The books listed below are available through the Furman Library (either on the shelf or through PASCAL). The additional books at the end of this list are suggested books to which Furman currently does not have access, but may be of interest.

Acceptable genes?: religious traditions and genetically modified foods by Conrad G. Brunk and Harold Coward (2009)

Summary: This book seeks to understand the moral and religious attitudes of groups within pluralistic societies whose traditions and beliefs raise for them unique questions about food and dietary practice. What questions are there for kosher Jews, halal Muslims, and vegetarian Hindus about food products containing transgenes from prohibited sources? How do these foods impact the cultural practices and spiritual teachings of indigenous peoples? Concerns from the above traditions as well as Christianity, Buddhism, Chinese religion, and ethical vegetarianism are included.
Topics: Religions Aspects of Genetically Modified Foods and Biotechnology

The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table by Tracie McMillan (2012)

Summary: In 2009 McMillan embarked on a groundbreaking undercover journey to see what it takes to eat well in America. For nearly a year, she worked, ate, and lived alongside the working poor to examine how Americans eat when price matters. From the fields of California, a Walmart produce aisle outside of Detroit, and the kitchen of a New York City Applebee's, McMillan takes us into the heart of America's meals. With startling intimacy she portrays the lives and food of Mexican garlic crews, Midwestern produce managers, and Caribbean line cooks, while also chronicling her own attempts to live and eat on meager wages.
Topics: Food Supply, Food Industry and Trade, Food Habits, and Economic Aspects in the United States; American Cooking

Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment by David Kirby (2010)

Summary: In this thoroughly researched book, Kirby follows three people from small towns across America whose lives are utterly changed by immense neighboring animal farms. These farms confine thousands of pigs, dairy cattle, and poultry in small spaces, often under horrifying conditions, and generate enormous volumes of biological waste as well as other toxins. Weaving science, politics, big business, and everyday life, Kirby accompanies these citizens-turned-activists as they fight to preserve their homes and communities.
Topics: Factory Farms, Health Aspects, Environmental Aspects

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (2007)

Summary: Hang on for the ride: With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that's better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.
Topics: Farm Life, Agriculture and Food Habits in the Appalachian Region

Another Turn of the Crank by Berry Wendell (2011)

Summary: Six essays on sustainability and stewardship appear in this edition. One of America's most important cultural critics, Wendell Berry, urges that people learn once more to care for their local communities, and so begin a healing that might spread over our entire nation and beyond. Provocative, intimate, and thoughtful, Another Turn of the Crank reaches to the heart of Berry's concern and vision for the future, for America, and for the world.
Topics: Conservation of Natural Resources, Environmental Policy, Sustainable Development

The Atlas of Food: Who Eats What, Where, and Why by Erik Millstone and Tom Lang (2008)

Summary: What we eat, where we eat, and how we eat: these questions are explored in this remarkable book, first published in 2002. Now in its second edition, The Atlas of Food provides an up-to-date and visually appealing way of understanding the important issues relating to global food and agriculture. In mapping out broad areas of investigation--contamination of food and water, overnutrition, micronutrient deficiency, processing, farming, and trade--it offers a concise overview of today's food and farming concerns. Buttressed by engaging prose and vivid graphics, Erik Millstone and Tim Lang convincingly argue that human progress depends on resolving global inequality and creating a more sustainable food production system.
Topics: Food, Food Industry and Trade

Bet the Farm: How Food Stopped Being Food by Frederick Kaufman (2012)

Summary: A prominent food journalist follows the trail from Big Pizza to square tomatoes to exploding food prices to Wall Street, trying figure out why we can't all have healthy, delicious, affordable food. In 2008, farmers grew enough to feed twice the world's population, yet more people starved than ever before--and most of them were farmers. In Bet the Farm, food writer Kaufman sets out to discover the connection between the global food system and why the food on our tables is getting less healthy and less delicious even as the the world's biggest food companies and food scientists say things are better than ever.
Topics: Food Industry and Trade, Food Supply – Social Aspects; Agriculture – Economic Aspects

Black, White, and Green: Farmers Markets, Race, and the Green Economy by Alison Hope Alkon (2012)

