Welcome back, for the third edition of our Green Book Club! For each post, I’ll share some great reads about issues near and dear to my heart. Inspired by Vanessa Ferragut of Greenease, a soon-to-be-available app that will help you locate green restaurants near you, this month’s books are all about food in the world today. I’m not talking about recipes or cookbooks, but issues like GMOs, starvation, and local food systems. So if you’ve been dissatisfied with the state of America’s food, get ready – these books will tell you all about it!
Author Wenonah Hauter pulls no punches in Foodopoly, which has already been flagged as one of the best books of 2013. Hauter is not only the executive director of Food & Water Watch, but she also runs an organic farm in Northern Virginia that provides 500 DC-area families with fresh, organic produce. Despite her work and the work of others, she believes that the local food movement is not enough to solve America’s food crisis. Rather, she lays the blame where it belongs – at the corporate control of food production, which limits the choices people can make in their grocery stores. This scathing book exposes the lobbyists that took over agricultural policy, favoring corporate giants like Tyson and Kraft over America’s farmers. Foodopoly argues for a complete structural shift in our food system. After reading it, so will you.
Award-winning documentary filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin spent three years and crossed four continents uncovering the disturbing practices of defense-contractor-turned-agribusiness-corporation Monsanto. Despite its new “green” face, she reports that Monsanto and its GMOs are just as malign as its Agent Orange past. Controlling the majority of the worlds yield of GMO corn and soy, its alarming legal and political maneuverings to maintain that monopoly have raised concern worldwide, and have terrible consequences for the small farmers that might find themselves in Monsanto’s way. According to Robin, if you thought that Monsanto had changed, think again!
Despite huge yields, enough to feed the world twice over, people all over the world are suffering from starvation – including farmers. Food writer Frederick Kaufman set out to discover the connection between the global food system and why the food on our tables is getting less healthy and less tasty even as food companies and scientists say things are better than ever. Kaufman moves down the supply chain and reveals a force at work that is larger and more shocking than anything we could have imagined.
Farmers markets, urban gardening, community plots, farm-to-table – all signs that the local food movement is gaining momentum nationwide. Author Philip Ackerman-Leist thinks that we need to take the movement to the next level, and rebuild regional food systems that will replace damaging industrial agriculture while meeting food demands affordably and sustainably. Ackerman-Leist showcases some of the most promising and replicable models for growing, processing, and distributing sustainably grown food, and helps the reader to understand the next, crucial stage in the food revolution.
Alright, you have your reading for the month! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the books, as well as any suggestions for upcoming editions. Feel free to comment here, or share your thoughts over on Facebook.