April 2, 2015
Kitchen gardening, the future of food, stories of food heroes, delicious recipes, and family farming are just a few of the topics of the books on the Food Tank Spring Reading List. Food Tank is a non profit organization working to build a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. Thanks to Danielle Nierenberg and Sarah Small of Food Tank for sharing these great selections with Eco News Network readers.
Here are 20 books that share information about where our food comes from and how to support our local food system so that we can have can have a hand in alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty in our communities and across the globe.
Eco News Network and Food Tank hope you’ll add them to your spring reading list:
1. A Little Piece of Earth: How to Grow Your Own Food in Small Spaces by Maria Finn
Finn’s guide includes manageable projects for any level gardener. Geared towards cultivating in small spaces, this book is an easy guide to growing your own food. It is filled with more than 50 projects for readers to try at home from sprouting shiitake mushrooms to building a vineyard trellis to harvesting vanilla pods.
2. Apples of Uncommon Character: Heirlooms, Modern Classics, and Little-Known Wonders by Rowan Jacobsen
Jacobsen reveals there are more varieties of apples than many of us ever imagined existed. This book describes 123 heirloom apple varieties and the many ways each variety can be used. It also includes a guide for buying and growing your own apples.
3. Depolarizing Food and Agriculture: An Economic Approach by Andrew Barkley and Paul W. Barkley
Barkley and Barkley investigate a variety of topics in this book including industrial versus sustainable agriculture; conventional versus organic production methods; and global versus local food. The authors propose a diverse set of solutions to reduce divisions and promote social well-being for the planet.
4. Eat Your Greens: The Surprising Power of Homegrown Leaf Crops by David Kennedy
This book is a guide for incorporating leafy greens into your kitchen garden. From such unexpected leaf sources as sweet potato and okra, Kennedy shows how these highly nutritious foods are easily grown at home. He also provides tips on improving soil with edible cover crops.
5. Farmbook: Women in Farming Special Issue by Grid Magazine
This special issue of Farmbook highlights women who are raising goats, growing peppers for hot sauce, engaging children in agriculture, and creating networks of support. All the women featured in this issue are part of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.
6. Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat by Philip Lymbery
From China to Argentina, Lymbery investigates farm animals in the context of the global food industry. This book was written to educate eaters and consumers on the true cost of cheap meat as well as present solutions for more sustainable farming practices.
7. Food Security Governance: Empowering Communities, Regulating Corporations by Nora McKeon
This book analyzes how the international community has addressed food issues since World War II. McKeon discusses food security in the context of global governance and emphasizes a right-based approach to solving food issues, including the involvement of the Committee on World Food Security.
8. Mastering my Mistakes in the Kitchen: Learning to Cook with 65 Great Chefs and Over 100 Delicious Recipes by Dana Cowin
Cowin, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine, learns to cook with chefs including Alice Waters, Tom Colicchio, Thomas Keller, and more. This cookbook includes 100 recipes ideal for the home cook.
9. My Organic Life: How a Pioneering Chef Helped Shape the Way We Eat Today by Nora Pouillon with Laura Fraser On Sale April 21, 2015!
In 1979, Nora Pouillon opened the first certified organic restaurant in the United States. In her memoir, Pouillon discusses her mission to bring delicious, wholesome food to the American table. Pouillon weaves post-war culinary history into the beginning of the farm to table movement.
10. The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience, and Farming by Natasha Bowens
This gathering of stories and portraits showcases the diversity of farmers. Bowens highlights the intersection between race and food throughout agricultural history. She argues the food and farming movement is more than buying local— it is about preserving culture and tradition.
11. The Emergent Agriculture: Farming, Sustainability, and the Return of the Local Economy by Gary Kleppel
This is a collection of 14 thematic essays focused on sustainability through the lens of farming. Kleppel writes about the benefits of local food systems using his experience as a farmer-ecologist. This book paints the future of food and discusses a growing food revolution.
12. The Evolving Sphere of Food Security by Rosamond Naylor
Naylor explores the connection between food security and other types of security such as water, energy, health, climate, environment, and national. Naylor includes personal stories from on-the-ground researchers and policy advisors to trace key areas of food security.
13. The Founding Farmers Cookbook by Founding Farmers
This cookbook contains 100 recipes from one of the United States’ most popular and sustainable restaurants, Founding Farmers. The recipes incorporate ingredients that can be found at the local farmers’ market and include dishes such as Yankee Pot Roast and Southern Pan-Fried Chicken and Waffles.
14. The Gourmet Butcher’s Guide to Meat: How to Source it Ethically, Eat it Professionally, and Prepare it Properly by Cole Ward
As a butcher in Vermont, Ward explains and teaches sustainable meat production through whole animal butchery. This book is great for readers interested in understanding the process of meat, from animal to plate. Ward describes a holistic system of raising, slaughtering, and marketing that honors the animal and the consumer.
15. The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé On Sale November 16, 2015!
An exploration of how microbes are transforming the way we see nature and ourselves—and could revolutionize agriculture and medicine. This book lays out the astonishing reality we’ve been missing in the soil beneath our feet and right inside our bodies—our world depends on a foundation of invisible life. The authors take readers through major milestones in agriculture and medicine to untangle our uneasy relationship with microbes.
16. The New Greenmarket Cookbook: Recipes and Tips from Today’s Finest Chefs– And the Stories Behind the Farms that Inspire Them by Gabrielle Langholtz
New York’s Greenmarket, founded in 1976 with 12 farmers in a parking lot, is now the largest and most diverse network in the U.S. It includes 54 markets and more than 230 family farms, bakeries, and fisheries. This cookbook celebrates the local food and connections made at the Greenmarket with chapters organized by season and recipes by top chefs.
17. The Nourishing Homestead: One Back-to-the-Land Family’s Plan for Cultivating Soil, Skills, and Spirit by Ben Hewitt
Hewitt’s family lives in northern Vermont, where he, his wife, and two sons grow fruit and vegetable gardens, perennials, fruit and nut trees, and operate a blueberry patch. They focus on nutrient-dense food and show how families can be self-sufficient, no matter the size of their land.
18. The Real Food Revolution: Healthy Eating, Green Groceries, and the Return of the American Family by Tim Ryan
U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan created this audio program to give citizens easy, actionable steps to take at home, from starting an herb garden to advocating for healthy school food. His discusses ideas such as replacing run-down neighborhoods with farms and increasing conviviality in order to improve the lives of future generations.
19. The Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong by Judith Rodin
The global increase in natural disasters, disease, and social collapse has left many people unstable and has destroyed communities, according to Rodin. This book discusses the urgent need to bounce back through building resilience, both economically and socially. Rodin uses cities such as Medellin, Colombia, and Tulsa, OK, as examples.
20. What the Fork Are You Eating? by Stefanie Sacks
Sacks demystifies common food labels including natural, grass-fed, sugar-free, and antibiotic-free in this eaters’ guide for the pantry and the plate. Sacks explains how to remove harmful ingredients from one’s diet and provides 50 easy recipes with healthier alternatives.
Click here for more info and links to where you can find these books.
Reprinted with permission from Danielle Nierenberg and Sarah Small of Food Tank.