Three Books That Can Change How You View Food
Food, if people have anything in common, other than being human, then food is it. We all eat, well, at least those of us who can afford to do; perhaps a better way to put it is that we all need to eat. The what we eat, when we eat and how we eat differs across cultures and income streams. Diet fads rage across continents.
Some of us too much, others eat all the wrong things and far too many have difficulty buying food in the first place.
Food unites and divides, for example, the vegetarian versus omnivore debate. The term fast food nation was coined to describe how many people meet their food needs and organizations and movements such as the 100 mile diet and Slow Food have their followers.
Food recalls here in Canada have people taking a look at what they are eating and many people have begun to rally around the local family farm.
Food is vital without it we die and if we do not eat a balanced and healthy diet we may get ill and be unable to reach our maximum potential.
If you are just beginning to look at food as something more than a frozen entrée tossed into a microwave, or soemthing you pick up at a drive thru on the way home or if you are active in the local food movement you will find these three books helpful in helping you understand what roles food does play and how it reaches your table.
The Three Books:
“Farmageddon” Food Culture and Biotechnology by Brewster Kneen.
“The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved” by Sandor Ellix Katz.
“Renewing America’s Food Traditions” edited by Gary Nathan.
I suggest you read Farmageddon first. It helps set the stage for the other two. The author Brewster Kneen is a researcher and writer who has focused on biotechnology and has published articles in the Utne Reader, the ecologist and Adbusters, for example. He with his wife Cathleen publish the Ram’s Horn which is a monthly magazine that focuses on food system analysis.
Farmageddon provides an insightful look at the big players in the food industry not the farmers but the companies who are profiting from manipulating food so that it can travel long distances or other wise engineering the end product.
This book help launch me on my current path as an advocate for growing food locally and building strong regional economies based upon local food systems.
The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved . This Chelsea Green Book written by Sandor Ellix Katz is a fun look ate people who have stepped off the main path in their search for food.
Katz is a food lover and food activist who lives in an intentional community. Looks after goats and is well versed in the craft of fermentation.
The book contains recipes, for example, chickweed pesto on page 34. The chapters focus on local and seasonal foods, slow food, raw food and seed saving, for example. If you are worried about the economy and looking for ways to reduce yoru food budget check this book out.
Renewing America’s Food Traditions, Saving and Savoring the Continent’s Most Endangered Foods is a celebration of regional food across North America. The book has recipes and is replete with great photographs which make it a visual treat as well.
The Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) collaborative have put forward an unique way of viewing food, a way that celebrates the possibility that food which were once old may become new again.
There were seven partner involved in RAFT who are responsible for putting the book together and they focused their attention of foods that were once thriving in North America, many of which can still be used today with conservation, consideration and care.
The book divides the continent up into food nations and asks which nation you belong to.
The adventure begins on the west coast with the Acorn Nation and ends with the Wild Rice Nation around the Great Lakes.
If you want to understand where you live and look deeper into regional history and discover some new foods then get this book.
If you do read one or more of these three books or have already read one I want to know what you think about what you read. Enjoy.