Paul Roberts has provided an incredibly in depth and comprehensive study of food systems in the modern age. He has charted the progress and missteps that have taken place from the time of farmers and pre-industrialization to our present day globalized food world. From our front yard gardens to increasingly manufactured products and technology, there is a lot of ground to cover. Overall, Roberts painted a pretty dire picture for the future of food and food access.
I picked up this book as it is the April book club pick for the Chicago chapter of Slow Food. I am a proud member of the Slow Food movement, currently serving on the Board of Directors of Slow Food Chicago and previously serving as a board member of the North Louisiana chapter. As such, I would say I am in the know regarding the broad strokes of Robert’s tale, but I still learned a lot and would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about our modern relationship to food. I think it will provide many vantage points for conversation at our book club meeting.
With the praise clearly declared first, I now must say that this is a book that I would say I survived rather than read. I undertook the audio version and the fellow doing the reading had a monotonous delivery that wasn’t terribly engaging. And this book is dizzyingly dense. So, so dense. I’d recommend picking it up in chunks rather than trying to power through. There was some definite glazed eye commuting going on for me. This is a less of a critique of the book, and more of a testimony to how sometimes reading non-fiction for me is taking my medicine I still highly recommend this book.