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The Penguin Atlas of Food: Who Eats What, Where, and Why [Paperback]

Erik Millstone , Tim Lang , Eric Millstone


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WHAT WE EAT, where we eat and how we eat reveals a world of food and drink culture. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simple and direct on food and agriculture 6 Aug 2005
By Francesco Lovecchio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Atlas of food is not a cookbook but a cursory view of food and agriculture around the world in 100 pages or so. Rich of tables, charts and histograms of different shapes and colors, it provides a basic knowledge on food industry. The book is divided into five parts: Contemporary Challenges (population and productivity, environment, consuming diseases, over and under-nutrition in the world, and food aid); Farming (mechanization, animal feed, genetic modification, pesticides, fishing, biodiversity and sustainable farming); Trade (flows, animal transport, food miles, subsidies, trade disputes, fair trade); Processing, Retailing and Consumption (staple foods, processing giants, probiotics and cholesterol lowering food, organic food, fast food, food additives, eating out and alcohol); and world tables on agriculture and consumption.

If you want to know the state of the world of under-nutrition and over-nutrition, or that the amount of grain needed to feed one person for one year on a meat-based diet is 930 kg or on a grain-based diet is 180 kg and many more questions answered, then this is the book. Very good for students and general readers. However, if instead you want to have a deeper look at food and agriculture and related issues then visit the website of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (...).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative 20 Nov 2004
By Jennifer A. Wickes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As industrialization and technology take over our lives, we become more sedentary. Through the riches of our country, we can afford more meat, dairy products and processed foods; thus, contributing to our poor health, "over-nutrition", otherwise known as the Western Diet.

Erik Millstone works at the University of Sussex in Science Policy. He has been working on food-related issues for almost 30 years. Tim Lang is a professor of food policy at City University in London. He is, also, a consultant to the World Health Organization. With the aid of Axel Drescher, a professor of Applied Geography at Freiburg University, they have formulated this educational book about "who eats what, where and why".

While rich industrialized countries thrive in excess and develop diseases from over-consumption (such as, diabetes), these countries are also feeding a bulk of our grain to feed livestock, when over 40 million people a year die of starvation.

This book is filled with statistics, bar graphs, charts and miscellaneous graphics that help aid in our understanding of food's role in modern life. The book is divided into five parts: Contemporary Challenges (feeding the population, environmental challenges, disease, nutrition and more); Farming (mechanization, genetic modification, pesticides, sustainable farming and more); Trade (animal transport, fair trade, tariffs and more); Processing, Retailing and Consumption (staple foods, Organic food, fast food, alcohol and more); and World Tables (agriculture and comsumption).

This is not a cookbook, nor a glamorous journey through each country's cuisine, however.

Upon studying this book, I ponder the ideas of vegetarianism for a healthier way of life, and as an objection towards the feeding of livestock in lieu of providing grain for starving nations. I, also, think of how we have looked for ways on simplifying our lives with remote controls, garage door openers, email, kitchen appliances, washers and dryers, and how ultimately, we have complicated it more. This reminds me of a movie I once saw: The Gods Must Be Crazy. Although this movie takes on a more comedic approach of two wildly different cultures in South Africa, still it does demonstrate what both cultures have gained and lost due to industrialization.

Information found in this book can help educate the reader on how the food on their plate came to be and at what cost to society. For anyone that eats, and that is everyone, we should all read this book and become more educated on how we are contributing, both positively and negatively, to our society.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book exposing the machine/industry behind what we eat 31 Aug 2004
By Dustin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Over the last few years I have developed an interest in finding out where things come from and how they are built/grown/processed. Specifically the everyday things we take for granted in our consumer society. Whether it be food products, electronics, autos, clothing, energy products, or the raw materials it takes to build these products.

Sort of like discovering your family history maybe, except I'm doing it for the things we consume. I have traveled for 1+ year over the last 2 years. Most recently 7 months straight through Asia and Australia, and parts of Arabia.

When I first heard about this book at the New Internationalist magazine website the title intrigued me immediately. I quickly ordered a copy on Amazon.

This book (As I've discovered many of the titles in the Penguin Atlas series) is so easy to read and conveys so much information with just a quick glance. The author has covered so many aspects of the "modern food chain." Many that even those who might consider themself knowledgeable probably would not have thought of. Each 2 page spread's statistical sources are identified in the back for further research.

This is one of those books that I feel should be distributed for free to every household in heavy consumer nations (US, Japan, Western Europe, Australia).

As international trade continues to skyrocket more books like this are needed on a host of other industries/categories - like some of the ones I mentioned earlier. As much as a book can, this book goes a long way toward reducing the ignorance of reality caused by the disconnect from where things come from and where they are consumed.
3.0 out of 5 stars Great graphics explain complex information 23 Mar 2013
By Dr Garry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The long-running "State of the World" series, of which this is a member, consists of handsome two-page maps, graphics and commentary on a wide range of issues. In many senses, the series has been superceded by any of the many free online sources available, such as the CIA World Factbook, which are much more current than any book could be given the time-lag between its writing and its publication. But the book's graphics are exemplary in their clarity.

Even though the data may be outdated on its very publication date, I would recommend this for the simple way in which it presents complex information. I would especially recommend this to enquiring children and young adults.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Penguin Atlas of Food: Who Eats What, Where. and Why 7 Feb 2007
By Wandalene Beck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It is a very good book, in very good condition and the service couldn't have been better.Thank you so much
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