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Unnaturally Delicious: How Science and Technology Are Serving Up Super Foods to Save the World
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"Accessible, entertaining, and optimistic...In this lively look at the modern intersection of technology and food, Lusk...examines several ways that researchers are seeking to feed the world, combat malnutrition, and conserve resources." ―Publisher's Weekly
“Delightful and telling stories of students, farmers, scientists and businessmen forging ahead with science- and technology-based solutions to problems with our food system. Reason for optimism . . . I loved this book. So much that is new, so informed, unpretentious unlike so much food writing.” ―Rachel Laudan, food historian and author of Cuisine and Empire
"Lusk argues that agricultural innovation, technology and change have always been essential in improving the human condition, and we can best solve our problems just as our ancestors did, by innovating more. I recommend his book to everyone concerned about where their food is, or will be, or should be, coming from as well as what we should do about it." ―John Coupland, Professor of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University
"Technology and science have done the world of food far more good than harm. Check out Jayson Lusk's Unnaturally Delicious for a superior vision of where food is headed." ―Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics, George Mason University
"An exploration of 'the innovators and innovations shaping the future of food'...A provocative, well-documented challenge to one of the major contentions of environmentalists." ―Kirkus Reviews
"Professor Lusk has written a wonderful book. He tells stories to illustrate important facts and principles. We (the readers) have fun and he has fun while we learn a lot in the process." ―Daniel A. Sumner, distinguished professor of agricultural economics at University of California, Davis and director of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center
“In his new book, UNNATURALLY DELICIOUS, Lusk spotlights a number of innovations in the works . . . that could have a profound impact on the challenges we face as a food system. Mostly, he argues, for the better.” ―The Huffington Post
“There is much in this book to please a reader curious about what the future farmers of America are up to. Lusk has a relish for the technical aspects of agronomy, and writes with lucidity and enthusiasm . . . The book's greatest strengths [are] its lucid accounting of costs and benefits [and] its descriptions of technologies in development and machines in operation.” ―Popular Science
"Delivers a highly accessible look at the food technology that both exists today and is in our near future. Lusk takes readers on a mouthwatering tour of a smorgasbord of new foods, crops and technologies which provide a backdrop for an exciting and truly progressive way to think about the future of food. His insights offer a potential paradigm shift in how we can feed the world healthier foods- that people want to buy and eat. It's a stark contrast from the stale and highly ineffective command and control food police playbook." ―Baylen Linnekin, Reason.com
About the Author
JAYSON LUSK is a Distinguished Professor and Head of the Agricultural Economics Department at Purdue University, previously holding appointments at Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research. One of the most prolific and cited food and agricultural economists, Lusk has published editorials in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, Foxnews.com, TIME.com, and the Huffington Post.
Top customer reviews
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Lusk manages to hit on many of the big arguments all the while teaching readers about the foods we eat. Who knew broccoli and kale aren't natural? Better yet, who even knew what "Natural" even means? I had certainly never thought about what that natural label means on the foods I buy at the grocery store. He devotes a chapter to a heated animal welfare debate in California and provides a potential market solution that might bridge the gap between the "ban it" and the "leave it alone" crowds. He also discusses how technology can help make the natural foods many of us seek safer for us to eat.
Lusk constantly tries to emphasize the concept of tradeoffs. Sure we can have this, but we'd have to give up that. In each chapter, he discusses both sides of the story and suggests ways that technology can, and is, being used to provide the best possible solution.
This book establishes that the current food debates are far more complex than most other writers would have us believe. If you are the type of person who is absolutely correct in whatever it is that you believe about food, then keep living in your bubble. However, if you are open to think more about why things are the way they are, and you are interested in some realistic solutions to the key food issues we face as society, then give this book a read. At the very least, you will learn something.
The content involves everything from cage-free eggs and 3D food printers (yeah that’s a real thing) to precision agriculture and food waste, so I can guarantee you’ll finish with more food knowledge than you started. Every chapter introduces an entrepreneur actively engaged in finding ethical solutions to the complex food issues of our day. As such, I think the biggest benefit to reading this book is that it brings the reader face-to-face with these innovators. Entrepreneurs like Eldon Roth and David Waits don’t always get the glory they deserve, but those are the types of people who move the world forward.
Unnaturally Delicious should be required reading for anyone interested in how entrepreneurship and technology feed the world. If you want to learn more about technology, this book is for you. If you are curious about the modern food system, this book is for you. If, however, you are looking for someone to tell you how the sky is falling, this book is definitely not for you. If nothing else, Unnaturally Delicious contributes a much-needed breath of fresh air to what has become a Luddite-dominated genre full of books loaded with mudslinging. Give it a try: I promise you’ll learn something.