The future of food has been making the headlines lately. From the $325,000 test tube hamburger to genetically modified oranges and a liquid-based food alternative (unfortunately named Soylent), the way we eat and what exactly we’ll be eating seems a topic headed into the realm of science fiction. If you’ve already read this or this or the versions originally published for adult audiences, then you don’t want to miss Food: the New Gold by Kathlyn Gay for a clear, concise look into the nature and science of what we eat. And if you think reading a book about food sounds boring, this fascinating account into the how, why and what we eat, should change your mind.
Using a very broad approach, Food: the New Gold gives readers an informative and sobering look at food, and not just what we pick up at the supermarket or fast food stand. At just under 100 pages, this slim volume tackles a lot: global hunger, industrialized farming, environmental impacts, and the science and politics that drive food production, safety and economics. The book even delves into agricultural history, giving readers a greater sense of the benefits and consequences that have resulted from recent scientific and industrial advancements. In addition, Food illustrates how people’s buying habits and food choices influence the global market.
Food has an engaging layout with numerous full-color photos, quotes and diagrams. Smaller, related topics are visually highlighted throughout, such as recycling, biofuels, and future food sources. A glossary, source notes, bibliography and additional resources are provided at the book’s end. Students requiring more comprehensive citations may find the source notes lacking, particularly for the diagram statistics. Overall though, this is an excellent introduction to the social, political, and economic impact of what we put on our plate. A well-balanced account, Food: the New Gold gives readers a lot to chew on.