Cities cover just 2% of the world's surface, but consume 75% of the world's resources.
Global food production increased by 145% in the last 4 decades of the 20th century - yet an estimated 800 million people are still hungry.
In 2005 British supermarkets sent half a million tonnes of edible food to landfill - the whole food sector put together sent 17 million tonnes.
One quarter of the British population is obese - one in three meals we eat is a ready meal.
The relationship between food and cities is fundamental to our every day lives. Food shapes cities, and through them, it moulds us - along with the countryside that feeds us. The gargantuan effort necessary to feed cities arguably has a greater social and physical impact on us and our planet than anything else we do. 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, the inexorable rise of the supermarkets, to the destruction of the natural world. Carolyn Steel follows food on its journey - from the land (and sea) to market and supermarket,
kitchen to table, waste-dump and back again - exploring the historical roots and the contemporary issues at each stage of food's cycle. She shows how our lives and our environment are being manipulated but explains how we can change things for the better. Original, inspiring and written with infectious enthusiasm and belief, Hungry City illuminates an issue that is fundamental to us all.
WINNER OF THE RSL JERWOOD AWARD.
Carolyn Steel is a London-based architect, lecturer and writer. Since graduating from Cambridge University, she has combined architectural practice with teaching and research into the relationship between food and cities, running design studios at the LSE, London Metropolitan University and at the Cambridge University School of Architecture, where her lecture series on Food and the City was the first of its kind. A visiting lecturer at Wageningen University and director of Kilburn Nightingale Architects in London, Carolyn has been a Rome Scholar, presented on the BBC's One Foot in the Past, and gave a talk at TEDGlobal in 2008.
Hungry City won the RSL Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction (for a work in progress) in 2006.