Summary: Farmers markets are much more than places to buy produce. According to advocates for sustainable food systems, they are also places to "vote with your fork" for environmental protection, vibrant communities, and strong local economies. Farmers markets have become essential to the movement for food-system reform and are a shining example of a growing green economy where consumers can shop their way to social change. Black, White, and Green brings new energy to this topic by exploring dimensions of race and class as they relate to farmers markets and the green economy. With a focus on two Bay Area markets—one in the primarily white neighborhood of North Berkeley, and the other in largely black West Oakland—Alison Hope Alkon investigates the possibilities for social and environmental change embodied by farmers markets and the green economy.
Topics: Farmers Markets, Sustainable Agriculture, Alternative Agriculture, African American Farmers, Foods Supply – Social Aspects – United States; Community Development – United States; Minorities – Economic Aspects; Social Justice – United States

The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan (2001)

Summary: Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers' genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind's most basic yearnings. And just as we've benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?
Topics: Human-Plant Relationships

The China Study The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II (2005)

Summary: In The China Study, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, details the connection between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Recognized as the most comprehensive nutritional study ever conducted on the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease, The China Study cuts through the haze of misinformation and examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by government entities, lobbies, and opportunistic scientists.
Topics: Diet Therapy, Etiology, Nutritionally Induced Diseases, Disease

Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty
by Mark Winne (2008)

Summary: In Closing the Food Gap, food activist and journalist Mark Winne poses questions too often overlooked in our current conversations around food: What about those people who are not financially able to make conscientious choices about where and how to get food? And in a time of rising rates of both diabetes and obesity, what can we do to make healthier foods available for everyone? To address these questions, Winne tells the story of how America's food gap has widened since the 1960s, when domestic poverty was "rediscovered," and how communities have responded with a slew of strategies and methods to narrow the gap, including community gardens, food banks, and farmers' markets.
Topics: Hunger, Prevention, Economic Assistance, Domestic, Poverty

Diet for a New America by John Robbins (1987)

Summary: From John Robbins comes a new edition of the classic that awakened the conscience of a nation. "A powerful indictment of our dietary practices that should be read by everyone interested in healthy living".--Andrew Weil, author of "Spontaneous Healing".
Topics: Food of Animal Origin, Food Habits, Animal Welfare – United States

Doubly Green Revolution: Food For All in the Twenty First Century
by Gordon Conway (1999)

Summary: The original Green Revolution produced new technologies for farmers, creating food abundance. The original Green Revolution produced new technologies for farmers, creating food abundance. A second transformation of agriculture is now required-specifically, Gordon Conway argues, a "doubly green" revolution that stresses conservation as well as productivity. He calls for researchers and farmers to forge genuine partnerships in an effort to design better plants and animals. He also urges them to develop (or rediscover)alternatives to inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, improve soil and water management, and enhance earning opportunities for the poor, especially women.
Topics: Food; Economic Development:Agriculture, Natural Resources, Energy, Environment; Agriculture Policy; FoodPolicy

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer (2009)

Summary: Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between carnivore and vegetarian. As he became a husband and a father, he kept returning to two questions: Why do we eat animals? And would we eat them if we knew how they got on our dinner plates? Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, and his own undercover detective work, Eating Animals explores the many fictions we use to justify our eating habits-from folklore to pop culture to family traditions and national myth-and how such tales justify a brutal ignorance.
Topics: Vegetarianism

The End of Food by Paul Roberts (2008)

Summary: In this carefully researched, vivid narrative, Roberts lays out the stark economic realities behind modern food and shows how our system of making, marketing, and moving what we eat is growing less and less compatible with the billions of consumers that system was built to serve.

Topics: Nutrition policy, Social aspects, Food supply, Nutrition, Food Industry and trade

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David A. Kessler (2009)

Summary: Dr. Kessler cracks the code of overeating by explaining how our bodies and minds are changed when we consume foods that contain sugar, fat, and salt. Food manufacturers create products by manipulating these ingredients to stimulate our appetites, setting in motion a cycle of desire and consumption that ends with a nation of over eaters. The End of Overeating explains for the first time why it is exceptionally difficult to resist certain foods and why it's so easy to overindulge.
Topics: Nutrition; Food habits – Psychological aspects;Obesity; Food – United State

Farming Fish for the Future by Brian Halweil (2008)

Summary: From Asia to North America, people are eating more seafood, either because it's the most affordable form of protein (as in many poorer nations) or because it's the latest health food trend (as in many wealthy nations). But as the demand for fish rises, populations of both marine and freshwater species are being over exploited, resulting in stagnant or declining catches from many wild fisheries.
Topics: Sustainable Aquacultures; Sustainable Fisheries; Fish Culture – Environmental Aspects; Economic Aspects – Environmental Aspects

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser (2001)

