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Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food

New Edition

By: Pamela C Ronald(Author), Raoul W Adamchak(Author), Gordon R Conway(Foreword By), Michael Specter(Foreword By)

352 pages, 8 plates with colour photos and colour illustrations; 17 b/w photos and b/w illustrations

Oxford University Press

Paperback | May 2018 | Edition: 2 | #235600 | ISBN-13: 9780199342082
Available for pre-order: Details
NHBS Price: £10.99 $14/€12 approx

About this book

Tomorrow's Table argues that a judicious blend of two important strands of agriculture – genetic engineering and organic farming – is key to helping feed the world's growing population in an ecologically balanced manner. Pamela Ronald, a geneticist, and her husband, Raoul Adamchak, an organic farmer, take the reader inside their lives for roughly a year, allowing us to look over their shoulders so that we can see what geneticists and organic farmers actually do. Readers see the problems that farmers face, trying to provide larger yields without resorting to expensive or environmentally hazardous chemicals, a problem that will loom larger and larger as the century progresses. They learn how organic farmers and geneticists address these problems. Tomorrow's Table is for consumers, farmers, and policy decision makers who want to make food choices and policy that will support ecologically responsible farming practices, and for anyone who wants accurate information about organic farming, genetic engineering, and their potential impacts on human health and the environment.

The first edition was published in hardcover in 2008 and in paperback in 2009. This second edition reflects the many and varied changes the fields of farming and genetic engineering have seen since 2009. It includes a new preface and three new chapters – one on politics and food-related protests such as the Marin county anti-vaccine movement and the subsequent outbreak of whooping cough, one on farming and food security, and one containing various recipes. Existing chapters on the tools of genetic engineering, organic vs. conventional foods, the tools of organic agriculture, and food labelling and legislature have all been updated.

Review of the first edition:|

"Interspersed with nuggets of science, home made recipes (really) and anecdotes."


Foreword to the First Edition by Sir Gordon Conway
Foreword to the Second Edition by Michael Specter
Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
About the Authors

Part I: Introduction
1. Green Revolution 2.0

Part II: The Farm
2. Why Organic Agriculture?
3. The Tools of Organic Agriculture

Part III: The Laboratory
4. The Tools of Genetic Engineering

Part IV: Consumers
5. Legislating Lunch
6. Whom Can We Trust?
7. Are Genetically Engineered Foods Safe to Eat?
8. The Mistrust of Science

Part V: The Environment
9. Conserving Wildlands
10. Weeds, Gene Flow, and the Environment

Part VI: Ownership
11. Who Owns the Seed?
12. The Seed Industry: Accelerating or Impeding Innovation?

Part VII: The World
13. Feeding the World Ethically
14. Choosing Innovation

Part VIII: Dinner
15. Deconstructing Dinner: Genetically Engineered, Organically Grown


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Pamela C. Ronald is a Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis. Her laboratory has genetically engineered rice for resistance to diseases and flooding. Her work has been published in Science, Nature, and other scientific periodicals and has also been featured in newspapers including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Le Monde. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Raoul Adamchak has grown organic crops for twenty years, part of the time as a partner in Full Belly Farm, a private 150-acre organic vegetable farm. He has inspected over one hundred organic farms as an inspector for California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and served as a member and President of CCOF's Board of Directors. He now works at the U.C., Davis as the Market Garden Coordinator at the certified organic farm on campus.

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