Within a single week in 2009, food journalist Robin Mather found herself on the threshold of a divorce and laid off from her job at the Chicago Tribune. Forced into a radical life change, she returned to her native rural Michigan.
There she learned to live on a limited budget while remaining true to her culinary principles of eating well and as locally as possible. In The Feast Nearby, Mather chronicles her year-long project: preparing and consuming three home-cooked, totally seasonal, and local meals a day -- all on $40 a week.
With insight and humor, Mather explores the confusion and needful compromises in eating locally. She examines why local often trumps organic, and wonders why the USDA recommends white bread, powdered milk and instant orange drinks as part of its “low-cost” food budget program.
Through local eating, Mather forges connections with the farmers, vendors and growers who provide her with sustenance. She becomes more closely attuned to the nuances of each season, inhabiting her little corner of the world more fully, and building a life richer than she imagined it could be.
The Feast Nearby celebrates small pleasures: home-roasted coffee, a pantry stocked with home-canned green beans and homemade preserves, and the contented clucking of laying hens in the backyard. Mather also draws on her rich culinary knowledge to present nearly 100 seasonal recipes that are inspiring, enticing and economical -- cooking goals that don’t always overlap -- such as Pickled Asparagus with Lemon, Tarragon, and Garlic; Cider-Braised Pork Loin with Apples and Onions; and Cardamom-Coffee Toffee Bars.
Mather’s poignant, reflective narrative shares encouraging advice for aspiring locavores everywhere, and combines the virtues of kitchen thrift with the pleasures of cooking -- and eating -- well.
Robin is the senior associate editor of Mother Earth News.
Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books and products to readers. For more than 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.
Small steps can create big changes in your community’s food quality and food security, helping to get more healthy food to more people and support a better food system. Ali Berlow shows you dozens of things that anyone can do, from creating a neighborhood kitchen for preserving fresh food to mapping farmland, connecting food pantries with food producers, starting a school garden, and organizing a community composting initiative. Every action you take can help keep farmers on the land and family farms intact, keep money in the local economy, reduce the carbon footprint associated with food transportation, and preserve local landscapes. If you’ve had enough of E. coli scares, disappearing farmland, pesticide problems and hunger in your community, this inspiring book will show you exactly how one person can make a difference.
The book remains one of the most frequently cited and talked about works on food politics. It was one of the first to expose the dangers inherent in our factory farming system, to advocate a complete plant-based diet, and to discuss the negative health effects of eating genetically modified foods and animal products of all kinds.
Most of the processed foods on supermarket shelves (75%!) contain genetically engineered ingredients. These foods range from soda to soup, crackers to condiments, and their long-term effects on human health and ecology are still unknown. Public concern has been steadily intensifying. The GMO Deception, the new book from the Council for Responsible Genetics, gathers the best, most thought-provoking essays by the leading scientists, science writers and public health advocates on this subject. They address such questions as:
This definitive book encourages us to think about the social, environmental and moral ramifications of where this particular branch of biotechnology is taking us, and what we should do about it.
A pioneering urban farmer and MacArthur "Genius Award" winner points the way to building a new food system that can feed-and heal-broken communities.
The son of a sharecropper, Will Allen had no intention of ever becoming a farmer himself. But after years in professional basketball and as an executive for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Procter & Gamble, Allen cashed in his retirement fund for a two-acre plot a half mile away from Milwaukee's largest public housing project. The area was a food desert with only convenience stores and fast-food restaurants to serve the needs of local residents.
In the face of financial challenges and daunting odds, Allen built the country's preeminent urban farm-a food and educational center that now produces enough vegetables and fish year-round to feed thousands of people. Employing young people from the neighboring housing project and community, Growing Power has sought to prove that local food systems can help troubled youths, dismantle racism, create jobs, bring urban and rural communities closer together, and improve public health. Today, Allen's organization helps develop community food systems across the country.
An eco-classic in the making, The Good Food Revolution is the story of Will's personal journey, the lives he has touched, and a grassroots movement that is changing the way our nation eats.
As the movement to eat what is grown locally gains momentum, there is an increasing awareness of how best to incorporate this philosophy into our everyday lives. We can grow our own food and buy food grown locally at food cooperatives and markets, but what happens when we eat out? There are a number of chefs around the country dedicated to using only the freshest, locally grown ingredients in all the dishes they prepare and serve. This book takes the reader on a private tour of outstanding chefs of the Long Island area and their gardens. Each profile reflects the chef's personal style, cultural background, desire for healthy, just-picked ingredients, and gardening philosophy. Recipes, plant lists, garden layouts, and color photos are included.
