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Sow A Little & Reap Disaster Sow A Little & Reap Disaster

This is the latest offering from Colin Tudge, who’s already enlightened us on conservation, evolution and genetics in past books. Tudge has now turned his attention to food, not something you might think is required in the literary market with Jamie Oliver and Delia Smith running the show. But this is not about the finished products that come out of the kitchen, it’s more the fundamental politics of food production.

While some nations are starving, others are going through an epidemic of obesity. But is there anything that can be done about the corporate barons who control most of the large-scale production? Tudge thinks so, and argues his ideas for feeding humans and preventing starvation without the need for GM foods, controversial, but interesting none-the-less. The basic premise is simple and not all that hard - he argues this because we know the problems, it’s just having the inclination to do anything about it.

There’s a look at the large-scale farms, the biotechnology companies and the scientists, right down to those who are ploughing the fields. The author has a knack for being able to explain the complex in a delightful way and keeps you interested with a mixture of facts, shocking true stories and anecdotal musings. There are also plenty of arguments and counter-arguments and humorous touches in every chapter.

Within the book are a lot of thought-provoking ideas and statements that make you question just how modern this modern world is. Around the world, livestock consumes one-third of the world’s wheat, two-thirds of the maize and three-quarters of the barley and soya - enough to feed two billion people.

Interestingly, Tudge’s view of genetic engineering is that is has “contributed nothing of unequivocal value to wheat, rice and maize, and is not likely to in the next half century.” However, he does admit that the potential is there for it to do so, especially when it comes to horticulture.

It will not stop you eating, but it might get you thinking about what you eat in a different light. Food for thought, perhaps…

Get a copy now...

[Colin Tudge, So Shall We Reap, Penguin Books Ltd, 2004]

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