The Future of Food: New Ideas About Eating

ReferencePoint. Oct. 2020. 80p. Tr $30.95. ISBN 9781682829271.
Gr 7-10–The production and distribution of the food supply have long been an issue in many parts of the world. The introduction stresses factors such as farming methods, location, pesticides and fertilizers, livestock feed, environmental responsibility, and climate change as factors that impact the world’s food supply. The first chapter describes the work of farmers. The text points out the challenges and flaws of meat production: “About 94 percent of meat animals raised in the United States are raised on factory farms. Such concentrated animal feeding operations, however, will not be sustainable.” Several other practices are described, with an emphasis on the negative consequences to the environment: “Some studies show that the methane released as gas from cattle’s digestive processes is responsible for as much as 18 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.” In the second chapter, meat alternatives, such as Burger King’s Impossible Whopper and plant-based sausage, are presented as environmentally conscious and healthy alternatives. Chapter three covers genetically engineered foods. The text attempts to highlight the safety of GMO foods by explaining how the various plants and animals are altered. However, there can be an upside to gene-altered foods. For example, countries where bananas are a staple food source have benefited from this type of research, resulting in more nutritious fruit. It is hoped the study of microbiomes and genomes will lead to personalized diets and the possible prevention of some diseases, such as diabetes and some cancers.
VERDICT Purchase where there is a need for scientific research on plants as food.

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