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Reclaiming Our Food: How the Grassroots Food Movement Is Changing the Way We Eat Paperback – October 21, 2011
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In the wake of destructive factory farming practices and a gradual disconnect between people and the origins of their food, many are turning to sustainable local farming methods to reconnect with land and food sources, encourage food stability and independence (particularly in poor urban communities), support community growth, and utilize cities. As a result, a number of small non-profits and family farms are revitalizing farming for the next generation. In this meticulously researched, fascinating book, Cobb, an expert on food system planning, interviews these innovators to explore where we are as a nation in terms of food systems, where we’re going, and what kinds of changes can be enacted to get us there, all in an accessible, reader-friendly tone. Cobb (The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food) not only provides theory, but also includes tips for backyard gardening, raising urban livestock, and getting involved in community gardening. After finishing this immersive, inspiring, and educational book, readers will feel empowered to address the food systems in their lives and encourage a more responsible approach to consumption and production.
Publishers Weekly (Reviewed on: 09/12/2011)
"This is one-third chicken soup for the soul, one-third chicken poop for the soil, and three thirds great stories of real people doing positive practical and transformative work with food." -- Wayne Roberts, Canadian food policy analyst and writer, former manager of the Toronto Food Policy Council
From the Back Cover
All across the country, Americans are demanding more fresh, local foods--at home, in their schools, in restaurants, and at food markets. Community food projects from Boston to Nashville to Birmingham to Seattle are rising to meet this need. Led by innovative, creative people from all walks of life, these projects are strengthening communities by creating valuable jobs, preserving cultural traditions, building local knowledge about growing food, and educating schoolchildren. Inspirational stories of nearly 60 grassroots food programs provide hundreds of useful "lessons learned," offering an enduring handbook for everyone hoping to join the movement.
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This book is a collection of stories put together to show you what CAN be done to change the way our food system works. There are stories of community gardens and community supported aggricultural programs. There are cases of individual people taking on local government policies that make raising your own animals for food next to impossible. And there are examples of non profit agencies that have worked hard to preserve the heritage and traditions of native people.
I really enjoyed the sections on Farm to School programs and Farm to Table Restaurants. It is a great idea to change the food you yourself are eating but to change the way an entire school district or restaurant chain looks at food is an amazing challenge. There are several success stories and hopefully more to come.
These are not just 'look what we did' stories! Each one has a section at the end that talks about 'lessons learned' so that if YOU want to try and follow in their footsteps, you will have an easier time than they did! And the photos included in this book are just beautiful! Full color pictures of people with their hands in the soil and smiles on their faces, so proud of the food they have grown with their own two hands.
While this book is certainly inspirational with all the success stories of organizations working for change, it is also very realistic. If you choose to start a similar program in your area, it won't be easy. A lot of people just don't care enough about the food they eat to make any changes. Government policies favor large scale farming organizations and financing in this economy is not easy to find. However, if no one ever bothers to try, than absolutely nothing will get done. That is why the subtitle mentions the that these changes are a grass roots effort...one small community at a time! The author includes several pages of resources at the back of the book to help you bring change to your own community.
This is a great resource for anyone concerned about the way our food supply works. Now, I just need to find enough people in my community to get our county government to change the silly rule that says I need 3 acres in order to own my own chickens...
Disclaimer: As per FTC guidelines, I received one copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation. All opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.