Hopeful and enlightening commentary on the future of the food industry.

HOW WE EAT

THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF FOOD AND DRINK

An examination of the problems and future of America’s broken food system.

Through a series of essays, market researcher and author Underhill, the author of Why We Buy and Call of the Mall, takes us on an eye-opening journey. According to the author, the system is broken, and technology is largely responsible. Today, technology has “turned the things we eat and drink into commercial products to be engineered, manufactured, and marketed like tires or toothpaste….Once, it was the scarcity of food that threatened our lives; today, it’s the abundance.” As the author notes, younger Americans may never realize that fruits and vegetables have specific growing seasons, as they are now available for purchase nearly anywhere and year-round. In the past few years, Americans’ shopping habits have changed significantly. Intensified by the Covid-19 pandemic, shoppers have increasingly turned to online outlets for their groceries and other needs. Due to issues related to trust and transparency in the production of food, as well as environmental and ethical concerns, other consumers have turned increasingly to local producers. With a witty, conversational tone, Underhill leads readers on a trip through various aspects of the food industry to demonstrate the ways in which changes in consumer behavior, as well as production concerns, are being addressed. He explores the layout of a typical supermarket and chronicles his tour of a farmers market in New York City as well the headquarters of a popular supercenter. Underhill is not all doom-and-gloom regarding technology’s impact. He points out certain developments, such as innovations in cannabis growing, that are being used to address climate change and the nation’s growing population. The author also recounts his interviews with farmers, members of the media, and industry experts, all of whom provide specific insights about the topic.

Hopeful and enlightening commentary on the future of the food industry.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982127-09-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 20, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A refreshingly candid, fearless look into a model’s body of work and its impact on her identity and politics.

MY BODY

The international model embarks on a nuanced investigation of her body and identity.

Ratajkowski’s exploration of fame, self-identity, and what it means to be a “beautiful” woman is surprisingly engaging. Originally thrust into the spotlight in 2013 due to her scantily clad appearance in the music video for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” the author eventually became known for her stances about beauty and sexuality and how they are commodified. Now that she is a wife and mother, she writes, “I feel a tenderness toward my younger self. My defensiveness and defiance are palpable to me now. What I wrote and preached then reflected what I believed at the time, but it missed a much more complicated picture. In many ways, I have been undeniably rewarded by capitalizing on my sexuality….But in other, less overt ways, I’ve felt objectified and limited by my position in the world as a so-called sex symbol.” This short book includes the juicy tidbits that avid celebrity-memoir readers seek, and the author shares how she really felt about the video shoot and how the aftermath affected her. Beyond that, the book is a reflective coming-of-age-in-the-industry tale, a story that is never maudlin but contains a few thick, murky sections. Ratajkowski attempts to break down the construction of her identity and sexuality in relation to the ever present male gaze as well as her relationships with the women in her life. The charm of this book lies in the author’s largely relatable writing, which shows the complex emotions and confusion of a young woman experiencing her sexual development and maturation into a capable adult. Admitting that the “purpose of the book is not to arrive at answers, but honestly to explore ideas I can’t help but return to,” Ratajkowski grapples directly with a host of thorny issues.

A refreshingly candid, fearless look into a model’s body of work and its impact on her identity and politics.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-81786-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Metropolitan/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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