Garden of Unearthly Delights

Robin Mather, Author Dutton Books $23.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-525-93864-4
In chatty journalistic interview style, Mather, food editor at the Detroit News, explores the tensions between industrial and traditional agriculture. Despite the book's subtitle, its treatment of bioengineering itself is perfunctory and related mainly to more general issues of economic structure in food provision. Mather pays specific attention to contrasting viewpoints regarding vegetable, dairy and poultry production, striving to treat controversial topics evenhandedly while indicating her own enthusiasms for sustainable practices, local supply and initiatives such as community-shared agriculture. The book is a relatively quick read, with lots of human-interest angles and earthy information to enlighten and occasionally distress the consumer. Contrasting food ``producers'' with ``growers,'' businesses with farms and engineered with natural foods, Mather touches upon profound issues and notes the conflicts of human values and perspectives as well as the real economic factors at work. Deeper consideration of these conflicts is left to the reader. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-452-27263-7
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