- 89,00 kr
A Fast Food Nation for the foods we grow and depend on
The bananas we eat today aren't your parents' bananas: We eat a recognizable, consistent breakfast fruit that was standardized in the 1960s from dozens into one basic banana. But because of that, the banana we love is dangerously susceptible to a pathogen that might wipe them out.
That's the story of our food today: Modern science has brought us produce in perpetual abundance-once-rare fruits are seemingly never out of season, and we breed and clone the hardiest, best-tasting varieties of the crops we rely on most. As a result, a smaller proportion of people on earth go hungry today than at any other moment in the last thousand years, and the streamlining of our food supply guarantees that the food we buy, from bananas to coffee to wheat, tastes the same every single time.
Our corporate food system has nearly perfected the process of turning sunlight, water and nutrients into food. But our crops themselves remain susceptible to the nature's fury. And nature always wins.
Authoritative, urgent, and filled with fascinating heroes and villains from around the world, Never Out of Season is the story of the crops we depend on most and the scientists racing to preserve the diversity of life, in order to save our food supply, and us.
Dunn (The Man Who Touched His Own Heart), professor of applied ecology at NC State, cautions against monoculture in this cogent and optimistic examination of our food system, arguing that having whatever food we want whenever we want isn t necessarily a good thing. Using the banana as an example, Dunn shows how the desire for consistency and uniformity in a particular product often ignores the larger picture. Once upon a time, there were all sorts of bananas, but in recent decades commercially available bananas have largely been the Cavendish variety. They are all genetically identical and susceptible to an evolved version of the pathogen that destroyed Gros Michel bananas before them. Dunn also looks back at the causes and effects of the Irish potato famine in the 1840s and the threats to African cassava crops during the 1970s. His discussions of Soviet botanist Nikolai Vavilov s remarkable seed collection in the 1940s are inspiring, and he celebrates the work and commitment of the specialists tasked with guarding it during the WWII siege of Leningrad. That scientists and researchers continue to play significant roles in the fight for agricultural diversity and sustainability gives Dunn hope.