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Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do about It Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 30, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1 edition (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596916591
  • ASIN: B004LQ0EEG
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,161,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lappé, daughter of green food writer Frances Moore Lappé, evokes her mother's 1971 classic, Diet for a Small Planet, to critique industrial farming and its carbon costs and give her own updated, upbeat prescription for a climate-friendly food system. Chock-full of statistics, how-to lists, and stories from her wide-ranging investigative travels, Lappé's book proposes a farming method that is nature mentored, restorative, regenerative, resilient, and community empowered; and a diet to reduce carbon and cool the planet. Put plants on your plate, she advises; go organic, avoid packaging, eating out, and wasting food. Much of this will sound familiar to Michael Pollan's readers, and unfortunately, Lappé pales by comparison. Her stories tend to be shallow, unfinished, and sometimes marginally relevant, and her prose is sloppy. And although the book's message may have been ripe when Lappé began her research, extensive media coverage on the subject since may have put this book past its freshness date. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Frances Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet (1971) launched an essential inquiry into the connections among food, justice, and ecology. She teamed up with her daughter, Anna, in another incisive overview, Hope’s Edge (2002), and now Anna addresses the major role industrial agriculture plays in today’s climate crisis. Responsibly researched and cogently articulated, Lappé’s far-reaching investigation entails questioning scientists; attending UN, governmental, corporate, and grassroots agriculture conferences; plowing through daunting reports and studies, and, most pleasurably, visiting organic farms around the world. She gathers facts proving that global industrial agriculture—specifically the use of hazardous chemicals, concentrated animal feeding operations, biotech crops, and processed foods—is impoverishing the land, destroying rain forests, polluting waterways, and emitting nearly a third of the greenhouse gases that are heating the planet. In contrast, well-designed organic-farming techniques reduce carbon emissions and toxic waste while nurturing soil and biodiversity. Convinced that eating wisely is one way to influence the marketplace and, ultimately, help combat world hunger and climate change, Lappé decodes food labeling, dissects Big Ag’s “greenwashing” tactics, and offers “seven principles of a climate-friendly diet” in an impeccable, informative, and inspiring contribution to the quest for environmental reform. --Donna Seaman

More About the Author

Anna Lappé is a national bestselling author and a founding principal of the Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund. Her most recent book is Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Our Fork (Bloomsbury 2010). She is also the co-author of Hope's Edge, with her mother Frances Moore Lappé and Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen with Bryant Terry.

She can be seen as the host for MSN's Practical Guide to Healthier Living and as a featured expert on Sundance Channel's Ideas for a Small Planet.. An active board member of Rainforest Action Network, Anna has been named one of Time's "Eco" Who's Who has been featured in The New York Times, Gourmet, O-The Oprah Magazine, Food & Wine, and Vibe, among many other outlets.

She is currently an Innovator at the Glynwood Institute for Sustainable Food and Farming and a Senior Fellow with the Oakland Institute.

She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

She makes the perilous nature of our current situation clear, but she also shows us ways that we can fix what we have begun to ruin.
Ms. Lappe educates the reader about the seriousness of the challenge we face while deconstructing the corporate spin that attempts to deceive us.
Overall, it is a good overview of the topic and even those who have read some of the other books on the similar subjects should enjoy it.
Margaret Picky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Poppyx TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Many of you thinking about buying this are expecting somethng similar to the "Diet for a Small Planet", which is, in part, a cookbook for vegans and vegetarians. There are no recipes in this book.

What this is, is a very well done discussion of green farming, agribusiness, and what to do to eat greener. There are several chapters discussing the greenwashing of agribusiness, and how marketing makes us think that products are "green" which inherently are not. It's fascinating reading.

Specifically, there has been an enormous amount of discussion in the popular press in recent years about how agribusiness-grown foods are better for the planet because they're more efficiently grown--which isn't true; the numbers that have been manufactured to make agribusiness look good don't take into account the sheer volume of fossil fuels required to transport food.

