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Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe Hardcover – March 4, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (March 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605294853
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605294858
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,034,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Granddaughter to Rodale's founder, and its current CEO, the author offers a passionate, evenhanded, nonacademic argument for the overall wisdom—economical and ecological—for farming organic. Deeply aware of the public confusion and suspicion surrounding organic farming as a hippie cause, Rodale first persuades readers that years of chemical and pesticide use have poisoned our environment—not hard to do, considering elevated cancer levels, increases in asthma, and fertility disorders, among other afflictions attributed to environmental factors. Rodale places blame for U.S. reliance on chemical-saturated farming, especially employing the use of genetically modified seeds, mostly on powerful chemical companies' manipulative advertising doublespeak, but also on government protection of conventional farmers. In her strongest section delineating a year in the life of a chemical farmer, Rodale shares clarifying findings from her own focus group that these farmers become dependent on chemical companies for their products and can't see another way, even when costs keep going up, soil is depleted, and yields decrease. In the end, Rodale does a vigorous job of debunking myths plaguing both sides. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Granddaughter to Rodale's founder, and its current CEO, the author offers a passionate, evenhanded, nonacademic argument for the overall wisdom (economical and ecological) for farming organic. Deeply aware of the public confusion and suspicion surrounding organic farming as a “hippie” cause, Rodale first persuades readers that years of chemical and pesticide use have poisoned our environment<not hard to do, considering elevated cancer levels, increases in asthma, and fertility disorders, among other afflictions attributed to environmental factors. Rodale places blame for U.S. reliance on chemical saturated farming, especially employing the use of genetically modified seeds, mostly on powerful chemical companies' manipulative advertising doublespeak, but also on government protection of conventional farmers. In her strongest section delineating ³a year in the life of a chemical farmer,² Rodale shares clarifying findings from her own focus group that these farmers become dependent on chemical companies for their products and can't see another way, even when costs keep going up, soil is depleted, and yields decrease. In the end, Rodale does a vigorous job of debunking myths plaguing both sides.
-- Publisher's Weekly, May 2010

More About the Author

Maria Rodale is Chairman and CEO of Rodale Inc. in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, which specializes in information for healthy living on a healthy planet. She is married and has three daughters, a dog, a cat and 6 guinea hens. In her spare time, she blogs at mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.

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Customer Reviews

This book is very well written and researched.
Eugene J. Myers
I write for an online blog, OrganicSoul.com, and I read this primarily for a review.
JesseR
This book will be the one that changes how you see the world, it did for me.
Arctictony

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Myra in Carmel, CA on March 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Organic Manifesto will convert anyone who is on the fence about the benefits of organic food and farming. Maria Rodale's well researched and easy-to-read manifesto is an articulate outpouring of convincing information that makes you want to stand firm and demand organic. She writes about the origins of conventional farming, why it's so toxic for the planet and our bodies, and why chemicals aren't necessary to produce an abundance of healthy food. She explains how organic farming mitigates global warming, produces the tastiest and most nutritious foods, and why a shift to organic is essential to creating a sustainable future. Maria's passion pours off every page and is contagious. This is a wonderful and important book that everyone should read!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Arctictony on March 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I hadn't thought much about the organic vs conventional/chemical debate. Organic seemed like a nice option if you can afford it but not really something to get too fussed about. When a friend gave me this book it totally turned that perspective on its head. I had no idea what actually went into the farming we take for granted but the research Maria Rodale has collected in this book was shocking. I'm writing this three days later and I still haven't been able to stop thinking about it. This isn't about more nutrients or feeling better about supporting your local farmer, this is about the health of my family and our country. This book will be the one that changes how you see the world, it did for me.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By R. Richey on March 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up in the 60's and 70's with my Mom's strong opinion on organics and everything natural. I continued that approach to eating up to about 2006 where I spent about 3 years eating what others eat.

I gained weight - 25% body weight increased! Diabetes, fatigue, growths on my thyroids and behavior alterations. I found that a large part of the issue was associated with MSG. However, that did not fix everything.

This book provided an easy read to the problems of eating mass produced foods and the chemicals that can be found in and on them. It details how these chemicals enter our bodies and what they do to them.

This was the other piece of the puzzle I was missing and I am so glad to have a book that I can easily read while gaining meaningful facts in quantities.

I highly recommend this book for anyone not feeling quit right and wants to investigate more about the source of the potential problems.

As she says, the solution is easy, go organic! After reading this book, you will probably never eat anything that is not organic again!

R
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Diane Hoffmaster on August 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have never really given much thought as to the HISTORY of our dependence on chemical farming and that is the one aspect of this book that I found most fascinating. The author starts out with an in depth look at the state of things today and moves into how we got here. She discusses the health of the soil and the health of our children...looking at soil contamination and the health risks that all of us face as a result. She interviews 'traditional' chemical farmers and gets their opinions on WHY they grow things the way they do. Their responses are included in this book and many of the comments they provide are straight from the literature handed to them by big chemical companies. I found that chapter particularly sad since many of those farmers expressed an interest in organic farming but just didn't know how to move away from the techniques that they were so familiar with.

The chapters on the development of chemical farming were fascinating! Did you know it all started by importing bat guano from far away islands using slave labor to harvest it? Things just spiraled out of control after that! There are also chapters on the politics of subsidies, lobbyists, and the government's involvement in farming and genetically modified crops (GMOs).

The author discusses modern organic farming...from compost to cover crops... and has some great information to dispel common myths associated with the organic movement. She ends with a chapter on a new future, some of which is feasible but others I am not so sure. I don't think chemical companies are ever going to get their hands (and wallets) out of Washington. It is up to US, as a people, to stop buying chemically farmed foods. Supply and demand will, I hope, pressure farmers to change their way of growing food. I don't expect anyone in Washington to care, as sad as that is!

I highly recommend this book if you would like to learn more about the history of farming in our country!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Rose on May 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a must read. It is really enlightening even to someone that didn't need to be convinced of why organic is good. I wish Organic didn't need to be called organic. All other food should have to be labeled, Chemical. The why of the whole chemical thing is sad and somewhat daunting. But it's one person at a time, we can do this.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gregory T. Allen on June 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is perfect for the person that wants to do something to help the world but not sure where to start. This book is great for the unitiated as to why choosing organic isn't just a personal choice we make at the local market but a lifestyle we should all adopt to help the world. It is my sincere hope that as many people as possible read and understand just how important this book is. Very well written this book tells it like it is in no uncertain terms that the choices we make are either the world a better place or making it worse. Once you read this book you will never look at organic the same way again or food in general for that matter.
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