Praise & Reviews

Food Town, USA:

“Mark Winne’s Food Town, USA is a tasty, heartwarming journey through towns we’d never thought much of but suddenly want to move to. It happily reminds us that when we devote ourselves to people and places we care about, wonderful and unexpected things seem to happen.”
– Mark Bittman, author of the How to Cook Everything series.

“Food Town, USA may prove to be the most hopeful and important book to take the food movement out of the predictable culture wars between big city and forgotten countryside, between blue and red, and between glamorous and unfashionable places.”
– Richard McCarthy, Slow Food International

“As only a longtime leader in the food movement can, Mark Winne introduces us the unsung heroes of local food revitalization, demonstrating how food policy councils, farmers’ markets, community gardens, and farm-to-school programs can help struggling communities rebuild.”
– Liz Carlisle, author of Lentil Underground.

Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart Cookin’ Mamas:

“This book is a lively, personal journey through one man’s efforts to make sustainably grown food available and affordable for regular folks. It’s a heartening, but realistic take on what needs to happen, emphasis on NEED! Bravo Mark!”
Meryl Streep, Actress

“Food Rebels tells the stories of unsung heroes in the food movement – everyday people who realized that they had the power to change the way food and farming work in their communities and in the world, and did something about it. With these stories, Mark Winne inspires us and challenges us to make a stand for good, clean, fair and affordable food for all.”
Josh Viertel, President, Slow Food USA

“It’s rare for a single voice to speak so clearly to the many points of our lives that are touched by food. Mark’s approach is simple, humble, truthful, eloquent and powerful. With stories ranging from Native American communities to Korea, Mark’s work proves the global importance and impact of food.”
Michel Nischan, Chef and CEO, Wholesome Wave Foundation

“More food for thought from a veteran agricultural activist. In his previous work (Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty, 2008), Winne established that hungry America isn’t feeding its masses nutritiously nor eco-consciously enough. He continues this theme with an apocalyptic opening sequence in which, in the year 2020, a dystopian world succumbs to food conglomerates and mega-processing plants while the environment simmers in a global-warming oven. There’s two camps in the increasingly complicated food wars—industrialized, overprocessed cuisine competes with “alternative,” “good food” that harms neither environment nor human and is at the forefront of the locavore movement. The author crunches the numbers to reveal positive progress. An increasing percentage of grocery companies are using hormone-free animal products and locally grown produce, but these developments, Winne writes, are impeded by factors like the population boom, changing diets, prices and climates. The author’s references to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Dostoevsky, broadcaster Charles Kuralt and newspaper columnist Ellen Goodman fortifies his research when paired with informative case studies and excursions to food initiatives in Cleveland, Maine, New Mexico and the empowering Austin, Texas–based cooking and nutrition-educational program, Happy Kitchens. Winne firmly believes that “institutional forces are working feverishly to influence our food systems” to a detrimental degree, but the mention of his own intrinsic humanity is refreshingly relevant: “I eat meat because I have yet to find much in life that competes with a tender rib eye accompanied by a good bottle of zinfandel.” Thankfully, the author doesn’t provide all bad news, and his examination challenges readers to galvanize and bolster reform efforts and, by example, continue the revolutionary concept of “food sovereignty” for American consumers. A good combination of solid research and affirmative testimonials.”
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2010 issue

Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty

“‘Closing the Food Gap’ is a deeply moving account of Mark Winne’s long career as an advocate for policies that will ensure adequate nutrition for the poor. Reading this book should make everyone want to advocate for food systems that will feed the hungry, support local farmers, and promote community democracy-all at the same time. I want all my students to read this beautifully written and important book.”
Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University, and author of Food Politics and What to Eat

“‘Closing the Food Gap’ reveals the chasm between the two food systems of America-the one for the poor and the one for everyone else. Speaking from his decades of political activism, Mark Winne offers compelling solutions for making local, organic, and highly nutritious food available to everyone. It’s heartening to find a book that successfully blends a passion for sustainable living with compassion for the poor.”
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder-the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace

“By combining stories of his deep personal experience as an activist with keen insight into strategies for addressing food injustice, Winne himself fills a gap in the growing literature on good food, why it matters, and how to ensure everyone everywhere has access to it. Plus, the book is a fun read. Winne’s stories made me want to meet him down at the local farmer’s market, and then join him afterward for a cold beer.”
Anna Lappé, co-founder of the Small Planet Institute and author of Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen

“Having been a part of the movement since the 1970s, serving as (among other positions) the executive director of the Hartford Food System, Winne has an insider’s view on what it’s like to feed our country’s hungry citizens. Through the lens of Hartford, Conn. -a quintessential ‘inner city’ bereft of decent food options apart from bodegas and fast food chains-he explains the successes he witnessed and helped to create: community gardens, inner city farmers’ markets and youth-run urban farms. Winne concludes his tale in our present food-crazed era, giving voice to low-income shoppers and exploring where they fit in with such foodie discussions as local vs. organic. In this articulate and comprehensive book, Winne points out that the greatest successes have been ‘an informal alliance between sustainable agriculture and food security advocates… that shows promise for helping both the poor and small and medium-size farmers.’ For the most part it is a calm, well-reasoned and soft-spoken call to arms to fight for policy reform, rather than fill in, with community-based projects and privately funded programs, the gaps left by our city and state legislators.”
Publishers Weekly

“Fearless, intelligent, and surprisingly funny.”
Gwyneth Doland, Santa Fe Reporter


Closing the Food Gap was selected by the United Methodist Women’s organization for its 2010 national reading list.