Movies, Books, Links and More!
Michael Pollan: Sustainability expert, prolific author, and New York Times contributor. For the past twenty-five years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment. He is the author of four New York Times bestsellers and was named to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people. In 2009 he was named by Newsweek as one of the top 10 “New Thought Leaders."
From MichaelPollan.com: In this groundbreaking book, one of America’s most fascinating, original, and elegant writers turns his own omnivorous mind to the seemingly straightforward question of what we should have for dinner. To find out, Pollan follows each of the food chains that sustain us—industrial food, organic or alternative food, and food we forage ourselves—from the source to a final meal, and in the process develops a definitive account of the American way of eating. His absorbing narrative takes us from Iowa cornfields to food-science laboratories, from feedlots and fast-food restaurants to organic farms and hunting grounds, always emphasizing our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the handful of plant and animal species we depend on. Each time Pollan sits down to a meal, he deploys his unique blend of personal and investigative journalism to trace the origins of everything consumed, revealing what we unwittingly ingest and explaining how our taste for particular foods and flavors reflects our evolutionary inheritance.
From MichaelPollan.com: In Defense of Food shows us how, despite the daunting dietary landscape Americans confront in the modern supermarket, we can escape the Western diet and, by doing so, most of the chronic diseases that diet causes. We can relearn which foods are healthy, develop simple ways to moderate our appetites, and return eating to its proper context — out of the car and back to the table. Michael Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.
Reviewed by Nina Planck: Michael Pollan is the crack investigator and graceful narrator of the ecology of local food and the toxic logic of industrial agriculture. Now he has a peer. Novelist Kingsolver recounts a year spent eating home-grown food and, if not that, local. Accomplished gardeners, the Kingsolver clan grow a large garden in southern Appalachia and spend summers "putting food by," as the classic kitchen title goes. They make pickles, chutney and mozzarella; they jar tomatoes, braid garlic and stuff turkey sausage. Nine-year-old Lily runs a heritage poultry business, selling eggs and meat. What they don't raise (lamb, beef, apples) comes from local farms. Come winter, they feast on root crops and canned goods, menus slouching toward asparagus. Along the way, the Kingsolver family, having given up industrial meat years before, abandons its vegetarian ways and discovers the pleasures of conscientious carnivory.This field—local food and sustainable agriculture—is crowded with books in increasingly predictable flavors: the earnest manual, diary of an epicure, the environmental battle cry, the accidental gardener. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is all of these, and much smarter. The narrative is peppered with useful sidebars on industrial agriculture and ecology (by husband Steven Hopp) and recipes (by daughter Camille), as if to show that local food—in the growing, buying, cooking, eating and the telling—demands teamwork.
About: 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.
About: Women are passionate advocates for sustainable food and farming and have been changing the way America eats and farms for decades. Farmer Jane tells 30 such stories of some exceptional women leaders that are working on this change by farming, educating, advocating, and/or transforming how we eat through their food businesses.
But it’s not just about being a woman. (Stay with me here.) It’s about the impact that femininity has in changing businesses for the better. Women lean towards relationships and long-term strategies that prioritize future generations, and the good news is that this viewpoint is starting to become valued in the emerging green economy. It’s all about systems thinking and perspectives of what the new (triple) bottom line should be – that of environment, people, and prosperity (health, and economic). Beyond their role in shifting business, women are raising the next generation of leaders, of farmers, of gardeners, of aware human beings that will care for this place long after we’re gone.This book is not just a celebration of the profiled women, but of all women that vote for sustainability every time they shop, eat, farm, and advocate for change. The biggest hope for this book is that you’ll be inspired to do the same.
Academy Award Nominee, Best Documentary Feature.
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.
Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
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King Corn is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. In King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, nitrogen fertilizers, and powerful herbicides, the plant and grow a bumper crop of America's most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat - and how we farm.
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The Greenhorns documentary film, now in post-production, explores the lives of America's young farming community - its spirit, practices, and needs. It is the filmmaker's hope that by broadcasting the stories and voices of these young farmers, we can build the case for those considering a career in agriculture - to embolden them, to entice them, and to recruit them into farming.
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A non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining agriculture in western Massachusetts by promoting environmental sustainability and farm profitability.
Farm Aid is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep family farmers on their land.
The Greenhorns is a grassroots non-profit organization made up of young farmers and many collaborators. Their mission is to recruit, promote and support the new generation of young farmers in this ample and able 21st century America.
A gathering place for folks who celebrate the “culture” in agriculture and share skills like growing, cooking and food preservation.
Sustainable Table celebrates local sustainable food, educates consumers on food-related issues and works to build community through food.
Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.
A recipe database that allows you to search based on the ingredients you have on hand
Recipe blog of natural food cookbook author Heidi Swanson. Search recipes by season.
World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (also known as Willing Workers on Organic Farms) (WWOOF) is a loose network of national organisations which facilitate the placement of volunteers on organic farms. WWOOFing aims to provide volunteers with first-hand experience in organic and ecologically sound growing methods to help the organic movement, and to let volunteers experience life in a rural setting or a different country.