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Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered Hardcover – November 12, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Slow Money is right on the money."--Tim Storrow, Executive Director, Castanea Foundation, Inc.

"Every once in a while, an idea comes around that you immediately know is not only a good one, but in fact is an absolutely necessary one. Slow Money is such an idea. Money is a powerful thing and whatever we collectively put our money into goes a long way toward creating the world that we live in. So far, those choices have led to many things, including a broken world food system, where nobody knows where their food comes from or what it takes to grow it. To become so divorced from something as essential as our food has had many disastrous consequences. I have great hope that sustainable, locally based food systems will help us all in more ways than we imagine. Slow Money can play a huge role in doing this and Woody's book is an inspiration to all of us working in sustainable agriculture. I can't wait to live in a world supported by Slow Money."--Tom Stearns, President, High Mowing Organic Seeds

About the Author

Woody Tasch is president of the newly formed NGO Slow Money and Chairman Emeritus of Investors' Circle, a nonprofit network of angel investors, venture capitalists, foundations, and family offices that, since 1992, has facilitated the flow of $130 million to 200 early-stage companies and venture funds dedicated to sustainability. He lives in northern New Mexico. For information about Slow Money please visit www.slowmoneyalliance.org.

Carlo Petrini, born in the small northern Italian town of Bra in 1949, is the founder and international president of the Slow Food movement, committed to the promotion of “good, clean and fair food.” The author of several books, he contributes regularly to Italian dailies and magazines on matters related to gastronomy and food politics. To write Terra Madre, he collaborated closely with Carlo Bogliotti, an editor of the Slowfood magazine and governor of the Slow Food Italy association.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; 1 edition (November 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603580069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603580069
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Brunjes on January 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Every once in a while, you come upon a book that impresses you with the feeling that you are watching history unfold with each page--you find yourself daydreaming mid-read about telling your children and your children's children about who you were when you first read that book, and how you had the kernel of foresight that it would be the start of something that would influence our world and our relationship to it. For better, forever.

This is one of those books.

Slow Money is medicine for our diseased relationship with money and the tangible resources that it was originally intended to represent. It is a poetic, profound de-conditioning of our standard, abstracted views of economics. Woody Tasch's background in traditional venture capital investing allows him to speak the lingo we all know with aplomb, while also breaking ground for the new languaging that is needed to start this critical conversation. It represents the transition from money as depleting to repleting, from money as numbers to money as what has stood the test of time as the apotheosis of human culture and survival: food.

As a leader in the biochar field, I am intimately familiar with the catastrophic dangers inherent in eroding our soil health, and work daily to help us avoid them. Enter Slow Money: I am floored. I am inspired. I am rejoicing. Slow Money is exactly what our soils and the people that depend on them (read: ALL OF US) need, and it brings poetry to economics in a way that is deeply and unexpectedly healing to our collective psyche.

This book is so riddled with gems that I realized immediately that underlining key phrases would be pointless, because I would be underlining the whole book. I am going to read it several times so that I can systematically adopt the healthy mental gestalt that Slow Money brilliantly expounds.

May all who read Slow Money be agents of this meme, which promises to change the way we view money, forever.
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Format: Hardcover
The vision, goal and poetry of this book are beyond reproach. Unfortunately, it is written to fellow true-believers. The average reader will find it difficult to translate into action or new insight.

For example, the book suggests more money should be invested in corporations with very long term plans. The author points out that top-soil takes hundreds of years to become a mature ecosystem, so we need companies with similar outlooks. Of course, that is a great goal, but most readers will wonder how such an organization could survive when government policy currently promotes mad consumerism as a sort of patriotism. The author regularly points out the absurdity of this 'pro-growth' religion, but never investigates its history, institutional power base nor weaknesses. The new comer to 'slow money' will find the omission frustrating.
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Format: Paperback
I had been greatly looking forward to this book, and I actually found it to be a huge let-down. I am a huge fan of the slow food movement, and I think the analogy between slow food and the economic system is a rich and valid one.

When it comes to values, economics, and goals, I am nearly 100% on the same page with Tasch. When it comes to the shortcoming of mainstream economics, the problems facing our global economic system, and the way these relate to the environment and other issues of sustainability, Tasch gets it. But I have three really harsh criticisms of this book that, in my opinion, make it not worth reading.

My first criticism is that this book is written in such a way that it is highly unlikely to persuade anyone who does not already believe the premises of the book. I don't know about Tasch's motivation, but I am strongly committed to sustainability, and I care deeply about building a consensus to move towards a sustainable society--not just a consensus among liberal people or educated people, but among all people, including people of a more conservative or libertarian persuasion. There are ways to successfully broach the subjects of sustainability and economic reform with people of all political views -- in fact, there are ways in which conservatives and libertarians are leading the way in their criticisms of the mainstream global economy. However...this book would be unlikely to appeal to these people; it's not written in their language, and indeed, not in a language that an overwhelming majority of Americans could understand or relate to, which leads into my next point.

My second comment is that on tone...it's absolutely off-the-wall.
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1 Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Disgusted with the garbage we call food and the markets and government that subsidize it? Impatient with politicians who refuse to connect the dots between ag subsidies, obesity, childhood diabetes, shriveling family farms and an environment poisoned by ag chemicals? If you found Michael Pollan's works provocative and insightful, you'll recognize this book as the next "ah ha" moment on the path to food and farms that nurture rather than weaken our communities. "Slow Money" is a way to fight back. It has a message of hope and empowerment like the one that propelled Obama to victory: together we build momentum for change. We pool our money and invest it in a food system that builds instead of harms environmental and human health. I invested in three copies of this book: one for me and two for friends, who will tell their friends. The movement begins.
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