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John Humphrys, broadcaster, writer, farmer and consumer, has written The Great Food Gamble to address the serious questions he and many of his audience have about the food on our tables in the wake of BSE, foot and mouth, and concerns about the effects of factory farming practices on the nation's health and environment. Humphrys knowledgeably traces such intensive agricultural practices to British food policy from the end of the Second World War to ask whether the relentless drive for more and more food has been a mistake and whether the risks we run are worth it to have what may ultimately prove to be an illusion of choice. Are there really no alternatives, he asks? As readers of Devil's Advocate and listeners to Radio 4's Today programme will no doubt expect, Humphrys has a no-nonsense approach. He has little time or patience with mealy-mouthed politicking. Industrial practices, backed up by political will, is costing our health and our environment too dear, he argues. He counts the cost of intensive factory farming, not only in terms of the destruction of our rural heritage, long-term environmental effects and mounting health concerns about the use of antibiotics and pesticides, but the hard cash cost of subsidies and cleaning up pollution that put the lie to the food industry's claim of providing "cheap" food. Humphrys adds his voice to the great food industry debate along with George Monbiot's critique of the supermarket's control of food production in Captive State and Eric Schlosser's stomach-churning analysis of our unfortunate infatuation with fast food in Fast Food Nation. Humphrys' prose is unashamedly popular: evocative and even nostalgic for a fast disappearing experience of the British countryside, even as he stops short of being romantic. If this means that he substitutes rhetoric for detail, he remains bang on target and knows that to engage people in this debate and connect it effectively to their lives is the most effective way to counter the enormous power wielded by the other side. A bitter harvest indeed. --Fiona Buckland --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Thought-provoking, well-researched (Fordyce Maxwell, Scotsman)
Incisive and readable (Mick Hume, The Times)
Humphrys's level-headedness makes the arguments all the more powerful (Paul Heiney, The Sunday Times)
This could be the best diet book ever written (The Sunday Times)
Without being sentimental, it is a passionate discourse... well-written and accessible. My only concern is that its message is likely to be ignored where it matters most. (Tim Lang, Independent)
Makes you seriously consider what you're eating. I'm never eating farmed salmon ever again. No wonder it's now so cheap and lots of restaurants refuse to serve it.Published 9 months ago by Doors of Perception
If you want the truth, read on. I found it to be very informative and has helped me to make buying decisions, which everyone should know about.Published 19 months ago by angela
Much misunderstood, and maligned, for his approach to interviews in the mornings - or so i recall - but Mr Humphrys is a better writer than most people realise: it's not about... Read morePublished on 18 Aug. 2013 by Rentaquill
This is a book which everyone who is interested in food production, whether a consumer or producer, should read. Read morePublished on 8 July 2013 by Gillyflower
A brilliant read. I love a good book. There is nothing better than emersing yourself in a really good read.Published on 15 Feb. 2013 by Mrs. L. M. Andrew
Just finished reading and enjoying his book about the abuse of words this one promises to be just as readable and enjoyablePublished on 17 Oct. 2010 by Mr. C. Austin
Very readable and well informed. Becoming truer and more endorsed as the months go by. Highly recommendedPublished on 3 Mar. 2005 by Tony no baloney
Although I enjoyed the subject, I found the writing style too populist and repetitive. It felt like reading a longer version of a news article in a tabloid, rather than a serious... Read morePublished on 18 Mar. 2002