Catalogue


Tomorrow's table : organic farming, genetics, and the future of food /
Pamela C. Ronald, Raoul W. Adamchak.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 2008.
description
xvii, 208 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0195301755 (cloth), 9780195301755 (cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 2008.
isbn
0195301755 (cloth)
9780195301755 (cloth)
catalogue key
6398505
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 179-197) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2008-04-15:
The most ecologically balanced way to increase crop yield and decrease the environmental impact of food production is to use both organic farming and genetic engineering (GE). So argue Ronald, a plant geneticist at the University of California, Davis, and her husband, Adamchak, an organic farmer who serves as the market coordinator at the university's organic farm. Using an eclectic mix of writing styles including instruction, personal story, reflection, and recipes, the authors make their case, explaining genetic modification from traditional plant breeding to laboratory gene splicing in clear prose that general readers can understand. Their personal stories illustrate the workings of an organic farm and the ethical morass consumers face when buying groceries. The authors create nostalgia and empathy by reflecting on private moments in their lives, but the recipes (culinary and laboratory) interspersed throughout the book are an odd and somewhat distracting addition. While not a comprehensive review of GE, this book offers a compelling portrait of how GE and organic farming can coexist for the future betterment. A good addition to any public library.--Joshua Lambert, Missouri State Univ. Lib., Springfield (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2008-12-01:
In Tomorrow's Table, the unlikely husband-and-wife team of Ronald and Adamchak fuse the dissimilar ideas of biotechnology and organic agriculture into an elegant argument in favor of such a union. Ronald (Univ. of California, Davis), a biotechnologist, and Adamchak, manager of a student-run organic farm at Davis, take turns writing about the foundations of their disciplines, their research, and their philosophies. The format is easy to follow and effective at highlighting their seemingly adverse positions on the subject. By the book's conclusion, their argument is elegantly presented in a logical fashion. This work is valuable to undergraduate students beginning their journey into the world of food agriculture and the nuances of organic and biotechnological production systems. The authors present the information in the text and reinforce it in a complete glossary. The work is similar in some respects to Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma (2006). Both begin with far-ranging observations on the US food production system and conclude with a description of a meal (in a chapter here titled "Deconstructing Dinner") highlighting the differences between biotechnology-based and organic-based production systems. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All audiences, especially upper-division undergraduate and graduate students. M. J. Stone Western Kentucky University
Reviews
Review Quotes
Article mention in Denver Post Referenced in Slate article "The authors are eminently qualified to present authoritative descriptions of their respective disciplines, which they do in a readable and accurate manner. But the noteworthy aspect of the book is the way they then marry their separate fields to argue logically for the use of GM technologies to improve organic agriculture. Ronald and Adamchak's clear, rational approach is refreshing, and the balance they present is sorely needed in our increasingly polarized world." -- Science "One of the best, most balanced accounts of transgenic agriculture that I have read."-- David McElroy, Nature Biotechnology "We found the book insightful and well-documented." -- Organic Gardening Magazine "This book is a tale of two marriages. The first is that of Raoul and Pam, the authors, and is a tale of the passions of an organic farmer and a plant genetic scientist. The second is the potential marriage of two technologies--organic agriculture and genetic engineering. ... Like all good marriages, both include shared values, lively tensions, and reinvigorating complementarities. [The authors] share a strong sense of both the wonder of the natural world and how, if treated with respect and carefully managed, it can remain a source of inspiration and provision of our daily needs."--Sir Gordon Conway KCMG FRS, Professor of International Development, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College, London, and past President of the Rockefeller Foundation, from his foreword "Here's a persuasive case that, far from contradictory, the merging of genetic engineering and organic farming offers our best shot at truly sustainable agriculture. I've seen no better introduction to the ground truth of genetically engineered crops and the promising directions this 'appropriate technology' is heading."--Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog "Whether you ultimately agree with it or not, Tomorrow's Table brings a fresh approach to the debate over transgenic crops."--Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma "Welcome as water in the desert--at a time when partisans compete to see who can deliver the hardest slam against those who think differently, what a welcome surprise to find this book building bridges between unnecessary antagonists. The developers of crops improved through biotechnology and the practitioners of organic agriculture want the same thing-a way to grow food that helps farmers tread more gently on the land. Ronald and Adamchak explain how simpatico these two approaches are at heart. For a future that will bring unprecedented challenges we will need all the tools we can muster. Tomorrow's Table shows how organic and biotech can coexist and complement one another. Bravo, and bring on Volume II."--L. Val Giddings, President, PrometheusAB "A unique, personal perspective on the ways in which genetically enhanced crops can improve wholesome agricultural productivity, helping to achieve the low chemical inputs that are the goal of organic agriculture and of those who care about our environment and health. Highly recommended."--Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden "This wildly eccentric book juxtaposes deep scientific analysis of genetically engineered agriculture with recipes for such homey kitchen staples as cornbread and chocolate chip cookies."--Booklist
