Hamburgers in Paradise

Throughout history, humans have constantly battled the scarcity of food. The development of nutritional abundance for so many of us in recent years is so extraordinary that we haven’t yet learned to deal with it. We are geared to scarcity and still harbour the myth of abundance and ecological balance, as described in the biblical stories of Paradise. That is why it is so difficult for us to keep our consumption in check. And that is also why we feel so guilty for the damage we are doing to our planet.

Hamburgers in Paradise is Louise O. Fresco’s magnum opus about the management of the earth in a time of unprecedented growth and globalisation. She takes the reader on a unique cultural journey through history and into the future of our food. With a pen which is both elucidating and delicate, she writes about the most diverse subjects, from the first loaf of bread to gen technology, from climate change to mass agriculture, from the hamburger to ‘slow food’. Hamburgers in Paradise is an educative, fascinating and richly illustrated story about food and nutrition, agriculture and the earth, and is accessible for the general reading public.

Original title

Opmaak 1
Hamburgers in het paradijs                   

October 2012
544 pages
20.000 copies sold


Louise O. Fresco is one of the biggest experts worldwide in the field of agriculture and nutrition. She has been appointed as President of Wageningen University and Research Center in July last year, recently praised as number one university of the Netherlands. She is a columnist for NRC Handelsblad after years of experience with the United Nations, where she was director of research at the Agriculture Department of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome. Fresco has published both essays and fiction, including The New Food Laws and the novel The Utopians, which was shortlisted for the Libris Literature Prize in 2008.

English sample translation available


Rights sold: France (Éd. Robert Laffont), US (Princeton University Press)

Press comments:

‘A cultural journey through the history and future of our food.’ Reformatorisch Dagblad

‘Louise Fresco constantly builds bridges between different areas of science; all with a view to a more sustainable society, particularly in the area of food production.’ Jury Comenius Prize