** An Economist Gets Lunch by Tyler Cowen


An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies starts auspiciously, for someone who loves food, with 3 principles, the first of which reads, “Every meal counts”. Yeah! My kind of book, or so I thought. The book is organized in a series of riffs, starting with choosing restaurants and ending with cooking at home, but in between covering much weightier topics such as whether GMOs are good for developing countries (yes, the author says) and how best to judge the environmental impact of our foods (forget local foods, let the market decide, albeit with a dash of carbon taxes). While each riff can be engrossing, the overall structure of the book seems unbalanced to say the least: do we need as many pages covering Texas barbecue joints as there are about the next agricultural revolution? And there are careless repetitions throughout, making me long for a good editor…

Still, it’s refreshing to read an unpretentious reflection on food (well, apart from the fact that the author makes it clear he’s travelled far and wide and eaten in so many different places!) from someone who is not afraid to take a contrarian view.

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