Summary: Schlosser's myth-shattering survey stretches from California's subdivisions, where the business was born, to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey Turnpike, where many of fast food's flavors are concocted. Along the way, he unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths -- from the unholy alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought in food production, popular culture, and even real estate.
Topics: American Cooking; Fast Food Restaurants, Food Habits, Convenience Foods – United States

The Fight Over Food: Producers, Consumers, and Activists Challenge the Global Food System by Wynne Wright and Gerad Middendorf (2008)

Summary: For much of the later twentieth century, food has been abundant and convenient for most residents of advanced industrial societies. Increasingly, however, this once taken-for-granted food system is coming under question on issues such as the humane treatment of animals, genetically engineered foods, and social and environmental justice. Many consumers are no longer content with buying into the mainstream, commodity-driven food market on which they once depended. Resistance has emerged in diverse forms, from protests at the opening of McDonald's restaurants worldwide to ever-greater interest in alternatives, such as CSAs (community-supported agriculture), fair trade, and organic foods. The food system is increasingly becoming an arena of struggle that reflects larger changes in societal values and norms, as expectations are moving beyond the desire for affordable, convenient foods to a need for healthy and environmentally sound alternatives. In this book, leading scholars and scholar-activists provide case studies that illuminate the complexities and contradictions that surround the emergence of a "new day" in agriculture.
Topics: Rural Studies; Food Supplies and Agriculture – Social Aspects

Food, Farming, and Faith by Gary W. Fick (2008)

Summary: Food, Farming, and Faith looks at agricultural sustainability and Christianity. Using scripture and science, Gary W. Fick—a Christian agricultural scientist—demonstrates that faith can inform decisions about creating, managing, even consuming our food. The book highlights such topics as food and celebration, environmental care, ecology and faith, soil and water stewardship, animal welfare, and the impact of poverty on women and our food supply. Throughout, Fick presents and discusses biblical passages that comment on these areas and provides insight from personal experiences growing up in a ranching family, in teaching sustainable agriculture, and as a scientist.
Topics: Food, Dinner and Dining, Agriculture, Human Ecology - Religious Aspects - Christianity

Food Fight: The Inside Story of the Food Industry, America's Obesity Crisis, and What We Can Do About It by Kelly D. Brownell and Katherine Battle Horgen (2004)

Summary: Kelly Brownell is a well-respected researcher in the field of obesity and he writes here about how today's "toxic" food environment—polluted by the actions of both government and the food industry—has contributed to the obesity epidemic. His writing style is friendly and after he describes the problem, he suggests moderate plans of action.
Topics: Prevention and Control, Obesity, Food Industry, Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Food Habits

Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do About It by Karl Weber (2009)

Summary: Food, Inc. is guaranteed to shake up our perceptions of what we eat. This powerful documentary deconstructing the corporate food industry in America was hailed by Entertainment Weekly as "more than a terrific movie—it's an important movie." Expanding on the film's themes, the book Food, Inc. will answer those questions through a series of challenging essays by leading experts and thinkers. This book will encourage those inspired by the film to learn more about the issues, and act to change the world.
Topics: Food Industry and Trade – United States

Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with Over 75 Recipes by Mark Bittman (2008)

Summary: Bittman offers a no-nonsense rundown on how government policy, big business marketing, and global economics influence what we choose to put on the table each evening. He demystifies buzzwords like "organic," "sustainable," and"local" and offers straightforward, budget-conscious advice that will help you make small changes that will shrink your carbon footprint -- and your waistline.
Topics: Nutrition; Sustainable Living; Food Habits; Food Industry and Trade; Agriculture; Recipes

Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health by Marion Nestle (2007)

Summary: In this engrossing exposé, Marion Nestle goes behind the scenes to reveal how the competition really works and how it affects our health. The abundance of food in the United States--enough calories to meet the needs of every man, woman, and child twice over--has a downside. Nestle, the editor of the 1988 Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health, is uniquely qualified to lead us through the maze of food industry interests and influences. She vividly illustrates food politics in action: watered-down government dietary advice, schools pushing soft drinks, diet supplements promoted as if they were First Amendment rights. When it comes to the mass production and consumption of food, strategic decisions are driven by economics--not science, not common sense, and certainly not health.
Topics: Nutrition Policy – Moral and Ethical Aspects, Politics, Food

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
by Michael Pollan (2009)

