FEAST OR FAMINE: Food, Farming, and Farm Politics in America by Ed. Edwin

FEAST OR FAMINE: Food, Farming, and Farm Politics in America

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It is difficult to gauge the audience for this survey of agriculture, since the author roams -- documentary fashion -- over an enormous area, giving a few highlights and a string of scattered illuminations. Part I is devoted to the earth -- even cosmic -- view: rudiments of botany, soil, climate, pests, solar, mechanical and chemical power and ecology. Part II outlines principles of nutrition (including those inevitable vitamin profiles) and reports on important American crops and food animals. In Part III the author burrows into our present agricultural problems, particularly the enormous changes in farming which occurred after WW II with the improvements in mechanization, pesticides, fertilizers, genetics, livestock nutrition and conservation. Edwin takes up the pros and cons of subsidies, the efficiency (or lack of it) of agrobusiness and the ""family farm,"" the various feints and jabs among farm lobbies, blocs and political factions -- and foresees a future threatened by a world-wide famine. Edwin suggests that refinement of current practices rather than a new revolution may be the answer in part to the need for maximum efficiency in food production. A too ambitious round-up but with a certain informational value.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Charterhouse--dist. by McKay