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The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities [Kindle Edition]

Will Allen
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.53
You Save: $5.47 (34%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

A pioneering urban farmer and MacArthur Genius Award-Winner points the way to building a new food system that can feed- and heal- communities.

The son of a sharecropper, Will Allen had no intention of ever becoming a farmer himself. But after years in professional basketball and as an executive for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Procter & Gamble, he cashed in his retirement fund for a two-acre plot just outside Milwaukee's largest public housing project. The area was a food desert with only convenience stores and fast-food restaurants to serve the needs of locals.

Despite financial challenges and daunting odds, Allen built the country's preeminent urban farm-a food and educational center that now produces enough produce and fish year-round to feed thousands. Employing young people from the neighboring housing project and community, Growing Power shows how local food systems can help troubled youths, dismantle racism, create jobs, bring urban and rural communities closer together, and improve public health. Today, Allen's organization helps develop community food systems across the country.

An eco-classic in the making, The Good Food Revolution is the story of Will's personal journey, the lives he has touched, and a grassroots movement that is changing the way our nation eats.

Editorial Reviews


"What Allen does with a small plot of land and a lot of determination is nothing short of inspiring... A moving story of one man's success in producing healthy food for those who need it most." --Kirkus Reviews

"Allen gives readers the personal, moving account of a man whose family became part of the last century's great migration of African Americans out of the South. Of a man who traded a successful life in the corporate world for the economic uncertainties of a small farmer... The Good Food Revolution is inspiring." -- Los Angeles Times

  • 2013 NAACP Image Awards nominee for autobiography/biography
  • Goodreads Choice finalist for best food book of the year
  • Adopted as a common-reading book for students at the University of Florida, Hofstra University, Davenport University, University of Wisconsin-Stout, and Albion College

“From the plots of his Milwaukee urban farm to low-income communities across America, Will Allen has shown us a new type of heroism.  Through The Good Food Revolution, Allen recounts his effort to reclaim his family’s heritage and, in doing so, confront lingering disparities in racial and economic justice.  As the champion of a new and promising movement, Allen is skillfully leading Americans to face one of our  greatest domestic issues – our health.” –  Former President Bill Clinton

“Will Allen’s remarkable story, told with eloquence and compassion, conveys the universal value of social justice and real food.” – Alice Waters

“Far more than a book about food, The Good Food Revolution captivates your heart and mind with the sheer passion of compelling and righteous innovation. Wow!” –  Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm

“Will Allen is a hero and an inspiration to urban farmers everywhere.  Now, with The Good Food Revolution, we learn  how Allen rediscovered the power of agriculture, and in doing so transformed a city, its community, and eventually the world – with the help of millions of red wiggler worms.  Told with grace and utter honesty, I found myself cheering for Allen and his organization, Growing Power.” – Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City and The Essential Urban Farmer

