Ecologist Guide to Food – Book Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Ecologist Guide to Food - a major new book lifting the lid on the food industry's secrets

Ecologist Guide to Food
by Andrew Wasley, with a foreword from Zac Goldsmith
Published February 10th 2014 by Leaping Hare Press
Price £9.99
ISBN 978-1-78240-102-5
Available from all good bookshops

Ecologist Guide to FoodAnimal suffering, human rights abuses, the destruction of ecosystems, pollution, waste … these are issues we tend not to associate with our food. However, as investigative food journalist Andrew Wasley reveals, much of our food comes with a hidden price tag, even some of the foods that the reader may consider ethical such as “Fairtrade”.

Drawing on The Ecologist’s unique archive as well as containing much new material, the Ecologist Guide to Food delves behind the labels to investigate the often-unpalatable truths about the foodstuffs we consume each day.

As well as uncovering the sometimes shocking practices in existence, the book takes a look at possible alternatives for the food industry, giving a voice to some of those going against the grain to produce food that is good for you, good for others and good for the planet.

The Ecologist Guide to Food:

  • lifts the lid on the environmental, political, health and humanitarian issues surrounding our food;

  • uncovers the truth the food industry doesn’t want you to know;

  • and provides a guide to ethical alternatives, highlighting those companies making changes.

The Ecologist is the world’s leading environmental affairs title and has been setting the environmental agenda for over 40 years – bringing the critical issues of our time into the mainstream through cutting-edge reporting, as well as pioneering original thinking and inspiring action.

The Ecologist Guide To Food will make you look at food, where it comes from, and how it is being produced, in a totally new and different way.

In six chapters, from fruit over vegetables, meat and fish to dairy, groceries and drink this Ecologist Guide covers all aspects of food and how dirty, and that in more than one sense of the word, the business actually is. Remains the question as to that to do and the answer is to be much more discerning consumers armed with the information necessary to make the right and ethical choices.

The reader will learn from the pages of this Ecologist Guide that cheap meat, fish and game just do not compute with healthy and environmental health and the reader beware when reading the appropriate chapters. And also that “Fairtrade” is not as fair as it is always made out to be and I must say that it is therefore no wonder that some coffee companies, etc. have decided to set up their own versions and systems.

This is a very important book and a must read for everyone, and I do mean everyone, to understand how our food is produced and at what cost to the environment, animals and human beings and that in all sectors and on all levels including so-called “fairtrade”. It will or should make the reader take stock and reevaluate their ways.

If you want to read but one book only on the state of our food then this is the one. Be warned, however, as some of what you will read will make you fume and others will make your stomach turn and churn. But, I urge you to read it and read it carefully.

© 2014