Ravenous by Henry Dimbleby with Jemima Lewis
In 2021, Henry Dimbleby published the much acclaimed ‘National Food Strategy’. This was one of the most carefully thought through and readable government documents that I have read and yet most people, including members of the government, have not read or acted upon it. In reply, in 2022 the Government Food Strategy was unveiled. It was not a strategy at all: just a mish-mash of one or two less political items. After all the work put in, Henry must have been very disappointed, but he has not let the matter rest. Ravenous contains a popular fight-back restating the key issues in our flawed food system. It is understandable by all.
At the beginning, the science of System Dynamics and concepts such as feedback loops and the tragedy of the commons are explained. But Henry soon delves into our history and diet, population and consumption, state intervention, obesity and the cost to the NHS. How can we break the Junk Food Cycle?
From there he deals with our farming systems, use of the land, the invisibility of nature and food’s effect on the climate.
This is a very positive book, not full of doom and gloom, but brimming with ideas to effect the massive changes we cannot avoid. At the end is a list of the 15 points for government to consider and a table showing where progress has been made, but where huge gaps still remain.
One disappointment is the clarity of the graphics, but these can be viewed in the original at www.nationalfoodstrategy.org
This fascinating and detailed book is nevertheless a quick and easy read. I recommend it to anyone who thinks about what they eat!
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