Customer Reviews: Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating
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on November 18, 2005
I loved this book! I have always thought that eating organic was healthier for me and definately tasted better, but this book opened up my eyes on many subjects. First of all, I did not know the difference between light organic [ which large corporations do] verses deep organic [ which small farms do,rotating crops for example, which is better for the soil]. Now,when I shop, I read where the organic food came from so I know how far it had to travel and how much gas was wasted. I have become a firm believer that I should buy from local farmers when ever possible.One last remark I found facinating was when Jane was talking about GMO's and how when animals had the choice of natural food verses genetically modified food, they always chose the natural.Very interesting.
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on November 7, 2005
This book completely changed my eating behavior, my appreciation for real farming and my whole attitude toward the food industry. It is a must read for those of us who always knew there were ugly truths out there but chose to keep our heads in the sand. It's an education on cruelty, enviromental and health issues that will certianly keep me from spending another penny in support of multinational corporations like Monsanto.
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on November 16, 2005
For the record, I do not have a political agenda in writing this review. Political or not, though, it should be on everyone's agenda to pay attention to the points made by Goodall and her co-authors in this very informative and important book. Harvest for Hope shows us how we are hurting ourselves and our planet and will continue to do so if we don't take a stand against current governmental and corporate controlled agricultural practices. It is a relatively simple message: Eat organic, locally grown foods whenever possible and you will be a healthier person and contribute to the health of our environment. Goodall tells us how to do this and why. People may squabble over certain details but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that what she is saying is the truth. It makes sense. If you value your health and the health of those you love -- and feed -- read this book!
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on January 6, 2006
Having been raised in the "heartland" -- that would be the Midwest, in farming country -- over the years I have grown increasingly dismayed at what has become of both our farms and our food. I LOVE great food -- but the "real thing" has become harder and harder to find over the years.

The relationship between what we eat and how we live has changed so much that now, we are as a society paying a very steep price with our health -- and sometimes our lives. "Fast food" -- and the convenience of packaged, processed foods -- turns out to be WAY more expensive than we think!

It doesn't have to be this way. Jane Goodall presents one of the most impassioned and well-reasoned arguments for how to get back to a sane and healthier way to live.

It is precisely because the problems have become so rampant and seemingly overwhelming, that it can be easy to feel that nothing can be done. Big business and corporations (which is what mega-farms and agribusiness has become) are huge -- and hard to fight.

But as Goodall points out, one need not actually fight -- it's as easy as the choices you make daily. And everyone has to do that anyway.

How many school children (or now adults, for that matter) know where the food you eat comes from? What does it look like, when it's growing in the earth? What does the animal look like and live like, that becomes the meat you eat? We have -- with the help of agribusinesses -- gotten disconnected from the source. And this is not a good thing!

Goodall shows us the path back to the source of our food -- and our health -- and a future that really is sustainable.

Yes, the vast midwest farmlands where I grew up may now be poisoned, but research is showing us how to reclaim and restore much soil to its proper healthy balance once again, even if it takes time.

And in the meanwhile, all over the world, conscious farming is cropping up with healthy food -- in your own neighborhood. Organic and local farmers are working hard to make a difference -- and they deserve your support. Together, we can change the way we eat and live, one meal at a time.

It's worth a look. Besides learning how to do this, the resource listing in the back of the book is well worth the price alone. Buy this book!

I'm recommending this to all the visitors to my new website: [...] Eating well is not just about expensive gourmet food; it's about making great choices that nourish you and support a healthy way of living for all.

In the long run, it's cheaper to live right -- eating well by making better choices. Thanks, Jane, for bringing this message loud and clear to anyone who has the heart to hear it.
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on May 16, 2006
As a vegetarian and someone who likes to think of myself as reasonably conscientious about environmental, health, and animal rights issues, I knew in the back of my mind that there were things out there that I needed to know more about. I just didn't know where to find the answers in one place.

This book is it.

This book lays out the environmental, health, animal rights, and human rights reason that we need to shift away from the large biotech corporate-controlled food supply and to a more local, organic, sustainable paradigm for eating. It does so without laying on lots of guilt and without presenting a doomsday scenario that leaves no room for hope. The topic is serious; the consequences are enormous. But Ms. Goodall gives lots of practical information on what a consumer can do to make a real difference for their health, their world community, and animals.

