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Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating Hardcover – November 1, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

World-renowned scientist and conservationist Jane Goodall earned her fame by studying chimpanzee feeding habits. But in Harvest for Hope, she scrutinizes human eating behaviors, and the colossal food industries that force-feed some cultures' self-destructive habits for mass consumption. It's an unsustainable lifestyle that Goodall argues must change immediately, beginning--not ironically--at a grassroots level.

Looping personal anecdotes from 40 years of global travels with stories from noble farmer Davids and corporate Goliaths, Goodall methodically builds her case for shopping organic and living modestly. Mustering a tender gumption, she details the vicious cycle of pesticide-ridden and genetically engineered crops which feed the unknowing majority of consumers; and also feed the antibiotic-treated animals that provide these folks with inexpensive entrees. Leaving nasty slaughterhouse scenes to less tactful pens, Goodall focuses more on the product of "factory farming" techniques: mountains of waste, nutritionally depleted soil, polluted water, displaced organic farmers, and severely compromised food.

Hope springs from positive sources: Edible Schoolyard programs in the U.K. and U.S., parents breaking their schools' "unholy alliance" with fast food chains and soft drink companies, a steady rise in organic purchases. Goodall offers many suggestions for rallying others, exercising one's own consumer powers, and just plain eating less meat. Conservationists might say this information is nothing new, which might explain why Goodall provides only tertiary references to her many statistics and facts. But for those who prefer that their own eating habits be stirred--not shaken--into question, the kindly Chimpanzee Lady provides the gentle touch required. --Liane Thomas

From Publishers Weekly

Goodall, best known for her decades of work with chimpanzees and baboons, turns to the social significance of the food people eat and of how it reaches our tables. In a style that's both persuasive and Pollyannaish, her guide glides through a quick history of early agriculture, despairs of "death by monoculture" (single-crop farming), warns of the hazards of genetically modified foods and of the disappearance of seed diversity,and bemoans the existence of inhumane animal factories and unclean fish farms—the macro concerns of the environmentally conscious. On a more micro level, she focuses on what individuals can do for themselves. In a grab bag of well-intentioned bromides, Goodall counsels her readers to become vegetarians, celebrates restaurants and grocery stores that seek out locally grown produce, frets about the quality of school lunches and the pervasiveness of fast food–fueled obesity, honors small farmers and warns of a looming water crisis. Most chapters conclude with "what you can do" sections: demand that modified foods be labeled; turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. This book about making healthy choices breaks no new ground, but its jargon-free and anecdote-rich approach makes it a useful primer for grassroots activists, while the Goodall imprimatur could broaden its reach.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; 1st edition (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446533629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446533621
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #758,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barbara Bond on November 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! I have always thought that eating organic was healthier for me and definately tasted better, but this book opened up my eyes on many subjects. First of all, I did not know the difference between light organic [ which large corporations do] verses deep organic [ which small farms do,rotating crops for example, which is better for the soil]. Now,when I shop, I read where the organic food came from so I know how far it had to travel and how much gas was wasted. I have become a firm believer that I should buy from local farmers when ever possible.One last remark I found facinating was when Jane was talking about GMO's and how when animals had the choice of natural food verses genetically modified food, they always chose the natural.Very interesting.
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Format: Hardcover
This book completely changed my eating behavior, my appreciation for real farming and my whole attitude toward the food industry. It is a must read for those of us who always knew there were ugly truths out there but chose to keep our heads in the sand. It's an education on cruelty, enviromental and health issues that will certianly keep me from spending another penny in support of multinational corporations like Monsanto.
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Format: Hardcover
For the record, I do not have a political agenda in writing this review. Political or not, though, it should be on everyone's agenda to pay attention to the points made by Goodall and her co-authors in this very informative and important book. Harvest for Hope shows us how we are hurting ourselves and our planet and will continue to do so if we don't take a stand against current governmental and corporate controlled agricultural practices. It is a relatively simple message: Eat organic, locally grown foods whenever possible and you will be a healthier person and contribute to the health of our environment. Goodall tells us how to do this and why. People may squabble over certain details but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that what she is saying is the truth. It makes sense. If you value your health and the health of those you love -- and feed -- read this book!
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Format: Hardcover
Having been raised in the "heartland" -- that would be the Midwest, in farming country -- over the years I have grown increasingly dismayed at what has become of both our farms and our food. I LOVE great food -- but the "real thing" has become harder and harder to find over the years.

The relationship between what we eat and how we live has changed so much that now, we are as a society paying a very steep price with our health -- and sometimes our lives. "Fast food" -- and the convenience of packaged, processed foods -- turns out to be WAY more expensive than we think!

It doesn't have to be this way. Jane Goodall presents one of the most impassioned and well-reasoned arguments for how to get back to a sane and healthier way to live.

It is precisely because the problems have become so rampant and seemingly overwhelming, that it can be easy to feel that nothing can be done. Big business and corporations (which is what mega-farms and agribusiness has become) are huge -- and hard to fight.

But as Goodall points out, one need not actually fight -- it's as easy as the choices you make daily. And everyone has to do that anyway.

How many school children (or now adults, for that matter) know where the food you eat comes from? What does it look like, when it's growing in the earth? What does the animal look like and live like, that becomes the meat you eat? We have -- with the help of agribusinesses -- gotten disconnected from the source. And this is not a good thing!

Goodall shows us the path back to the source of our food -- and our health -- and a future that really is sustainable.
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Format: Hardcover
As a vegetarian and someone who likes to think of myself as reasonably conscientious about environmental, health, and animal rights issues, I knew in the back of my mind that there were things out there that I needed to know more about. I just didn't know where to find the answers in one place.

This book is it.

This book lays out the environmental, health, animal rights, and human rights reason that we need to shift away from the large biotech corporate-controlled food supply and to a more local, organic, sustainable paradigm for eating. It does so without laying on lots of guilt and without presenting a doomsday scenario that leaves no room for hope. The topic is serious; the consequences are enormous. But Ms. Goodall gives lots of practical information on what a consumer can do to make a real difference for their health, their world community, and animals.

Many books hit you over the head with gut-wrenching facts, leaving you reeling and feeling like there's no hope left and nothing to be done. Not so with Harvest for Hope. In the future, when I am (inevitably) asked/challenged yet again about my food choices, I will simply say, "Read this book."
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Format: Hardcover
An excellent summary of how food we eat is grown and supplied in the developed world. It is shocking to read how much we exploit the environment and farm animals for our convenience. The book also suggests ways to reduce the adverse effect of modern farming by supporting organic, locally grown food.
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