If you are planning to use the extra hours of daylight to sit out in your favorite Adirondack chair or lounge in your peaceful hammock with a good book—and you are intrigued by all-things-food—then consider Food Tank’s hand-picked book list designed to educate and inspire readers.
What will you be reading this summer? Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Food Tank, which strives to create a new way of thinking about global food system issues, has selected books to create ideas on how to eat healthier, safer, more fairly produced food. And of course to create anticipation to cook, eat and share what you learn.
Food Tank's 18 summer must-reads are as follows:
1. Agri-culture: Reconnecting People, Land and Nature by Jules Pretty
This book takes an in-depth look at the issues enveloped in the agriculture and food systems. Pretty emphasizes changing behaviors and reforming policies in order for an agricultural revolution to take place. He draws on stories of successful agricultural transformation in both developing and industrialized countries, calling on the next agricultural revolution.
2. Cooperative Farming: Frameworks for Farming Together by Faith Gilbert
Gilbert designed this 54-page guidebook through interviews with 42 start-up and established collaborative farm projects across North America. She gathered input from 18 professionals and advisors, and 50 publications in cooperative development, farm business, finance, land access and more. This book highlights processes that make collaborations effective and function in order to provide mutual satisfaction and benefits.
3. Don't Cook the Planet: Deliciously Saving the Planet One Meal at a Time by Emily Abrams
An 18-year-old activist from Massachusetts, Abrams' new cookbook features 70 recipes shared by celebrity and all-star chefs including, actor, producer and eco-activist Chevy Chase, MasterChef judge and acclaimed chef, Graham Elliot, and Stephanie Izard, Top Chef Star and executive chef at Girl & the Goat. This cookbook offers recipes and tips on how to minimize your carbon footprint. Abrams hope to impact her generation through this cookbook featuring positive food choices.
4. Eating Wildly by Ava Chin
Follow Chin in this touching and informative memoir as she forages for food in New York City. Chin is an “urban forager” on the quest for eating better, eating healthier and more sustainably, regardless of location. She takes the reader on an emotional journey—finding solace in parks and backyards where she connects with rare and delicious edible plants. Her experiences in nature enliven taste buds and stir emotions.
5. Fields of Hope and Power by Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé
Fields of Hope and Power is a chapter from the upcoming Navdanya book on agroecological movements, living democracy and the limits of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and industrial agriculture. This chapter takes an in-depth look at food scarcity and how agriculture and climate affect this issue. The Lappés investigate how the farmers at Navdanya have contributed to setting up the largest direct marketing fair trade organic network in India.
6. Foods for Health: Choose and Use the Very Best Foods for Your Family and Our Planet by Barton Seaver and P.K Newby
Seaver and Newby have created a science-based guide to healthy eating for the whole family which features tips, food pairings and sample menus. The authors take the reader on a culinary tour of 148 foods which have high nutritional value and the least environmental impact. This book teaches readers how to prepare healthy food and meals while making the best choice for their body and the planet.
7. Food Systems Failure: The Global Food Crisis and the Future of Agriculture by Christopher Rosin, Paul Stock and Hugh Campbell
The authors provide a critical assessment of the global food system during heightened food crisis and feeding a growing population. This book explores contraindications in policy and practice that hinder solutions to the food crisis. Case studies expose neoliberal policies involved with the production end of the food system which provides insight to the current challenges for feeding the world. Rosin, Stock and Campbell provide alternative strategies to create a more just and moral food system.
8. Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity by Lester R. Brown
Brown exposes the planet’s volatile food system with eroding soils, rising temperatures and countries competing for land and water resources. He writes, “food is the new oil.” Political up rise and food scarcity are concerning issues, which Brown addresses and presents solutions to.
9. Grabbing Power: The New Struggles for Land, Food and Democracy in Northern Honduras by Tanya M. Kerssen
This book explores the history of agribusiness and land conflicts in Northern Honduras. In the Aguan Valley, Honduran peasants battle large palm oil producers and fight for democratization of land, food and political power. Kerssen shows how peasants in crime and drug laden communities are leading a strong and inspiring movement, with no signs of backing down.
10. In the Garden: A Botanically Illustrated Gardening Book by Sandra Lynn McPeake
Great for the coffee or kitchen table, this book includes basic growing information and detailed images of vegetable growth cycles from seedlings to the inside of veggies. McPeake provides gardening tips, supplies growers will need, and how to keep a gardening journal. Learn to share and grow with this illustrated guide.
11. Local: The New Face of Food and Farming in America by Douglas Gayeton
A guide to more than 200 agriculture terms explained by experts in the field and complemented by stunning visuals, this book explores rebuilding local food movements. Gayeton traveled the U.S. taking photos and learning from today’s top sustainability practitioners to create this reference book.
