Robert Lustig’s 90-minute YouTube video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”, has been viewed more than three million times. Now, in this much anticipated book, he documents the science and the politics that has led to the pandemic of chronic disease over the last 30 years.
In the late 1970s when the government mandated we get the fat out of our food, the food industry responded by pouring more sugar in. The result has been a perfect storm, disastrously altering our biochemistry and driving our eating habits out of our control.
To help us lose weight and recover our health, Lustig presents personal strategies to readjust the key hormones that regulate hunger, reward, and stress; and societal strategies to improve the health of the next generation. Compelling, controversial, and completely based in science, Fat Chance debunks the widely held notion to prove “a calorie is NOT a calorie”, and takes that science to its logical conclusion to improve health worldwide.
The Ethics of What We Eat explores the impact our food choices have on humans, animals, and the environment. Recognizing that not all of us will become vegetarians, Singer and Mason offer ways to make healthful, humane food choices. As they point out: You can be ethical without being fanatical.
Award-winning investigative journalist and clean food activist Mike Adams, the “Health Ranger,” is founder and editor of Natural News, one of the top health news websites in the world, reaching millions of readers each month.
Now, in Food Forensics, Adams meticulously tests groceries, fast foods, dietary supplements, spices, and protein powders for heavy metals and toxic elements that could be jeopardizing your health.
To conduct this extensive research, Adams built a state-of-the-art laboratory with cutting-edge scientific instruments. Publishing results of metal concentrations for more than 800 different foods, Food Forensics is doing the job the FDA refuses to do: testing off-the-shelf foods and sharing the findings so the public can make informed decisions about what they consume or avoid.
In Food Forensics, you’ll discover little-known truths about other toxic food ingredients such as polysorbate 80, MSG, sodium nitrite, pesticides, and weed killers such as glyphosate. Adams reveals stunning, never-before-reported details of heavy metals found in recycled human waste used on crops and in parks, and he explains how industrial pollution causes mercury, lead, and cadmium to end up in your favorite protein powders.
This book will forever change your view of food safety, regulation, and manufacturing. When you know what’s really in your food, you can start making changes to protect yourself against serious diseases like cancer, all while maximizing your natural immune defenses against infection and disease.
In Whitewash, veteran journalist Carey Gillam uncovers one of the mcontroversial stories in the history of food and agriculture, exposing new evidence of corporate influence. Gillam introduces readers to farm families devastated by cancers which they believe are caused by the chemical, and to scientists whose reputations have been smeared for publishing research that contradicted business interests. Readers learn about the arm-twisting of regulators who signed off on the chemical, echoing company assurances of safety even as they permitted higher residues of the pesticide in food and skipped compliance tests. And, in startling detail, Gillam reveals secret industry communications that pull back the curtain on corporate efforts to manipulate public perception.
Whitewash is more than an exposé about the hazards of one chemical or even the influence of one company. It's a storyof power, politics, and the deadly consequences of putting corporate interests ahead of public safety.
Drawn from the latest brain science as well as interviews with top physicians and food industry insiders, The End of Overeating exposes the food industry's aggressive marketing tactics and reveals shocking facts about how we lost control over food—and what we can do to get it back. For the millions of people struggling with their weight as well as those of us who simply can't seem to eat our favorite foods in moderation, Dr. Kessler's cutting-edge investigation offers valuable insights and practical answers for America's largest-ever public health crisis. There has never been a more thorough, compelling, or in-depth analysis of why we eat the way we do.
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.
Water does not perish, nor require millions of years to form as do fossil fuels. However, water is always on the move. In this timely, important book, Judith D. Schwartz presents a refreshing perspective on water that transcends zero-sum thinking. By allying with the water cycle, we can revive lush, productive landscapes. Like the river in rural Zimbabwe that, thanks to restorative grazing, now flows miles further than in living memory. Or the food forest of oranges, pomegranates, and native fruit-bearing plants in Tucson, grown through harvesting urban wastewater. Or the mini-oasis in West Texas nourished by dew.
Animated by stories from around the globe, Water In Plain Sight is an inspiring reminder that fixing the future of our drying planet involves understanding what makes natural systems thrive.
