Food and the City gets a favourable review in the Washington Independent Review of Books today.
The reviewer Susan Young profiles my book along with The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table by Tracie McMillan. (I shall have to pick that up soon. Looks like a great book.)
We’re all just “nine meals away from anarchy.” So concludes a British report on the state of food security in the United Kingdom. The situation is the same in the United States, where our food infrastructure — the vast and increasingly monopolized system that brings food from farm to plate — operates on such a tight schedule that any serious interruption would leave grocery store shelves bare within three days.
Food security is the subject of two recent releases: The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Wal-Mart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table, by Tracie McMillan, and Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution, by Jennifer Cockrall-King. The term “food insecurity” usually brings to mind people whose low income leaves them wondering where their next meal might come from. McMillan’s book takes us into their lives. It turns out that the very people whose hands move our food through the system — farm workers, grocery stockers and the kitchen staff at your local chain outlet — are among those most vulnerable to hunger, or at least to poor diets. Cockrall-King maintains that we are all vulnerable, to the extent we rely on grocery stores and their just-in-time food distribution system, which is engineered to take advantage of every efficiency, given the tight profit margins of the grocery industry.