"The authors are eminently qualified to present authoritative descriptions of their respective disciplines, which they do in a readable and accurate manner. But the noteworthy aspect of the book is the way they then marry their separate fields to argue logically for the use of GM technologies to improve organic agriculture. Ronald and Adamchak''s clear, rational approach is refreshing, and the balance they present is sorely needed in our increasingly polarized world." --Science Magazine "One of the best, most balanced accounts of transgenic agriculture that I have read." -- David McElroy, Nature Biotechnology "This is an important book Tomorrow''s Table is a real education on the many choices farmers today must make regarding seeds. It''s very good in explaining genetically engineered seed, how it''s used today (mostly to help plants fight off insects and tolerate herbicide) and how it will be used in the future (to increase disease resistance, drought tolerance, vitamin content and crop yields, for example). The book separates out clearly the issues of how to make sure new seeds are safe, how to price them and how to treat them as intellectual property. I gained an understanding of the history of organic farming and learned about some of the very clever ways organic farmers control pests. Compared with conventional agriculture, many organic techniques can be more cost effective for poor farmers. I agree with the authors that we will need the best ideas from "organic" thinkers and from scientists - including genetic engineers - to feed the world and help the poorest." --Bill Gates "We found the book insightful and well-documented." --Organic Gardening Magazine "They are leading a chorus of young scientists and forward thinkers who see genetic modification not as a threat to sustainable farming but as a new way to make it better...[Ronald and Adamchak] are true believers." --Forbes "This book is a tale of two marriages. The first is that of Raoul and Pam, the authors, and is a tale of the passions of an organic farmer and a plant genetic scientist. The second is the potential marriage of two technologies--organic agriculture and genetic engineering...Like all good marriages, both include shared values, lively tensions, and reinvigorating complementarities. [The authors] share a strong sense of both the wonder of the natural world and how, if treated with respect and carefully managed, it can remain a source of inspiration and provision of our daily needs." --Sir Gordon Conway KCMG FRS, Professor of International Development, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College, London, and past President of the Rockefeller Foundation, from his foreword "Here''s a persuasive case that, far from contradictory, the merging of genetic engineering and organic farming offers our best shot at truly sustainable agriculture. I''ve seen no better introduction to the ground truth of genetically engineered crops and the promising directions this ''appropriate technology'' is heading." --Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog "Whether you ultimately agree with it or not, Tomorrow''s Table brings a fresh approach to the debate over transgenic crops."--Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore''s Dilemma "Welcome as water in the desert--at a time when partisans compete to see who can deliver the hardest slam against those who think differently, what a welcome surprise to find this book building bridges between unnecessary antagonists. The developers of crops improved through biotechnology and the practitioners of organic agriculture want the same thing-a way to grow food that helps farmers tread more gently on the land. Ronald and Adamchak explain how simpatico these two approaches are at heart. For a future that will bring unprecedented challenges we will need all the tools we can muster. Tomorrow''s Table shows how organic and biotech can coexist and complement one another. Bravo, and bring on Volume II." --L. Val Giddings, President, PrometheusAB "A unique, personal perspective on the ways in which genetically enhanced crops can improve wholesome agricultural productivity, helping to achieve the low chemical inputs that are the goal of organic agriculture and of those who care about our environment and health. Highly recommended." --Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden "This wildly eccentric book juxtaposes deep scientific analysis of genetically engineered agriculture with recipes for such homey kitchen staples as cornbread and chocolate chip cookies." --Booklist