Summary: Eating doesn't have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings a welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food. Written with the clarity, concision and wit that has become bestselling author Michael Pollan's trademark, this indispensable handbook lays out a set of straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely, one per page, accompanied by a concise explanation.
Topics: Diet, Nutrition, Food Habits

Gain by Richard Powers (1999)

Summary: Gain braids together two stories on very different scales. In one, Laura Body, divorced mother of two and a real-estate agent in the small town of Lacewood, Illinois, plunges into a new existence when she learns that she has ovarian cancer. In the other, Clare & Company, a soap manufacturer begun by three brothers in nineteenth-century Boston, grows over the course of a century and a half into an international consumer products conglomerate based in Laura's hometown. Clare's stunning growth reflects the kaleidoscopic history of America; Laura Body's life is changed forever by Clare. The novel's stunning conclusion reveals the countless invisible connections between the largest enterprises and the smallest lives.
Topics: Cancer in Women; Chemical Industry – United States

Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage by Heather Rogers (2005)

Summary: A sobering exploration of our high-octane trash output that was named an Editor's Choice by the New York Times and a nonfiction choice by The Guardian. Eat a take-out meal, buy a pair of shoes, or read a newspaper, and you're soon faced with a bewildering amount of garbage. The United States is the planet's number-one producer of trash. Each American throws out 4.5 pounds daily. But garbage is also a global problem; the Pacific Ocean is today six times more abundant with plastic waste than zooplankton. How did we end up with this much rubbish, and where does it all go? Journalist and filmmaker Heather Rogers answers these questions by taking readers on a grisly, oddly fascinating tour through the underworld of garbage.
Topics: Waste – United States

Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating by Jane Goodall (2005)

Summary: In this provocative and encouraging book, Jane Goodall sounds a clarion call to Western society, urging us to take a hard look at the food we produce and consume-and showing us how easy it is to create positive change. Offering her hopeful, but stirring vision, Goodall argues convincingly that each individual can make a difference. She offers simple strategies each of us can employ to foster a sustainable society.
Topics: Food; Gastronomy; Diet; Organic Farming; Nutrition

Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Bacon (2010)

Summary: Fat isn't the problem. Dieting is the problem. A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn't match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates "thin" with "healthy" is the problem. The solution? Health at Every Size. Tune in to your body's expert guidance. Find the joy in movement. Eat what you want, when you want, choosing pleasurable foods that help you to feel good. You too can feel great in your body right now—and Health at Every Size will show you how.
Topics: Weight loss; Body weight – Regulation; Overweight Persons – Health and Hygiene

Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe and Anna Lappe (2003)

Summary: Thirty years ago, Frances Moore Lappé started a revolution in the way Americans think about food and hunger. Now Frances and her daughter, Anna, pick up where Diet for a Small Planet left off. Together they set out on an around-the-world journey to explore the greatest challenges we face in the new millennium. Traveling to Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe, they discovered answers to one of the most urgent issues of our time: whether we can transcend the rampant consumerism and capitalism to find the paths that each of us can follow to heal our lives as well as the planet.
Topics: Environmental Ethics; Globalization and capitalism – Social Aspects, Vegetarian cooking; Food – Environmental Aspects – Social Aspects; Organic Farming and Pesticides – Environmental Aspects; Farmers – Social Conditions

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan (2008)

Summary: Michael Pollan's last book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, launched a national conversation about the American way of eating; now In Defense of Food shows us how to change it, one meal at a time. Pollan proposes a new answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Pollan's bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.
Topics: Nutrition; Food Habits; Nutritional Psychological Phenomena

In the Green Kitchen: Techniques to Learn by Heart by Alice Waters (2010)

Summary: Alice Waters has been a champion of the sustainable, local cooking movement for decades. To Alice, good food is a right, not a privilege. In the Green Kitchen presents her essential cooking techniques to be learned by heart plus more than 50 recipes—for delicious fresh, local, and seasonal meals—from Alice and her friends. She demystifies the basics including steaming a vegetable, dressing a salad, simmering stock, filleting a fish, roasting a chicken, and making bread. An indispensable cookbook, she gives you everything you need to bring out the truest flavor that the best ingredients of the season have to offer.
Topics: Cooking (Natural Foods); Vegetarian Cooking; Sustainable Living; Slow Food Movement

In Praise of Slowness: How A Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carle Honoré (2004)

