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The Taste of Tomorrow, Josh Schonwald

2013/02/22

Food is a very controversial topic these days, but despite all the information within our reach, the choices remain elusive. Organic or grass-fed? Free-range or cage-free? All natural? Genetically modified? Sustainably farmed or wild-caught? In this book, Schonwald travels across the country and around the world to investigate food trends, up-and-coming cuisines, and innovations in production.

The book opens with Schonwald’s imagined scenario of dining out in 2035 — a menu of cultivated meat, fresh rabbit, exotic greens, aquafarmed fish, flavors from Africa and India. In the chapters that follow, he investigates the West’s increasingly voracious hunger for fish, the search for species that strike the magical balance between sustainable cultivation in captivity and flavor that appeals to the American palate; the shift from iceberg to spring mix and the plastic bag which brought fresh and easy salads to the grocery aisles; the laboratories and scientists who seek to develop lab-raised meat; interviewing food futurists and visiting trade shows where cuisines from around the world are showcased by hundreds of vendors.

This book tries to address various food issues from a practical point of view; however, there are definitely things that will make proponents and opponents of GMOs, industrial farming, and food research stop and think, which makes this a valuable read. I found myself disagreeing with some of his conclusions, but respecting the argument and the path that he traveled to make those statements.

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