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So Shall We Reap: What's Gone Wrong with the World's Food - and How to Fix it Paperback – 26 Aug 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New edition edition (26 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141009500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141009506
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 455,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon 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 asFood 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A detailed argument of the new agricultural revolution is presented here; Tudge suggests that the hammer and sickle has been replaced by a pc with access to the Internet.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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The prospects for humanity and for the world as a whole are somewhere between glorious and dire. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jon D VINE VOICE on 25 April 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a book written by a scientist who has learned the art of writing well. Tudge explores the central theme of the book - that the growing population of the world will need feeding to a point where we are 9 billion of us on Earth before any fall can realistically be expected - by drawing on a wide range of well researched sources.

He covers a lot of ground: for example, traditional farming techniques in China are contrasted with modern industrial farming in North America & Europe. Tudge speculates on how traditional land-efficient farming can be combined with an urban situation to maximise food production without demolishing the remaining countryside and wild places of the World. He touches (in a timely fashion, as it has turned out) on the impact of the biofuels "revolution".

The book succeds, at least in my opinion, in exploding the myth that modern farming is actually efficient and demonstrates compellingly that we can feed ourselves in the future by gentle improvement on tradional techniques and that modern intensive farming, with or without GMOs, could instead be our down fall.

The writing is fluent, though possibly a little long winded, and some points are laboured perhaps a bit to much; perhaps Tudge underestimates his ability to explain things clearly, a talent he actually has in spades. Nonetheless, this is an excellent book for anyone interested in sustainable developement. I'd give it 4-and-half stars if I could.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. L. Sams on 1 Sep 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Colin Tudge has a knack for making complex issues clear and for explaining the science behind everyday life. In So Shall We Reap he takes on the food production system and shows how the agrichemical revolution has unbalanced the planet's economy and how cheap food actually costs us a great deal more than it seems. His solution, 'enlightened farming' isn't that far away from organic farming, but takes a more global view and is the better for it. The book is ultimately optimistic because we know all the answers to these problems, all we need is the will to put them in place. Anyone who cares about the food they eat and the world they live in should read this book and then lend it to a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SuReads on 18 Feb 2009
Format: Paperback
While it's not exactly light reading, it certainly arrests your attention from the very first chapter.

Brilliant gift. A blistering insight into the reckless behaviour running rife through agri-business. You need to read this, especially if you value your health and that of the environment.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. Bennett on 15 July 2006
Format: Paperback
There is a lot of 'refer to this chapter, refer to that chapter' and unnecessary waffle, this book could be half as long and a lot easier to read.

However, there are some enlightening moments and some good theory in the book, along with the reality. A shame it takes so long to get there.
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