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Did you know that 10 plants make up 80% of our plant-based food supply? That the bananas we eat today were standardized in the 1960s, into one consistent strain, and that they are succumbing to a pathogen that might wipe them out? That an $8 cup of coffee is just around the corner?

Our food supply is heavily and increasingly corporate, streamlined for efficiencies from seed to store. Those efficiencies make bananas and coffee cheap; make wheat, rice, and beef prevalent; and all but guarantee that food tastes the same every time we eat–and they also mean that the foods we depend on most are one bug or virus away from disappearing.

The lesson, as told by science writer and biologist Rob Dunn through rich history and science and via characters and scenes, is to eat the way we always used to–locally, in season, and with an eye towards preserving food quality for the human race. Rigorously researched and highly provocative, this is the book to read if you want to know about the future of our food.


A convincing argument that the agricultural revolution that has made food more readily available around the world contains the seeds of its own destruction.... An alarming account but one suggesting that, armed with knowledge, we can reverse this way of treating the plants that feed us and find a way toward a more sustainable diet.
Engrossing... [Dunn] mediates on the humility with which his colleagues and forebears have preserved the planet's botany... shows how we have been spared catastrophe by legions of unsung heroes and heroines working across a range of crops, from cassava to cocoa to rubber to wheat.
Raj Patel, New York Times
Forget about cooking books. This is the most important book you will read about food this year. Every single page has surprising facts and insights. The health of the planet depends on us eating more plants. But the monoculture of our foods that dominates global crops could have disastrous effects if we don't begin to think differently. Never Out of Season will change forever the way you look at a potato, a banana, or your chocolate bar.
Peter C. Kjærgaard, Museum Director and Professor of Evolutionary History, Natural History Museum of Denmark