One of our recommended books for 2019 is The Fate of Food by Amanda Little

THE FATE OF FOOD

What We'll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World


In this fascinating look at the race to secure the global food supply, environmental journalist and professor Amanda Little tells the defining story of the sustainable food revolution as she weaves together stories from the world’s most creative and controversial innovators on the front lines of food science, agriculture, and climate change.

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?

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In this fascinating look at the race to secure the global food supply, environmental journalist and professor Amanda Little tells the defining story of the sustainable food revolution as she weaves together stories from the world’s most creative and controversial innovators on the front lines of food science, agriculture, and climate change.

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 U.S. 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.

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  • Harmony
  • Hardcover
  • June 2019
  • 352 Pages
  • 9780804189033

Buy the Book

$27.00

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About Amanda Little

Amanda Little is a professor of journalism and Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University. Her reporting on energy, technology, and the environment has taken her to ultra-deep oil rigs, down manholes, and inside monsoon clouds. Little’s work has appeared in publications ranging from The New York Times and The Washington Post to WiredRolling Stone, and Bloomberg Businessweek. She writes, bikes, and is learning to cook and tango in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and kids.

Praise

“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

“How will we feed humanity in the era of climate change? Amanda Little tackles an immense topic with grit and optimism in this fast, fascinating read. A beautifully written triumph.” — Former Secretary of State John Kerry

Discussion Questions

1. The Fate of Food’s take-home message is that the answer to the impending food scarcity crisis might be in a new approach that draws on the wisdom of traditional agriculture and the exciting, emerging technologies of the present. Amanda Little explores startling innovations around the world: farmscrapers, cloned cattle, meatless animal meat, edible insects, super-bananas, and weeding robots. The questions below invite a closer look at Amanda’s finding and hopefully inspire you to think about what our future could hold.

Which of these seem most promising to you, and what are some other ways food and agriculture can adapt to climate change and become more resilient, productive, and sustainable?

2. What did you already know about this book’s subject before you read this book? How did it change your understanding of, or expectations for, sustainable and equitable food production going forward? What new things did you learn?

3. Do you think that GMOs crops designed for drought resilience and heat tolerance are a reasonable way to counteract the increasing pressures of climate change on global food production? What are some alternatives?

4. How can we change public opinion on GMOs, especially since a lot of the opposition seems driven by a vision of nature as being pure and vulnerable?

5. In Chapter 4, the robotics expert Jorge Heraud is quoted as saying that “robots don’t have to remove us from nature—they can help us restore it.” Do you agree? Why or why not?

6. Do you believe the actions Little discusses will be enough to forestall the direct impacts of climate change? Or do you think it’s too little too late?

7. Discuss specific passages that struck you as significant, illuminating, disturbing, etc. What was especially memorable for you?

8. How does this book compare to other books or articles on sustainable food systems or climate change that you’ve read?

9. What topics does the book make you want to explore further?

10. What do you think and hope will be on your family’s Thanksgiving table in the year 2050?