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Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered Hardcover – November 12, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; 1 edition (November 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603580069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603580069
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,503,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Slow Money is right on the money."--Tim Storrow, Executive Director, Castanea Foundation, Inc.

"Every once in a while, an idea comes around that you immediately know is not only a good one, but in fact is an absolutely necessary one. Slow Money is such an idea. Money is a powerful thing and whatever we collectively put our money into goes a long way toward creating the world that we live in. So far, those choices have led to many things, including a broken world food system, where nobody knows where their food comes from or what it takes to grow it. To become so divorced from something as essential as our food has had many disastrous consequences. I have great hope that sustainable, locally based food systems will help us all in more ways than we imagine. Slow Money can play a huge role in doing this and Woody's book is an inspiration to all of us working in sustainable agriculture. I can't wait to live in a world supported by Slow Money."--Tom Stearns, President, High Mowing Organic Seeds

About the Author

Woody Tasch is president of the newly formed NGO Slow Money and Chairman Emeritus of Investors' Circle, a nonprofit network of angel investors, venture capitalists, foundations, and family offices that, since 1992, has facilitated the flow of $130 million to 200 early-stage companies and venture funds dedicated to sustainability. He lives in northern New Mexico. For information about Slow Money please visit

Carlo Petrini, born in the small northern Italian town of Bra in 1949, is the founder and international president of the Slow Food movement, committed to the promotion of “good, clean and fair food.” The author of several books, he contributes regularly to Italian dailies and magazines on matters related to gastronomy and food politics. To write Terra Madre, he collaborated closely with Carlo Bogliotti, an editor of the Slowfood magazine and governor of the Slow Food Italy association.

More About the Author

Woody Tasch is Founder and Chairman of Slow Money, a 501(c)3 non-profit formed in 2008 to catalyze the flow of investment capital to small food enterprises and to promote new principles of fiduciary responsibility to support sustainable agriculture and the emergence of a restorative economy. Tasch is Chairman Emeritus of Investors' Circle, a nonprofit network of investors that has facilitated the flow of $150 million to 230 sustainability minded, early stage companies and venture funds. He is an experienced venture-capital investor and entrepreneur, he has served on numerous for-profit and non-profit boards, and was founding chairman of the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance, which supports venture investing in economically disadvantaged regions. In 2010, Utne Reader named Woody one of "25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World."

Customer Reviews

The author was far too repetitive in getting his points across.
M. Dickinson
I am a huge fan of the slow food movement, and I think the analogy between slow food and the economic system is a rich and valid one.
Alexander C. Zorach
This is a book that recognizes the issues that are creating the financial disasters of our time.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By L. Brunjes on January 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Every once in a while, you come upon a book that impresses you with the feeling that you are watching history unfold with each page--you find yourself daydreaming mid-read about telling your children and your children's children about who you were when you first read that book, and how you had the kernel of foresight that it would be the start of something that would influence our world and our relationship to it. For better, forever.

This is one of those books.

Slow Money is medicine for our diseased relationship with money and the tangible resources that it was originally intended to represent. It is a poetic, profound de-conditioning of our standard, abstracted views of economics. Woody Tasch's background in traditional venture capital investing allows him to speak the lingo we all know with aplomb, while also breaking ground for the new languaging that is needed to start this critical conversation. It represents the transition from money as depleting to repleting, from money as numbers to money as what has stood the test of time as the apotheosis of human culture and survival: food.

As a leader in the biochar field, I am intimately familiar with the catastrophic dangers inherent in eroding our soil health, and work daily to help us avoid them. Enter Slow Money: I am floored. I am inspired. I am rejoicing. Slow Money is exactly what our soils and the people that depend on them (read: ALL OF US) need, and it brings poetry to economics in a way that is deeply and unexpectedly healing to our collective psyche.

This book is so riddled with gems that I realized immediately that underlining key phrases would be pointless, because I would be underlining the whole book. I am going to read it several times so that I can systematically adopt the healthy mental gestalt that Slow Money brilliantly expounds.

May all who read Slow Money be agents of this meme, which promises to change the way we view money, forever.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Mark Mills on January 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The vision, goal and poetry of this book are beyond reproach. Unfortunately, it is written to fellow true-believers. The average reader will find it difficult to translate into action or new insight.

For example, the book suggests more money should be invested in corporations with very long term plans. The author points out that top-soil takes hundreds of years to become a mature ecosystem, so we need companies with similar outlooks. Of course, that is a great goal, but most readers will wonder how such an organization could survive when government policy currently promotes mad consumerism as a sort of patriotism. The author regularly points out the absurdity of this 'pro-growth' religion, but never investigates its history, institutional power base nor weaknesses. The new comer to 'slow money' will find the omission frustrating.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By SunshineGirl on December 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Disgusted with the garbage we call food and the markets and government that subsidize it? Impatient with politicians who refuse to connect the dots between ag subsidies, obesity, childhood diabetes, shriveling family farms and an environment poisoned by ag chemicals? If you found Michael Pollan's works provocative and insightful, you'll recognize this book as the next "ah ha" moment on the path to food and farms that nurture rather than weaken our communities. "Slow Money" is a way to fight back. It has a message of hope and empowerment like the one that propelled Obama to victory: together we build momentum for change. We pool our money and invest it in a food system that builds instead of harms environmental and human health. I invested in three copies of this book: one for me and two for friends, who will tell their friends. The movement begins.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David S. Robbie on April 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really loved this book. I completely agree with the ideas presented by the author. This book, along with Schumacher's "Small is Beautiful" have completely changed my views on economics and sustainability. The key now for me is how do I go forward after reading this book? If you are looking for a book on making money in socially responsible funds, this is not for you. It is about investing in sustainable practices, that do no harm to the earth, soil and all living things. When you invest in these things, abundance is sure to come for all (better health, sustainability, etc.). It is long term thinking and not about quick fixes. The author does not discourage innovation, but encourages us to re-think what we are innovating. It is very basic in that it all starts with fertile soil. Fertile soil is teaming with life that we don't even understand. Everything we do has a consequence. In this recession, we think we have run out of opportunities to add value to society and be employed. This book showed me that the opportunities to do good are endless. I am starting with an organic garden in my yard. As Geoff Lawton says, "All of the world's problems can be solved with a garden.."
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Joan Dye Gussow on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes books come along at exactly the right time to help us understand where we were headed just before we crashed. Slow Money does that and more. And now that business as usual has publicly tanked, there's no one I'd rather follow into the fields of food and finance than former financier Woody Tasch who trails everyone from Icarus to Rod Serling in his wake. Here is his basket of exclamations, explorations, exhortations and explanations of how frantic capital might be slowed so as to support instead of destroying--as it now does--soil fertility, biodiversity, food quality and local economies. Reflect for a moment on Tasch's idea that we need to learn to make a living rather than a killing in the market and then get this book. It will turn your head around and make you laugh at the same time. It goes along with Small is Beautiful on my "books that matter" shelf.
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