I haven't seen this book, and I don't know how good it is, but at least the issues are getting some attention in the popular press. (I'll have some notes on Michael Pollan soon).
Audio On NPR: How We Eat, Produce Food Could Bring Down Society
This from the publisher:
Using the colorful diaries of a sixteenth-century merchant as a narrative guide, Empires of Food vividly chronicles the fate of people and societies for the past twelve thousand years through the foods they grew, hunted, traded, and ate—and gives us fascinating, and devastating, insights into what to expect in years to come. In energetic prose, agricultural expert Evan D. G. Fraser and journalist Andrew Rimas tell gripping stories that capture the flavor of places as disparate as ancient Mesopotamia and imperial Britain, taking us from the first city in the once-thriving Fertile Crescent to today's overworked breadbaskets and rice bowls in the United States and China, showing just what food has meant to humanity.