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Diet for a Dead Planet: Big Business and the Coming Food Crisis Paperback – May 29, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A book that forces you to look at things that you took for granted. Like breakfast." —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Provides the big picture, along with fascinating details, to motivate change before it’s too late." —Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet
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Top Customer Reviews
There is a lot to ponder in this book and some excellent ideas and suggestions as to what we as consumers can do to make changes in our lives and our communities to help bring farming back to the people and out of the hands of the giant corporations.
Cook organizes his topic into three sections, dealing with food quality and safety; the business and economic aspects of modern agriculture; and environmental consequences of profligate pesticide use and "factory" farm effluents. Each section contains several chapters with extensive footnotes. The chapters are obviously targeted for a general audience, and as a consequence are very readable without overwhelming the reader with statistics and technical jargon. In particular, I found the chapters on the evolving history of American agriculture offered a concise but informative account of a complex and often tumultuous subject. Other chapters on such diverse subjects as the "mad cow" crisis, the continuous deposition of toxic pesticides in water supplies, and the travails of workers in high-throughput slaughterhouse operations, are all eye-opening to one degree or another.Read more ›
Cook inspects the multifaceted complexities which have arisen due to cheap labor, often exploited and without healthcare. He also depicts the plight of migrant workers, processed food, and pesticides manipulatively spread over crops with the able assistance of government subsidies. The findings are thorough, compelling, and difficult to ingest at times. However, they are warranted as he introduces authorities to backup his claims.
The statistics Cook presents are real, yet harsh. Yearly, 75 million Americans are sickened by the food they eat, while an estimated 67 million birds are killed by the millions of pounds of toxic agricultural pesticides sprayed on crops. Meanwhile, farmers that remain take home only about 19 cents per food dollar spent by the average consumer (this is in comparison to 37 cents in 1980 and 47 cents in 1952) according to Cook.
Cook closely examines every branch of the food industry. In doing so, he reaches a necessary reason for change. The socioeconomic, environmental, and political injustices currently practiced weigh heavily on America's well being. Within each chapter, he goes into great detail explaining, expanding, and scoping the historical difficulties and how they adversely impact today's food industry. Beyond that conclusion, Cook explains that unless a new solution, specifically changing how food is "made", Americans will continue to spiral downward.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author does such a good job of showing what utter rats agribusiness/chain grocery stores/pesticide companies are I have to give this a five star rating. Read morePublished on April 7, 2010 by Cwn_Annwn
A well written and informative review of the current food situation.
Well researched and presented, and easy to read. Read more
This book will open your eyes to the American food industry...from poor quality to bad business practices, Cook covers it all. Read morePublished on July 17, 2006 by Librarian - In- Training
Millions of Americans are sickening from the food they eat, last year 5,000 died, and obesity and diet-related diseases are on the rise: so Christopher Cook's examination of the... Read morePublished on April 9, 2005 by Midwest Book Review
The current world has a large number of diet problems. Obesity and other diet related medical problems are becoming among the biggest health problems facing the world today. Read morePublished on January 31, 2005 by John Matlock