Summary: Living on the edge of exhaustion, Americans are constantly reminded by our bodies and minds that the pace of life is spinning out of control. In Praise of Slowness traces the history of our increasingly breathless relationship with time, and tackles the consequences and conundrum of living in this accelerated culture of our own creation. Realizing the price we pay for unrelenting speed, people all over the world are reclaiming their time and slowing down the pace - and living happier, more productive and healthier lives as a result. A slow revolution is taking place.
Topics: Leisure; Time management

Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly by James E. McWilliams (2009)

Summary: Just Food does for fresh food what Fast Food Nation (Houghton Mifflin, 2001) did for fast food, challenging conventional views, and cutting through layers of myth and misinformation. For instance, an imported tomato is more energy-efficient than a local greenhouse-grown tomato. And farm-raised freshwater fish may soon be the most sustainable source of protein. Informative and surprising, Just Food tells us how to decide what to eat, and how our choices can help save the planet and feed the world.
Topics: Food Habits, Food Preferences, Food Industry and Trade – Moral and Ethical Aspects; Natural Foods; Organic Living; Environmental Ethics

The King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of the Salmon by David R. Montgomery (2003)

Summary: In King of Fish, Montgomery traces the human impacts on salmon over the last thousands of years and examines the implications both for salmon recovery efforts and for the more general problem of human impacts on the natural world. What does it say for the long-term prospects of the world's many endangered species if one of the most prosperous regions of the richest country on earth cannot accommodate its icon species? All too aware of the possible bleak outcome for the salmon, King of Fish concludes with provocative recommendations for reinventing the ways in which we make environmental decisions about land, water, and fish.
Topics: Salmon, Endangered Species; Salmon - Effect of Habitat Modification; Fish Conservation

Kitchen Literacy by Ann Vileisis (2008)

Summary: Americans know remarkably little about what we eat. Where our foods are raised and what happens to them between farm and supermarket shelf have become mysteries. How did we become so disconnected from the sources of our beef, cheeses, cereal, lettuce, and countless other foods that nourish us every day? Ann Vileisis's answer is a sensory-rich journey through the history of making dinner. From eighteenth-century gardens and historic cookbooks to calculated advertising campaigns and sleek supermarket aisles, Kitchen Literacy chronicles profound changes in how Americans have shopped, cooked, and thought about their foods through two centuries.
Topics: American Cooking; Food Habits, Diet – United States

Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit by Mort Rosenblum (1998)

Summary:In 1986, the author bought a small overgrown olive farm in Provence. With it, he discovered, were 150 neglected olive trees. His neighbors helped him bring his grove back to life - and with it a passion grew in him to discover all there was to know about the olive.
Topics: Olive – History; Olive Industry and Trade - History

Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan (2006)

Summary: Choosing from among the countless potential foods nature offers, humans have had to learn what is safe, and what isn't—which mushrooms should be avoided, for example, and which berries we can enjoy. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance. Pollan follows the food chain literally from the ground up to the table, emphasizing our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the species we depend on. The Omnivore's Dilemma is a long-overdue book and one that will become known for bringing a completely fresh perspective to a question as ordinary and yet momentous as "What shall we have for dinner?"
Topics: Food habits; Food preferences; Biological Evolution

Organic Agriculture for Sustainable Livelihoods by Niels Halberg and Adrian Muller (2013)

Summary: This book provides a timely analysis and assessment of the potential of organic agriculture (OA) for rural development and the improvement of livelihoods. It focuses on smallholders in developing countries and in countries of economic transition, but there is also coverage of and comparisons with developed countries. It covers market-oriented approaches and challenges for OA as part of high value chains and as an agro-ecologically based development for improving food security. It demonstrates the often unrecognised roles that organic farming can play in climate change, food security and sovereignty, carbon sequestration, cost internalisations, ecosystems services, human health and the restoration of degraded landscapes.
Topics: Organic Farming; Rural Development; Sustainable Development; Sustainable Agriculture – Social Aspects – Environmental Aspects – Economic Aspects

Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution by Marjorie Kelly (2012)

Summary:As long as businesses are set up to focus exclusively on maximizing financial income for the few, our economy will be locked into endless growth and widening inequality. But now people are experimenting with new forms of ownership, which Marjorie Kelly calls generative: aimed at creating the conditions for life for many generations to come. These designs may hold the key to the deep transformation our civilization needs.
Topics: Community Development; Cooperation; Right of Property

Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally
by Alisa Smith, J.B. MacKinnon (2007)

