A book recommendation: You Aren’t What You Eat

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Here are a couple of recent books that I’ve read that I recommend highly.

You Aren’t What You Eat, Steven Poole

This book was described by Jonathan Meades as “a bloody, brutal and necessary sacred cow hunt”. If a recommendation by Meades does not make you want to read it, then you possibly lack a soul.

Here are a few excerpts.

On locavorism:

From a global perspective, locavorism begins to look like a narcissistic pseudo-moralistic club for the wealthy to keep food and money circulating among their own tight little cliques.

On biodiversity:

Biodiversity is certainly a great rhetorical virtue in our age; but the best way to maximize biodiversity might be to farm as little land as possible, using the highest-yield crops we can design. Gaia theorist James Lovelock himself has recommended intensive farming on limited land, just in order to prevent agricultural encroachment on virgin territory (like rainforest) where biodiversity is at its maximum. And even ‘biodiversity’ can hardly be an absolute good in itself. The elimination of smallpox in the wild, forestalling enormous future human suffering, was a deliberate reduction in biodiversity.

On coffee:

It seems a sure rule that anyone who fulminates against coffee is either a bore or a fraud, or both.

On ‘natural’:

The naive (or cynical) appeal to the idea that what is ‘natural’ must always be better is decidedly misanthropic, demoting human ingenuity and science in favour of the quasi-divine care offered us by a supposedly benign nature, and so is at one with the overall climate of humanity-hating Luddism that governs much catastrophist ecological thinking.

So, that’s my book recommendation for this week. I’m going to try to recommend at least one book a month. And I might even diversify and take the time to review the bloody things.

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