How Food Can Save The World

Carolyn Steel

We live in a world shaped by food, a Sitopia (sitos = food; topos = place). Food, and how we search for and consume it, has defined our human journey.

From our foraging hunter-gatherer ancestors to the enormous appetites of modern cities, food has shaped our bodies and homes, our politics and trade, and our climate. Whether it’s the daily decision of what to eat, or the monopoly of industrial food production, food touches every part of our world. But by forgetting its value, we have drifted into a way of life that threatens our planet and ourselves.

Yet food remains central to addressing the predicaments and opportunities of our urban, digital age. Drawing on insights from philosophy, history, architecture, literature, politics and science, as well as stories of the farmers, designers and economists who are remaking our relationship with food, Sitopia is a provocative and exhilarating vision for change, and how to thrive on our crowded, overheating planet. In her inspiring and deeply thoughtful new book, Carolyn Steel, author of Hungry City, points the way to a better future.

First published by Chatto & Windus (Penguin Random House, UK) in March 2020.

Accolades & Reviews

‘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

‘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. This philosophical call to arms is essential reading for those who want to save the world, one meal at a time’
Allegra McEvedy

‘What food means is at the heart of this deep and remarkable book. We live in a time when for most of us the origins of our food are mysterious and remote. Food is a problem: it makes us fat, it’s speeding up climate change, it’s killing us. But Carolyn Steel shows how by re-engaging with it we can begin to heal the ills that beset us and lead better, more joyous, more connected lives’
Sheila Dillon

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