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The rapidly growing alternative food system is made up of people reclaiming their connections to their food and their health. A 40-year veteran of this movement, Mark Winne introduces us to innovative "local doers" leading the charge to bring nutritious, sustainable and affordable food to all. Heeding Emerson's call to embrace that great American virtue of self-reliance, these leaders in communities all across the country are defying the authority of the food conglomerates and taking matters into their own hands. They are turning urban wastelands into farms, creating local dairy collectives, preserving farmland and refusing to use genetically modified seed. They are not only bringing food education to children in elementary schools, they are also offering cooking classes to adults in diabetes-prone neighborhoods — and taking the message to college campuses as well. Such efforts promote food democracy and empower communities to create local food-policy councils, build a neighborhood grocery store in the midst of a food desert, or demand healthier school lunches for their kids. Winne's hope is that all of these programs, scaled up and adopted more widely, will ultimately allow the alternative food system to dethrone the industrial.
Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart-Cookin' Mamas challenges us to go beyond eating local to become part of a larger solution, demanding a system that sustains body and soul.
About the author
For 25 years Mark Winne was the executive director of the Hartford Food System in Hartford, Conn. He speaks and consults extensively on community food-system topics and is the author of Closing the Food Gap. Winne lives in Santa Fe, N.M.