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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 (68 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.99
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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—broken 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, Allen cashed in his retirement fund for a two-acre plot a half mile away from 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 local residents.

In the face of financial challenges and daunting odds, Allen built the country’s preeminent urban farm—a food and educational center that now produces enough vegetables and fish year-round to feed thousands of people. Employing young people from the neighboring housing project and community, Growing Power has sought to prove that 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, George Washington University, Hofstra University, Davenport University, University of Wisconsin-Stout, South Dakota State University 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

  • File Size: 2987 KB
  • Print Length: 297 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; Reprint edition (May 10, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006OHEX38
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,906 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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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28 of 29 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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39 of 42 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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21 of 22 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good Food Revolution has real "Growing Power" August 1, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Good Food Revolution is the best book I've read in a long time. My interest in local and urban agriculture drew me to the book; the intimate stories of individuals and communities that frame that meta-narrative drew me into it. The book arrived on Wednesday. Despite an excessively busy schedule, I had completed it by early Saturday morning, often forgoing much-needed sleep because I simply could not put it down.

The rich and engaging stories of individuals and their relationships to one another through family, community, and politics are told through the lenses of race, economics, and, of course, agriculture, all woven together by Will Allen in a style that is at once eloquent and folksy; comprehensive and intimate. Through engaging vignettes, Will Allen's The Good Food Revolution provides glimpses into the history of this nation, with particular emphasis on the different experiences of people of different races. The story is deeply personal, yet told in a way that we can all feel like we are a part of it and of the future envisioned by Will Allen.

Will Allen shares stories of past and present racial inequality in a tone that is likely to draw people in, rather than make people feel either guilty or entitled. Unlike the judgmental and accusatory tone often found in such accounts, Mr. Allen's gentle and understanding tone allows him to capture the extreme difficulties faced by people of color without alienating others. By handling even the most shameful aspects of our nation's history with grace and tact, Mr. Allen was able to draw me into the stories without feeling like a would-be savior or presumed culprit for our divided history. Rather, I felt like an invited guest to our shared future.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not indifferent October 9, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I thought I was going to learn about new ways to eat. Ellie Wiesel says the opposite of love is indifference. Will Allen is anything but indifferent. I'm sometimes in tears reading about how hard he and his family works to have his millions of employees, his worms, convert food waste into affordable nutrition for "his people". We don't share the same skin tone but I think of him as a brother.
He is leading us to a society where the food is not provided by an industry that is more interested in shelf life than providing nutrition. He is leading us back to a time when we ate what we grew and saved some for when we couldn't. I hope more people read his book and begin to plan for the revolution which the FDA isn't being paid to lead.
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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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