“We’re trying to use water more effectively, to help farmers around the world grow their crops better. We’ve all had to make sacrifices” — Dr. Chang, Food Fight: A Graphic Guide Adventure, p. 9.
|Liam O’Donnell (writer), Mike Deas (illustrator)
|Orca Book Publishers
|Environmental Themes and Issues
|Animals in Danger, Corporate Greed, Educational Nature Facts, Fertilizer, Fossil Fuels, Genetically Modified Organisms, Pollution, Pesticides, Recycling, Sustainability, Water Conservation
|Devin Chang: An Asian tween boy
|Protagonist’s Level of Environmental Agency
|Level 5: High Environmental Agency and Activism
|University of London
An agricultural conspiracy takes center stage in Liam O’Donnell and Mike Deas’s Food Fight: A Graphic Guide Adventure. Tween Devin Chang and his older sister Nadia spend their summer vacation at the University of London after the School of Agriculture hires their mother, Dr. Elizabeth Chang. Dr. Chang and her team research more sustainable techniques that farmers can use to water their crops. However, Dr. Chang’s job becomes jeopardized when vandals destroy the experimental crops and frame her for the sabotage.
Devin and his mother travel to the lab’s agricultural research station to investigate one of the vandalism sites. There, they meet employees of GenGro, a shady corporation that finances the research. They discover that GenGro is also developing a new fertilizer called Harvest Grow. The employees speculate that local organic farmers have damaged the research project out of a misguided fear that the researchers are developing genetically modified organisms.
Devin and his friends search for clues about the vandalism at GenGro’s headquarters and the research station. Soon, they uncover that the company’s new fertilizer is designed to strip nutrients out of the soil, making farmers dependent on the product to keep growing crops. After the children expose this sinister plot to the media, GenGro halts its genetic modification and fertilizer projects, and Dr. Chang’s name is cleared.
Food Fight is an engaging and informative introduction to many issues affecting the agricultural industry. The comic includes many diagrams and facts about germs, food labels, and food production. It also highlights the impact of fertilizers and genetically modified organisms on the environment and promotes eating locally grown food to reduce individual carbon footprints.