22 Great Reads To Stay Warm With This Winter
Food Tank has gathered the latest books for Winter 2018 to feed your voracious appetite for reading! From North America’s fisheries and oceans to Australia’s sunburned landscapes and regenerative farmers, these books cover a range of themes. Discover the growing movements for land and culinary justice, how capitalism shapes the food system, or how to incorporate insects into a dessert menu. Whether you’re looking for inspiration in the kitchen or beginning your journey as a food activist, there are plenty of great books below to choose from to help feed your imagination.
1. America: The Cookbook, Gabrielle Langholtz
A compendium of 800 home-cooking recipes from across all 50 states of America that covers every region’s specialties and a range of cultural cuisines. America: The Cookbook acknowledges the culinary influences and contributions of both Native Americans and immigrant populations—with dishes such as lamb tenderloins wrapped in saltbush and Korean pancakes with kimchi. The final third of the book contains essays from influential chefs and food writers from each state, such as chef and activist Alice Waters and restaurant critic Jonathan Gold.
2. American Seafood: Heritage, Culture & Cookery From Sea to Shining Sea, Barton Seaver
American Seafood is an ode to American fisher communities and fishworkers past and present and the diverse species of fish harvested in the United States. Part reference guide, part historical archive, part cookbook, this book details America’s evolving relationship with seafood. Written by the Director of the Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative at Harvard’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, Barton Seaver, he asserts that human health depends on the health of the ocean.
3. A Foodie’s Guide to Capitalism: Understanding the Political Economy of What We Eat, Eric Holt-Giménez
In his latest book, A Foodies Guide to Capitalism, Eric Holt-Giménez asserts that the food system cannot be transformed without addressing the economic system of capitalism. Delving into the economic and political context of the food system, this book explores the commoditization of food and land as well as issues of power, privilege, and exploitation across the food chain. Intended as “an intellectual toolkit” for food activists, A Foodies Guide to Capitalism affirms that “to create a good, clean, and fair food system, we will have to transform the capitalist system itself.”
4. A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet, Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore
A book for students, activists, and academics to develop an understanding of capitalism “not just as an economic system but a way of organizing the relations between humans and the rest of nature.” Historicizing the cheapening of seven things—nature, money, work, care, food, energy, and lives—authors Patel and Moore demonstrate how capitalism has transformed the world and will shape its future, while presenting more just and equitable ways of moving forward.
5. Best Before: The Evolution and Future of Processed Food, Nicola Temple. Forthcoming April, 2018
Best Before explores the methods scientists use to improve food longevity and increase the food supply and how processing methods have significantly evolved. From speeding up the time it takes for cheese to mature to developing 3D-printed pizzas, Best Before shows how many common foods have been modified in response to corporate demand, consumer desires, health concerns, innovation, and even war. Biologist and science writer Temple equips readers with information about the technological advancements and techniques that underlie food processing so that they may make informed decisions about their food.
6. Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture–A New Earth, Charles Massy
Author and farmer Charles Massy explores transformative and regenerative agriculture across the Australian landscape. In this book, Massy details his personal transformation as a farmer–from having poor soils due to consistent chemical use to carefully regenerating a 2000-hectare property to a state of natural health. Championing innovative farmers and the grassroots regenerative agriculture movement, Call of the Reed Warbler offers a path forward for growing and consuming healthy food.
7. Chai, Chaat & Chutney: A Street Food Journey Through India, Chetna Makan
Cookbook author Chetna Makan takes readers on her journey across the four corners of India–Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai–detailing the varieties of street food and ingredients on offer. From the tamarind-stuffed chilies in Chennai to the lentil dumplings of Delhi, this cookbook provides a range of regional recipes interspersed with personal stories and explanations of the nuances of each area and each dish.
8. Eat Less Water, Florencia Ramirez
After a seven-year and 16,000 mile journey of American water sustainable farms, Florencia Ramirez reveals how food production and consumption impact global water usage in Eat Less Water. With interviews farmers, ranchers, chocolatiers, tequila makers, and others, Eat Less Water suggests that the movement to save water resources starts in the kitchen. Each chapter provides recipes to support a less resource-intensive diet and more sustainable agriculture practices.