Summary
: Like many great adventures, the 100-mile diet began with a memorable feast. Stranded in their off-the-grid summer cottage in the Canadian wilderness with unexpected guests, Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon turned to the land around them. The authors' food-focused experiment questions globalization, monoculture, the oil economy, environmental collapse, and the tattering threads of community. Thought-provoking and inspiring, Plenty offers more than a way of eating. In the end, it's a new way of looking at the world.
Topics: Cooking; Natural Foods; Diets; Local Foods; Farm Produce

The Pull of the Earth: Participatory Ethnography in the School Garden by Laurie Thorp (2005)

Summary: The Pull of the Earth is Laurie Thorp's dirt-under-the-fingernails ethnography of four years in an elementary school garden and the ways in which this garden catalyzed cultural transformation and inspired hope, growth, and community. Filled with photographs, sketches, poetry, and journal entries, Thorp's engaging book describes the educational benefits of learning through the environment: lessons on nutrition, the rhythms and cycles found in nature, and the stability found in entering a reciprocal relationship with the land. It will be a valuable resource for educators, environmentalists, and ethnographers.
Topics: Sustainable Education; Community Garden – Elementary Schools; Environmental Educators

The Science of Wine: From Vine to Glass by Jamie Goode (2005)

Summary: This essential and groundbreaking reference gives a comprehensive overview of one of the most fascinating, important, and controversial trends in the world of wine: the scientific and technological innovations that are now influencing how grapes are grown and how wine is made. Jamie Goode, a widely respected authority on wine science, details the key scientific developments relating to viticulture and enology, explains the practical application of science to techniques that are used around the world, and explores how these issues are affecting the quality, flavor, and perception of wine. The only complete resource available on the subject, The Science of Wine: From Vine to Glass engagingly discusses a wide range of topics including terroir, biodynamics, the production of "natural" or manipulation-free wines, the potential effect of climate change on grape growing, the health benefits of wine, and much more.
Topics: Wine and Wine Making; Viticulture

The Seasons of America Past
by Eric Sloane (2005)

Summary: A charming book that takes readers through a full year's activities. Sloane's drawings depict cider mills and presses, sleds, pumps, stump-pulling equipment, plows, and other elements of America's rural heritage. A section of old recipes and household hints adds additional color and practical value to this delightful work.
Topics: Farm Life – United States

Sick Planet: Corporate Food and Medicine by Stan Cox (2008)

Summary: Neoliberals often point to improvements in public health and nutrition as examples of globalization's success, but this book argues that the corporate food and medicine industries are destroying environments and ruining living conditions across the world. While individual efforts to "shop for a better world" and conserve energy are laudable, Cox explains that they need to be accompanied by an economic system that is grounded in ecological sustainability if we are to find a cure for our Sick Planet.
Topics: Medical Care; Corporations; Industrialization; Environmental Aspects

Slow Food Nation: Why our food should be good, clean, and fair by Carlo Petrini (2007)

Summary: A charismatic leader of the Slow Food movement, Carlo Petrini, outlines many different routes by which we may take back control of our food. The three central principles of the Slow Food plan are these: food must be sustainably produced in ways that are sensitive to the environment, those who produce the food must be fairly treated, and the food must be healthful and delicious. In his travels around the world as ambassador for Slow Food, Petrini has witnessed firsthand the many ways that native peoples are feeding themselves without making use of the harmful methods of the industrial complex. He relates the wisdom to be gleaned from local cultures in such varied places as Mongolia, Chiapas, Sri Lanka, and Puglia. Amidst our crisis, it is critical that Americans look for insight from other cultures around the world and begin to build a new and better way of eating in our communities here.
Topics: Gastronomy, Eating Customs, Slow Food Movement, Food Habits

The Slow Food Story: Politics and Pleasure
by Geoff Andrews (2008)

Summary: The Slow Food movement was established in Italy as a response to the dominance of fast food chains, supermarkets, and large-scale agribusiness. Defending "the universal right to pleasure," it promotes food production and consumption based on "good, clean, and fair" local products. In the first in-depth study of the fascinating politics of Slow Food, Geoff Andrews shows that the alternative future it offers can be extended to all aspects of modern life. The Slow Food Story is an extensive critique of the fast-moving, work-obsessed contemporary capitalist culture.
Topics: Slow Food Movement; History; Food; Environmental Responsibility

Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and The Hidden Battle for the World Food System by Raj Patel (2008)

Summary: It is difficult to pick up a newspaper without reading about increasing food crises in much of the world or the epidemic of obesity in America. Raj Patel argues that both are symptoms of the corporate food monopoly. From seed to store to plate, Stuffed and Starved explains the steps to regain control of the global food economy, stop the exploitation of farmers and consumers, and rebalance global sustenance.
Topics: Agriculture; Social Aspects; Food Supply; Food Industry and Trade; Economic Aspects

