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About the book
  • 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.

  • Pub date: 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. It has been translated into several languages and sold more than 25,000 copies worldwide, becoming a key text for architects, planners, green thinkers and food professionals.

Carolyn is a visiting lecturer in Architecture at Cambridge University, visiting Professor in Food and Urban Design at Lincoln University, and visiting Lecturer and Researcher in Rural Sociology at Wageningen University.

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Praise for Hungry City

“'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

“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”


“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

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


“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

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

Real Food Festival

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

Sunday Tribune

“lively, wide-ranging, endlessly inquisitive book”


“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

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

William Leith, Evening Standard

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

Food Magazine

“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

“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

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