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No-Nonsense Guide to World Food

By Wayne Roberts  

No-Nonsense Guide to World Food
  • Paperback / softback

Food security is a topic that is increasingly in the public’s consciousness. Covering fast food, health food, institutional food, and more, this No-Nonsense Guide shows why and how “real food” has become scarce, dominated as it is in the West by agri-business and supermarkets. Wayne Roberts discusses nutrition, health, economics, and gives examples of effective food systems being developed by individuals, communities, and governments.

An essential guide to this important issue, this book will appeal to students, food professionals and activists, public health staff and concerned citizens - anyone who wants to understand the international food system and how it can be improved.

  • Paperback / softback, 184 pages
  • ISBN 9781897071441
  • Published September 2008
  • EPUB
  • ISBN 9781771130691
  • Published September 2008


Wayne Roberts is the Canadian equivalent to Eric Schlosser or Micheal Pollan. He has done more for the world in the terms of fixing world food policy and opening our eyes to what could be than anyone else in this country.

– Ivy Knight on Swallow: Food Radio (CIUT 89.5 FM)

A great introduction for any food activist … Roberts holds his readers’ interest with his own fusion of analysis and anecdotes … [and] details intriguing policy suggestions.

Briarpatch Magazine

For people just starting to ask questions about where their food comes from and why, this book is a good introduction to the complex interplay of world trade rules, food safety standards, environmental footprints and farming practices that make up our food system.

The Record (Kitchener)

The global food system is complex. Wayne Roberts’ new book … is an accessible overview of how the system works—and how it can be fixed.

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A great survey of the problems that plague global food production and distribution, all of it in the macros … of social justice, public health, and green economics.


The ideal primer for citizens interested in learning how to affect change in their community.


As globalization obscures locality of ecosystems and communities with brands and logos, the best way to recognize our true nature and needs is food… What species do we consume, where, how and by whom were they reared and harvested, what was the ecological footprint of the food? Books like this get us started in our thinking and our actions.

– David Suzuki

Couldn’t be more timely, especially given the great deal of rubbish being served to a public hungry for answers about their food … a powerful book.

– —Raj Patel, author of *Starved & Stuffed: Markets, Power and theHidden Battle for the World Food System

A superb introduction to the unfolding contradictions of food and farming since World War II. Its special strength is a clear vision of how myriad dandelions of sustainability and justice are widening the cracks in a dangerously rigid and homogenizing agrifood system.

– Harriet Friedmann, professor of sociology and Fellow, Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto

Anyone involved in the many positive and exciting food campaigns going on in the world today will be energised by this book.

– Jeanette Longfield (MBE), Coordinator, Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming (UK)

Valuable information that concerns everyone in the world. Crafted by a prolific writer who knows his subject “from farm to fart.

– —Suat Tuzlak, owner, Alpine Bakery in Whitehorse, Yukon

Wayne’s writings on food and the environment combine deep insight into environmental problems together with inspiring suggestions of practical actions that can be taken in the here and now. He’s certainly been a major source of ideas for me as I started the work to make Markham the first city government in North America to buy local, sustainable and fair trade food. I expect other government officials with a “let’s get started” approach can turn almost any page of the No Nonsense Guide to World Food to similar advantage.

– Erin Shapero, City Councillor, Markham, Ontario

Life-enhancing! Unlike most academic books on food, [this] is highly readable.

– —Kevin Morgan, Professor, School of City & Regional Planning, Cardiff University

“The theme of [this] book is one of the most important in the world today. The food industry’s aim is to nourish the voracious appetite for wealth of the big transnationals who are killing people with their artificial monocultures, transgenics, and chemical conservants and flavours.”

– Hugo Blanco, Peruvian activist and leader of the Campesino Confederation of Peru (translated from Spanish)

Wayne Roberts is an engaging writer with a remarkable ability to discuss complex issues in simple terms … This is a very useful book.”

– —Cathleen Kneen, Chair, Food Secure Canada

The awareness Wayne Roberts creates will also stimulate action to overcome another predicament of our times: though we have all the technical means to cope with hunger, we still need to find the courage and social organization to deal with our own demons.

– Gustavo Esteva, Zapatista advisor, negotiator and visionary, co-inventor of the Mexican resistance slogan: “no corn, no country,” and author of the classic book Grassroots Post-Modernism

Wayne Roberts really gets that you must have a diversified food system with the combination of local production, practical policy, and deep analysis. He gets the message out with a great sense of humor.”

– —Will Allen, Growing Power, Milwaukee

“With a voice I admire—clear, playful, and passionate all at the same time—Wayne Roberts weaves through an analysis that is both historically and geographically sweeping, fascinating personal encounters in countries as diverse as Brazil, India, South Korea, the United States, and Canada—his homeland. Eminently readable.”

– Kami Pothukuchi, associate professor of rrban planning, Wayne State University

“This little book is an easy-to-read, historically grounded roadmap of the transformations of globalizing capitalism through the lens of what we eat and how it’s grown, produced and distributed. It’s also a well-informed guide to the debates and social experiments of the researchers and activists who address the resulting challenges. For those of us who advocate healthy eating for ourselves and the world, it’s essential reading.”

– Bruce Kidd, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto

Knowing, feeling, and doing something about today’s abysmal poverty of imagination and hunger requires a major rethink about the modern food system. Roberts and company are clearly beginning to connect life-affirming dots.

– —Municipal World, Canada’s Municipal Magazine

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