Publications - Books

  • NEW! May, 2015
  • Hamburgers in Paradise
    The stories behind the food we eat
  • Princeton University Press

  • For the first time in human history, there is food in abundance throughout the world. More people than ever before are now freed of the struggle for daily survival, yet few of us are aware of how food lands on our plates. Behind every meal you eat, there is a story. Hamburgers in Paradise explains how.
  • In this wise and passionate book, Louise Fresco takes readers on an enticing cultural journey to show how science has enabled us to overcome past scarcities—and why we have every reason to be optimistic about the future. Using hamburgers in the Garden of Eden as a metaphor for the confusion surrounding food today, she looks at everything from the dominance of supermarkets and the decrease of biodiversity to organic foods and GMOs. She casts doubt on many popular claims about sustainability, and takes issue with naïve rejections of globalization and the idealization of “true and honest” food. Fresco explores topics such as agriculture in human history, poverty and development, and surplus and obesity. She provides insightful discussions of basic foods such as bread, fish, and meat, and intertwines them with social topics like slow food and other gastronomy movements, the fear of technology and risk, food and climate change, the agricultural landscape, urban food systems, and food in art.
  • The culmination of decades of research, Hamburgers in Paradise provides valuable insights into how our food is produced, how it is consumed, and how we can use the lessons of the past to design food systems to feed all humankind in the future.
  • more about Hamburgers in Paradise
  • Published in English
  • Hamburgers in Paradise. The stories behind the food we eat
    Louise O. Fresco
  • The Discovery of the Netherlands (2008)
    Four Centuries of Landscape Painting by Dutch Masters

    by Henk van Os, Louise O. Fresco
  • Biomass, food & sustainability. Is there a dilemma? (2006)
    Duisenberg lecture 2006
  • Published in Dutch
  • Hamburgers in het paradijs (2012)
    Hamburgers in paradise. The stories behind the food we eat
  • Verraad, verleiding en verzoening (2010)
    Betrayal, temptation and reconciliation. The role of food in films
    Movies give more information than documentaries of the complexity, ambiguity and layering of food as a social, economic and psychological phenomenon.
    Coeditor with Helen Westerik
  • De junior bétacanon (2010)
    Beta canon junior - audiobook
    Dutch famous scientists Robbert Dijkgraaf, Bas Haring and Louise O. Fresco discuss in this junior canon in an original and accessible way the main topics of science. Like why the toilet for humans is such an important discovery, or who was Newton, or the Big Bang, DNA and the Pavlovian response are discussed. You hear about ideas such as shifting continents and the origin of man, but also about special forces on the smallest scale, much smaller than a cell or an atom and on a larger scale, that of our earth and the universe. At the same time children learn to understand how their lives would have looked like without all the discoveries and discoverers (in Dutch).
  • De utopisten (2008)
    The Utopians
    is a stunning portrait of a generation that has been given power and influence, in a country in search of new pathways. A merciless yet moving portrait of our time, and of the meaning of friendship, loyalty and trust. The Utopians was short listed for a major literary prize (Libris) in 2008. Click here for more information and a sample.
  • De bètacanon (2008)
    The beta canon. What everyone should know about science
    The Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant published De bètacanon, a canon of fifty scientific topics that every person in the Netherlands should know. In 2008, the fifty articles were released in a book (in Dutch). Ed. Commission Dijkgraaf
  • Het einde van de universiteit. (Volgens een rapport van de Universiteit van Oeloemia) (2007)
    The End of the University
    On 8 January, on the 375th birthday (Dies Natalis) of the Universiteit van Amsterdam, University Professor Louise Fresco gave the annual anniversary speech (Diesrede) to the university community. The full address is only available in Dutch, however parts of it have now been translated.
  • Nieuwe spijswetten (2006)
    New Food Laws. On food and responsability
  • De tuin van de sultan van Rome (2005)
    The Garden of the Sultan of Rome
    Louise O. Fresco unfolds a subtle but ineluctable analysis of the complacency of Western society. With a poetic style and a completely personal pure tone, she enters the ruthless life of an immigrant.
  • De kosmopolieten(2003)
    The Cosmopolitans
    The Cosmopolitans is about engagement: whose side are you on? Should you follow your mission in life? Fresco’s passionate descriptions of the experience of music and the working of the memory by sound and image lift this novel to a higher ground. In a beautiful and poetic prose, Louise Fresco describes Bruno’s investigation and the complex relationship of the two lovers.
  • Schaduwdenkers & Lichtzoekers (1999)
  • De ondraaglijke lichtheid van de vleermuis (1997)
    The unbearable lightness of the bat
  • Bambusa (1990)
    Collected short stories (out of print)

Hamburgers in Paradise
The stories behind the food we eat

Princeton University Press