Now in his first book written for a faith audience, Joel Salatin offers a deeply personal argument for earth stewardship, and calls for fellow Christians to join him in looking to the Bible for a foodscape in line with spiritual truth. Salatin urges Christians to rethink America's allegiance to cheap corporate food that destroys creation in its production, impoverishes Third World countries, and supports oligarchic interests.
In this book The Naked Cookbook, author Tess Ward shares her personal prescription for renewal: a collection of deliciously simple yet flavorful recipes composed of the most nutrient-rich and simple foods. This is not a deprivation diet but an achievable lifestyle where food is enjoyed and celebrated in its purest form. Lamb Meatballs with Rhubarb Sauce, Smoked Tofu Panzanella with Figs, Hot and Spicy Seafood Soup with Crispy Shallots, Soba Noodle Salad with Cucumber and Mango – these delicious dishes support and fuel the body while encouraging optimal health.
You haven’t become a true food-crafter until you’ve mastered the art of charcuterie, and who better to show you the ropes than nose-to-tail icon Jamie Bissonnette?
The New Charcuterie Cookbook features sausages, confits, salumi, and many other dishes for the home cook. With a wide variety of recipes such as Banana Leaf-Wrapped Porchetta, Lebanese Lamb Sausages, Mexican Chorizo, Traditional Saucisson Sec, and Simply Perfect Duck Prosciutto, you’ll have a whole chopping block full of fun and different flavors to try that are distinctively Bissonnette’s.
The urban landscape has swallowed vast swaths of prime farmland across North America. Imagine how much more self-reliant our communities would be if 30 million acres of lawns were made productive again. Permaculture is a practical way to apply ecological design principles to food, housing, and energy systems; making growing fruits, vegetables and livestock easier and more sustainable.
The Permaculture Handbook is a step-by-step, beautifully illustrated guide to creating resilient and prosperous households and neighborhoods, complemented by extensive case studies of three successful farmsteads and market gardens. This comprehensive manual casts garden farming as both an economic opportunity and a strategy for living well with less money. It shows how, by mimicking the intelligence of nature and applying appropriate technologies such as solar and environmental design, permaculture can:
In today’s era of rampant food allergies, gluten-free popularity, and the rise of paleo eating, putting together a meal that will satisfy everyone at your table is easier said than done. The long-awaited follow-up to The Recipe Hacker, The Recipe Hacker Confidential is bursting with more than 100 new recipes and stunning photos that will tantalize your taste buds while trimming your waist, with lighter versions of your favorite recipes. She also shares stories and musings throughout the book that will inspire, encourage, motivate, and propel you toward weight loss, better health, and culinary happiness.
Shunned by industrial farmers, vilified by corporate agri-business, and stalked by food police as being a lunatic, farmer-entrepreneur Joel Salatin enjoys the sheer ecstasy of being surrounded by happy, frolicking animals, dancing earthworms, and appreciative customers.
His family's farm nestled in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley has achieved iconic status worldwide by featuring prominently in the Oscar-nominated documentary, Food. Inc., and the documentary, Fresh," as well as the runaway New York Times best-seller The Omnivore's Dilemma. From his own pen, Salatin explains both the rationale for the satisfaction from a solar-driven, pastured-based, locally-marketed, symbiotic, synergistic, relationally-oriented farm.
This book describes, with stories and evangelistic fervor, the breadth and depth of the paradigm differences between healing and exploitive food systems. A landscape and food policy epiphany awaits every reader.
About the author
Joel Salatin and his family own and operate Polyface Farm, arguably the nation's most famous farm since it was profiled in Michael Pollan's New York Times best-seller, The Omnivore's Dilemma and two subsequent documentaries, "Food, Inc.", and "Fresh." An accomplished author and public speaker, Salatin has authored seven books. Recognition for his ecological and local-based farming advocacy includes an honorary doctorate, the Heinz Award, and many leadership awards.
Will Allen's War on Bugs reveals how advertisers, editors, scientists, large-scale farmers, government agencies and even Dr. Seuss colluded to convince farmers to use deadly chemicals, hormones and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to pad their wallets and control the American farm enterprise.
The Whole Okra is a lighthearted but information-rich collection of okra history, lore, recipes, craft projects, growing advice, and more. Follow along with author Chris Smith as he recounts what he’s learned from various chefs, food historians, university researchers, farmers, homesteaders, and gardeners.
