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The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan

I was not expecting to list this book here: I thought it was a book on food, but once I read it I discovered it is about sustainability as well. The author analyses the production chain of different food (and meals) taking into account the consumed resources, the pollution, the quality, and the hidden costs. The resulting picture is scary: current industrial food production is based on methods that destroy resources, consume too much fossil fuels, erode gains of farmers, and give a bad quality output. Both from an economical and ecological point of view it is not sustainable. At the same time, other more sustainable solutions are shown.

The book is well written, not technical, and a bit rhetorical, but it explains clearly and honestly the problem. A must-read for all economists, I would put it in the same shelf of “The Wal-Mart Effect” by Charles Fishman.

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