"The authors are eminently qualified to present authoritative descriptions of their respective disciplines, which they do in a readable and accurate manner. But the noteworthy aspect of the book is the way they then marry their separate fields to argue logically for the use of GM technologies to improve organic agriculture. Ronald and Adamchak''s clear, rational approach is refreshing, and the balance they present is sorely needed in our increasingly polarized world." --ScienceMagazine "One of the best, most balanced accounts of transgenic agriculture that I have read." -- David McElroy,Nature Biotechnology "This is an important book Tomorrow''s Table is a real education on the many choices farmers today must make regarding seeds. It''s very good in explaining genetically engineered seed, how it''s used today (mostly to help plants fight off insects and tolerate herbicide) and how it will be used in the future (to increase disease resistance, drought tolerance, vitamin content and crop yields, for example). The book separates out clearly the issues of how to make sure new seeds are safe, how to price them and how to treat them as intellectual property. I gained an understanding of the history of organic farming and learned about some of the very clever ways organic farmers control pests. Compared with conventional agriculture, many organic techniques can be more cost effective for poor farmers. I agree with the authors that we will need the best ideas from "organic" thinkers and from scientists - including genetic engineers - to feed the world and help the poorest." --Bill Gates "We found the book insightful and well-documented." --Organic GardeningMagazine "They are leading a chorus of young scientists and forward thinkers who see genetic modification not as a threat to sustainable farming but as a new way to make it better...[Ronald and Adamchak] are true believers." --Forbes "This book is a tale of two marriages. The first is that of Raoul and Pam, the authors, and is a tale of the passions of an organic farmer and a plant genetic scientist. The second is the potential marriage of two technologies--organic agriculture and genetic engineering...Like all good marriages, both include shared values, lively tensions, and reinvigorating complementarities. [The authors] share a strong sense of both the wonder of the natural world and how, if treated with respect and carefully managed, it can remain a source of inspiration and provision of our daily needs." --Sir Gordon Conway KCMG FRS, Professor of International Development, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College, London, and past President of the Rockefeller Foundation, from his foreword "Here''s a persuasive case that, far from contradictory, the merging of genetic engineering and organic farming offers our best shot at truly sustainable agriculture. I''ve seen no better introduction to the ground truth of genetically engineered crops and the promising directions this ''appropriate technology'' is heading." --Stewart Brand, creator of theWhole Earth Catalog "Whether you ultimately agree with it or not,Tomorrow''s Tablebrings a fresh approach to the debate over transgenic crops."--Michael Pollan, author ofIn Defense of FoodandThe Omnivore''s Dilemma "Welcome as water in the desert--at a time when partisans compete to see who can deliver the hardest slam against those who think differently, what a welcome surprise to find this book building bridges between unnecessary antagonists. The developers of crops improved through biotechnology and the practitioners of organic agriculture want the same thing-a way to grow food that helps farmers tread more gently on the land. Ronald and Adamchak explain how simpatico these two approaches are at heart. For a future that will bring unprecedented challenges we will need all the tools we can muster. Tomorrow''s Table shows how organic and biotech can coexist and complement one another. Bravo, and bring on Volume II." --L. Val Giddings, President, PrometheusAB "A unique, personal perspective on the ways in which genetically enhanced crops can improve wholesome agricultural productivity, helping to achieve the low chemical inputs that are the goal of organic agriculture and of those who care about our environment and health. Highly recommended." --Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden "This wildly eccentric book juxtaposes deep scientific analysis of genetically engineered agriculture with recipes for such homey kitchen staples as cornbread and chocolate chip cookies." --Booklist
"The authors are eminently qualified to present authoritative descriptions of their respective disciplines, which they do in a readable and accurate manner. But the noteworthy aspect of the book is the way they then marry their separate fields to argue logically for the use of GM technologies to improve organic agriculture. Ronald and Adamchak's clear, rational approach is refreshing, and the balance they present is sorely needed in our increasingly polarized world." -- Science Magazine "One of the best, most balanced accounts of transgenic agriculture that I have read." -- David McElroy, Nature Biotechnology "We found the book insightful and well-documented." -- Organic Gardening Magazine "They are leading a chorus of young scientists and forward thinkers who see genetic modification not as a threat to sustainable farming but as a new way to make it better...[Ronald and Adamchak] are true believers." -- Forbes These true believers "This book is a tale of two marriages. The first is that of Raoul and Pam, the authors, and is a tale of the passions of an organic farmer and a plant genetic scientist. The second is the potential marriage of two technologies--organic agriculture and genetic engineering...Like all good marriages, both include shared values, lively tensions, and reinvigorating complementarities. [The authors] share a strong sense of both the wonder of the natural world and how, if treated with respect and carefully managed, it can remain a source of inspiration and provision of our daily needs." --Sir Gordon Conway KCMG FRS, Professor of International Development, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College, London, and past President of the Rockefeller Foundation, from his foreword "Here's a persuasive case that, far from contradictory, the merging of genetic engineering and organic farming offers our best shot at truly sustainable agriculture. I've seen no better introduction to the ground truth of genetically engineered crops and the promising directions this 'appropriate technology' is heading." --Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog "Whether you ultimately agree with it or not, Tomorrow's Table brings a fresh approach to the debate over transgenic crops."--Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma "Welcome as water in the desert--at a time when partisans compete to see who can deliver the hardest slam against those who think differently, what a welcome surprise to find this book building bridges between unnecessary antagonists. The developers of crops improved through biotechnology and the practitioners of organic agriculture want the same thing-a way to grow food that helps farmers tread more gently on the land. Ronald and Adamchak explain how simpatico these two approaches are at heart. For a future that will bring unprecedented challenges we will need all the tools we can muster. Tomorrow's Table shows how organic and biotech can coexist and complement one another. Bravo, and bring on Volume II." --L. Val Giddings, President, PrometheusAB "A unique, personal perspective on the ways in which genetically enhanced crops can improve wholesome agricultural productivity, helping to achieve the low chemical inputs that are the goal of organic agriculture and of those who care about our environment and health. Highly recommended." --Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden "This wildly eccentric book juxtaposes deep scientific analysis of genetically engineered agriculture with recipes for such homey kitchen staples as cornbread and chocolate chip cookies." --Booklist
"This book is a tale of two marriages. The first is that of Raoul and Pam, the authors, and is a tale of the passions of an organic farmer and a plant genetic scientist. The second is the potential marriage of two technologies-organic agriculture and genetic engineering. ... Like all good marriages, both include shared values, lively tensions, and reinvigorating complementarities. [The authors] share a strong sense of both the wonder of the natural world and how, if treated with respect and carefully managed, it can remain a source of inspiration and provision of our daily needs."--Sir Gordon Conway KCMG FRS, Professor of International Development, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College, London, and past President of the Rockefeller Foundation, from his foreword "Here's a persuasive case that, far from contradictory, the merging of genetic engineering and organic farming offers our best shot at truly sustainable agriculture. I've seen no better introduction to the ground truth of genetically engineered crops and the promising directions this 'appropriate technology' is heading."--Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog "Whether you ultimately agree with it or not, Tomorrow's Table brings a fresh approach to the debate over transgenic crops."--Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma "Welcome as water in the desert-at a time when partisans compete to see who can deliver the hardest slam against those who think differently, what a welcome surprise to find this book building bridges between unnecessary antagonists. The developers of crops improved through biotechnology and the practitioners of organic agriculture want the same thing-a way to grow food that helps farmers tread more gently on the land. Ronald and Adamchak explain how simpatico these two approaches are at heart. For a future that will bring unprecedented challenges we will need all the tools we can muster. Tomorrow's Table shows how organic and biotech can coexist and complement one another. Bravo, and bring on Volume II."--L. Val Giddings, President, PrometheusAB "A unique, personal perspective on the ways in which genetically enhanced crops can improve wholesome agricultural productivity, helping to achieve the low chemical inputs that are the goal of organic agriculture and of those who care about our environment and health. Highly recommended."--Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, April 2008
Library Journal, April 2008
Choice, December 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Through dialogue with friends and family, the authors explore explore the use of GE agriculture and consumer concerns. They discuss the contents of their own largely organic pantry, what they choose to feed their children, and how they have developed a specific criteria for the use of GE in agriculture.
Main Description
By the year 2050, Earth's population will double. If we continue with current farming practices, vast amounts of wilderness will be lost, millions of birds and billions of insects will die, and the public will lose billions of dollars as a consequence of environmental degradation. Clearly, there must be a better way to meet the need for increased food production. Written as part memoir, part instruction, and part contemplation, 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. The reader sees 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. This book is for consumers, farmers, and policy decision makers who want to make food choices and policy that will support ecologically responsible farming practices. It is also for anyone who wants accurate information about organic farming, genetic engineering, and their potential impacts on human health and the environment.
