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Change Comes to Dinner: How Vertical Farmers, Urban Growers, and Other Innovators Are Revolutionizing How America Eats Paperback – May 8, 2012
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“Katherine Gustafson is a troubadour for sustainable food, inviting us to jump into her rental car as she maps the inspiring alternative food system emerging across the United States. And here's a pleasant surprise: we don't spend any time in the privileged bubbles of Brooklyn or Berkeley; Gustafson's expansive and hopeful portrait puts the rest of America back in the picture. Change Comes To Dinner shows us the outline of a sane food system: now it's up to us to fill it in.” ―Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine
“In her wildly successful cross-country search for alternatives to our industrialized food system, Katherine Gustafson comes up with a terrific new word: "hoperaking," the gathering of inspiration (and the opposite of muckraking). The people whose work she describes here should inspire anyone to get busy and start planting.” ―Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at NYU and author of What to Eat
“The rise of the local food movement is the single most encouraging trend in America in the last decade--and Katherine Gustafson is reporting from the cutting edge. A deliciously important book!” ―Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
“It would have been enough if Katie Gustafson had simply captured the inspiration and energy inherent to America's sustainable food revolution. But she does much more than that, writing with a keen eye for detail and wisely recognizing that good food writing isn't really about food: It's about the people behind it.” ―Ben Hewitt, author of The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food
“Essential, inspiring read for those interested in food production and politics and the complicated, essential roles both play in our social welfare.” ―Booklist
“A highly worthwhile read … quality journalism to motivate the most apathetic of us to buy local, organic and seasonal.” ―BookKvetch.com
“Gustafson has a knack for tracking down everyday people with big ideas. Ideas that could really change our future. Ideas that are already changing people's lives ... leaving environmental gain as a potential perk to an already-winning system gives Gustafson's argument a bulletproof quality. It also frees her to investigate under-examined issues, like dynamics between race, class, and access to healthy food. As for Gustafson's hoperaking goal, mission accomplished.” ―UTNE Reader
“Both inspiring and realistic, Gustafson's book provides a hopeful assessment of the possibility of big changes in the U.S. food system. Recommended for general readers interested in eating healthy, questioning where their food comes from, or knowing more about the business of farming.” ―Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
The tone of the book is highly narrative and conversational. We get to see not just the wonderful ideas that people have come up with, but also the day-to-day roadblocks that get in the way. There’s humor and frustration, wonderment and awe. It took me a little while to realize that what initially seemed like an over-the-top zeal on the author’s part was primarily a quirky and energetic sense of humor that I swiftly came to enjoy.
I think Ms. Gustafson’s Change Comes to Dinner: How Vertical Farmers, Urban Growers, and Other Innovators Are Revolutionizing How America Eats would be most useful to two groups of people. One, those already trying to make a change in how we grow, obtain, and eat our food. These folks might find further inspiration and hope, solutions to their problems in things that others have done, or advance warning of troubles they might run into up the road.Read more ›
Authors like Michael Pollan have done a great job deconstructing our modern food production systems, showing the rot at it's core, illuminating the uncaring assembly line that has been gradually built up to control our food from seed to table. That information is incredibly valuable and opening people's eyes to the problem is absolutely worthwhile but once you've pulled back that curtain, you're left with a most disquieting question: Now what?
Gustafson's book jumps into the fray and sheds some light on the topic of what's next. We find out that the ingenuity at the heart of the mythical American Spirit (though she never calls it that) is, in fact, out there and at work. People are talking to each other and figuring out new ways (and resurrecting old ones) to get around monoculture-focused, mass-production oriented corporations and develop food production systems that are sustainable, more equitable and have a real sense of place about them.
Her interviews run the gamut from East Coast to West Coast, from Urban to Rural, from back yard urban vegetable patches to institutional-scale suppliers.Read more ›
The stories in Change Comes to Dinner are small, small Davids, in the face of Goliath agro-industry, but the sheer number of Davids Gustafson uncovers demonstrates how widespread is American interest in restoring connections to food, community and quality of life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very informative, and helpful about the growing food activism topic. Reading it makes the reader aware of what e put on our plate, and how to eat more sustainably.Published on April 15, 2013 by Gloria F. Green
Fascinating read; very much enjoyed learning about the frontiers of food science and agriculture without feeling like we are all doomed. Read morePublished on October 18, 2012 by B. Lorr
As a disclaimer, I should admit that I bought this book mainly because the author is one of my friends' sister. Read morePublished on August 20, 2012 by Helene
Initially as a very involved "foodie" I didn't think I could learn anything more about our U.S. food systems...
boy was I wrong. Read more
The author is clear from the beginning that she's seeking stories of hope about our food system. That doesn't mean she loses her pragmatism, however. Read morePublished on July 3, 2012 by Lily R. McCaulou
Gustafson has written an accessible option for getting up to speed on the American food system and more importantly, alternatives to this system that reacquaint us to the sources... Read morePublished on June 30, 2012 by Shai Pina
The author takes the reader on a colorful, informative and entertaining journey through "hoperaking" happenings in the world of food production in the US. Read morePublished on June 15, 2012 by Marcia Lay