The Future of Food

The Future of Food: New Ideas About Eating : ISBN 978-1-68282-927-1 / eBook: 978-1-68282-928-8
School Library Connection, November/December, 2020

In just a few chapters, author Toney Allman presents a case for sustainable farming and humankind’s potential for food security. Illustrated with complementary color photographs, the book puts forth different ways organic farmers and scientists solve the problem of assuring nutritious diets for all while causing minimal damage to our planet. The author explains the dangers of irresponsible farming and the effects of climate change. What could be a dry study comparing the negative effects of fertilizers, pesticides, and agricultural machinery with the efforts of sustainable farming instead evolves into a current topic relatable to students. Allman explains vegetarianism and veganism and the choices being developed with plant-based and synthetic food. Then the book explores the advances modern scientists are making involving food, nutrition, and personalized diets clearly and concisely. The book discusses the breakthroughs being discovered between nutrition and each person’s individual genome and the steps science is taking to make healthy eating easy and to eliminate food waste. Textboxes interspersed throughout the book offer interesting supplemental information. A worthwhile addition to school librarians where young researchers are delving into the pros and cons of food production. Bibliography. Glossary. Index. Table of Contents. 
Bernadette Cooke, Teacher-Librarian, Julia R. Masterman School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Future of Food: New Ideas About Eating : ISBN 978-1-68282-927-1 / eBook: 978-1-68282-928-8
School Library Jounal, October 23, 2020

Gr 7-10–The production and distribution of the food supply have long been an issue in many parts of the world. The introduction stresses factors such as farming methods, location, pesticides and fertilizers, livestock feed, environmental responsibility, and climate change as factors that impact the world’s food supply. The first chapter describes the work of farmers. The text points out the challenges and flaws of meat production: “About 94 percent of meat animals raised in the United States are raised on factory farms. Such concentrated animal feeding operations, however, will not be sustainable.” Several other practices are described, with an emphasis on the negative consequences to the environment: “Some studies show that the methane released as gas from cattle’s digestive processes is responsible for as much as 18 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.” In the second chapter, meat alternatives, such as Burger King’s Impossible Whopper and plant-based sausage, are presented as environmentally conscious and healthy alternatives. Chapter three covers genetically engineered foods. The text attempts to highlight the safety of GMO foods by explaining how the various plants and animals are altered. However, there can be an upside to gene-altered foods. For example, countries where bananas are a staple food source have benefited from this type of research, resulting in more nutritious fruit. It is hoped the study of microbiomes and genomes will lead to personalized diets and the possible prevention of some diseases, such as diabetes and some cancers. VERDICT Purchase where there is a need for scientific research on plants as food.–Eldon Younce, Anthony P.L., KS