9. Feed the Resistance: Recipes and Ideas for Getting Involved, Julia Turshen
A collection of recipes, essays, and resources for food activists old and new, this book is a reminder of the power of food to inform, transform, and bring people together. Recipes are mindful of affordability, time, and dietary requirements, ranging from “easy meals for folks who are too busy resisting to cook” to “feeding the masses”. All proceeds from the book will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union.
10. Forgotten Agricultural Heritage: Reconnecting Food Systems and Sustainable Development, Parviz Koohafkan and Miguel Altieri
This book is a compilation of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) based on family farms, traditional indigenous knowledge, and agroecological principles from around the world. Spanning mountain terrace systems in Asia, rice-fish culture in China, coffee agroforestry in Latin America, and more, Koohafkan and Altieri demonstrate how agricultural heritage is the basis for sustainable food systems and food security.
11. Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat, Jonathan Kauffman
James Beard Award–winning food journalist Jonathan Kauffman traces the organic agricultural movement back to its inception in the 1960s and 1970s and its evolution and impact on American diets to date. Spanning the U.S., from Oregon to Minnesota to Tennessee, Hippie Food chronicles how the longhairs, revolutionaries, and back-to-the-landers turned niche food products like brown rice and whole-grain bread into everyday staples. Tracing the rise of food co-operatives and organic food consumption, Kauffman documents the nationwide natural food revolution through interviews with organic farmers, homesteaders, chefs, and co-op employees.
12. Land Justice: Reimagining Land, Food, and the Commons in the United States, Justine M. Williams (editor), Eric Holt-Giménez (editor)
Land Justice presents a path forward toward democratized, land justice, for a more equitable, sustainable, and sovereign agriculture system. This edited volume features essays and interviews from a range of activists and scholars, exploring themes such as black agrarianism, land access and the rise of indigenous leadership, and urban land-grabbing and the movement for community-based control.
13. Mainstreaming Agrobiodiversity in Sustainable Food Systems: Scientific Foundations for an Agrobiodiversity Index, Bioversity International
This downloadable book highlights the multiple links between agricultural biodiversity and healthy nutrition, sustainable food production, resilience, and ecosystem services. It presents
evidence that investments in agricultural biodiversity can play a critical role in addressing pressing global issues such as poverty and malnutrition, environmental degradation, and climate change. Bioversity International proposes the development of an Agrobiodiversity Index to help guide governments, companies, private and public investors, farmers, and consumer groups in strengthening agricultural biodiversity.
14. Nourished Planet: Sustainability in the Global Food System, Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition, and Danielle Nierenberg (editor). Forthcoming, June 2018.
Drawing on the diverse experiences and knowledge of renowned international experts, Nourished Planet charters a map for growing and consuming food sustainably now and in the future. Featuring essays and interviews from global food sustainability leaders such as Hans Herren, Vandana Shiva, Alexander Mueller, and Pavan Suhkdev, among many others, Nourished Planet offers a global plan for food for sustainable growth, health, culture, and most importantly, for all.
15. On Eating Insects: Essays, Stories and Recipes, Nordic Food Lab, Joshua Evans, Roberto Flore, and Michael Bom Frøst
On Eating Insects explores the potential of insects as a sustainable and renewable protein source and the cultures and cuisines that already utilize them. This book presents essays on the cultural, political, and ecological significance of eating insects, as well as tasting notes and recipes by the Nordic Food Lab, including Anty Gin and Tonic and Moth Mousse.
16. Replenish, Sandra Postel
Exploring contemporary water challenges and innovative water projects from all over the world, Replenish uncovers new, sustainable solutions to ensure a secure water future. From the Mississippi River, where farmers are planting cover crops to reduce polluted runoff, to California, where farmers are using floodwaters to recharge groundwater reserves, Postel showcases successful water solutions that work with, rather than against, nature’s rhythms.
