Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System

Rajeev Charles Patel, Author
Rajeev Charles Patel, Author Melville House Publishing $19.95 (398p) ISBN 978-1-933633-49-7
Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Hardcover - 438 pages - 978-1-84627-010-9
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Paperback - 418 pages - 978-1-61219-127-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-60486-103-7
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-55468-946-0
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-61219-128-7
Paperback - 418 pages - 978-1-84627-479-4
Paperback - 438 pages - 978-1-55468-011-5
Hardcover - 438 pages - 978-0-00-200811-2
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Journalist and scholar Patel (Promised Land: Competing Visions of Agrarian Reform) focuses attention on the unfortunate irony of the current world food situation, in which the imbalance of world resources has created an epidemic of obesity in some parts of the world while millions in the ""Global South"" endure starvation. To make sense of the situation, Patel addresses the entire system of global food production, distribution and sale, concluding that ""unless you're a corporate food executive, the food system isn't working for you."" ""Record levels of diet-related disease"" plague consumers, cruel market realities (and unsympathetic officials) doom farmers, and communities are beset by a supermarket system that provides ""cheap calories"" while ""bleeding local economies."" Patel analyzes what can be done, presenting logical recommendations and strategies for individuals-eat locally, seasonally, and ecologically; support local business, workers' rights, and living wages; create a sustainable food system-though several primary components of his big vision (including ending agribusiness subsidies and corporate farming, and levying a tax on processed foods) are clearly a long way off. Those concerned about global health, social justice and the environment will be aware of many of the issues presented here, but should still find much to learn.
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