Crops for the Future), genetics ( In Mendel's Footnotes) and evolution ( The Variety of Life).

So Shall We Reap combines all these strands in an impassioned plea for global change in current farming practice. Tudge argues that at present there are good reasons for thinking we are getting it wrong. For instance, one of the most glaring and obscene disparities is that while famine is common, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, the developed world has food surpluses and is suffering from what the World Health Organisation calls a "global epidemic" of obesity.

Tudge examines the nature of the problem, then castigates the main players--the agribusiness, the bio technicians and other scientists who have been seduced by the lure of big bucks and quick fixes and then embarks on his own solution, what he calls "Enlightened Agriculture"--appealing to the better use of some basic rules of biology and ecological models and the development of more labour intensive mixed economies which will help maintain rural society. A detailed argument of the new agricultural revolution is presented here; Tudge suggests that the hammer and sickle has been replaced by a pc with access to the Internet. --Douglas Palmer

About the Author:

Colin Tudge is a freelance writer and researcher. His work has featured in the New Statesman, Farmer's Weekly, New Scientist and on the BBC. He is visiting Research Fellow at the Centre of Philosophy at the London School of Economics.

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