Food systems for improved human nutrition: linking agriculture, nutrition and produc-
Palit K. Kataki and Suresh Chandra Babu (Eds.), Food Products Press, An Imprint
of The Haworth Press, New York, NY, USA, 2003, 394 pp. Price: $69.95
(hardback); $49.95 (softback). ISBN: 1-56022-103-8
The primary focus of the book is on micronutrient nutrition. This reviewer has
been an agronomist for 50 years and hence my interests and expertise (and biases?)
lie in the area of food/feed crop production. But I must rely on others for evaluation
of vegetable products, animal products, fortiﬁcation and supplementation as sources
of nutrients. In my judgment, the several chapters summarize these subjects well and
are reliable summaries of the subject matter.
A strength of the book is that the contrasts among food stuﬀs, fortiﬁcation and sup-
plementation are discussed as choices for amelioration of micronutrient problems.
This is an important issue since it involves choices individual families and national
programs must make about sources, costs and availability of proper nutrition. In most
chapters the necessity of educational programs to make dietary solutions eﬀective are
emphasized. This then becomes a cost, which is a necessary component of the decision
making. But probably education must be a part of all nutrition programs. Another
strength of the book is that the introductory statements are usually very broad, fol-
lowed by examples of successes, weaknesses and work needed to make speciﬁc ap-
proaches more eﬀective. A large share of the examples are drawn from south Asia.
A weakness of the book is that in general, except for the chapter by S. K. Datta
and G.S. Khush on rice, the emphasis is on micronutrient nutrition. However, there
is a need to be sure that we continue to increase production of crops to ensure that
we meet protein-calorie needs of the expected increase in population. There is also no
discussion of how choices of supplementation/fortiﬁcation might simplify increased
protein-calorie production by plant breeding or crop diversiﬁcation.
David R. Bouldin
Crop and Soil Science
1004 Bradﬁeld Hall
Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Agricultural Systems 83 (2005) 101–111