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The Fate of Food

What We'll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World
Narrated by: Amanda Little
Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the fascinating story of the sustainable food revolution, an environmental journalist and professor asks the question: Is the future of food looking bleak - or better than ever?

“In The Fate of Food, Amanda Little takes us on a tour of the future. The journey is scary, exciting, and, ultimately, encouraging.” (Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction)

Climate models show that global crop production will decline every decade for the rest of this century due to drought, heat, and flooding. Water supplies are in jeopardy. Meanwhile, the world’s population is expected to grow another 30 percent by midcentury. So how, really, will we feed nine billion people sustainably in the coming decades?

Amanda Little, a professor at Vanderbilt University and an award-winning journalist, spent three years traveling through a dozen countries and as many US states in search of answers to this question. Her journey took her from an apple orchard in Wisconsin to a remote control organic farm in Shanghai, from Norwegian fish farms to famine-stricken regions of Ethiopia. The race to reinvent the global food system is on, and the challenge is twofold: We must solve the existing problems of industrial agriculture while also preparing for the pressures ahead. Through her interviews and adventures with farmers, scientists, activists, and engineers, Little tells the fascinating story of human innovation and explores new and old approaches to food production while charting the growth of a movement that could redefine sustainable food on a grand scale. She meets small permaculture farmers and “Big Food”executives, botanists studying ancient superfoods and Kenyan farmers growing the country's first GMO corn. She travels to places that might seem irrelevant to the future of food yet surprisingly play a critical role - a California sewage plant, a US Army research lab, even the inside of a monsoon cloud above Mumbai. Little asks tough questions: Can GMOs actually be good for the environment - and for us? Are we facing the end of animal meat? What will it take to eliminate harmful chemicals from farming? How can a clean, climate-resilient food supply become accessible to all? 

Throughout her journey, Little finds and shares a deeper understanding of the threats of climate change and encounters a sense of awe and optimism about the lessons of our past and the scope of human ingenuity.

©2019 Amanda Little (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“What we grow and how we eat are going to change radically over the next few decades. In The Fate of Food, Amanda Little takes us on a tour of the future. The journey is scary, exciting, and, ultimately, encouraging.” (Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction)
 

"The Fate of Food is a much-needed tonic at a time of division and doom saying. A riveting adventure story about a dire topic, but yet it somehow brims with optimism. Little travels around the world in hot pursuit of solutions, hell-bent on hope." (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Emmy-award winning actress and environmentalist)

"Perhaps the greatest challenge of our century will be providing nutritious diets to 10 billion people without destroying what is left of the biosphere. Can we do it? Yes. But Amanda Little shows us that success will look nothing like today’s food system. The Fate of Food is spectacular. The stories are beautifully woven together and filled with curiosity, openness to new ideas, and compelling insights. This book is funny, smart, dogma-free, incredibly educational, and I think will end up being an enormously valuable contribution to the world. (Samuel Myers, professor and principal researcher, Harvard University Center for the Environment) 

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Wow.

Witty, data-driven, funny, and at times appalling; I found myself nearly out of my chair, standing up and cheering for the human race like a favorite team for its ingenuity and resilience. Then, not half a chapter later, booing them (us) for dropping the ball.

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interesting and informative

great book. didn't want it to end! I'm feeling more open minded and optimistic about the future now.