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Feeding Britain Reviews

Feeding Britain by Tim Lang

Feeding Britain: Our Food Problems and How to Fix Them

Tim Lang

3.29 out of 5

4 reviews

Imprint: Pelican
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication date: 26 Mar 2020
ISBN: 9780241442227

How does Britain get its food? Why is our current system at breaking point? How can we fix it before it is too late? British food has changed remarkably in the last half century.

3 stars out of 5
Charlie Pye-Smith
1 May 2020

"Feeding Britain deserves to become essential reading for policymakers and academics"

Dimbleby went on to describe how the system is doing a lot of harm as well as good, which is why his commission was set up. He covered much of the ground Lang traverses in this book, but there was a significant difference in tone. Lang may not adopt the miserabilist, we-are-all-doomed-unless approach of many environmental activists but Feeding Britain failed to lift my spirits. If politicians and the general public are going to buy into the sort of radical reforms that Lang is promoting – some of which might be hastened by the current pandemic – we need somebody of a sunnier disposition to elucidate and sell them. Let’s hope Dimbleby and his colleagues can pull this off.


4 stars out of 5
11 Apr 2020

"the go-to book for anyone interested in what is now going to be a hot political issue"

Lang and others have been “prophets in their own country” for three generations. They will now have their place in the sun. Few can doubt that the Agriculture Bill presently going through Parliament will have to be completely rewritten from first principles post-Covid-19, with food security and a national nutritional policy at its heart. Lang has made an important contribution to that work. He calls for a Great Food Transformation and writes that “we should start now or be forced to do it in a crisis later”. Little did he know that the crisis was just around the corner.

3 stars out of 5
22 Mar 2020

"Covid-19 has suddenly made this book on Britain’s food security an important read"

Coronavirus is teaching us one thing: nation states are insecure in the face of present-day pandemic shocks. They are as weak psychologically as they are confused scientifically. They find it difficult to prepare contingencies, and the resulting indecision can knock out entire economic systems. We will not starve, but thousands will lose their jobs and the nation will grow poorer. Security matters, and that includes food security. Lang has performed a public service.

3 stars out of 5
20 Mar 2020

"It makes for an ambitious manifesto. The trouble is, it’s very heavy going"

There’s also exhausting repetition. Lang tells us six times in eight pages, for example, what Part Two of his book is going to communicate. The reader just wants him to get on with it. It’s a shame. David Attenborough’s TV pronouncements on plastic pollution are transforming attitudes - and Lang‘s arguments deserve a similar effect. But any hope that his new book might produce its own Blue Planet moment for the food industry looks likely to be dashed by its turgid style.