Marion Nestle, whom Michael Pollan ranked as the #2 most powerful foodie in America (after Michelle Obama) in Forbes, has always used cartoons in her public presentations to communicate how politics—shaped by government, corporate marketing, economics, and geography—influences food choice. Cartoons do more than entertain; the best get right to the core of complicated concepts and powerfully convey what might otherwise take pages to explain.
In Eat Drink Vote, Nestle teams up with The Cartoonist Group syndicate to present more than 250 of her favorite cartoons on issues ranging from dietary advice to genetic engineering to childhood obesity. Using the cartoons as illustration and commentary, she engagingly summarizes some of today's most pressing issues in food politics. While encouraging readers to vote with their forks for healthier diets, this book insists that it's also necessary to vote with votes to make it easier for everyone to make healthier dietary choices.
In The End of Plenty, award-winning environmental journalist Joel K. Bourne Jr. puts our fight against devastating world hunger in dramatic perspective. He travels the globe to introduce a new generation of farmers and scientists on the front lines of the next green revolution. He visits corporate farmers trying to restore Ukraine as Europe's breadbasket, a Canadian aquaculturist, the agronomist behind the world's largest organic sugarcane plantation, and many other extraordinary farmers, large and small, who are racing to stave off catastrophe as climate change disrupts food production worldwide.
A Financial Times Best Book of the Year and a Finalist for the PEN / E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.
Food, and in particular the lack of it, was central to the experience of World War II. In this richly detailed and engaging history, Lizzie Collingham establishes how control of food and its production is crucial to total war. How were the imperial ambitions of Germany and Japan - ambitions which sowed the seeds of war - informed by a desire for self-sufficiency in food production? How was the outcome of the war affected by the decisions that the Allies and the Axis took over how to feed their troops? And how did the distinctive ideologies of the different combatant countries determine their attitudes towards those they had to feed?
Tracing the interaction between food and strategy, on both the military and home fronts, this gripping, original account demonstrates how the issue of access to food was a driving force within Nazi policy and contributed to the decision to murder hundreds of thousands of 'useless eaters' in Europe. Focusing on both the winners and losers in the battle for food, The Taste of War brings to light the striking fact that war-related hunger and famine was not only caused by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, but was also the result of Allied mismanagement and neglect, particularly in India, Africa and China.
American dominance both during and after the war was not only a result of the United States' immense industrial production but also of its abundance of food. This book traces the establishment of a global pattern of food production and distribution and shows how the war subsequently promoted the pervasive influence of American food habits and tastes in the post-war world. A work of great scope, The Taste of War connects the broad sweep of history to its intimate impact upon the lives of individuals.
Food banks and food pantries have proliferated in response to an economic emergency. The loss of manufacturing jobs combined with the recession of the early 1980s and Reagan administration cutbacks in federal programs led to an explosion in the growth of food charity. This was meant to be a stopgap measure, but the jobs never came back, and the “emergency food system” became an industry. In Big Hunger, Andrew Fisher takes a critical look at the business of hunger and offers a new vision for the anti-hunger movement.
From one perspective, anti-hunger leaders have been extraordinarily effective. Food charity is embedded in American civil society, and federal food programs have remained intact while other anti-poverty programs have been eliminated or slashed. But anti-hunger advocates are missing an essential element of the problem: economic inequality driven by low wages. Reliant on corporate donations of food and money, anti-hunger organizations have failed to hold business accountable for offshoring jobs, cutting benefits, exploiting workers and rural communities, and resisting wage increases. They have become part of a “hunger industrial complex” that seems as self-perpetuating as the more famous military-industrial complex.
Fisher lays out a vision that encompasses a broader definition of hunger characterized by a focus on public health, economic justice, and economic democracy. He points to the work of numerous grassroots organizations that are leading the way in these fields as models for the rest of the anti-hunger sector. It is only through approaches like these that we can hope to end hunger, not just manage it.
