Natural Defense: Enlisting Bugs and Germs to Protect Our Food and Health
Natural Defense is purely a scholarly, academic volume by scholar and environmental toxicologist Emily Monosson. Luckily, she is a good writer, and this volume reads well and easily even by non-scientific readers. Nevertheless, she didn’t target the average reader, and few if any would enjoy reading this otherwise excellent volume—it was written for scientists. In eight chapters, Monosson discusses different topics in fighting enemies of our crops and health with natural defenses instead of choosing from an army of available pesticides or antibiotic medications. This is a timely topic today when organic foods are highly popular and more and more people pay attention to Eastern medicine. As fitting of a scholarly volume, a long list of chapter-by-chapter Notes concludes the book. Monosson starts each chapter with a case history or specific examples related to the chapter’s topic, like California strawberry growers and their long list of pesticides they must use, yet the trend is to use none and employ soil bacteria, a natural method of crop protection. She gives similar examples of many, many crops but also those related to human diseases and health. The text has no illustrations. A summary ending a chapter would have been useful.