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table by Ruth Reichl (1998)

Summary: At an early age, Ruth Reichl discovered that "food could be a way of making sense of the world. . . . If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were." Her deliciously crafted memoir, Tender at the Bone, is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by a passion for food, unforgettable people, and the love of tales well told.
Topics: Cooking

The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food by Ben Hewitt (2009)

Summary: Over the past 3 years, Hardwick, Vermont, a typical hardscrabble farming community of 3,000 residents, has jump-started its economy and redefined its self-image through a local, self-sustaining food system unlike anything else in America. Even as the recent financial downturn threatens to cripple small businesses and privately owned farms, a stunning number of food-based businesses have grown in the region—Vermont Soy, Jasper Hill Farm, Pete's Greens, Patchwork Farm & Bakery, Apple Cheek Farm, Claire's Restaurant and Bar, and Bonnieview Farm, to name only a few. The captivating story of a small town coming back to life, The Town That Food Saved is narrative nonfiction at its best: full of colorful characters and grounded in an idea that will revolutionize the way we eat.Topics: Food Industry and Trade; Sustainable Agriculture; Entrepreneurship

The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation by David Kamp (2006)

Summary: One day we woke up and realized that our "macaroni" had become "pasta," that our Wonder Bread had been replaced by organic whole wheat, that sushi was fast food, and that our tomatoes were heirlooms. How did all this happen, and who made it happen? The United States of Arugula is the rollicking, revealing chronicle of how gourmet eating in America went from obscure to pervasive, thanks to the contributions of some outsized, opinionated iconoclasts who couldn't abide the status quo.
Topics: American Cooking; Gastronomy

The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture by Wendell Berry (1977)

Summary: Since its publication by Sierra Club Books in 1977, The Unsettling of America has been recognized as a classic of American letters. In it, Wendell Berry argues that good farming is a cultural development and spiritual discipline. Today's agribusiness, however, takes farming out of its cultural context and away from families. As a result, we as a nation are more estranged from the land—from the intimate knowledge, love, and care of it.
Topics: Agriculture – Economic Aspects – Social Aspects – United States

The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century by Dickson Despommier (2010)

Summary: When Columbia professor Dickson Despommier set out to solve America's food, water, and energy crises, he didn't just think big-he thought up. Despommier's stroke of genius, the vertical farm, has excited scientists, architects, and politicians around the globe. These farms, grown inside skyscrapers, would provide solutions to many of the serious problems we currently face, including:-Allowing year-round crop production-Providing food to areas currently lacking arable land-Immunity to weather-related crop failure-Reuse of water collected by dehumidification of the indoor environment-New employment opportunities-No use of pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides-Drastically reduced dependence on fossil fuels-No crop loss due to shipping or storage-No agricultural runoff-And many more vertical farming can be located on abandoned city properties, creating new urban revenue streams. They will employ lots of skilled and unskilled labor. They can be run on wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal energy. They can be used to grow plants for pharmaceutical purposes or for converting gray water back into drinking water. In the tradition of the bestselling The World Without Us, this is a totally original landmark work destined to become a classic. With stunning illustrations and clear and entertaining writing, this book will appeal to anyone concerned about America's future.
Topics: Land Use, Urban Agriculture, Environmental Aspects, Alternative Agriculture

The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter
by Peter Singer and Jim Mason (2006)

Summary: In The Way We Eat, Singer and Mason examine the eating habits of three American families with very different diets. They track down the sources of each family's food to probe the ethical issues involved in its production and marketing. What kinds of meat are most humane to eat? Is "organic" always better? Wild fish or farmed? Recognizing that not all of us will become vegetarians, Singer and Mason offer ways to make the best food choices. As they point out: "You can be ethical without being fanatical."
Topics: Food, Diet, Food industry and trade – Moral and ethics; Gastronomy; Food preferences

What to Eat
by Marion Nestle (2006)

Summary: How we choose which foods to eat is growing more complicated by the day, and the straightforward, practical approach of What to Eat has been praised as welcome relief. As Nestle takes us through each supermarket section--produce, dairy, meat, fish--she explains the issues, cutting through foodie jargon and complicated nutrition labels, and debunking the misleading health claims made by big food companies. With Nestle as our guide, we are shown how to make wise food choices--and are inspired to eat sensibly and nutritiously.
Topics: Nutrition, Diet, Health

