Resetting the Table: Eating in the Age of Climate Change, Part 2


Rural Farm At Sunset Haze
Photo by Pixabay/

This post is a follow-up to my last post with the same title, where I reviewed Jonathan Kauffman's Hippie Food, and a post from September 2019 titled, “Responding to Eco-Anxiety: Educating the Next Generation Back to the Land.”

As an urban micro-farmer working in an era of climate change, I often wonder what, if any, impact I’m making on the food system. Is there any point in operating a farm that only feeds a dozen or so households each season? Can or should I be focusing my energies on growing fewer crops in larger quantities? Would my time and energy be better spent working for environmental policy change and food access on a broader scale?

Amanda Little’s book The Fate of Food (2018) suggests that, as with so many things, the answer to these questions is “both/and”. Yes, I’m making a direct impact on those I serve, providing them with fresher food with a lower carbon footprint and, together, we are demonstrating an alternative way to feed people in our city. Yes, I should focus on what I’ve been successful at growing rather than wasting space, time, and water trying to grow crops that consistently fail me. And yes, I must also financially support larger-scale efforts and advocate for changes that will impact all citizens of my city, state, country, and the world-at-large.

Book Cover The Fate Of Food
Photo by Jodi Kushins

 ‘All the Delicious Foods are Dying’

I first heard about Little’s book on the podcast Bite from Mother Jones. I highly recommend all the episodes in their series Eating in Climate Crisis. Little was featured in the first episode, “All the Delicious Foods are Dying.” As soon as the episode was over, I requested her book from my local library. It’s a long read, but well worth the time and attention.

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