- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books (Oct. 12 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0738213640
- ISBN-13: 978-0738213644
- Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.9 x 3.2 cm
- Shipping Weight: 567 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #628,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It) Hardcover – Oct 12 2010
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Behold the Dreamers" is an unforgettable debut novel about a family's struggle to make a new life in America from author Imbolo Mbue. Learn more
Kirkus Reviews (starred review), 8/15/10
“An eye-opening account of what used to be considered a sin—the willful waste of perfectly edible food…Bloom is full of condemnation without being unduly scolding…Refreshingly, Bloom offers solutions as well as jeremiads, and not a minute too soon—an urgent, necessary book.”
Huffington Post, 11/9/10
“Timely, terrific new book.”
Tucson Citizen, 11/23/10
“This book could change your life.”
About the Author
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This book is a must-read if you want to understand the sources and effects of food waste--and what you can do to reduce food waste in your life and community. Bloom extensively researched every aspect of food waste, from California lettuce fields to school lunches to the back rooms and dumpsters of supermarkets. He discusses existing solutions such as higher rates of composting and increased opportunities for gleaning (harvesting left-behind produce) from farms. His combination of journalistic research and first-hand experiences makes for convincing arguments. His sense of humor helps to make a potentially heavy and depressing topic accessible and readable.
If you're trying to reduce food waste in your own home, you'll find plenty of practical tips and advice throughout the book but especially in Chapter 8, Home Is Where the Waste Is. My family is committed to keeping our own food waste to a minimum--and I think we actually succeed--but I still found so much useful information in this book, particularly on what I can do beyond my own kitchen. Bloom's exploration of the broader social and environmental effects of food waste were especially enlightening and add an important dimension to something you might already be doing simply for budget reasons. While controlling your food budget can be an important reason for avoiding food waste and a sufficient motivation in itself, you'll find the wider ethical and environmental reasons both compelling and inspiring.
I wish everyone would read this book so that we can see a meaningful reduction in food waste. It's a big problem that is actually pretty easy to address--a rare combination and a great opportunity to make a difference!
That's what I thought. Jonathan Bloom's book is absolutely riveting, and his areas of exploration are so varied, complex, and well described that I ate this book up like a Taco Bell triple crunchwrap! This man has done his homework, and his writing method is so entertaining that you tend to forget that you are learning all kinds of horrible facts and truths about food waste in our modern world. Examples abound of all kinds of preventable waste going on all around us, from the farms that feed us, the supermarkets that provide the offerings, and our own lazy and entitled habits at home and in restaurants. The most startling revelations, to me, was the prevalence of this activity all around us, and how our cultural attitudes have fostered notions that there's absolutely nothing wrong with the way we squander and waste food. Best of all, Bloom offers solutions that are available to us right now, and simply require our own cooperation to set in motion. For a book that I began reading with obvious reservations came a truly inspiring and exhilirating experience, and taught me a lot about a subject in which I thought I was well-versed. Highly recommended.
Bloom reveals a dangerous cycle regarding food: We're wasting resources by growing too much, and in the process depleting our soils, using too much fertilizer with negative environmental effects, and depleting our water supplies while we then use additional resources to haul the excess to landfills where it causes further harm to the environment while millions remain hungry. It's a cycle that we need to break - and to do so we need a change of mindset.
Bloom notes that we should think of food waste as an opportunity - and we should take action to harness food waste to feed the hungry while also improving the environment and the economy. He points out that we "devalue" food by providing large quantities of cheap, unhealthy food to our kids - thereby reinforcing the ease of discarding food and perpetuating the cycle noted above. He also shows that with our culture of excessive choice, and with supermarkets dedicated to having fully stocked produce departments at all hours - the result is excessive waste - and this problem is exacerbated by our demand for perfection and uniformity in our produce. It is therefore not surprising to learn that just ten minutes into his first day of work at a supermarket he was tasked with throwing away food.
The key message for readers: We need to step back and consider how we can create so much waste when tens of millions of Americans, and hundreds of millions around the globe, are hungry.
Bloom suggests a new normal in which supermarkets aren't stocked as fully a few minutes before closing time while offering some additional sound advice: "Stop baking so much stuff."
He closes with a list of recommendations on what he would do in an ideal world to reduce food waste, such as establishing a national food-recovery coordinator, creating a national public service campaign, and banning food waste from landfills (which I agree would have a prompt and significant impact on reducing food waste).
Bloom's book is extremely readable, and it makes the problem of food waste personal. It is a "must read" for those looking to gain knowledge of the tremendous problem of global food waste. It will inspire readers not only to think differently about food waste, but to act, and in so doing hopefully spur others to do the same to break the cycle of excessive waste which harms the environment while hindering our ability to help the needy. In short, Bloom provides insight into the need for culture change regarding the way we think about food and how much we waste - and we should embrace that change to help the needy, the environment, and ourselves.
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Business & Investing > Economics > Environmental Economics
- Books > Business & Investing > Economics > Natural Resources
- Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine
- Books > Deals in Books
- Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Sociology
- Books > Professional & Technical > Accounting & Finance > Economics > Natural Resources
- Books > Professional & Technical > Engineering > Civil > Environmental
- Books > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Earth Sciences > Environmental Science
- Books > Science & Math > Earth Sciences > Environmental Science
- Books > Science & Math > Environment > Conservation
- Books > Science & Math > Environment > Environmental Science
- Books > Science & Math > History & Philosophy > History of Agriculture
- Books > Science & Math > Nature & Ecology > Conservation
- Books > Science & Math > Nature & Ecology > Environment > Conservation
- Featured Stores > Markdowns > Books