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The Atlas of Food: Who eats what, where and why.

Atlas of food 

40 million people die of hunger each year, while 356kg of grain per person is being produced.  Methods of agriculture are dramatically changing the environment beyond all recognition, with increased mechanisation and use of pesticides.  For every one dollar the World Health Organisation spends on trying to improve the nutrition of the world’s population, $500 is spent by the food industry on promoting processed foods.

These issues, and more, are covered in clear detail within this book.  It provides an ideal source document for studies into fair trade, subsidies, genetically modified food, food miles, changing nutrition and food aid.  The information is well presented in tables and maps, providing a pictorial overview of how consumptions and agricultural methods vary from country to country.  Each section is introduced by the authors, giving a useful summary to put the data into context.

The information is both fascinating and horrifying – “75% of agricultural land in the EU is used for growing animal feed”, “20,000 agricultural workers a year are killed by pesticides”.  This carefully researched and referenced book could be a useful tool in educating audiences about the effects of their food choices on the world.

Erik Millstone & Tim Lang (2003), The Atlas of Food: Who eats what, where and why.  Myriad Editions, for Earthscan.  ISBN: 1-85383-965-5.  Price £12.99