In their effort to build the world’s first and largest commercial green rooftop farm, the founders of Brooklyn Grange learned a lot about building and sustaining a business while never losing sight of their mission—to serve their community by providing delicious organic food and changing the way people think about what they eat. But their story is about more than just farming. It serves as an inspirational and instructional guide for anyone looking to start a business that is successful while making a positive impact.
In The Farm on the Roof, the team behind Brooklyn Grange tell the complete story of how their “farmily” made their dream a reality. Along the way, they share valuable lessons about finding the right partners, seeking funding, expanding, and identifying potential sources of revenue without compromising your core values—lessons any socially conscious entrepreneur can apply toward his or her own venture. Filled with colorful anecdotes about the ups and downs of farming in the middle of New York City, this story is not just about rooftop farming; it’s about utilizing whatever resources you have to turn your backyard idea into a sky-high success.
Drawing on her deep knowledge of and experience in environmental engineering and toxicology, Silbergeld examines the complex history of the modern industrial food animal production industry and describes the widespread effects of Arthur Perdue’s remarkable agricultural innovations, which were so important that the US Department of Agriculture uses the term chickenization to cover the transformation of all farm animal production. Silbergeld tells the real story of how antibiotics were first introduced into animal feeds in the 1940s, which has led to the emergence of multi-drug-resistant pathogens, such as MRSA. Along the way, she talks with poultry growers, farmers, and slaughterhouse workers on the front lines of exposure, moving from the Chesapeake Bay peninsula that gave birth to the modern livestock and poultry industry to North Carolina, Brazil, and China.
Arguing that the agricultural industry is in desperate need of reform, the book searches through the fog of illusion that obscures most of what has happened to agriculture in the twentieth century and untangles the history of how laws, regulations, and policies have stripped government agencies of the power to protect workers and consumers alike from occupational and food-borne hazards. Chickenizing Farms and Food also explores the limits of some popular alternatives to industrial farming, including organic production, nonmeat diets, locavorism, and small-scale agriculture. Silbergeld’s provocative but pragmatic call to action is tempered by real challenges: how can we ensure a safe and accessible food system that can feed everyone, including consumers in developing countries with new tastes for western diets, without hurting workers, sickening consumers, and undermining some of our most powerful medicines?
Bestselling author Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his life oscillating between enthusiastic carnivore and occasional vegetarian. For years he was content to live with uncertainty about his own dietary choices-but once he started a family, the moral dimensions of food became increasingly important.
Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them. Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits, Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat, every chicken we fry, and every burger we grill.
Part memoir and part investigative report, Eating Animals is a book that, in the words of the Los Angeles Times, places Jonathan Safran Foer "at the table with our greatest philosophers" -and a must-read for anyone who cares about building a more humane and healthy world.
The planet's 1.6 billion overweight people by far outnumber the 700 million who are undernourished. This figure would have seemed ludicrous just fifty years ago. As a result of unprecedented trends in technology, globalization, government policy, and the food industry that are changing how we eat, drink, and move, we now live in a world populated by overweight people with debilitating health problems.
In this fascinating look at the striking changes in both our lifestyles and food system since World War II, Barry Popkin shows how present options for eating and drinking- especially when combined with a dramatic reduction in physical activity-are clashing with millions of years of evolution to fatten the human race. Popkin argues that widespread obesity-and the chronic health problems that contribute to the bulk of deaths in the world-is less a result of poor dietary choices than about a hi-tech, interconnected world in which governments and multinational corporations have extraordinary power to shape our everyday lives.
The approach begins by laying out the basic principles of food security and food justice in light of the diversity of food system practices and innovations in America’s cities. The contributing authors address land access for urban agriculture, debates over city farming, new possibilities in food processing, and the marketing of healthy food. They put these basic elements—land, production, processing, and marketing—in the context of municipal policy, education, and food justice and sovereignty, particularly for people of color. While the path of a food product from its producer to its consumer may seem straightforward on the surface, the apparent simplicity hides the complex logistical—and value-laden—factors that create and maintain a food system. This book helps readers understand how a food system functions and how individual and community initiatives can lessen the problems associated with an industrialized food system.
