Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Five top books on food production

Tomatoland, Barry Estabrook’s book about how industrial agriculture has ruined the tomato in all ways–gastronomic, environmental, and in terms of labor abuse–was published in the summer of 2011.

Estabrook blogs at politics of the plate.

One of his top five books on food production, as told to Daisy Banks at The Browser:
Four Fish
by Paul Greenberg

Four Fish by Paul Greenberg takes us to the ocean to explore some of the solutions to overfishing and fish farming.

This book is totally unbiased and very serious at looking for solutions to the global fisheries problem. He picks four iconic fish to use as examples to serve for the whole spectrum. So there is tuna, salmon, cod and sea bass. He doesn’t condemn fish farming outright but he explores ways to do it so that we continue to fish in what is the last wild place where we get our food.

What kinds of solutions does he come up with?

For wild fish, he says flat out that we must reduce fishing effort. There are too many fishermen in too many boats chasing too few fish. He suggests that certain areas of the oceans be completely off limits for fishing, and that we manage fish populations such as tuna, which can travel across oceans, on a global basis. For fish farming, he says that the species we raise should be efficient. Salmon, for instance, are carnivores that must be fed more fish protein than they produce. That’s not efficient. Tilapia can get by on a vegetarian diet. So that is more efficient. Any fish farm should not damage wild systems and we should limit the number of fish farms in a given area.
Read about the other books Estabrook tagged.

--Marshal Zeringue