Uncertain Harvest by Ian Mosby, Sarah Rotz, & Evan D. Fraser [6/10]

In “Uncertain Harvest: The Future of Food on a Warming Planet,” the mammoth subject of the future of food and eating for eight billion humans amidst global warming is tackled by three Canadian academics in disciplines ranging from food, history, and ecology. Many books are tumbling out about this impossible-to-fully-cover subject, but the authors achieve focus and a cogent narrative by framing the wider subject around eight foods, namely algae, caribou, kale, millet, tuna, crickets, milk, and rice. For example, “Crickets” is a wonderfully informative and entertaining chapter tackling new foods and technologies aimed at shifting populations from meat/fish eating to more climate-sustainable diets, including Impossible Burgers and, yes, crunchy crickets. The chapter “Rice” considers the Nirvana of a tech fix in the form of C4 rice or nitrogen-fixing corn. In the end, “Uncertain Harvest” offers few answers because there are no magic bullets. Any globally relevant “solution” involves changing human behaviors on diet and social justice. But we need to be clear-headed, and this book offers wide-ranging and clear-headed sagacity, and is a strangely entertaining read to boot.

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