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The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches from the Future of Foodby Josh Schonwald
Synopses & Reviews
A fascinating look at the people, trends, and technologies transforming the food of today and tomorrow
In The Taste of Tomorrow, journalist Josh Schonwald sets out on a journey to investigate the future of food. His quest takes him across the country and into farms and labs around the globe. From Alice Waters' microfarm to a Pentagon facility that has quietly shaped American supermarkets, The Taste of Tomorrow is a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse at what we eat today—and what we'll be eating tomorrow.
Schonwald introduces us to a motley group of mad scientists, entrepreneurs, renegade farmers, and food engineers who are revolutionizing the food we eat. We meet the Harvard-trained pedia-trician who wants to change the way humans raise fish; a New York chef who believes he's found the next great ethnic cuisine; a lawyer-turned-nanotechnologist who believes he can solve human nutritional needs without using food.
In this lively and fascinating book, Schonwald explains how new foods happen; why some foods explode on the scene virtually overnight while others take decades—and countless failures—to catch on. And he doesn't shy away from controversy. Although the book begins as a simple search for "the salad, meat, seafood, and pad Thai of the future," Schonwald becomes increasingly focused on finding environmentally friendly foods of the future. Ultimately, he comes to believe that emerging scientific breakthroughs—genetic engineering, nanotechnology, food processing—are essential to feeding the globe's expanding (and hungry) population.
"In search of what people will be probably be eating in 2035, Chicago food writer Schonwald considered sustainability and taste in unearthing some far-out gastronomic trends, from salad weeds to warehoused fish. In this easygoing, evenhandedly researched account, he takes the reader through his discoveries: in Salinas, Calif., the capital of America's salad bowl, he gleans new possibilities for nutrient-rich bagged greens, from radicchio to such motley weeds as purslane (Gandhi's favorite vegetable) and thistle; an in vitro meat lab in Utrecht, Netherlands, attempts to come up with RMD (a red meat alternative) that does not emit greenhouse gases, pack saturated fats, and carry diseases; while in Saltville, Va., aka Fish City, USA, the perfect saltwater fish — cobia — is happily grown in a landlocked warehouse that aims to capture its own gas emissions as well as help jump-start a domestic seafood industry closer to consumers. (An alarming 90% of the seafood in the U.S. is imported.) Schonwald surprised himself by adjusting his opinion of genetically modified foods, aka Frankenfood, by visiting geneticist Pamela Ronald's plant lab at UC Davis, for example, which develops foods resistant to disease and rich in nutrients that can help feed the Third World. In his candid, sensible survey, Schonwald weighs carefully the pros and cons of our well-intentioned, but often blindsided 'foodie fundamentalism.'" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
For fans of Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman, Josh Schonwald delivers a fascinating investigation into the trends and technologies that are transforming the world of food before our very eyes—from Alice Waters's micro farm to nanotechnology and beyond. Building upon the knowledge base we have gained from such books as The Omnivores Dilemma, Schonwald takes our contemporary conversation about food a step further, debunking myths, clarifying controversies (such as the current storm over GMOs, or genetically modified organisms), and exploring the wild possibilities that food science and chemical engineering are making realities today—from food pills to new species of scratch-built fish.
About the Author
Josh Schonwald has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Salon. He lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife, children, and indoor aquaponic system.
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