The gargantuan effort needed to feed cities across the world on a daily basis has a massive and vastly underappreciated social and physical impact on both human populations and the planet. Yet few eaters are conscious of the processes that are required to bring food into a metropolis. This original and revolutionary study examines the way in which modern food production has damaged the balance of human existence, and reveals a centuries-old dilemma that holds the key to a host of current problems, among them obesity, the inexorable rise of the supermarkets, and the destruction of the natural world. The rise and impact of such American hallmarks as industrialized food and meat production, the supermarket, fast food restaurant chains, and processed edibles on city life is examined alongside the historical roots and the contemporary issues at each stage of the food cycle, from farm to plate to landfill. Original and inspiring, this is a warning call to the waste and destruction caused by today’s food systems, and a guide to correcting its errors.