12. Savor: Mindful Eating for Life by Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung
This book will make you stop and think about your eating habits and patterns. Buddhist monk, Hanh, and nutritional expert, Dr. Cheung, discuss how to become more aware and mindful of our bodies, drawing special attention to how we eat. This book explores the physical, emotional, psychological and environmental factors which control our weight.
13. Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity by Barbara Burlingame and Sandro Dernini
This publication, by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), investigates the link between sustainable diets and biodiversity. It addresses the relationship between agriculture, health, environment and food industries- indicating the most sustainable diets have low environmental impacts. This text can be used as a reference for policy, research and action.
14. Sustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms and Communities Worldwide by Juliana Birnbaum and Louis Fox
This book is a collection of profiles, interviews and essays which feature 60 innovative community-based projects around the globe in diverse climates. Birnbaum and Fox visited communities all around the world looking for ecological design systems. From urban gardeners to native seed-saving collectives to ecovillage developments, the common thread that weaves these thriving communities together is permaculture systems.
15. The Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook by JuJu Harris
This cookbook incorporates Women Infants and Children (WIC) staples along with seasonal produce to create easy and delicious recipes. Harris, Arcadia Culinary Educator and Mobile Market Outreach Coordinator, wanted to create healthy and nutritious recipes around WIC provisions. What started out as a simple compilation of recipes has turned into a successful business venture; Harris plans to offer a Spanish version later this year.
16. The Ecological Hoofprint: The Global Burden of Industrial Livestock by Tony Weis
Weis discusses the “meatification” of human diets and the adverse impact it has on the earth and human health. Weis believes the conversion of grain and oilseed into meat is inefficient in a world striving to provide a basic diet to those chronically hungry. He explains why the growth and industrialization of livestock production is a central part of industrial capitalist agriculture.
17. The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food by Dan Barber (coming soon!)
This book explores Barber’s vision for a new future of American eating. After a decade of research on farming communities throughout the world, Barber concludes America’s food needs a radical transformation to ensure the future of our health, food and land. From his restaurant’s kitchen to farmers’ fields, Barber’s experiences lead him to propose a “third plate”—a new pattern of eating rooted in cooking with and celebrating the whole farm.
18. We the Eaters by Ellen Gustafson (coming soon!)
Gustafson explores how eaters and consumers can transform the global food system by changing what is on their dinner plates. The book investigates the global industrial food system using the classic American dinner as a template and provides actionable solutions to start ripple effects of change. The book’s manifesto is: If we change dinner, we change the world.
Any books you would add to the list?
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Hamstrung by coronavirus lockdowns, frustrated school strikers have spent months staging digital protests against world leaders failing to act urgently on climate change.
Pandemic Stalls Protests<p>Last November, the head of the UN Environment Program was among the public and scientific figures to warn that 2020 offered a last chance to cut emissions. Then, few could have suspected this deadline would coincide with an unprecedented public health emergency.</p><p>The pandemic has <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/tough-times-ahead-for-climate-protesters-during-corona-pandemic/a-52978469" target="_blank">dealt climate activism a blow</a>. Niedeggen says that as a movement demanding that the world act on scientific advice, the school strikers took lockdown restrictions extremely seriously, halted public protests immediately and took their activism online.</p><p>On April 24, Fridays for Future organized a "digital strike," with Niedeggen hosting a that racked up close to a quarter of a million views. "We were not physically standing together, but we were all fighting together," she says.</p><p><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/climate-strikers-get-inventive-during-the-covid-19-crisis-fridays-for-future/a-53229262" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Activists also gathered thousands of placards</a> from across Germany to lay out in front of the German Bundestag around the central slogan: "Fight every crisis."</p>
Opportunity for a New Normal<p>Last September's Global Climate Strike drew young and old protestors around the world, with organizers estimating a global turnout of 7.6 million, including an estimated 270,000 people in Berlin. Activists have adjusted this year's event to account for social distancing and different levels of coronavirus restrictions in cities taking part.</p><p>They say COVID-19 also presents opportunities.</p><p>"The pandemic shows that we can change our normal daily life, and we are very able to adjust to a situation of crisis," she says. The key question is how economies get back on their feet: "We have the possibility to build a new normal, to build a renewable world order, and an environmentally just, climate-just normal for everybody."</p><p>In July, Jeng was among 20 female Fridays for Future activists from the Global South to sign an open letter to G20 finance ministers warning that their decisions in "exclusive backrooms" over stimulus packages and corporate bailouts would "lock in development pathways for decades."</p><p>"The system is not broken, it was built to be unjust. We don't need recovery, we need a reboot," the letter reads, stressing that "black people, indigenous peoples and people of color," have been disproportionately hit by the economic, climate and coronavirus crises. </p>
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This week marks the official start of fall, but longer nights and colder days can make it harder to spend time outdoors. Luckily, there are several inspiring environmental films that can be streamed at home.
