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Edible Economics: A Hungry Economist Explains the World

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It was a novel way to talk about some economics concepts which was frequently entertaining but it wasn't a perfect blend. I had some vague expectations like how food shapes economics in various parts of the world, which, the author explicitily says the book is not right at the beginning. Raczej tę książkę polecam dla młodych ludzi, zainteresowanych lub których chcemy zainteresować ekonomią, gospodarka światową, a nie dla tych którzy mają jako takie pojęcie o tych kwestiach. W założeniu ta książka miała być super ciekawa: autor miał powiązać historię różnych produktów spożywczych z historią ekonomii.

He uses histories behind familiar food items - where they come from, how they are cooked and consumed, what they mean to different cultures - to explore economic theory. En cada uno de sus libros, los mitos económicos ultraliberales quedan al descubierto, demostrado su falta de evidencia real e histórica. Writing gamely and with admirable lucidity, Chang concludes with another metaphor, urging that ‘the best economists should be, like the best of the cooks, able to combine different theories to have a more balanced view’…It’ll help to have Econ 101 under your belt to appreciate this book, but it makes for fine foodie entertainment. As a longtime follower of Ha-Joon's ideas and work, I was familiar with most of the points he discussed in this book, from the importance of strategic industrial policy to the power politics of international trade. Well, perhaps okra, but now that Mr Chang mentioned gumbo was what convinced his palate to welcome okra, I'm going to try it one day.The definitive, behind-the-scenes look at why Pokémon's evolution from a single Japanese video game to global powerhouse captured the world's attention, and how the "gotta catch 'em all" mentality of its fanbase shaped pop culture—and continues to do so today. Yes, if you're an adventurous eater like me, who also likes micro-history books and the mixing of topics in an amenable way. But if you're already in the field, read it for the interesting stories on ingredients and gastronomy. and had a basic understanding of some economic phenomena such as industrialisation overtaking raw-materials based economies in terms of income and prosperity. Myth-busting, witty, and thought-provoking, Edible Economics serves up a feast of bold ideas about globalization, climate change, immigration, austerity, automation, and why carrots need not be orange.

P132 “…consumers do not have the time and mental capacity to process all the information on the carbon footprints of their food items….

In chapters with titles such as Noodle and Banana, Ha-Joon Chang sketches out the story of his home country’s rise. Often, it goes a bit off-tangent from the beginning of chapters and you end up in an entirely different plane. Each chapter picks up a food item, talks about a certain aspect of how it evolved over time and concludes with what economic lesson we learn from it. So his life and career have encompassed not only the explosion of British food culture (he confirms, to an audience that might have forgotten, just how ghastly and bland things used to be), but also the development of South Korea, from a poor semi-industrialised state to the global economic and cultural powerhouse it is today. Edible Economics is a moveable feast of alternative economic ideas wrapped up in witty stories about food from around the world.

Curried clam broth leads into consideration of the spice trade, and then to the Dutch East India Company, and then to limited liability companies in general, and to suggestions about how the reform of corporate governance might make it possible to sustain long-term investments in green technology.This book is myth-busting, witty, and thought-provoking, Edible Economics serves up a feast of bold ideas about globalization, climate change, immigration, austerity, automation, and why carrots need not be orange. For Chang, chocolate is a lifelong addiction, but more exciting are the insights it offers into postindustrial knowledge economies; and while okra makes Southern gumbo heart-meltingly smooth, it also speaks of capitalism’s entangled relationship with freedom. In a book containing such a variety of food recipes, it’s a bit ironic that this is suggested as more or less the only recipe for economic development – domestic demand austerity, industrial planning and protection, state-directed lending and, above all, a focus on high-value manufacturing. It's rather a compilation of personal anecdotes, food history tidbits, and a critique of economic theories to explain the world we live in.

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