How to Feed the World unites contributors from different perspectives and academic disciplines, ranging from agronomyand hydrology to agricultural economy and communication. Hailing from Germany, the Philippines, the U.S., Ecuador, and beyond, the contributors weave their own life experiences into their chapters, connecting global issues to our tangible, day-to-day existence. Across every chapter, a similar theme emerges: these are not simple problems, yet we canovercome them. Doing so will require cooperation between farmers, scientists, policy makers, consumers, andmany others.
The resulting collection is an accessible but wide-ranging look at the modern food system. Readers will not only get asolid grounding in key issues, but be challenged to investigate further and contribute to the paramount effort to feed theworld.
For hundreds of years, the people of Mals had cherished their traditional foodways and kept their local agriculture organic. Their town had become a mecca for tourists drawn by the alpine landscape, the rural and historic character of the villages, and the fine breads, wines, cheeses, herbs, vegetables, and the other traditional foods they produced. Yet Mals is located high up in the eastern Alps, and the valley below was being steadily overtaken by big apple producers, heavily dependent on pesticides. As Big Apple crept further and further up the region’s mountainsides, their toxic spray drifted with the valley’s ever-present winds and began to fall on the farms and fields of Mals—threatening their organic certifications, as well as their health and that of their livestock.
The advancing threats gradually motivated a diverse cast of characters to take action—each in their own unique way, and then in concert in an iconic display of direct democracy in action. As Ackerman-Leist recounts their uprising, we meet an organic dairy farmer who decides to speak up when his hay is poisoned by drift; a pediatrician who engaged other medical professionals to protect the soil, water, and air that the health of her patients depends upon; a hairdresser whose salon conversations mobilized the town’s women in an extraordinarily conceived campaign; and others who together orchestrated one of the rare revolutionary successes of our time and inspired a movement now snaking its way through Europe and the United States.
A foreword by Vandana Shiva calls upon others to follow in Mals’s footsteps.
From the voice of a new generation of food activists, a passionate and deeply-researched call for a new food movement.
If you think buying organic from Whole Foods is protecting you, you're wrong. Our food—even what we're told is good for us—has changed for the worse in the past 100 years, its nutritional content deteriorating due to industrial farming and its composition altered due to the addition of thousands of chemicals from pesticides to packaging. We simply no longer know what we’re eating.
In Formerly Known as Food, Kristin Lawless argues that, because of the degradation of our diet, our bodies are literally changing from the inside out. The billion-dollar food industry is reshaping our food preferences, altering our brains, changing the composition of our microbiota, and even affecting the expression of our genes. Lawless chronicles how this is happening and what it means for our bodies, health, and survival.
An independent journalist and nutrition expert, Lawless is emerging as the voice of a new generation of food thinkers. After years of "eat this, not that" advice from doctors, journalists, and food faddists, she offers something completely different. Lawless presents a comprehensive explanation of the problem—going beyond nutrition to issues of food choice, class, race, and gender—and provides a sound and simple philosophy of eating, which she calls the "Whole Egg Theory."
Destined to set the debate over food politics for the next decade, Formerly Known as Food speaks to a new generation looking for a different conversation about the food on our plates.
Naomi Klein, author of No Is Not Enough and This Changes Everything: "In this revelatory survey of the dangers of the industrial food system, Lawless offers crucial tools for navigating it safely. The best ones have nothing to do with shopping advice: she asks us to think holistically about food, why it can't be separated from other struggles for justice, and what it means to demand transformative change."
Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything: "A stirring call to action. Lawless has done a thorough job of describing how so much of what we eat doesn't qualify as 'food'"
Laurie David, Academy Award winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth and Fed Up: “You better read this book before you put another bite of food in your or your kids' mouths!”
Mary Esther Malloy, MA, Mindful Birth NY: "Groundbreaking... will get you thinking differently about how you nourish yourself and your family."
Implementing urban agriculture often requires change in the physical, political, and social-organizational landscape. Beginning with a look at how and why city people grew their own food in the early twentieth century, the contributors to Cities of Farmers examine the role of local and regional regulations and politics, especially the creation of food policy councils, in making cities into fertile ground for farming. The authors describe how food is produced and distributed in cities via institutions as diverse as commercial farms, community gardens, farmers’ markets, and regional food hubs. Growing food in vacant lots and on rooftops affects labor, capital investment, and human capital formation, and as a result urban agriculture intersects with land values and efforts to build affordable housing. It also can contribute to cultural renewal and improved health.
