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Change Comes to Dinner: How Vertical Farmers, Urban Growers, and Other Innovators Are Revolutionizing How America Eats Paperback – May 8, 2012
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“Katherine Gustafson is a troubadour for sustainable food, inviting us to jump into her rental car as she maps the inspiring alternative food system emerging across the United States. And here's a pleasant surprise: we don't spend any time in the privileged bubbles of Brooklyn or Berkeley; Gustafson's expansive and hopeful portrait puts the rest of America back in the picture. Change Comes To Dinner shows us the outline of a sane food system: now it's up to us to fill it in.” ―Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine
“In her wildly successful cross-country search for alternatives to our industrialized food system, Katherine Gustafson comes up with a terrific new word: "hoperaking," the gathering of inspiration (and the opposite of muckraking). The people whose work she describes here should inspire anyone to get busy and start planting.” ―Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at NYU and author of What to Eat
“The rise of the local food movement is the single most encouraging trend in America in the last decade--and Katherine Gustafson is reporting from the cutting edge. A deliciously important book!” ―Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
“It would have been enough if Katie Gustafson had simply captured the inspiration and energy inherent to America's sustainable food revolution. But she does much more than that, writing with a keen eye for detail and wisely recognizing that good food writing isn't really about food: It's about the people behind it.” ―Ben Hewitt, author of The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food
“Essential, inspiring read for those interested in food production and politics and the complicated, essential roles both play in our social welfare.” ―Booklist
“A highly worthwhile read … quality journalism to motivate the most apathetic of us to buy local, organic and seasonal.” ―BookKvetch.com
“Gustafson has a knack for tracking down everyday people with big ideas. Ideas that could really change our future. Ideas that are already changing people's lives ... leaving environmental gain as a potential perk to an already-winning system gives Gustafson's argument a bulletproof quality. It also frees her to investigate under-examined issues, like dynamics between race, class, and access to healthy food. As for Gustafson's hoperaking goal, mission accomplished.” ―UTNE Reader
“Both inspiring and realistic, Gustafson's book provides a hopeful assessment of the possibility of big changes in the U.S. food system. Recommended for general readers interested in eating healthy, questioning where their food comes from, or knowing more about the business of farming.” ―Library Journal
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Little did I know I was about to embark on a thrilling, joyful, and very educational journey... Who would have thought a book about this topic could be a page turner? Katherine Gustafson's writing style is delightful. The language sings with poetic tones without trying too hard, her descriptions of places and people she encountered are vivid and full of compassion, and she somehow manages to unpack some fairly complicated concepts with effortless ease. I thoroughly enjoyed every single page and am thinking about buying more copies as gifts for my foodie friends. I have read all of Michael Pollan's books and I dare compare Gustafson's writing to Pollan's, even if this is her first book.
If you care about the state of food in this country, this is a must-read. You will learn so much while being presented with a joyful hope in what could otherwise be seen as a pretty dire system.
The tone of the book is highly narrative and conversational. We get to see not just the wonderful ideas that people have come up with, but also the day-to-day roadblocks that get in the way. There’s humor and frustration, wonderment and awe. It took me a little while to realize that what initially seemed like an over-the-top zeal on the author’s part was primarily a quirky and energetic sense of humor that I swiftly came to enjoy.
I think Ms. Gustafson’s Change Comes to Dinner: How Vertical Farmers, Urban Growers, and Other Innovators Are Revolutionizing How America Eats would be most useful to two groups of people. One, those already trying to make a change in how we grow, obtain, and eat our food. These folks might find further inspiration and hope, solutions to their problems in things that others have done, or advance warning of troubles they might run into up the road. Two, those who want to make a difference but who really have no idea what needs to be done or can be done. The stories of all these amazing folks and how they’ve succeeded (or sort-of succeeded) might give the reader a better idea of what might be done in her own community with the resources available.
NOTE: review book provided by publisher for review
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