Many books hit you over the head with gut-wrenching facts, leaving you reeling and feeling like there's no hope left and nothing to be done. Not so with Harvest for Hope. In the future, when I am (inevitably) asked/challenged yet again about my food choices, I will simply say, "Read this book."
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on November 25, 2005
An excellent summary of how food we eat is grown and supplied in the developed world. It is shocking to read how much we exploit the environment and farm animals for our convenience. The book also suggests ways to reduce the adverse effect of modern farming by supporting organic, locally grown food.
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on March 20, 2006
I have been vegan for two years and reading this book still caused a revolution in my life. I've known the American food system (chemical ingredients, genetically modified organisms, inhumane treatment of animals,and huge amounts of pesticides, anitbiotics, and growth hormones in our foods) was not good, but I didn't know the extent of the bad. Now, thanks to this book, I only buy organic (I've told my children it's quality over quantity), I've subscribed to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and I've recommitted to growing some of our own food. We need to change the way we see our food; our health, our children's health, and the planet are demanding it.
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on November 19, 2006
The content of this book is fabulous. I didn't know much about GMO's before reading Harvest for Hope but this book provides a good introduction to them and has definitely raised my awareness on this issue.

Her descriptions of factory farms and the conditions that the animals within them endure are heart-wrenching to read, but anyone who has read anything (or even seen a documentary) on factory farming or the food industry is likely to already be aware of these issues. Still, the information is written in an accessible way and is a good introduction to learning about what occurs in commercial meat production.

I have a few problems with this book. There are hardly any citations in the book, although a lot of "facts" are presented. It's frustrating to see all of this information presented as fact with no supporting evidence. Whoever edited this book should be fired. The grammatical, punctuation, and organizational errors are too numerous to mention. It's not uncommon to be reading a paragraph and have the last two sentences be completely unrelated to the rest of the paragraph.

In sum, the content is great and this book is a great introduction to food production practices. However, the shoddy editing leaves me (and likely anyone who reads and writes on a regular basis) disappointed.
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on March 17, 2006
Jane Goodall educates the reader on the atrocities of industrial farming, genetically modified food, and overfishing. The atrocities are tempered with commonsense advice on eating better and more mindfully, with reassurance from Jane that, "every time an individual makes...a change in his or her lifestyle the number of people eating ethically and healthily increases-by one."

Harvest of Hope, written with Gary McAvoy and Gail Hudson, manages to educate without being preachy. The book contains 12 pages of black and white photos, one a jarring close-up of a cow standing knee-deep in its own filth. The 19 chapters cover a wide range of food related issues, including chapters on becoming a vegetarian and the condition of school lunches. The book is riddled with an enormous amount of facts and statistics, but is unfortunately lacking in any notes to indicate the sources of these facts. There is an extensive resource section at the end of the book with related websites, books and organizations.

This is an immensely readable book given the topic. It will be appreciated by anyone with concerns over what we're putting in our bodies and the earth.
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on September 30, 2006
In this book I got much more than I thought possible. Besides being well written, poignant and having a thought provoking subject the book clearly demonstrates very real dangers in our current food culture around the world and ways to change them.

Although it happens in other books, Goodall stays away from the use of guilt or pulling heart strings to show the rampant abuse of animals that we consume for our diet. She also describes the effect of globalization from seed manufacturers and how easily the corporations can take advantage of poor people across the world. By promising unbelievable riches while hiding the ugly truth of environmental damage these mega-corporations increase their own profits and ignore the people that they have used.

The best part of this book to me was that it actually is filled with hope. Hope for the future that we all have a hand in when we realize that we are not the small, helpless people that government and corporations try to make us believe. When we take actions, even just small changes in our own life, huge changes can be made. She reminds us that as consumers we really do have all the power, we just need to use it. I personally have made several changes in my purchasing behavior since I read this book and I have already seen changes at my local supermarket, all by just asking for something better.

I recommend this book for anyone looking to understand more about what you 'nourish' your body and your children with. It is not a depressing book like many others in it's genre but more of a stepping off point for all of us to take charge and get the safe, healthy food supply that every human and animal deserves.
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