This book enables readers to understand and contribute to their local food system, whether they are raising vegetables in a community garden, setting up a farmers’ market, or formulating regulations for farming and composting within city limits.
Catherine Brinkley, Benjamin W. Chrisinger, Nevin Cohen, Michèle Companion, Lindsey Day-Farnsworth, Janine de la Salle, Luke Drake, Sheila Golden, Randel D. Hanson, Megan Horst, Nurgul Fitzgerald, Becca B. R. Jablonski, Laura Lawson, Kara Martin, Nathan McClintock, Alfonso Morales, Jayson Otto, Anne Pfeiffer, Anne Roubal, Todd M. Schmit, Erin Silva, Michael Simpson, Lauren Suerth, Dory Thrasher, Katinka Wijsman
By listening to and working alongside people trying to build a local food system in Iowa, Janssen uncovers the complex realities of making it work. Although the state is better known for its vast fields of conventionally grown corn and soybeans, it has long boasted a robust network of small, diverse farms, community supported agriculture enterprises, and farmers’ markets. As she picks tomatoes, processes wheatgrass, and joins a parents’ committee trying to buy local lettuce for a school lunch, Janssen asks how small farmers and CSA owners deal with farmers’ market regulations, neighbors who spray pesticides on crops or lawns, and sanitary regulations on meat processing and milk production. How can they meet the needs of large buyers like school districts? Who does the hard work of planting, weeding, harvesting, and processing? Is local food production benefitting rural communities as much as advocates claim?
In answering these questions, Janssen displays the pragmatism and level-headedness one would expect of the heartland, much like the farmers and processors profiled here. It’s doable, she states, but we’re going to have to do more than shop at our local farmers’ market to make it happen. This book is an ideal introduction to what local food means today and what it might be tomorrow.
From your burger to your soda, Gustafson unpacks how even the hyperlocal can cause worldwide ripples. For instance: American agricultural policy promoting corn and soybeans in beef farming means we feed more to cows than to hungry people. This is compounded by the environmental cost of factory livestock farming, rising obesity rates, and the false economics of unhealthfully high meat consumption.
The answer? Eat a hamburger—just make it a smaller, sustainably raised, grass-fed one. Gustafson—a young entrepreneur, foreign policy expert, and food policy advocate—delivers a wake-up call that will inspire even the most passive reader to take action. We can love our food and our country while being better stewards of our system and our health. We the Eaters is nothing short of a manifesto: If we change dinner, we really can change the world.
· The average American carries a "body burden" of 700 synthetic chemicals;
· Chemicals in tap water can cause reproductive abnormalities and hermaphroditic birth;
· One study of lactating women found perchlorate (a toxic component of rocket fuel) in practically every mother's breast milk.
In the face of this national health crisis, Fitzgerald presents informed and practical suggestions for what we can do to turn the tide and live healthier lives.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Eating in the Dark tells the story of how these new foods quietly entered America’s food supply. Kathleen Hart explores biotechnology’s real potential to enhance nutrition and cut farmers’ expenses. She also reveals the process by which American government agencies decided not to label genetically modified food, and not to require biotech companies to perform even basic safety tests on their products. Combining a balanced perspective with a sense of urgency, Eating in the Dark is a captivating and important story account of the science and politics propelling the genetic alteration of our food.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In a little more than a century, the Japanese diet has undergone a dramatic transformation. In 1900, a plant-based, near-subsistence diet was prevalent, with virtually no consumption of animal protein. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, Japan's consumption of meat, fish, and dairy had increased markedly (although it remained below that of high-income Western countries). This dietary transition was a key aspect of the modernization that made Japan the world's second largest economic power by the end of the twentieth century, and it has helped Japan achieve an enviable demographic primacy, with the world's highest life expectancy and a population that is generally healthier (and thinner) than that of other modern affluent countries. In this book, Vaclav Smil and Kazuhiko Kobayashi examine Japan's gradual but profound dietary change and investigate its consequences for health, longevity, and the environment.
