The Grand Food Bargain: And the Mindless Drive for More

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Product Details

Island Press
Publish Date
6.2 X 1.2 X 9.1 inches | 1.35 pounds
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About the Author

Kevin D. Walker grew up farming and has seen almost every facet of agriculture firsthand, working in agribusiness, at the US Department of Agriculture, overseas with international nonprofits, and as a professor at Michigan State University. He has served on committees with the National Academies Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, and as a consultant to foreign governments and the World Trade Organization.


"The Grand Food Bargain by Kevin Walker pokes a hole in our Red Barn Syndrome, America's romantic notion of farming. Walker calls out Big Ag and its self-assigned duty to 'feed the world, ' which justifies practices that aren't environmentally or scientifically sound. The Grand Food Bargain is a call to rethink everything we think we know about what we eat."--Peggy Lowe, Investigations Editor at Harvest Public Media and NPR-affiliate KCUR
"Former farmer, agriculture and agribusiness expert, and professor Walker reveals the truth about this presumed never-ending food abundance...Ultimately, Walker emphasizes the fact that people do have the power to shift the scales back to quality food choices, which will positively affect farming, economic development, and the environment around the world. An enlightened view of global food policies and the changes necessary for a viable future."--Booklist
"Walker's The Grand Food Bargain provides an antidote: a thoughtful analysis of how the food system got into this mess...Walker reveals a disturbing political, social and economic landscape...The drive for more, he shows, demands profligate use of finite resources, from energy to land...His diagnosis has been articulated before...But Walker's experience in agribusiness adds authority...Walker left with the bubbling anxiety that our focus on technological and scientific fixes blinkers us to the environmental cost of our greed. Ignore the irrevocable laws of nature for long enough and we put our own, rather narrow, ecological niche at risk."--Nature
"Compelling and revelatory. Kevin Walker combines decades of on-the-ground experience as an agribusiness expert with the sweeping analysis of a historian. What emerges is an urgent and entirely new understanding of our modern food supply."--Christopher Leonard, author of "The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business"
"A former USDA insider's account of what our Grand Food Bargain--a system focused on ever-increasing production of cheap food--actually costs Americans in poor health, environmental degradation, and loss of agrarian values and community. Walker's views are well worth reading for his insights into how our food system needs to be transformed." --Marion Nestle, Professor Emerita at New York University and author of "Unsavory Truth: How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat"
"This book is downright brilliant. Walker's deep insights and analysis steer the reader to positive and unforetold conclusions. He shows us that food markets are not inexorable, that consumers have choices, and that societal deals we eaters have settled for in the past need not be the nutrition milieu we bargain for in the future."--Paul Terry, CEO and President, Health Enhancement Research Organization and author of "Well-Advised: A Practical Guide to Everyday Health Decisions"
"Of consuming interest...The 'grand food bargain' in the title is meant ironically: Our abundance of food in the West comes at a high cost to our environment and the Earth--and that's no bargain. Walker begins and ends his impassioned book on the scorched Kalahari Desert, where he and a colleague tagged along with a bushman in search of food."--Toronto Star