|Food Chain No. 21 - July 1997 (ITDG, 1997, 20 p.)|
AMARANTH TO ZAI HOLES - IDEAS FOR GROWING FOOD UNDER DIFFICULT CONDITIONS
Laura S. Meitzrter and Martin, L Price Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO), North Fort Myers, Florida ISBN 0-96535360-0-X Price $US29.95 (Quantity discounts available for groups ordering 14 or more $US18).
This large format, 400 page book contains a wealth of useful information and contacts for those involved in agricultural projects. It is an expanded, updated compilation of fifteen years of the technical bulletin ECHO Development Notes (EDN). More than 4,000 people from 140 countries have shared their ideas and experiences through EDN as they assist small farmers and urban gardeners in feeding their families and making a living. This is a collection of ideas from around the world, it is wide ranging, covering not only agriculture but human health, food science and water resources. A book to look up an area of specific interest or simply dip into. A fascinating example is the section on construction of rabbit hutches which should be constructed with a slope up to the door (as is the case in a burrow). This design prevents baby rabbits leaving the hutch until they are strong enough to protect themselves. It is a useful resource book.
ECHO networks ideas, information and seeds to help development workers and missionaries in the service with people who are hungry. They share information about plants and methods with potential to improve nutrition and income in the tropics so that field workers have more ideas to test in their communities. They can he contacted at 17430 Durrance Road, North Fort Myers, FL 33917-2239, USA. Tel: (941) 543 3246 Fax: (941) 543 5317 Electronic mail ECHO@xc.org Web site http://www.xc.org/echo
BIOTECHNOLOGY: BUILDING ON FARMERS KNOWLEDGE
Published by Macmillan Press ISBN 0-333-67082-5 Edited by J. Bunders, B. Haverkort & W. Hiemstra
This book examines the application of biotechnology to agricultural development and covers animal health, food processing and genetic resources. It is a serious work written in simple language but not avoiding technical terms where needed. It avoids preaching and emotive language and deals with facts.
I particularly liked the small boxes containing the real life experiences of farmers and processors from different countries which bring the more academic text into focus and reality. This is a book of interest for agriculturalists, environmentalists and food technologists; for example I was fascinated by the section describing the range of micro-organisms identified in the fermentation of banana beer. A welcome publication in a world that increasingly realises that low external input sustainable systems are our only hope for the long term future of our fragile environment.
PLASTIC PACKAGES FOR FOODSTUFFS: A TOPICAL SURVEY OF LEGAL REGULATIONS AND MIGRATION TESTING
by Karl Figge. Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH ISBN 3-804 7-1454-4
Plastics are rapidly replacing glass and tins for food packaging, being cheaper and lighter. At the same time there is increasing concern regarding the migration of chemicals, mainly plasticisers, from the container to the food. This concern is most marked when fatty foods such as cheese or oils are involved.
This book is fairly technical and concentrates on the various testing methods in use and the current legislation regarding plastics and foods. It is not a book for the general reader but will be invaluable to Standards Institutes that need to advise companies exporting foods to Europe. Although small it is an excellent summary of the current situation regarding food and plastic packaging.