There are also some interesting discussions about how to get sustainable beef: the author talks about carbon sinks in grassland; some ecologists have noted that large swaths of grassland hold even more carbon than forests. If we could just keep cows out of feedlots, then it would be a lot more o.k. to eat beef.

Then, the author goes off on a "green farming" tangent that is a little hard to stomach because her ideas about real farming aren't realistic; the author goes into a long discussion of green farming and rhapsodizes at great length about "growing what would grow there naturally."

No offense, but you know what grows in much of the breadbasket of the United States (California and Texas) without huge amounts of transported water? Nothing.

Despite some of the unrealistic ideas, there are some neat ideas in the chapters on green farming.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Wilson on March 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you are already aware of the relationship between climate change and the food we eat, this book might not serve as a real eye-opener. However, if you're just becoming aware of this relationship, I would recommend this book wholeheartedly. It's packed with information including things we can do to live and eat more responsibly, and it's easy to read.

Obviously, you may not agree with everything the author says, but it's hard to dispute that there are some big problems out there that should be addressed.

We need to start "voting with our dollars" at the supermarket. If we keep buying meat, veggies, etc. that were grown irresponsibly, the big corporations will keep delivering them to our grocery store shelves. All of our little changes can add up to something big if we just make an effort.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book brings out the important point that agriculture, not transportation, is the sector that makes the largest impact on global climate change. Lappe is a journalist with a lifelong interest in sustainable food (her mother wrote the classic "Diet for a Small Planet"). In this book, she discusses the various ways that our eating choices affect climate change. She explains how the practices of industrial food producers add to greenhouse gases, from fossil use to produce nitrogen fertilizers, to increased methane production from livestock waste, to clearing rainforests for crop and livestock production. She notes in particular how increased meat consumption worldwide has been responsible for more land clearance for feed production, increased production of nitrogen fertilizers to grow the feed, and increased methane release from animal waste. The book is divided into 4 sections: Crisis, Spin, Hope, and Action; the final section includes specific suggestions for how individual consumers can reduce their share of the impact food production makes on climate change. Sources are documented with endnotes. The book also includes a selected biography and a list of learning resources for further information.

The book caught my attention in the first chapter, where Lappe introduces the idea that current agricultural practices pose a serious threat to the climate. I was quite interested in learning more about the issues. Lappe does an admirable job of explaining why methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and how agriculture, especially industrial agriculture, promotes the production and release of methane. Lappe is clearly quite impassioned by the topic of climate change and environmentalism.
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30 of 42 people found the following review helpful By S. B. Scott on December 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book has no shortage of criticism. As a liberal, I'm constantly amazed how extreme some other liberals can be. Ms. Lappe spares not one negative adjective to describe everything big and corporate. Her message in the book, that we must eat in tune with nature, is nearly lost among the vitriol she spills for large farming operations. For example, she rails against the environmentally detrimental aspects of large feedlots (CAFOs), but has no suggestions to improve them short of eliminating them altogether. In one section she belittles the efforts of CAFOs to develop biogas digesters, a technology that generates power from all that waste and provides clean fertilizer for crops. This is an excellent move in the right direction, but Ms. Lappe's politics call for nothing short of total elimination. She is a city girl, and doesn't realize that the city is nothing more than a CAFO for humans, with the exact same environmental results.

Though the book is aimed at emissions, she fails to distance herself from traditional issues such as poverty and humane treatment of animals - items irrelevant to climate change. Like so many environmentalists, she gets lost in the hopeless web of farmers markets, the myriad uses of fuel in the growing process, and veganism. You may come out of this book more confused than when you went in.

Her solutions usually sound the same note - drop it in favor of something else. Stop eating meat (not going to happen). Stop using oil (not gonna happen soon). Stop monoculture (needs to happen, but won't happen overnight). She fails to describe any stopgap mechanisms, transitionary technologies, or any other description of how to get from here to there. She ignores completely financial considerations, legacy issues, regulatory issues, etc.
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