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Food Energy and Society: Revised Edition Hardcover – December, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA Senior Lecturer, Retired, Cornell University, Ithaca, New Yo --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 363 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Colorado; Rev Sub edition (December 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870813862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870813863
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,501,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Michelson on December 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book changed the way I think about... food, energy, and society more than any other book I've read. There are plenty of books out there giving alarmist information about our energy use, our food production systems, and the impact of these on society, but this book actually gives you the real facts, allowing you to understand the big picture and see for yourself why there is such a big problem.

The information is drawn from what seem to be very rigorous studies and is presented in a logical manner that helps guide the reader through what otherwise might be slightly inaccessible material. There are lots of numbers in this book, but Pimentel and Pimentel explain them in a context that makes sense to the layperson.

Highlights of this book:
(1) Did you ever wonder how much energy is used by a hunter-gatherer to collect their food, compared against the energy they get from it? And how does this compare to early agriculture when we started employing animals (should be more efficient, right?) And then how this compares to the energy input/output ratio of our modern food production system? This book explains it.
(2) Did you ever wonder how much energy is used for processing, packaging, and delivering food from the farms to our tables? Have you ever heard the rule of thumb that meat takes 10x as much energy to produce than grains? What is the environmental effect of these issues? This book finally makes this understandable.

If you want to read a book that simultaneously presents detailed data while also giving you a clear, big-picture view of our world, then I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Pimental's book you're let in on the secrets of the basis of all civilizations; agriculture. A major agriculture advisor to 8 American Presidential administrations, he founds his principles of agriculture on solid evidence, from decades of work in the field, nationally, and internationally. One need look no further to see the relationship of human population, the sun, and availability of fresh water, to the well being of societal agricultural practices, in every country in the world. And the explosive warnings of agricultural shortages to come are both subtle, woven into the texture of agricultural history, and yet plain, in the succinct and yet massive data supporting trends to intractable social misery, unless steps are taken to establish more efficient social and agricultural practices. It's been many years since I learned from this Master of human ecology at Cornell University, and Professor Pimentel hasn't lost his passion or ability to give us his wealth of experience.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book provides a very interesting and unique point of view on how the societies can be explained in regards on how they behave according with their energy needs.
The book enlights the reader with a different approach and metodology to understand how the first and second laws of thermodynamics applies to understand how the resources of energy are used.
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By Donny L on June 8, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent work by one of the world's true authorities on environmental issues. Great follow-up to his classic "Ecological Integrity"...
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James Adcock on January 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fabulous, factual, "scientific" text for anyone serious about the issue of global warming and food issues. For example it gets into the issues of why the carbon footprint costs of red meat are so high. And why ethanol from corn or other foodstocks simply does not work. Fabulous, fabulous book!
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