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eBook America's Food: What You Don't Know About What You Eat (MIT Press) epub

by Harvey Blatt

eBook America's Food: What You Don't Know About What You Eat (MIT Press) epub
  • ISBN: 026202652X
  • Author: Harvey Blatt
  • Genre: Engineering
  • Subcategory: Engineering
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (August 22, 2008)
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • ePUB size: 1340 kb
  • FB2 size 1466 kb
  • Formats txt doc lrf mbr


Harvey Blatt is the author of America's Environmental Report Card: Are We. .

Harvey Blatt is the author of America's Environmental Report Card: Are We Making the Grade? (MIT Press). He taught geology at the University of Houston and the University of Oklahoma for many years and is now Professor of Geology at the Institute of Earth Sciences at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While other books focus on telling a story or taking you on a journey through the food system, this book is laid out like a long school report. Page after page of statistics, quotes and graphs swim in front of your eyes and, I admit, it takes some focus to put the numbers into a meaningful story.

Harvey Blatt's new book, "America's Food, " provides a multitude of scientific facts, understandable statistics, and . Blatt does a superb job of giving you all of the facts that you could possibly use with very little opinion or conjecture, but without much story or life either.

Harvey Blatt's new book, "America's Food, " provides a multitude of scientific facts, understandable statistics, and logical conclusions that will confirm your suspicions. 9 people found this helpful.

In America's Food, Harvey Blatt gives us the specifics . He tells us, for example, that a third of the fruits and vegetables grown are discarded for purely aesthetic reasons; that the artificial fertilizers used to enrich our depleted soil contain poisonous heavy metals; that chickens who stand all day on wire in cages choose feed with pain-killing drugs over feed without them; and that the average American eats his or her body weight in food additives each year. MIT Press Direct is a distinctive collection of influential MIT Press books curated for scholars and libraries worldwide.

America’s food explores a food supply. poorly and too much, what you don’t. The book ends with five exhortations

America’s food explores a food supply. system whose efficiency and productiv-. ity is unparalleled in human history. The book ends with five exhortations. that describe what we can and should do. The spirit of these, and of the book as a. whole, is probably best captured in his final. Country of Publication.

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We don't think much about how food gets to our tables, or what had to happen to fill our supermarket's produce section with perfectly round red tomatoes and its meat counter with slabs of beautifully marbled steak. We don't realize that the meat in one fast-food hamburger may come from a thousand different cattle raised in five different countries. In fact, most of us have a fairly abstract understanding of what happens on a farm.

The complete story of what we don't know, and what we should know, about American food production and its effect on health and the environment. Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H). 2 x . 6 Inches.

Find nearly any book by Blatt,Harvey. Get the best deal by comparing prices from over 100,000 booksellers. America's Food: What You Don't Know About What You Eat (The MIT Press): ISBN 9780262515955 (978-0-262-51595-5) Softcover, The MIT Press, 2011. Lab Manual for Environmental Geology. ISBN 9781464105753 (978-1-4641-0575-3) Softcover, Worth Publishers, 2012.

The complete story of what we don't know, and what we should know, about American food production and its effect on health and the environment.

We don't think much about how food gets to our tables, or what had to happen to fill our supermarket's produce section with perfectly round red tomatoes and its meat counter with slabs of beautifully marbled steak. We don't realize that the meat in one fast-food hamburger may come from a thousand different cattle raised in five different countries. In fact, most of us have a fairly abstract understanding of what happens on a farm. In America's Food, Harvey Blatt gives us the specifics. He tells us, for example, that a third of the fruits and vegetables grown are discarded for purely aesthetic reasons; that the artificial fertilizers used to enrich our depleted soil contain poisonous heavy metals; that chickens who stand all day on wire in cages choose feed with pain-killing drugs over feed without them; and that the average American eats his or her body weight in food additives each year. Blatt also asks us to think about the consequences of eating food so far removed from agriculture; why unhealthy food is cheap; why there is an International Federation of Competitive Eating; what we don't want to know about how animals raised for meat live, die, and are butchered; whether people are even designed to be carnivorous; and why there is hunger when food production has increased so dramatically. America's Food describes the production of all types of food in the United States and the environmental and health problems associated with each. After taking us on a tour of the American food system―not only the basic food groups but soil, grain farming, organic food, genetically modified food, food processing, and diet―Blatt reminds us that we aren't powerless. Once we know the facts about food in America, we can change things by the choices we make as consumers, as voters, and as ethical human beings

Comments: (4)
Thordigda
good info
Uickabrod
There are many books out there that attempt to tackle the story of America's Food System (Nestle, Pollan, Schlosser) but what sets this one apart is the sheer scope. America's Food: What You Don't Know About What You Eat covers an enormous amount of information.

While other books focus on telling a story or taking you on a journey through the food system, this book is laid out like a long school report. Page after page of statistics, quotes and graphs swim in front of your eyes and, I admit, it takes some focus to put the numbers into a meaningful story. America's Food is lumped together by topic and reads like a student listing the facts about their chosen subject, so while you might find a more interesting story reading about the Corn Nation in The Omnivores Dilemma, you won't find nearly as much information about the world of corn as you will in this book, and for that reason alone, I give it 3 stars. If this book covered less territory, I would not recommend it at all.

Blatt does a superb job of giving you all of the facts that you could possibly use with very little opinion or conjecture, but without much story or life either.
Tekasa
Harvey Blatt is a professor of geology and had written the book America's Environmental Report Card: Are We Making the Grade? prior to America's Food. The two books share the same style in that they are loaded with liberal amounts of facts and figures. The endnotes run 52 pages long! The sources cover both scholarly publications and popular magazines and there is a list of suggested readings spanning 7 pages.

The book can be roughly divided into four parts. The first three chapters deal with soil and grain. Chapters 4 and 5 deal with the diametrically opposed topics of organic food (including organically raised animals) and genetically modified (GM) food. The next section deals with the specific animals, namely poultry, livestock and fish. The last two chapters discuss food processing and measures of (poor) health resulting from imbalanced diet.

In my opinion the word "distortion" is the keyword of this book. Blatt suggested this when he discusses breastfeeding and the use of cow milk in human diet (p. 141), where "nature knows best how to keep us healthy". The idea is present in other, more subtle ways as well: the introduction of chemical fertilizers to reap short-term benefit at the expense of sustainability, raising ever-increasing amounts of grain to feed the farm animals in response to increasing human demand to meat, and the cruelty that is imposed upon farm animals, to name a few.

Speaking of the topic of cruelty imposed upon farm animals, while there are descriptions of poor living conditions of factory farms, there is little discussion on the philosophical aspects of it. There are also rhetorical questions that surround this topic. It is controversial, involves value judgment, and in my opinion deserves more extensive treatment. On the question of whether human is carnivorous or herbivorous, Blatt appeals to the latter by using comparison and persuades the reader through the apparent advantages of eating more vegetables, which in my opinion is not too different from "standard explanations" offered by other people. Of course, if Blatt intends to deal only with the purely factual aspect of American food, these considerations may not be within the scope of the book.

Overall, the book does a great job in introducing to uninitiated readers the state of the affairs of the American food (and to a smaller extent, world food), how it got into its present state, and sets the perspective for further readings. Environmentalists may also find the book sympathetic to their cause. Some readers may find the need to go through the figures akin to drinking from a fire hose, though!
ME
love it! thanks!
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