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  • Published: 31 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9781446496091
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

Hungry City

How Food Shapes Our Lives

A passionate, important and visionary book about how our cities are fed, and how this affects our lives and our planet

'Cities cover just 2% of the world’s surface, but consume 75% of the world’s resources’.

The relationship between food and cities is fundamental to our everyday lives. Food shapes cities and through them it moulds us - along with the countryside that feeds us. Yet few of us are conscious of the process and we rarely stop to wonder how food reaches our plates.

Hungry City examines the way in which modern food production has damaged the balance of human existence, and reveals that we have yet to resolve a centuries-old dilemma - one which holds the key to a host of current problems, from obesity and the inexorable rise of the supermarkets, to the destruction of the natural world.

Original, inspiring and written with infectious enthusiasm and belief, Hungry City illuminates an issue that is fundamental to us all.

  • Published: 31 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9781446496091
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 400

About the author

Carolyn Steel

Carolyn Steel is a leading thinker on food and cities. Her first book, Hungry City, received international acclaim, establishing her as an influential voice in a wide variety of fields across academia, industry and the arts. It won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction and was chosen as a BBC Food Programme book of the year. A London-based architect, academic and writer, Carolyn has lectured at the University of Cambridge, London Metropolitan University, Wageningen University and the London School of Economics and is in international demand as a speaker. Her 2009 TED talk has received more than one million views.

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Praise for Hungry City

Hungry City is a sinister real-life sequel to Animal Farm with the plot turned upside down by time in ways even George Orwell could not have foreseen


A superb account of the uneasy relationship between the city and its means of sustenance, charting the historical rise of urban areas and the monopolisation of the food chain by conglomerates

Ian Critchley, Daily Telegraph

'Absolutely crammed with eye-opening facts and figures, a hugely readable account of the part we individually play in a global problem. Highly Recommended'

Publishing News

An intense, fluid, intelligent, highly absorbing text that provokes vital questions about sustainability

Food Magazine

dense with details, rippling with insight an easy to read... This is everything we need to know.

William Leith, Evening Standard

Exuberant, provocative ... her desire that we understand better and think more about our food, how much we waste, how much energy it consumes and how we dispose of it - is in the real sense of the word - vital

David Aaronovitch, The Times

fascinating history of the co-dependence of a city and country... dip into it...fascinating

Real Food Festival

Hungry City is a smorgasbord of a book: dip into it and you will emerge with something fascinating


In bringing food more directly onto the 'plate' of those who think about buildings and cities, she has done us all a great service

Richard Wilk, Building and Research Information

It's one of those rare books dense with detail, rippling with insight, and easy to read...This is everything we need to know

Johanna Thomas-Corr, Scotsman

lively, wide-ranging, endlessly inquisitive book


She can précis her specialist sources briskly, and her own direct research (e.g. a mega kitchen for cooking ready meals) is lively

Vera Rule, Guardian

this is for the person who knows everything about food but nothing about its source

Sunday Tribune