- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; 35320th edition (October 21, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1603427996
- ISBN-13: 978-1603427999
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.8 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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
In the last decade we have seen the budding efforts to transform our food system emerge into a full blown movement. As complicated and multi-faceted as the food system it seeks to change, the movement takes many shapes and differing strategies to “reclaim our food.” With a keen ear and thoughtful insight, Tanya Denckla Cobb not only showcases some of the most promising work, she explores the motivations and theoretical models that are leading the charge to fundamentally and permanently transform the way we grow and eat food. (Charlie Jackson, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Cobb feels that there is something inherently democratic about the food movement. "It's democracy in action," she says, "people vote with their dollars, create control over an important part of their life, and take ownership in their community." Simply put: "Democracy is happening in our food system."
But Cobb's book is far from a rosy-tinted adulation of food projects. Rather, she describes it as "inspirational and practical." Inspirational, from the incredible stories of success and ingenuity. Practical, however, from Cobb's insistence on asking tough questions and distilling her interviews down to true "lessons learned."
In surveying the food system literature prior to writing the book, Cobb was surprised by the lack of a consolidated "lessons learned" text for food projects. In research, interviews, and site visits, Cobb's research team went below the surface, hearing about hardships and advice that food project veterans would give to future generations.
The features in the book have been meticulously documented, and Cobb is quick to reference the contributions of many book supporters, including seven students, U.Va. faculty, including Urban & Environmental Planning professor Tim Beatley, and numerous food experts from around the nation. Though the text is detailed, Cobb's storytelling weaves tales that are readable and illuminating, drawing upon research, as well as first-hand interviews and meetings with food projects from around the country.
"Reclaiming Our Food" is not a book to sit on the shelf, according to Cobb. Readers will want to come back, revisit their favorite stories, and take away ideas to apply in their own lives. As much as it is an inspiring story of hope, the book is meant as a handbook for food system innovators. Ways to get involved, like "crop mobs," are offered as unique ideas that can be applied in almost any community.
If you're depressed by what you've heard about the state of the food system, this book is your dose of optimism. If you're already inspired about food but just don't know where to go next, this book can get you thinking constructively. Practical, inspirational, and usable, "Reclaiming Our Food" is a significant contribution to food system literature. It tells the stories that need telling in a way that will create lasting impact beyond its pages.
tanya denckla cobb is in the former category, and this book is a thorough, extensively-researched, deeply investigated exposé of the local food movement at the grassroots level.
for anyone trying to understand whether the local food movement is just a fad or whether it represents a true change in the way we eat, this book is well worth reading, following up on, and then using as a resource again and again.