10. 100 Essential Non-Fiction Books: – Stuffed and Starved By Raj Patel

My final book is actually called Stuffed and Starved, by Raj Patel. This was given to me by a friwnd of mine and it was quite critical for me in changing some of my focus in the work that I was doing. This book looks at the global food system, and very simply the title says it all. It questions why some of the world, a minority of the world is stuffed, to the point where we have food mountains, and the rest is starved to the point where we have famine, we have malnutrition. It really breaks down, its a tome, I’m not going to lie; its got a lot of very dense data in there. But it really looks at the global food system and in particular it looks at the agricultural food system; as we move forward, the role of Africa within that, is going to become more critical and this is an area that I have become extremely passionate about in my work, and the way in which industrialised agriculture; monoculture, and the move toward GM cropping, the move away from organic and traditional forms of knowledge within the way we grow food and also conserve food is a minefield within the development space, and it is one that has not been spoken avout that openly, and that honestly, on any level. And you have to come across someone like Raj Patel who is known as being something of a rebel, and who started off working for all the big boys: the world bank, the WTO, the UN and then left them and has since gone on to campaign against them. So you have to come to a space like his of real rebellion really and critique in order to get some of the realities of what’s happening. So anyone who is interested in that particular area of work and that space of activism; this book is fantastic. It is dense but its got enoigh chapters in it, where you actually jump around; you dont have to read it from beggining to end.