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  • A Greedy Man in a Hungry World

  • How (almost) everything you thought you knew about food is wrong
  • By: Jay Rayner
  • Narrated by: Jay Rayner
  • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Home & Garden, Food & Wine
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (187 ratings)

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Summary

The UK's most influential food and drink journalist shoots a few sacred cows of food culture. The doctrine of local food is dead. Farmers' markets are merely a lifestyle choice for the affluent middle classes. And 'organic' has become little more than a marketing label that is way past its sell-by date. That may be a little hard to swallow for the ethically aware food shopper, but it doesn't make it any less true. And now the UK's most outspoken and entertaining food writer is ready to explain why.

This engaging, witty, and honest narrative is driven by the appetite of one large man: Jay Rayner - someone who lives to eat, but also understands that there is a world beyond the high-end obsessions of the farmers’ market. Combining sharply observed memoir - growing up with the UK's most famous agony aunt who also happened to be a bloody good TV chef; witnessing the arrival of McDonald’s and Dayville’s ice cream in 70s London; working as a butcher’s boy - with hard-nosed reportage, Jay Rayner will blow conventional foodie wisdom apart. For here is the reality: within a few decades we will have nine billion mouths to feed, and we won’t be doing that by flogging free-range chickens from a stall in Borough market.

Jay explains why the doctrine of organic has been eclipsed by the need for sustainable intensification; and why the future lies in large-scale food production rather than the cottage industries that foodies often cheer for. From the cornfields of Illinois to the killing lines of Yorkshire abattoirs, Rayner takes us on a journey that will change the way we shop, cook and eat forever. And give us a few belly laughs along the way.

©2013 Jay Raynor (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"If you want to eat clever in the 21st century read Jay Rayner’s joyful book. The rules of lunch just changed." (Caitlin Moran, author of How to Be a Woman)

What listeners say about A Greedy Man in a Hungry World

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great listen

An interesting insight into the food industry. Well argued, entertaining, and brilliantly narrated. If you have any interest in food and where it comes from, this is an essential listen, even if you disagree, its food for thought (pun intended).

2 people found this helpful

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Well written

Very well written and interesting book. Makes you think a lot! Talks about global food sustainability, the planet, organic world, environment etc.

2 people found this helpful

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Food, Glorious Food?

I liked this book a lot and have so far listened through it twice. As a sort of "state of the food nation" exploration, it is of its time but luckily (I'm writing this mid-2013) that time is now. I learned a lot and had some of my ideas turned on their heads. For example, food miles aren't always a bad thing.

Jay Rayner is an entertaining and energetic reader of his own book and tells his stories very well. It's all from a cosily middle class perspective, but, since that is what he is (and he doesn't shy away from obvious truths such as this) he emerges as an informed, engaged and honest reporter. The mix of anecdote and fact is, for the most part, very well judged.

In short, if you are interested in the food you eat this is a book that will entertain and educate...all a rattling pace.

4 people found this helpful

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  • JS
  • 23-10-18

An interesting and thought provoking read.

So pleased that the author narrated his own work. It made it more personal. It has also changed my perspective about food on how and what we eat.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but too ego-centric

What did you like most about A Greedy Man in a Hungry World?

Facts about the food we eat and the world food situation

Would you be willing to try another book from Jay Rayner? Why or why not?

Possibly not. The interesting facts are interspersed with long-winded autobiographical sections which I did not find in the least interesting.

What aspect of Jay Rayner’s performance might you have changed?

The auto-biographical narrations.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

1 person found this helpful

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Mostly dull

Loved many of his other titles but this is mostly tedious. can't win 'em all.

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really interesting and engaging

this book really made me think whilst also being enjoyable to listen to. recommended reading for anyone interested in the food cycle and our environment.

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didn’t really agree and didn’t like it bla bla bla bla

ally agree and didn’t like it bla bla bla bla bbhh hhhh ghhh bo ji hyt

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful, accessible & witty

Jay Rayner is a well travelled and well informed man when it comes to flavour, sustainability and food manufacturing/processing!

He talks through about a range of issues in the food industry without becoming too idealistic - acknowledging that there must be a balance between ethics/sustainability and economics.

His writing and reading styles are as accessible and witty as they are informative!

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who cares about the links between food, climate change and socio-economics.

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Funny and critical

I loved this book on both a sarcastic comic level and from a critical educational point of view This book is only made better by being read by Jay Rayner. Would definitely recommend