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on 6 February 2014
Along with the humour, what I enjoyed about this book is the systemic approach that focuses on practical, technical, economical, geopolitical and ethical aspects of the matter. Very well researched, it leaves you with a sense of empowerment and a feasible picture of what future agriculture might look like. I also wholeheartedly agree that it's down to us, 'common people', to make it happen. Time to grow up for the human species.Thank you Colin for envisioning a way!
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on 7 November 2011
I have read articles by Colin Tudge and listened to him speak on the radio and always been impressed by a passionate and knowledgeable person. I have an interest in food, food security and societal resilience and so this book written by someone I have respected looked like a good read. I have never been more disappointed. It is superficial in the extreme with sweeping comments about politics and society with precious little supporting evidence. It is a well intentioned polemic and like many of this ilk, I am afraid that soon becomes boring. He lists all the perceived ills of the food supply, and then lists the plus points and then lists...well you get the idea.

A poor book and I soon lost the will to persevere. I started to skim read in order to get to the "meat", but there really is none. Glib, pointless and low quality fare when compared to other recent reading matter on economics or the creation of poverty. Mr Tudge may wish to read "One illness away" as a fine example of how to make a point in a short book and support it with ample evidence and still make it readable. All the things his own book lacks.
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on 26 December 2015
A very readable book which deserves a wider audience. Excellent background information to the food debate which would be of great value to youngsters and other beginners in this field. The author's media experience informs a good, interesting style. Buy it for a young relative entering into higher education as well as for yourself!
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on 21 November 2011
I feel I must write a review on Colin Tudge's book Good food for everyone forever.
I dissagree with the previous critic,I found the book inspireing and encouraging.
I suppose the idea of changing peoples attitude to the way we farm may seem doubtfull or even impossible, in this world where anger and greed seem to be the way people get things done? They may get things done for them for now but what about the rest of us?
Having been lucky enough to be brought up on a small dairy farm in Somerset,I lived the tail end of the 35 horsepower farming,This tractor my father bought new in 1960,I still use it on the 4 acres I now have.
Words like Organic and Permaculture are all very well but without integrity they are meaningless,
Agricultural colleges may well have their place however in my experiance the true professors of the land are our indiginous small farmers that the "Powers that be" as Colin Tudge refers too them,Have Trodden out of existance much like the Aborigines and the Bushmen of the Kalahari.
We must help our farmers feed us,
If we look after our land it will feed us,
If we carry on abusing it,WELL?? the future is unthinkable.
If you care about our lovely world give Colin's book a chance.
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on 23 November 2011
We live in an age where, all too often, technocracy rules. Massive existential dilemmas and moral challenges are reduced to cost-benefit analyses, and science works within the boundaries of what is considered "realistic" - meaning its hypotheses and assumptions are set by what is deemed acceptable to the corporate pay-masters. Any "solution" is considered "unworkable" unless it fits within big business's current working model for exploiting its workforce and customers, and pillaging the planet.
There is no grand conspiracy, and the vast majority of individuals involved are competent, well-meaning and hard working. What is lacking is proper consideration of what we should actually be trying to achieve (a thorough moral analysis), and genuine innovation to fundamentally change what we do and how we do it (system re-design from first principles).
Nowhere is this lack of true Morality and Innovation more evident than in the plight of our food and farming systems. Global multinationals grab land, exploit subsidies, distort markets, ransom governments and decimate indigenous farming systems that have supported their populations for thousands of years, in order to replace them with oppressive monocultures that use untenable amounts of water and expensive foreign inputs to grow crops that don't even feed people. Then those same multinationals claim victory if they can reduce the use of the poisonous chemicals they have introduced by a few measly percentage points.
So thank goodness for Colin Tudge.
This book sets out a very wise, and quietly profound reappraisal of how we should think about farming, if we take as our starting point that the first aim of our food and farming system should be to provide good food for everyone, forever. It then goes on to suggest how we might go about changing things, based on real projects that are already happening.
In terms of biology, this is not problem - some simple maths show that even at the lowest yields, there is plenty of agricultural land to provide enough food for any eventual global population, whether it's 9 billion or 12 billion.
Instead we face a massive economic, social and cultural challenge, evidenced by the fact that we currently have one billion people in the world who are undernourished, while another billion are overfed.
This book is the kind of polemic that is too rare these days - thoughtful, considered, well-argued and full of humanity. It states the case in simple terms that anyone can understand, rather than resorting to statistics to justify countless travesties that noone understands. The line of argument stating how we should farm and feed ourselves if we start with biological reality is so well-honed, and so hard to improve on, that it warrants its very own title - "The Tudge Doctrine".
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on 30 December 2015
Fantastic book, so readable, and so informative. Big fan of all Tudge's work though!
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