cover image Food Fight: GMOs and the Future of the American Diet

Food Fight: GMOs and the Future of the American Diet

McKay Jenkins. Avery, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-1-59463-460-4

Jenkins (ContamiNation), a professor of English, journalism, and environmental humanities at the University of Delaware, outlines many of the arguments for and against genetically modified organisms in this accessible volume on global food supplies and everyday diets. He interviews “some of the world’s great agricultural visionaries, some of whom take radically different approaches to the question of GMOs.” He speaks with farmers “who think GMOs will help move the world closer to sustainability” and others who believe they will “accelerate our ecological demise.” Jenkins divides his balanced discussion into three main sections. The first looks at the general safety of GMOs, how they are tested, and how they are labeled. The second section pinpoints instances where GMOs have affected specific communities either positively or negatively. Hawaii, for example, has seen its commercial papaya crops saved by genetic modifications to counter ringspot virus, yet many Hawaiians have battled multinational agrochemical companies to get full disclosure about the safety of chemicals sprayed on GM crops there. In the book’s final section, Jenkins examines what the future might hold for various farming practices and systems, both domestically and abroad. Highlighting the pros and cons of this contentious topic, Jenkins gives conscientious readers plenty to chew on. (Jan.)