Don't be misled by the never-never-land color photography and gimmicky typographic format: this is a fresh, serious, sensible treatment of nutritional politics. In the recipes, Tudge tries to address the issues of prudent diet and prudent management of food resources not by throwing soybeans, grated cheese, and Tiger's Milk into depressing combinations of otherwise worthy vegetables, but by cooking individual foods properly in their own right. His ratatouille is just ratatouille, not jazzed up with protein-enrichments; and when he combines spinach with more complete foods it is in spicy, aromatic Indian specialties--incorporated into deep-fried chickpea-flour balls, or combined with savory fried potatoes. True, he also puts needless amounts of sugar in bread, perpetrates a dismal ""white sauce"" based on water, and fails to mention how good brown rice can be, but his recipes are remarkably free of faddist ingredients. More significant is his rethinking of food categories, which gives pride of place to the more proteinaceous vegetables, or ""Foods of the First Kind""--grains, potatoes, legumes. These, Tudge argues, should be the basis of any sane human diet in terms both of nutrition and of resource-management. Meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products are relegated to the same ""Second Kind"" status, as are most garden vegetables--they are to be used, that is, as strategic supplements. Even more valuable than the recipes are the substantial essays on the realities of what we put into and get out of food. Whether he is deploring home-freezing of vegetables as a misuse of energy and good produce, pointing out the limitations of marine fish-farming as a miracle food-supply, or marveling over the misguided ingenuity that adds textured vegetable protein to the diet of people already oversupplied with protein, Tudge is a witty, impassioned, and generally clear thinker in a field where good intentions too often do duty for thinking. An important book.