17. Stand Together or Starve Alone: Unity and Chaos in the U.S. Food Movement, Mark Winne
Authored by 45-year food activist Mark Winne, this book documents the evolution of the U.S. food movement since its inception in the 1960s, detailing its growth and variety of interests, organizations, and sectors. Highlighting how these divergent interests have created a lack of unity amongst food movement actors, this book demonstrates how effective solutions to America’s food problems depend upon people coming together and working more constructively. With proven examples from cities and states and interviews with some of the nation’s leading food activists and academics, this book presents a number strategies to help strengthen the U.S. food movement.
18. The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, Michael Twitty
Culinary historian and author of the blog Afroculinaria, Michael W. Twitty, explores the history of African-American cooking and and how it has shaped the Southern American culinary tradition. The book follows Twitty’s journey, known as “The Southern Discomfort Tour”, as he pursues the origins of soul food and all Southern cuisine, as well as his family history from Africa to America. Twitty affirms that the knowledge and stories of our ancestors is critical to revealing the true history of our food. The project and tour continue.
19. The Immigrant Cookbook: Recipes That Make America Great, Leyla Moushabeck (editor)
The Immigrant Cookbook celebrates the culinary diversity of the many ethnic groups that contribute to America’s vibrant food culture. This cookbook features recipes by renowned immigrant chefs, owners of Michelin-star restaurants, and food writers and experts from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Europe. Contributors include award-winning Mexican-American chef and TV personality, Aarón Sánchez, food writer, TV host, and cookbook author, Barbara Abdeni Massaad, and French chef and restaurateur, Daniel Boulud.
20. The Lean Farm Guide to Growing Vegetables In-Depth Techniques for Efficient Organic Production, from Seed to Market, Ben Hartman
Author and farmer Ben Hartman details the Japanese practice of kaizen, or continuous improvement, that he and his staff use at Clay Bottom Farm. Through cutting down on waste—of time, labor, space, money, and more—every year, Hartman demonstrates how implementing “lean” thinking can help market vegetable growers become more successful. Providing tested methods such as making and applying simple composts, and “lean” techniques for greenhouses or pest and weed control, The Lean Farm Guide offers strategies for farmers to become waste-free and more profitable.
21. The New Food Activism: Opposition, Cooperation, and Collective Action, Alison Alkon (editor) and Julie Guthman (editor)
The New Food Activism explores how food activism can be pushed toward deeper engagement with social, racial, and economic justice to advocate for more transformational shifts in the food system. Topics examined include struggles against pesticides and GM crops in California, efforts to improve labor conditions for food and farm workers, and the ongoing pursuit of food and land justice. Featuring a range of authors engaged in the food movement, The New Food Activism challenges the narrow politics of consumption and focuses on the wider intersection of food, racial, and economic inequalities.
22. The Rise of Women Farmers and Sustainable Agriculture, Carolyn Sachs, Mary Barbercheck, Kathryn Brasier, Nancy Ellen Kiernan, and Anna Rachel Terman
Drawing on more than a decade of research, this book both documents and analyzes the rise of women farmers and their ties to sustainable agriculture. Farm women in the northeastern United States describe how they entered into farming and became successful entrepreneurs despite the barriers they encountered in agricultural organizations, farming communities, and even their own families. The author present a new framework, a feminist agrifood systems theory (FAST), to value women’s knowledge and practice in agriculture and environmental sustainability.
Eva Perroni is a research and writing fellow at Food Tank and a freelance researcher-writer and activist focused on promoting sustainable food systems. She holds an MA in development studies from the University of Melbourne, maintaining a strong research focus on global food security and food and agriculture politics. From learning traditional Sicilian recipes in her Nonna’s kitchen to campaigning for food and climate justice, Eva’s love and passion for fair and healthy food are continuously growing.
This article was republished from Food Tank.
Fall/Winter 2017 Book Reviews
Spring/Summer 2017 Book Reviews