No One Eats Alone: Food as a Social Enterprise
Who did author Michael Carolan envision as readers for his book No One Eats Alone? Certainly not the average reader. This is an academic book, a sociological textbook for students, and it’s unlikely many readers would find this volume good reading material. Carolan’s writing is not outstanding; it reads only a little better than a standard university textbook. But the major flaw is the lack of anything original—Carolan basically rehashes food-related material most of us know well, starting from the 1960s Green Revolution, monoculture of food production, heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides, the major food companies’ heavy promotion of packaged, pre-cooked foods, and so on. Similar trends have continued from these early dates until today, like farm-to-fork and buying local and free-range. Carolan continues to discuss consumers’ concern about food safety, food nutrition, food waste, the physical appearance of foods, sustainability, government food, and agricultural policies. Another old topic he brings up: the slow food movement. The author interviewed over two-hundred-fifty people worldwide who were involved with food in some way. He described these interviews in detail with many quotes. No illustrations adorn this book. As a pure academic text, the book ends with chapter-by-chapter Notes and an Index.
Michael S. Carolan