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  • Published: 5 March 2020
  • ISBN: 9781448190751
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384


How Food Can Save the World

This visionary book about food - and how it shapes every aspect of our lives - points the way to a good life and a more sustainable future

'A visionary look at how quality food should replace money as the new world currency' Tim Spector

'Hugely ambitious and beautifully written...destined to become a modern classic' Bee Wilson

How we search for, make and consume food has defined human history. It transforms our bodies and homes, our politics and our trade, our landscapes and our climate. But by forgetting our culinary heritage and relying on cheap, intensively produced food, we have drifted into a way of life that threatens our planet and ourselves.

What if there were a more sustainable way to eat and live? Drawing on many disciplines, as well as stories of the farmers, designers and economists who are remaking our relationship with food, this inspiring and deeply thoughtful book gives us a provocative and exhilarating vision for change, and points the way to a better future.

'Utterly brilliant' Thomasina Miers


*Shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize 2020*

  • Published: 5 March 2020
  • ISBN: 9781448190751
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

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.

Also by Carolyn Steel

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Praise for Sitopia

Following her award-winning Hungry City, Carolyn Steel serves us up a second helping of food for thought with Sitopia, which poses the really big questions about food that we should all be asking ourselves right now. Foodie or not, this philosophical call to arms is essential reading for those who want to save the world, one meal at a time

Allegra McEvedy

No writer asks more interesting questions about food than Carolyn Steel because no one takes more seriously the profound role of food at the heart of human life. Every time I read her or hear her speak, I can almost feel my mind expanding. This hugely ambitious and beautifully written book shows that the way we eat now is at odds with the way we ate for thousands of years. But so far from being pessimistic, Steel suggests that learning to value food again can also point the way to more fulfilling and sustainable ways of living. Sitopia is a book destined to become a modern classic

Bee Wilson

Essential reading! A visionary look at how quality food should replace money as the new world currency

Tim Spector

In this compelling and positively framed book, Steel the author of the influential Hungry City, draws on insights from philosophy, history, architecture, literature, politics and science as well as those working to remake our relationship with food, to show how we might reform its production and distribution to avoid irrevocable climate change


A vital call for us to rediscover the way that food binds us to each other and to the natural world, and in doing so find new ways of living

Christopher Kissane, Guardian

Steel offsets the obviously weighty subject matter with a lightness of touch and twinkling eye for luminous details… an unambiguously essential read

George Reynolds, Daily Telegraph

Steel’s future society would be one in which we felt in tune with nature and were less addicted to consumerism

Ben Cooke, The Times

Steel’s first book, Hungry City, explored how the feeding of cities shaped civilisations over time; with Sitopia she extends her reach. Food shapes our world and the way we live in it. It determines our daily routines, it defines national cultures

Erica Wagner, Financial Times

The beauty of food is that it is so many things at once: necessity and treat, nature and artifice, the subject of science, philosophy, etiquette and art. The book is accordingly multiple in its themes, an all-you-can-eat buffet of thoughts and facts about food...a brave and ambitious book


Steel's exhilarating...journey through political, cultural, economic history will agitate sluggish imaginations to see new possibilities for nourishing a loving common life

Nathan Mladin, Tablet

Steel brilliantly uses food to demonstrate our ills and their causes. She shows, too, that food, if we value it properly, can heal us… [A] remarkable, prophetic, and desperately urgent book

Charles Foster, Oldie

Steel's ideas have become a matter of urgency

Clare Saxby, Times Literary Supplement