Smil and Kobayashi point out that the gains in the quality of Japan's diet have exacted a price in terms of land use changes, water requirements, and marine resource depletion; and because Japan imports so much of its food, this price is paid globally as well as domestically. The book's systematic analysis of these diverse consequences offers the most detailed account of Japan's dietary transition available in English.
With high demand for predator species like tuna and salmon, wealthy nations like the U.S. convert "reduction" species such as anchovies, mackerel, and sardines into feed for salmon and other farmed animals—even though these overlooked fish are packed with health-boosting Omega-3 fatty acids and could feed millions. By establishing science-based quotas, protecting wild habitats, and reducing bycatch (and treating anchovies and their like as food, not feed), Sharpless believes that effective ocean stewardship can put healthy, sustainable seafood on the table forever. To that end, Oceana has tapped 20-plus chefs, including Mario Batali, Eric Ripert, and Jose Andres for recipes that give us all a role to play in this revolutionary mission: to save the fish so that we can eat more fish.
The Farm Legacy Letters project, developed by the member-driven nonprofit Practical Farmers of Iowa, is designed to help farmers and farmland owners think about their farm’s future and talk about it with their families. An essential complement to handbooks on business succession, this book gathers the letters and stories of midwestern families about the land they cherish—how they acquired it, what they treasure most about it, and their hopes for its future. Some of the writers descend from families who have owned a particular patch of the earth since the 1800s, while others became farmland owners more recently—one as recently as 2015. Some are no longer farmland owners at all, because—after careful thought about what mattered most to them—they sold their land to the next generation of farmers.
All of these writers hope that, by sharing their farmland legacies, they will encourage others to ponder and then write about the histories, accomplishments, challenges, and hopes for their farmland for the generations who come after they are gone.
The networks Latin@s create, the types of identities they fashion through food, and their relationship to the US food industry are analyzed to understand Latin@s as active creators of food-based communities, as distinctive cultural representations, and as professionals. This vibrant new collection acknowledges issues of labor conditions, economic politics, and immigration laws—structural vulnerabilities that certainly cannot be ignored—and strives to understand more fully the active and conscious ways that Latina@s create spaces to maneuver global and local food systems.
Bringing together fieldwork, interviews, and materials from archives and the media on both sides of the Atlantic, DeSoucey offers a compelling look at the moral arguments and provocative actions of pro- and anti-foie gras forces. She combines personal stories with fair-minded analysis of the social contexts within which foie gras is loved and loathed. From the barns of rural southwest France and the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels, to exclusive New York City kitchens and the government offices of Chicago, DeSoucey demonstrates that the debates over foie gras involve heated and controversial politics. Her rich and nuanced account draws our attention to the cultural dynamics of markets, the multivocal nature of "gastropolitics," and the complexities of what it means to identify as a "moral" eater in today's food world.
Investigating the causes and consequences of the foie gras wars, Contested Tastes illuminates the social significance of food and taste in the twenty-first century.
Agribusiness has known for decades that packing thousands of birds or livestock together results in a monoculture that selects for such disease. But market economics doesn't punish the companies for growing Big Flu – it punishes animals, the environment, consumers, and contract farmers. Alongside growing profits, diseases are permitted to emerge, evolve, and spread with little check. “That is,” writes evolutionary biologist Rob Wallace, “it pays to produce a pathogen that could kill a billion people.”
In Big Farms Make Big Flu, a collection of dispatches by turns harrowing and thought-provoking, Wallace tracks the ways influenza and other pathogens emerge from an agriculture controlled by multinational corporations. Wallace details, with a precise and radical wit, the latest in the science of agricultural epidemiology, while at the same time juxtaposing ghastly phenomena such as attempts at producing featherless chickens, microbial time travel, and neoliberal Ebola. Wallace also offers sensible alternatives to lethal agribusiness. Some, such as farming cooperatives, integrated pathogen management, and mixed crop-livestock systems, are already in practice off the agribusiness grid.While many books cover facets of food or outbreaks, Wallace's collection appears the first to explore infectious disease, agriculture, economics and the nature of science together. Big Farms Make Big Flu integrates the political economies of disease and science to derive a new understanding of the evolution of infections. Highly capitalized agriculture may be farming pathogens as much as chickens or corn.
