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Food, Energy, and Society, Third Edition by…
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Food, Energy, and Society, Third Edition

by David Pimentel

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A collection of contributed papers from varied authors. As with most collections of this sort, the quality is spotty, but there are quite a few good essays in the book, though many of them are dense and written in stupefyingly obscurantist language. ( )
  Devil_llama | Apr 19, 2011 |
I've read the first two editions, the first around 1980 when I was writing "A Vegetarian Sourcebook" and the second a few years ago when I wanted an update. Now that I realize there is a third edition, I'll have to check it out and see what's changed. This is an academic book, lots of charts and graphs, and a good general reference. The Pimentels really know what they are talking about. I am so grateful to Dr. Pimentel for taking the lead in knocking down the corn ethanol fiasco before it became fashionable to do so. He really tries to trace back the total energy required to get our food. He also knows a lot about resource conservation generally, and is especially perceptive about the soil erosion issue -- something that very few people are today concerned about. Chapters include such things as ecological systems , natural resources, and food supplies; hunter-gatherers and early agriculture; energy use in livestock production; energy use in fish and aquacultural production; energy use in grain and legume production, etc. etc. etc. He lays out the energy requirements both of primitive agricultural systems as well as the highly mechanized agriculture of today. The only reason I give it four stars instead of five is because of readability. If you are a scholar or are doing serious research, this is a five-star book, but it is not light summer reading and even with an interest in the subject it will be hard to read straight through. Maybe someday he'll get one of his students with a flair for writing to come up with a more popular version with the same facts, but explaining in a more conversational manner what it all means. ( )
  KeithAkers | Jun 5, 2010 |
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Book description
Since the publication of the first edition of Food, Energy, and Society, the world's natural resources have become even more diminished due to the rapid expansion of the global human population. We are faced with dwindling food supplies in certain geographic areas, increasing pressure on energy resources, and the imminent extinction of many threatened species. In light of these major issues, this third edition presents an updated and expanded analysis on the interdependency of food, energy, water, land, and biological resources.
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Since the publication of the first edition of Food, Energy, and Society, the world's natural resources have become even more diminished due to the rapid expansion of the global human population. We are faced with dwindling food supplies in certain geographic areas, increasing pressure on energy resources, and the imminent extinction of many threatened species. In light of these major issues, this third edition presents an updated and expanded analysis on the interdependency of food, energy, water, land, and biological resources. Written by internationally renowned experts, the book includes new material on livestock production and energy use, the impacts of pesticides on the environment, and the conservation of biodiversity in agricultural, forestry, and marine systems. It also compares the energy inputs of crop production in developing and developed countries, covers the agricultural and environmental issues related to water resources, and details the threat of soil erosion to food and the environment. In addition, the book explores the very timely topics of solar energy, biomass systems, and ethanol production.… (more)

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