Main Description
By the year 2050, Earth's population will double. If we continue with current farming practices, vast amounts of wilderness will be lost, millions of birds and billions of insects will die, and the public will lose billions of dollars as a consequence of environmental degradation. Clearly, there must be a better way to meet the need for increased food production. Written as part memoir, part instruction, and part contemplation,Tomorrow's Tableargues 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. The reader sees 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. This book is for consumers, farmers, and policy decision makers who want to make food choices and policy that will support ecologically responsible farming practices. It is also for anyone who wants accurate information about organic farming, genetic engineering, and their potential impacts on human health and the environment.
Main Description
In modern agricultural politics, organic farming and genetic engineeringoccupy opposite ends of the spectrum. In the Ronald-Adamchak household, theworld is not so black and white. Ronald is a professor of plant pathology atthe University of California, Davis. Adamchak manages the student-run organicfarm on campus. Together, they're exploring the juncture where their methodscan (and they argue, should) meet to ensure environmentally sustainable foodproduction. Revealing common principles and "leveling the playing field," this book roughlychronicles one year in the lives of the Ronald-Adamchack family. Throughdialogue with friends and family, the authors thoughtfully explore the use of GEagriculture and the concerns expressed by consumers. They discuss the contentsof their own largely organic pantry, what they choose to feed their children,and how over the last ten years of their marriage, they have developed aspecific criteria for the use of GE in agriculture. From their personal vantagepoints, Ronald and Adamchack explain what geneticists and organic farmersactually do, and help readers distinguish between fact and fiction in the debateabout crop genetic engineering. Loosely organized by season, each section of the book addresses a differentissue related to the role of GE and organic farming in food production. Raoulprovides a farmer's view of the philosophy and practice of organic farming andhow it differs from conventional agriculture; Pam describes the tools andprocesses of genetic engineering, the potential ecological benefit of using GEtechnology to generate plants, and the associated risks. At the end of thebook, they describe one of their typical family dinners, explain their choice tobring both genetically engineered and organic food to their table, and sharesome of their family's best recipes.
Main Description
In modern agricultural politics, organic farming and genetic engineering occupy opposite ends of the spectrum. In the Ronald-Adamchak household, the world is not so black and white. Ronald is a professor of plant pathology at the University of California, Davis. Adamchak manages thestudent-run organic farm on campus. Together, they're exploring the juncture where their methods can (and they argue, should) meet to ensure environmentally sustainable food production. Revealing common principles and "leveling the playing field," this book roughly chronicles one year in the lives of the Ronald-Adamchack family. Through dialogue with friends and family, the authors thoughtfully explore the use of GE agriculture and the concerns expressed by consumers. Theydiscuss the contents of their own largely organic pantry, what they choose to feed their children, and how over the last ten years of their marriage, they have developed a specific criteria for the use of GE in agriculture. From their personal vantage points, Ronald and Adamchack explain whatgeneticists and organic farmers actually do, and help readers distinguish between fact and fiction in the debate about crop genetic engineering. Loosely organized by season, each section of the book addresses a different issue related to the role of GE and organic farming in food production. Raoul provides a farmer's view of the philosophy and practice of organic farming and how it differs from conventional agriculture; Pam describes thetools and processes of genetic engineering, the potential ecological benefit of using GE technology to generate plants, and the associated risks. At the end of the book, they describe one of their typical family dinners, explain their choice to bring both genetically engineered and organic food totheir table, and share some of their family's best recipes.
Table of Contents
Forewordp. vii
About the Authorsp. xvii
Introduction
Cultivating Rice in Nihe, China and Davis, California (Pam)p. 3
The Farm
Why Organic Agriculture? (Raoul)p. 13
The Tools of Organic Agriculture (Raoul)p. 29
The Lab
The Tools of Genetic Engineering (Pam)p. 43
Consumers
Legislating Lunch (Pam)p. 63
Who Can We Trust? (Pam)p. 81
Is GE Food Risky to Eat? (Pam)p. 85
The Environment
Conserving Wildlands (Pam)p. 105
Weeds, Gene Flow, and the Environment (Pam)p. 115
Ownership
Who Owns the Seed? (Raoul)p. 127
Who Owns the Genes? (Pam)p. 137
Dinner
Deconstructing Dinner: Genetically Engineerd, Organically Grown (Pam & Raoul)p. 155
Glossaryp. 169
Referencesp. 179
Indexp. 199
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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