1. Kiss the Ground<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ccc5f0c92a5603e68aec39e56b0db02a"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K3-V1j-zMZw?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: Netflix</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Sept. 22</strong></p><p>Between <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wildfires-california-washington-oregon-photos-2647585008.html" target="_self">wildfires devastating the U.S. West Coast</a> and <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tropical-storm-beta-landfall-2647760268.html" target="_self">storms battering the Gulf</a>, the impacts of the <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/climate-change/" target="_self">climate crisis</a> can feel overwhelming right now. <em><a href="https://kissthegroundmovie.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Kiss the Ground</a> </em>offers an alternative to all of the bad news by focusing on solutions.</p><p>The film, directed by Josh and Rebecca Tickell and narrated by Woody Harrelson, explains how we can heal the Earth through "regenerative agriculture," farming practices that draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and into soil as a way to restore soil health, which in turn boosts ecosystems and food supplies.</p><p>"<em>Kiss the Ground </em>shows how feasible it is to make these changes at a grassroots level immediately and make a truly substantive impact with low cost and easy to implement solutions," Executive Producer RJ Jain said in an email. "This is why I got involved."</p>
2. Public Trust: The Fight for America's Public Lands<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5338f7a2931e356910026e5fd76fac56"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jsKMTAaj_wQ?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: YouTube</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Sept. 25</strong></p><p>This <a href="https://www.patagonia.com/films/public-trust/" target="_blank">award-winning documentary</a> tells the stories of Indigenous activists, journalists, whistleblowers and historians working to protect America's <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/public-lands" target="_self">public lands</a>. The film focuses on three political struggles: the shrinking of <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/bears-ears" target="_self">Bears Ears</a> National Monument in Utah, the mining of Boundary Waters Wilderness in Minnesota and the opening of the <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/Arctic-National-Wildlife-Refuge" target="_self">Arctic National Wildlife Refuge</a> to fossil fuel exploration.</p><p><em>Public Trust</em> was directed by David Garrett Byars and produced by Jeremy Rubingh. Patagonia Films, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and actor Robert Redford are executive producers. It will be <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGjnIG7puzY" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">released</a> on YouTube in time for <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/national-public-lands-day-2640656776.html" target="_self">National Public Lands Day</a>.</p><p>"Our country is fortunate to have millions of acres of public lands, including National Parks, Monuments, Wildlife Refuges and Wilderness set aside for future generations," Redford said. "Sadly, these lands that belong to you and me are under unprecedented threats from the greed of big corporations, eager to weaken restrictions in the pursuit of profits. Many of our current politicians are also to blame. <em>Public Trust</em> tells the story of citizens who are fighting back. It's a much-needed wake-up call for all of us who want to preserve our unique and wild cultural heritage."<br><br>It will be <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGjnIG7puzY" target="_blank">released</a> on YouTube at 2 p.m. EDT Friday in time for <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/national-public-lands-day-2640656776.html" target="_self">National Public Lands Day</a>.<br></p>
3. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="156438a30836a765d7a92982545fc334"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B_OFZvAd05Y?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Streaming On: Netflix</strong></p><p><strong>Premiere Date: Oct. 4</strong></p><p>Beloved nature broadcaster <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/David-Attenborough" target="_self">David Attenborough</a> has spent his career introducing viewers to the wonders of our planet. In recent years, his footage of albatrosses swallowing <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/plastics" target="_self">plastic</a> in <em>Blue Planet II</em> has been credited with <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/2018-fighting-plastic-waste-2624606566.html" target="_self">helping to ramp up</a> the global fight against plastic pollution. Now, in this <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">World Wildlife Fund</a> (WWF)-produced <a href="https://www.attenborough.film/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">documentary</a>, he reflects on the defining moments of his career and the devastating changes he has witnessed.</p><p><em>David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet,</em> which was also produced by Silverback Films and directed by Alastair Fothergill, Jonnie Hughes and Keith Scholey, features an intimate conversation between Attenborough and Sir Michael Palin as the broadcaster reflects on his life and a career that took him to every continent on Earth. In addition to streaming on Netflix, the movie will be available in select theaters starting Sept. 28.</p><p>"For decades, David has brought the natural world to the homes of audiences worldwide, but there has never been a more significant moment for him to share his own story and reflections," WWF executive producer Colin Butfield said in a <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/david-attenborough-life-our-planet" target="_blank">statement</a>. "This film coincides with a monumental year for environmental action as world leaders make critical decisions on nature and climate. It sends a powerful message from the most inspiring and celebrated naturalist of our time."</p>
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