About the Author

After retiring from professional basketball and executive positions at Kentucky Fried Chicken and Procter & Gamble, Will Allen became the CEO of Growing Power. He lives in Milwaukee. Charles Wilson is a journalist and the coauthor with Eric Schlosser of the #1 New York Times bestselling children's book Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Writing May 10, 2012
As a small farmer in an urbanized community, I was very excited to read a more in-depth book about Will Allen. I found this book to be very well-written with lovely side stories about the intriguing people that play important roles in his business and life. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in urban or small plot farming, to those interested in ensuring healthy food is available across the economic spectrum and to Will Allen fans interested in his choices and his life.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and inspiring May 11, 2012
Michael Pollan helped our understanding of the "good food" movement go mainstream---but until now, mostly unsung, have been efforts to get good food to the people who need it most (i.e. beyond Whole Foods shoppers and the usual "crunchy" milieu). For nearly 20 years, Will Allen has been growing good food in communities that have little access to it and teaching others to do the same. Allen's story shows us how growing good food can heal, providing everything from good nutrition and a sense of personal empowerment to green jobs and the skills needed to fill them. Honest personal stories, including Allen's own, make this a genuinely compelling read.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
By scgrant
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mr. Allen's life story is very interesting and his struggles with racism are enlightening, but I was hoping for more information about his urban farming techniques. If you want a good book, this is a good book, but if you want to learn how to do what Mr. Allen is doing then you'll need to go to other books that are more focused on technique.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I believe in the GOOD FOOD REVOLUTION! June 1, 2012
Over the past few months, I've had a strong desire to read organic cookbooks and books about revolutionizing how and what we eat. THE GOOD FOOD REVOLUTION is the 'aha' that my soul has been searching for and I'm so glad to have finished it. Let me add, as a political science teacher, I tell my students that they can change the world starting in their own neighborhood. Allen proves me right as he dug in his heels and shared his vision of growing good food for his urban community. I know this is the wave of the future - growing self-sustaining gardens,eating healthy, and curing ourselves from the diseases fast food have developed. I highly recommend this book to everyone that believes they can change the world. I'm excited. I'm encouraged. I believe in the GOOD FOOD REVOLUTION!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Sustainable and not Revolutionary August 12, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I write this review as a farmer involved in the local food movement who sells organic produce and pasture raised meats weekly at local famer's markets using several of the concepts that Growing Power uses. Like some of the other reviews I had wanted more information about Will Allen's techniques and this book was lacking that. There is much more info about Growing Power on youtube than you will find here. If you want an inspirational personal history fluff piece about Will Allen then this is it.
However, none of that is what leads me to give this a one star review. The title is "The Good Food Revolution." For those of us that are involved in the movement it is about local and SUSTAINABLE. That is the key word. If you read this book closely you will find that about every second or third page Will Allen is receiving another grant. On page 200 he says that he did $375,000 in sales and TWICE THAT IN GRANTS in 2006 and still lost money. To his credit he talked about that fact later in the book and says he believes he could make a profit. However, the fact is he never did. Any organization that gets 2/3 of its money from grants is not sustainable. Later on in the book he revealed that he accepted a million dollar grant from Walmart. His vision of an urban vertical farm building is being built and funded by grants - not by sales, not by profits and not from savings but by donations. That is not sustainable, that is not success and that is not revolutionary. That is as much a failure as is our current agricultural system. We will feed the world and solve the ever growing food crisis only when farmers can make a profit. In this book Will Allen has proven that he personally cannot do that.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Got Gypped March 4, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I want to become a farmer. No one in my family has been a farmer since my grandfather was a young man, so I am exploring new territory. I had hoped that as well known as he is, this book would give me a lot of insight into all the things I need to consider in order to create a viable business.

No such luck.

What this is, is an autobiography. A very interesting one, to be sure, but a simple autobiography. While it certainly is well written and fairly interesting, I did not buy this thing because I was interested in the man's parents and grandparents. I was so impressed with what he has accomplished, that I did not bother to read the reviews before making my purchase.

I hope you are not making that mistake.

As an autobiography, it does a very good job. As a how-to manual, it sucks.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good collection of personal stories July 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a collection of the personal stories of Will Allen, and the of the people who have contributed to what Growing Power is. I was expecting more on the economics and techniques of urban agriculture as it related to starting a farm. But this was not that book. Still it was an enjoyable read, and very inspiring. It contains a lot of great social philosophy and thought on urban farming, the policies impacting it, and its future.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great job
Published 17 days ago by Linda McCormick
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good Food Revolution is interesting, informative and inspiring.
I knew Will Allen only by reputation. He was the dominant high school basketball player from the DC area, which had many nationally-ranked basketball stars. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Peter G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A true inspiration.
Published 1 month ago by donald sharkey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great real life story with very practical lessons. Kept my interest the whole book
Published 2 months ago by Kari
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this book, bought 3 copies to share with others.
Published 2 months ago by Janet Palmer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good story but I was looking for more gardening advice.
Published 3 months ago by Karen Parle
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story!
This is an important chronicle of locavore sustainability that needs to be required reading. A heartfelt story that's full of unsung heroes and heroines.
Published 4 months ago by Gloria F. Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Retirement?
I have always loved to garden, in the traditional way, which was not good for the soil, or the food I grew, or for me!! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Vikki M. Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent insight to real world success
This book was an extraordinary read. It not only demonstrated the power of community and determination, but also great insight to the future of "the Good Food Revolution"!
Published 8 months ago by Thomas Friebe
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and Inspirational
Even if farming and the local food movement aren't topics that interest you, this book will inspire you. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Brent Billy Curtis
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