In Tomatoes, a Savor the South cookbook, Miriam Rubin gives this staple of Southern gardens the passionate portrait it deserves. She explores the tomato's rich history in Southern culture while inspiring home cooks to fully enjoy these summer fruits in all their glorious variety. Rubin, a prominent food writer and tomato connoisseur, provides 50 vibrant recipes as well as wisdom about how to choose tomatoes and which tomato is right for which dish.
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Supermarket produce sections bulging with a year-round supply of perfectly round, bright red-orange tomatoes have become all but a national birthright. But in Tomatoland, which is based on his James Beard Award-winning article, "The Price of Tomatoes," investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook reveals the huge human and environmental cost of the $5 billion fresh tomato industry. Fields are sprayed with more than 100 different herbicides and pesticides. Tomatoes are picked hard and green and artificially gassed until their skins acquire a marketable hue. Modern plant breeding has tripled yields, but has also produced fruits with dramatically reduced amounts of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C, and tomatoes that have 14 times more sodium than the tomatoes our parents enjoyed. The relentless drive for low costs has fostered a thriving modern-day slave trade in the United States. How have we come to this point?
Estabrook traces the supermarket tomato from its birthplace in the deserts of Peru to the impoverished town of Immokalee, Fla., aka the tomato capital of the United States. He visits the laboratories of seedsmen trying to develop varieties that can withstand the rigors of agribusiness and still taste like a garden tomato, and then moves on to commercial growers who operate on tens of thousands of acres, and eventually to a hillside field in Pennsylvania, where he meets an obsessed farmer who produces delectable tomatoes for the nation's top restaurants.
Throughout Tomatoland, Estabrook presents a who's who cast of characters in the tomato industry: the avuncular octogenarian whose conglomerate grows one out of every eight tomatoes eaten in the United States; the ex-Marine who heads the group that dictates the size, color and shape of every tomato shipped out of Florida; the U.S. attorney who has doggedly prosecuted human traffickers for the past decade; and the Guatemalan peasant who came north to earn money for his parents' medical bills and found himself enslaved for two years.
Tomatoland reads like a suspenseful whodunit as well as an exposé of today's agribusiness systems and the price we pay as a society when we take taste and thought out of our food purchases.
In Traditionally Fermented Foods, author Shannon Stonger shows readers how to preserve food using traditional fermentation techniques, often without refrigeration. An alternative to canning and freezing, traditionally fermented foods do not require modern technology to preserve. You can learn Stonger’s authentic preservation technique, which she depends on daily to put food on the table, so you know they work. You can also learn how fermented foods work, how to make fermented foods and how to use fermented foods in recipes. This book contains over 80 recipes with corresponding photos.
Barton Seaver's second, seminal book on seafood cookery, after For Cod and Country, offers more than 150 new mouthwatering recipes, including entrees, salads, appetizers, soups, pastas, stews, sides, and sauces. This emphasis has made Seaver, already an acclaimed chef and restaurateur, one of the most important voices of the sustainability movement. The book is full of helpful advice on buying, choosing, and making the most of your ingredients, and it also includes an essential guide to seafood prep and cooking techniques (a must for all seafood lovers).
This is the story of a man, a cow, and a question: What am I eating?
After realizing he knows more about the television on his wall than the food on his plate, award-winning TV producer and amateur chef Jared Stone buys 420 pounds of beef directly from a rancher and embarks on a hilarious and inspiring culinary adventure. With the help of an incredibly supportive wife and a cadre of highly amused friends, Stone offers a glimpse at one man's family as they try to learn about their food and ask themselves what's really for dinner.
Year of the Cow follows the trials and tribulations of a home cook as he begins to form a deeper relationship with food and the environment. From meeting the rancher who raised his cow to learning how to successfully pack a freezer with cow parts, Stone gets to know his bovine and delves into our diets and eating habits, examining the ethnography of cattle, how previous generations ate, why environmentalists and real food aficionados are mad for grass-fed beef, why certain cuts of beef tend to end up on our plates (while boldly experimenting with the ones that don't), and much more.
Over the course of dozens of nose-to-tail meals, Stone cooks his way through his cow, armed with a pioneering spirit and a good sense of humor. He becomes more mindful of his diet, makes changes to his lifestyle, and bravely confronts challenges he never expected; like how to dry beef jerky without attracting the neighborhood wildlife to the backyard, and how to find deliciousness in the less-common cuts of meat (like the tongue and heart). And at the end of each chapter, he shares a recipe.
By examining the food that fuels his life and pondering why we eat the way we do, Stone and his family slowly discover how to live a life more fully, and experience a world of culinary adventures along the way.