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A quiet revolution is taking place: People across the United States are turning toward local food. Some are doing it because they want more nutritious, less-processed food; some want to preserve the farmland and rural character of their regions; some fear interruptions to the supply of non-local food; some want to support their local economy; and some want safer food with less threat of contamination. But this revolution comes with challenges.
Reclaiming Our Food tells the stories of people across America who are finding new ways to grow, process, and distribute food for their own communities. Their successes offer both inspiration and practical advice.
The projects described in this book are cropping up everywhere, from urban lots to rural communities and everywhere in between. In Portland, Oregon, an organization called Growing Gardens installs home gardens for low-income families and hosts follow-up workshops for the owners. Lynchburg Grows, in Lynchburg, Virginia, bought an abandoned 6.5-acre urban greenhouse business and turned it into an organic farm that offers jobs to people with disabilities and sells its food through a local farmers' market and a CSA. Sunburst Trout Farm, a small family business in rural North Carolina, is showing that it’s possible to raise fish sustainably and sell to a local market. And in Asheville, North Carolina, Growing Minds is finding ways to help bring fresh foods into schools. Author Tanya Denckla Cobb offers behind-the-scenes profiles of more than 50 food projects across the United States, with lessons and advice straight from their founders and staff. Photographic essays of 11 community food projects, by acclaimed photographer Jason Houston, detail the unusual work of these projects, bringing it to life in unforgettable images.
Reclaiming Our Food is a practical guide for building a local food system. Where others have made the case for the local food movement, Reclaiming Our Food shows how communities are actually making it happen. This book offers a wealth of information on how to make local food a practical and affordable part of everyone's daily fare.
Author: Tanya Denckla Cobb
Could heritage grains, and the ancient ways they were grown, hold the key to restoring the staff of life to our modern diets? Long considered the Western world’s staple food, modern wheat has been drastically transformed over the past century by the food industry. With these changes, concerns have risen over intolerance and so-called “wheat belly.” What changed? The way that we grow our wheat and the modern varieties have made possible enormous harvests, but with those come steep hidden costs. Large industrial farming, dependent on monocultures and the heavy use of fertilizers and herbicides, have deleterious effects not only on our own health but on our land, water, and environment as a whole. Fortunately, heritage “landrace” wheats—crops that have been selected over generations to be well adapted to their local environments—do not need bio-chemical interventions to grow well and yield bountifully in organic fields. Yet these robust and diverse wheats that nourished our ancestors for generations are nearly extinct today. In Restoring Heritage Grains, author Eli Rogosa invites readers to discover “forgotten” grains: diverse, landrace wheat varieties such as emmer, a strain domesticated in the Fertile Crescent that is perfect for pasta and flatbreads; Rouge de Bordeaux, a French heritage wheat beloved by Europe’s artisan bakers; and delicious einkorn, the most ancient wheat of all, which is drought-resilient and heat-tolerant, and contains more protein and minerals than other grains. These and the many other heritage grains each have a lineage intertwined with that of the human species and can and should be grown once again. Combining the history of grain growing and society, in-depth practical advice on landrace wheat husbandry, wheat folktales and mythology, and recipes for beers, breads, and pastries, Restoring Heritage Grains invites readers to explore a rich history that has been overshadowed by modern industrial wheat. In the end, organically grown, diverse wheat may well be one of the best solutions to hunger, one that will be needed to feed the world’s growing population in the decades to come.
Author: ELI ROGOSA
Sourdough and other fermented foods are making a comeback because of their rich depth of flavor and proven health benefits. In Sourdough, Owens demystifies keeping a sourdough culture, which is an extended fermentation process that allows for maximum flavor and easy digestion. Laced with botanical and cultural notes on grains, fruits and vegetables, herbs, and even weeds, Sourdough celebrates seasonal abundance alongside the timeless craft of artisan baking.
Author: Sarah Owens
Southern Heirloom Cooking brings together treasured family recipes from the South. . This collection of more than 250 dishes includes their best ones. It’s food that’s traditional, full of marvelous flavor, and old timey.It’s food you’ll want to make again and again, and that you’ll want to pass on to your own loved ones.
Author: Norma Jean Mcqueen & Horace
In The Big Fat Surprise, investigative journalist Nina Teicholz reveals the unthinkable: that everything we thought we knew about dietary fat is wrong. She documents how the low-fat nutrition advice of the past 60 years has amounted to a vast uncontrolled experiment on the entire population, with disastrous consequences for our health.
For decades, we have been told that the best possible diet involves cutting back on fat, especially saturated fat, and that if we are not getting healthier or thinner it must be because we are not trying hard enough. But what if the low-fat diet is itself the problem? What if the very foods we’ve been denying ourselves—the creamy cheeses, the sizzling steaks—are themselves the key to reversing the epidemics of obesity, diabetes and heart disease?
In this captivating vibrant, and convincing narrative, based on a nine-year-long investigation, Teicholz shows how the misinformation about saturated fats took hold in the scientific community and the public imagination, and how recent findings have overturned these beliefs. She explains why the Mediterranean Diet is not the healthiest, and how we might be replacing trans fats with something even worse. This startling history demonstrates how nutrition science has gotten it so wrong: how overzealous researchers, through a combination of ego, bias and premature institutional consensus, have allowed dangerous misrepresentations to become dietary dogma.
With eye-opening scientific rigor, The Big Fat Surprise upends the conventional wisdom about all fats with the groundbreaking claim that more, not less, dietary fat—including saturated fat—is what leads to better health and wellness. Science shows that we have been needlessly avoiding meat, cheese, whole milk and eggs for decades and that we can now, guilt-free, welcome these delicious foods back into our lives.