With these Hands: The Hidden World of Migrant Farmworkers by Daniel Rothenberg (1998)

Summary: With These Hands documents the farm labor system through the presentation of a collection of voices--workers who labor in the fields, growers who manage the multi-billion dollar agricultural industry, contractors who link workers with growers, coyotes who smuggle people across the border, union organizers, lobbyists, physicians, workers' families in Mexico, farm worker children and others. The diversity of stories presents the world of migrant farm workers as a complex social and economic system, a network of intertwined lives, showing how all Americans are bound to the struggles and contributions of our nation's farm laborers.
Topics: Agriculture; Farm Labor; Migrant Workers; Migrant Children

World Hunger: Twelve Myths by Frances Moore Lappé, Joseph Collins, Peter Michael Rosset, Peter Rosset, and Luis Esparza (1998)

Summary: In this completely revised and updated edition of the most authoritative book on world hunger, three of our foremost experts on food and agriculture expose and explode the myths that prevent us from effectively addressing the problem. Drawing on and distilling the extensive research of the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First), Lappé, Collins, and Rosset examine head-on the policies and politics that have kept hungry people from feeding themselves around the world, in both Third and First World countries, as well as the misconceptions that have obscured our own national, social, and humanitarian interests.
Topics: Nutrition Policy; Food Supply; Social Policy; Poverty; Agriculture and State

Suggested Books

Diet of a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe (1991)

Summary: Here again is the extraordinary bestselling book that taught America the social and personal significance of a new way of eating-- one that remains a complete guide for eating well in the 90s. Featuring: simple rules for a healthy diet; a streamlined, easy-to-use format; delicious food combinations of protein-rich meals without meat; hundreds of wonderful recipes, and much more.

Eat Here: Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket by Brian Halweil (2004)

Summary: Everyone everywhere depends increasingly on long-distance food. Since1961 the tonnage of food shipped between nations has grown fourfold.For some, the long-distance food system offers unparalleled choice. But it often runs roughshod over local cuisines, varieties, and agriculture, while consuming staggering amounts of fuel, generating greenhouse gases, eroding the pleasures of face-to-face interactions,and compromising food security. Fortunately, the long-distance food habit is beginning to weaken under the influence of a young, but surging, local-foods movement. From peanut-butter makers in Zimbabwe to pork producers in Germany and rooftop gardeners in Vancouver,entrepreneurial farmers, start-up food businesses, restaurants,supermarkets, and concerned consumers are propelling a revolution that can help restore rural areas, enrich poor nations, and return fresh,delicious, and wholesome food to cities.

Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America by Wenonah Hauter (2012)

Summary: As one of the nation's leading healthy food advocates, Hauter believes that the local food movement is not enough to solve America's food crisis and the public health debacle it has created. In Foodopoly, she takes aim at the real culprit: the massive consolidation and corporate control of food production, which prevents farmers from raising healthy crops and limits the choices that people can make in the grocery store. Through meticulous research, Hauter presents a shocking account of how agricultural policy has been hijacked by lobbyists, driving out independent farmers and food processors in favor of the likes of Cargill, Tyson, Kraft, and ConAgra. In the end, Hauter illustrates how solving this crisis will require a complete structural shift, a grassroots movement to reshape our food system from seed to table—a change that is about politics, not just personal choice.

Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese by Brad Kessler (2009)

Summary: When acclaimed novelist Brad Kessler started to feel unsatisfied by his Manhattan lifestyle, he opted to tackle his issues of over-consumption and live a more eco-friendly life. He and his wife moved to a seventy-five acre goat farm in a small southern Vermont town, where they planned to make a living raising goats and making cheese. They never looked back. Now Kessler adds to his numerous accomplishments (winner of the 2007 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, 2007 Whiting Award for Writers of Exceptional Promise, and a 2008 Rome Prize) an array of cheeses that have already been highly praised by Artisanal, the renowned cheese restaurant in New York City.

Wisdom of the Last Farmer: The Legacy of Generations by David Mas Masumoto (2009)

Summary: In his gorgeous, lyrical prose, Masumoto conjures the realities of farming life while weaving in the history of American agriculture over the past century, encapsulating universal themes of work along with wisdom that could be gleaned only from the earth. By the end of the workday, he understands the feeling of accomplishment when you've done your best...and discovers that it's when he lets go -- of both his father and control of nature -- that wisdom manifests itself.

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