Dismantling the artificial boundaries that can divide American and Latin American history, Tore Olsson shows how the agrarian histories of both regions share far more than we realize. He traces the connections between the US South and the plantation zones of Mexico, places that suffered parallel problems of environmental decline, rural poverty, and gross inequities in land tenure. Bringing this tumultuous era vividly to life, he describes how Roosevelt’s New Deal drew on Mexican revolutionary agrarianism to shape its program for the rural South. Olsson also looks at how the US South served as the domestic laboratory for the Rockefeller Foundation’s “green revolution” in Mexico—which would become the most important Third World development campaign of the twentieth century—and how the Mexican government attempted to replicate the hydraulic development of the Tennessee Valley Authority after World War II.
Rather than a comparative history, Agrarian Crossings is an innovative history of comparisons and the ways they affected policy, moved people, and reshaped the landscape.
It's hard to think of a subject more fundamental to the sustenance of the human race than seeds. Having coevolved with the Earth's plants, insects, and animals, seeds are entwined with the core myths of ancient cultures and the development of human consciousness. Their story remains vitally important today, as the corporations that manufacture GMOs threaten our food security and the future of seed-cultivated agriculture.
The stakes, for those concerned with preserving biodiversity and ecological integrity, are high. Balancing a wide view of politics and history, Chaskey alights from life on the farm he has cultivated for 25 years to conjure Gregor Mendel's breeding experiments that yielded our modern understanding of genetics; he also introduces us to several "bioneers," such as the geobotanist Nikolay Vavilov and agriculturalist Cary Fowler, who are preserving global biodiversity through seeds. Integrating scholarship with accessible storytelling, Seedtime is a celebration as well as a call to action urging us to renew our role as citizens of nature, in ecologist Aldo Leopold's phrase, not as conquerors of it.
Fortunately, scientists are finding new solutions that work with, rather than against, nature. Emily Monosson explores science's minnovative strategies, from high-tech gene editing to the ancipractice of fecal transplants. There are viruses that infect and bust apart bacteria; vaccines engineered to better provoke our natural defenses; and insect pheromones that throw crop-destroying moths into a misguided sexual frenzy. Some technologies will ultimately fizzle; others may hold the key to abundant food and unprecedented health. Each represents a growing understanding of how to employ ecology for our own protection.
Monosson gives readers a peek into the fascinating and hopeful world of natural defenses. Her book is full of optimism, not simply for particular cures, but for a sustainable approach to human welfare that will benefit generations to come.
"Berry's essays, continuing arguments begun in The Unsettling of America 40 years ago, will be familiar to longtime readers, blending his farm work with his interests in literature old and new . . . Vintage Berry sure to please and instruct his many admirers." ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"[Berry] has never written better." ―Booklist (starred review)
Wendell Berry’s profound critique of American culture has entered its sixth decade, and in this gathering he reaches with deep devotion toward a long view of Agrarian philosophy. Mr. Berry believes that American cultural problems are nearly always aligned with their agricultural problems, and recent events have shone a terrible spotlight on the divides between our urban and rural citizens. Our communities are as endangered as our landscapes. There is, as Berry outlines, still much work to do, and our daily lives—in hope and affection—must triumph over despair.
Mr. Berry moves deftly between the real and the imagined. The Art of Loading Brush is an energetic mix of essays and stories, including “The Thought of Limits in a Prodigal Age,” which explores Agrarian ideals as they present themselves historically and as they might apply to our work today. “The Presence of Nature in the Natural World” is added here as the bookend of this developing New Agrarianism. Four stories extend the Port William story as it follows Andy Catlett throughout his life to this present moment. Andy works alongside his grandson in “The Art of Loading Brush,” one of the most moving and tender stories of the entire Port William cycle. Filled with insights and new revelations from a mind thorough in its considerations and careful in its presentations, The Art of Loading Brush is a necessary and timely collection.