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Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives Paperback – September 9, 2013

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Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives + Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness + Around the Tuscan Table: Food, Family, and Gender in Twentieth Century Florence
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Random House UK; Reprint edition (September 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099584476
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099584476
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Exuberant, provocative... her desire that we understand better and think more about our food, how much we waste, how much energy it consumes and how we dispose of it... It is - in the real sense of the word - vital" -- David Aaronovitch The Times "Hungry City is a sinister real-life sequel to Animal Farm with the plot turned upside down by time in ways even George Orwell could not have foreseen" Observer "Lively, wide-ranging, endlessly inquisitive... Hungry City is a smorgasbord of a book: dip into it and you will emerge with something fascinating" Independent "Absolutely crammed with eye-opening facts and figures, a hugely readable account of the part we individually play in a global problem. Highly Recommended" Publishing News "She can precis her specialist sources briskly, and her own direct research (e.g. a mega kitchen for cooking ready meals) is lively" -- Vera Rule Guardian

About the Author

Carolyn Steel is an architect, lecturer, and writer.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By V. Wiegel on December 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read the book and absolutely loved it - bought it to give as a present to friends.
The book presents a view on the relationship between cities and the way we relate to our food (production, processing, transportion, consumption). It places the relationship in a personal, historical, social-economic perspective.
Carolyn Steel present a story that is rich in detail and in concepts. Her writing style keeps a good balance, neither wooly or academic nor infantile. The reader is challenged. For anyone interested in the way we shape our world (with some of its excesses) and how it came about will find lots of interesting ideas.
One of the details I liked, for example, is about the number of apple varities in the UK (over 2000) originally grown and how nowadays most apples consumed are just two (Golden delicious and Granny smith) varieties - neither indigenous. All that because these two sorts fit the logistic, commercial requirements best though neither are particular tasty. Based on this, and many other examples, Steel shows how a particular myopic logic has led us to a situation in which we are 'poorer' in many respects.
In the discussion she doesnot spare the reader/consumer/politicians/enterpreneurs without becoming vindicative or pedantic.
The book has a strong UK outlook. For non-UK readers some more example from other countries would have been nice. I enjoyed enormously the book nonetheless.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Georgia Riepe on February 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Carolyn Steel wonderfully illustrates the history of our cities and their food systems from Ancient Greece and Rome through to contemporary agribusinesses, marking the path through this history with insightful commentary on the intersections of food, culture, government, and urban planning. As a British architect, she pays particular attention to ideas of modern utopia; she drives the reader to question how culture can better devise and live out sustainable cities. Anyone who is interested in broadening their perspectives of food will enjoy this, especially those who have exhausted the current base of American authors on the politics of food (Pollan, etc.). Steel's a joy to read and very hard to put down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Greet on February 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I realy liked this book. It opened my outlook on our relation with food. At times it's scary to see that we have given power over what will be on our plate to big food concerns and the agro-industry.
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