Virtual Event: Robert Paarlberg
Resetting the Table:
Straight Talk About the Food We Grow and Eat
February 5, 2021
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $3 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes ROBERT PAARLBERG—an associate of Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and author of The United States of Excess—for a discussion of his latest book, Resetting the Table: Straight Talk About the Food We Grow and Eat.
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While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $3 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Resetting the Table on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About Resetting the Table
Consumers want to know more about their food—including the farm from which it came, the chemicals used in its production, its nutritional value, how the animals were treated, and the costs to the environment. They are being told that buying organic foods, unprocessed and sourced from small local farms, is the most healthful and sustainable option.
Now, Robert Paarlberg reviews the evidence and finds abundant reason to disagree. He delineates the ways in which global food markets have in fact improved our diet, and how "industrial" farming has recently turned green, thanks to GPS-guided precision methods that cut energy use and chemical pollution. He makes clear that America's serious obesity crisis does not come from farms, or from food deserts, but instead from "food swamps" created by food companies, retailers, and restaurant chains. And he explains how, though animal welfare is lagging behind, progress can be made through continued advocacy, more progressive regulations, and perhaps plant-based imitation meat. He finds solutions that can make sense for farmers and consumers alike and provides a road map through the rapidly changing worlds of food and farming, laying out a practical path to bring the two together.
Praise for Resetting the Table
“A terrific book. Robert Paarlberg makes clear that if crops don’t come in, little else matters. Resetting the Table shows how the whole world can be fed without environmental harm, and that’s worth listening to. This book accomplishes what is so rare in contemporary writing—being urgent yet reasonable at the same time.” —Gregg Easterbrook, author of It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear
"On a topic all too often subjected to wild claims, emotional argument and rejection of evidence in favor of prejudice, Robert Paarlberg brings welcome good sense, a wealth of facts and an eloquent use of language. His suggestions for how to improve our systems of food production, while benefiting the environment, are vitally important." —Matt Ridley, author of How Innovation Works
"Drawing on a lifetime of global experiences in agriculture and food systems, Paarlberg challenges the concepts of organic, local, and small-scale as the solutions to feeding the world’s population a healthy and sustainable diet. Does the science-based, technology-driven plate he offers provide a path to this goal? Anyone seriously interested in this existential issue should get this highly readable and thoughtful book." —Walter Willett, author of Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy
Harvard Book Store's Good Taste series highlights exciting new cookbooks, food writing, and work that centers around the role food plays in our communities and daily lives.
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