Author: Nina Teicholz
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Just reading the word "subsidies" may cause people's eyes to glaze over. We don't think it affects us directly, so we tune out. But it turns out that this complicated-sounding issue has an enormous impact on all of us. The Big Handout is about bad fiscal, environmental, agricultural, water, energy, health, and foreign policies. And it's a story about just one thing-subsidies. A subsidy is a grant by the government to a private business that is deemed advantageous to the public. Cotton, wheat, corn, soy, and oil are the most subsidized commodities in the United States. In this eye-opening book, New York Times best-selling author Thomas Kostigen explores government policies that cost taxpayers $200 billion per year, over $1,500 per household. In some cases we pay more for subsidized goods than we'd pay in a free market-and, in the most shocking abuses of the subsidy system, we pay for goods that aren't even produced.
The Big Handout exposes how artificial pricing hurts us and people worldwide, from our waistlines and pocketbooks to our health. By revealing just how toxic America's subsidy system has become, for everyone, The Big Handout is a wake-up call that empowers readers to effect change.
Author: Thomas M Kostigen
Imagine the typical American farmer. Many people visualize sun-roughened skin, faded overalls, and calloused hands … hands that are usually white. While there's no doubt the growing trend of organic farming and homesteading is changing how the farmer is portrayed in mainstream media, farmers of color are still largely left out of the picture.
The Color of Food seeks to rectify this. By recognizing the critical issues that lie at the intersection of race and food, this stunning collection of portraits and stories challenges the status quo of agrarian identity. Author, photographer, and biracial farmer Natasha Bowens' quest to explore her own roots in the soil leads her to unearth a larger story, weaving together the seemingly forgotten history of agriculture for people of color, the issues they face today, and the culture and resilience they bring to food and farming.
The Color of Food teaches us that the food and farm movement is about more than buying local and protecting our soil. It is about preserving culture and community, digging deeply into the places we've overlooked, and honoring those who have come before us. Blending storytelling, photography, oral history, and unique insight, these pages remind us that true food sovereignty means a place at the table for everyone.
Author: Natasha Bowens
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An essential element in cuisines around the world, garlic enjoys near mythic status among cooks, chefs, foodies and enthusiasts of natural remedies. Worldwide, garlic cultivation occupies more than 2 million acres of farmland, an area that has more than doubled since 1970. Yet even garlic fanciers may be unable to tell hardneck from softneck, or Purple Stripe from Rocambole … not to mention the hundreds of cultivated varieties grown today, many with distinct differences in taste and character.
In fact, the wealth of garlic varieties in nearly a dozen horticultural groups rivals that of corn, carrots, apples and peaches. This book is the most comprehensive and in-depth guide available to what surely should be the next gourmet frontier. From 'Ajo Rojo' to 'Zemo', Ted Jordan Meredith presents illustrated profiles of nearly 150 cultivars. Detailed chapters cover natural history, the history of garlic in cultivation, the nuances of cuisine and culture, therapeutic benefits, plant structure, how to cultivate, curing and storage, taxonomy, pests and diseases, and chemistry.
Especially useful are the Quick Guides, which summarize information on growing and buying garlic and provide recommendations for the best-tasting cultivars for specific uses and climates. Lists of garlic sources and organizations are a boon to the aficionado.
Whether you share Ted Jordan Meredith's "garlic affliction" or just find the pungent bulb indispensable, you'll understand it as never before with this meticulously researched, lovingly written exploration.
Author: Ted Jordan Meredith
Long embraced by corporations that are driven only by the desire for profit, industrial agriculture wastes precious resources and spews millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year, exacerbating climate change and threatening the very earth and water on which we depend. However, this dominant system, from which Americans obtain most of their food, is being supplanted by a new paradigm.
The Emergent Agriculture is a collection of 14 thematic essays on sustainability viewed through the lens of farming. Arguing that industrial food production is incompatible with the realities of nature, science and ethics, this lyrical narrative makes the case for a locally based food system that is:
Author: Gary Kippel
There has never been a better time to make and sell great cheese. People worldwide are consuming more high-quality, handmade cheese than ever before. The number of artisan cheesemakers has doubled in recent years, and many of the industry's newcomers are "farmstead" producers — those who work only with the milk of their own animals. More than ever before, the people who choose to become farmer-cheesemakers need access to the knowledge of established cheese artisans who can help them build their dream.
Few career choices lead to such extremes of labor, emotion and monetary challenge. In The Farmstead Creamery Advisor, respected cheesemaker, instructor and speaker Gianaclis Caldwell walks would-be producers through the many, and often confusing, steps and decisions they will face when considering a career in this burgeoning cottage industry. This book fills the gap that exists between the pasture and cheese plate. It goes far beyond issues of caring for livestock and basic cheesemaking, explaining business issues such as:
Drawing from her own and other cheesemakers' experiences, Caldwell brings to life the story of creating a successful cheesemaking business in a practical, organized manner. Absolutely essential for anyone interested in becoming a licensed artisan cheesemaker, The Farmstead Creamery Advisor will also appeal to the many small and hobby-farm owners who already have milking animals and who wish to improve their home dairy practices and facilities.
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 to readers. For 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.
Author: Gianaclis Caldwell
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.
Author: Robin Mather
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.
Author: Ali Berlow
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.
Author: John Robbins
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.
Author: Sheldon Krimsky, Jeremy Gruber
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.
Author: Will Allen
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.
Author: Leeann Lavin
A gorgeously illustrated cookbook and guide to the world's most beautiful and delicious tomatoes.
Author: Amy Goldman
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.
Author: Joel Salatin