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Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 31, 2011
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Publishers Weekly, April 18, 2011
“Intended as a practical guide for community food activists who want to take the locavore movement across race, class, and city lines, this book illuminate ways in which consumers can become "engaged citizens." Especially important (and rare) is Hesterman's willingness to work constructively with corporate giants like Costco and the Kellogg Foundation….The dedication to social justice is clear, genuine, and logically argued as a food issue. A helpful and hefty final chapter of "Resources" provides readers with a comprehensive national listing of organizations to join, support, or replicate.”
“Timely and inspiringly optimistic, Fair Food challenges and guides readers toward sustainability and health, for themselves and their communities.”
New York House Magazine, June, 27, 2011
“A must read for those who wish to go from conscious consumer to food activist.”
New York Times (Business Day), June 4, 2011
"[Hesterman] displays a wide-ranging knowledge of production, consumption, natural resources and public policy. He also writes about reform efforts with contagious energy and palpable authority...this is an important, accessible book on a crucial subject. Food for thought and action."
Serious Eats, July 29, 2011
“Hesterman's upbeat outlook and gentle push toward activism inspired me to further my own engagement. His book is one of the best I've read on how we as individuals can be involved in the future of America's food system."
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Top Customer Reviews
In contrast to some writers who want to patronizingly limit the kinds of food that low-income people can obtain, Hesterman understands that the prime reason low-income people don't eat more healthily is that nutritious food is often unavailable and/or unaffordable in low-income neighborhoods. He offers a number of practical policy and programatic suggestions for increasing the ability of all people in all neighborhoods to afford and obtain the highest quality food.
Given his expertise in both the science of agriculture and the practicality of scaling-up community food projects, Hesterman is particularly persuasive in arguing against making "small is beautiful" the one and only ethos of all food systems work. He explains that simply expanding small pilot projects will never be enough to ensure just food for all. His reasoning builds the case for a new type of food system that can be large, efficient, mass-produced - at the same time it is just for food workers, producers, consumers, the environment alike.
Most importantly, the book offers a compelling case for all citizens to be involved in public policy advocacy to improve government policies and economic systems.
The genius of Oran Hesterman's new book is that in a clear readable way, and in under 300 pages, he draws the connection between how we eat as individuals and how we need to act as citizens. He trained as an agronomist and worked for many years at the Kellogg Foundation, so he's deeply rooted in the complexities of eating healthily and sustainably; but he writes in plain English, and those who have enjoyed Michael Pollan or Wendell Berry or Alice Waters will find here what is almost the missing link in recent food-writing, a book that spans personal choices on the one hand, and the looming Farm Bill on the other.
Fair Food is subtitled "Growing a healthy, sustainable food system for all." If you care about healthy and sustainable food systems, for yourself, your family, and for the wider world, then you should read this book - and then pass it on to others....
Don't get me wrong, Pollan and Schlosser with their best selling books, Omnivore's Dilemma and Fast Food Nation, created tremendous awareness about our broken food system. Hesterman takes their solid groundwork to the next step and shows the reader not only how to support local food systems with farmers markets and other direct marketing models, but also shares examples about organizations and farms that are re-creating the local and regional infrastructure to address not only supply chain, good ag and production issues but also social justice, health and environmental issues.
With chapters addressing fairness, crop diversity, soil health, green economies, activism and policy, Fair Food is not just for food activists and policy wonks (although there is some food for thought for even the most knowledgeable of the food revolutionaries). Rather, a general audience, much like those who devoured Pollan and Schlosser, will find Fair Food to be a good read with a balance of statistics, US agricultural history, story telling, activism and innovative business models. Fair Food is about the people restructuring and revitalizing food systems for a healthy and prosperous future. In my view, the 41-page Resource chapter alone is worth the $24.99 cover price.
A must read for eaters and advocates alike (besides it was fun to see so many of my colleagues and their organizations mentioned in the book). Read more of this review on Lighthearted Locavore: [...]
A recent New York Times review of this book (June 4, 2011 - Fresh Tomatoes for Inner Cities by Nancy Koehn) took the book to task for failing to discuss certain food policy related subjects. The NY Times reviewer recommended the book in spite of these shortcomings. I agree with the NY Times reviewer. It would've have been nice if the book was longer and covered the additional topics that the reviewer thought should have been covered but Fair Food is still a very very worthwhile read in spite of this. It covers lots of important issues that should inform and influence our views on issues that impact everyone.
I hope this book is read by those (theoretically all of us) who will have influence on the next Farm Bill. As said in other reviews, this book is very "accessible" (not assuming great technical knowledge of the subjects covered) and relatively short. It has a large resources section at the end should one wish to look further into any of the subjects discussed in main part of the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are interested in providing healthy food for all, read this book. It is loaded with references for people who want to get involved in encouraging the US to provide a... Read morePublished on January 27, 2014 by Barbara A. Gutek
A fantastic book filled with good writing and very useful and important information. This was the text for a Food Sustainability class that I took.Published on May 6, 2013 by MFJD
Purchased for my daughter who works tirelessly at improving eating and nutrition for children, primarily those who live in poverty. Read morePublished on February 26, 2013 by Jonathan Freed
We should all consider our food systems in our country, and this book really opens your mind to the issues.Published on February 13, 2013 by Helen
Great book and I learned so much about food production, why we are having the issues with food that we do and what can be done.Published on December 31, 2012 by Akil S Jackson
Policy matters. Any citizen interested in public policy should consider reading Oran B. Hesterman's book, Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All. Read morePublished on July 25, 2012 by Stephen T. Hopkins