A Fast Food Nation for the foods we grow and depend on.
The bananas we eat today aren't your parents' bananas. We eat a recognizable, consistent breakfast fruit that was standardized in the 1960s from dozens into one basic banana. But because of that, the banana we love is dangerously susceptible to a pathogen that might wipe them out.
That's the story of our food today. Modern science has brought us produce in perpetual abundance - once-rare fruits are seemingly never out of season, and we breed and clone the hardiest, best-tasting varieties of the crops we rely on most. As a result, a smaller proportion of people on earth go hungry today than at any other moment in the last thousand years, and the streamlining of our food supply guarantees that the food we buy, from bananas to coffee to wheat, tastes the same every single time.
Our corporate food system has nearly perfected the process of turning sunlight, water, and nutrients into food. But our crops themselves remain susceptible to nature's fury. And nature always wins.
Authoritative, urgent, and filled with fascinating heroes and villains from around the world, Never out of Season is the story of the crops we depend on most and the scientists racing to preserve the diversity of life in order to save our food supply - and us.
"Once again Rob Dunn shows how relevant knowledge of natural history and ecology is to the environment and to the details of our personal lives." (Edward O. Wilson, University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University)
"Nature is threatened, by our simplification of the Earth. But, as Dunn makes clear in this soon to be classic page turner of a book, this simplification of nature makes us ever more rather than less dependent on nature. This is a lesson we need to heed now at a time in which our bananas, but also our wheat, our cassava and even the rubber in our tires is threatened like never before. Everyone who eats should read Never out of Season." (Paul R. Ehrlich, author of Human Natures)
"A convincing argument that the agricultural revolution that has made food more readily available around the world contains the seeds of its own destruction.... An alarming account but one suggesting that, armed with knowledge, we can reverse this way of treating the plants that feed us and find a way toward a more sustainable diet." (Kirkus)
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- Steve Ebert