I am happy to announce the release of my second book Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart-Cooking Mamas: Fighting Back in an Age of Industrial Agriculture (Beacon Press). For those readers who followed my arguments for a food system founded on justice in Closing the Food Gap you will find a significantly different story here. As everyone knows by now, the industrial food system has taken its toll on our bodies, communities, and environment. While many of us struggle to find a sound alternative – food that is fair, affordable, green, and healthy – the facts don’t point to enormous progress.
If we are to ultimately triumph over a food system that puts profits before people – in other words, if we are to make the millions of consumers and citizens who now subscribe to a food system based on justice and sustainability into billions of people – we are going to have to make food democracy a reality, not just a slogan, and we are going to have to invest in individuals, both as leaders and as empowered eaters. As such, I frame my arguments with the help of some of the world’s big thinkers including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and D.H. Lawrence. When you go up against the industrial food system, which demands comformity and brooks no dissent, you sometimes need to call on some of Western Civilization’s heaviest hitters who understood like few have what the battle between freedom and authority is all about.
But big ideas are, afterall, still only ideas. I introduce a number of “local doers” from Cleveland, Oakland, Austin, and across America who are leading the charge to bring nutritious, sustainable, and affordable food to all. Not only are they acting locally and thinking globally, they are also raising the fundamental issues of individual self-reliance and community empowerment that, if brought to scale, will one day dethrone the industrial food system.
I would like to thank the dozens of people who opened their hearts and minds to my questions and, in so doing, shed light on what we all must do today. I want to share my appreciation as well for my conscientious “blurbers,” Meryl Streep, Josh Viertel, and Michel Nischan who took the time to read the galleys and share their thoughts and praise. And again, as they did so ably with Closing the Food Gap, I want to thank the venerable publishing house Beacon Press that brought Food Rebels from seed to shelf with a commitment to grace, professionalism, and social justice that I have yet to find matched elsewhere.
Go to my website’s homepage for more info, and go online or to your favorite bookstore to buy the book. The industrial food system is not sleeping, and we don’t have forever before we begin to fight back!
I met in you Anchorage while serving on the Alaska Food Policy Council. Thank you for what you do. I have ready “Closing the Food Gap” and loaned it to our daughter. I am now begging “Food Rebels” I also am encouraging rhubarb as an Alaskan crop: http://www.akrhubarb.blogspot.com . You may remember me as I was the one asking for a Department of Agriculture, not division under DNR. I hope to travel to Hardwick, VT in August along with Cornell University. I am beginning the reading. This winter I have already finished reading, “Holy Shit” (about manure), “Muddling Towards Frugality” and previously, “The Cheese Chronicles”. Thank goodness Mother Earth News has these books and I am energized by them. Should you make travels to Alaska again, please note that you are invited to our ranch anytime. (www.bisonandelk.com)