MSN “Practical Guide for Healthy Living” host Lappé elaborates on her mother’s conviction, elucidated in the classic Diet for a Small Planet (1971), that individual food choices can lead to massive social consequences.
The author convincingly argues that food is “the integrating lens” for the innumerable responses to climate change. At three meals or more per day, Lappé writes, we are faced with either supporting or resisting industrial food production. So-called conventional food production and distribution—ecologically and economically fragile—contributes to nearly one-third of total human-caused global warming and paradoxically creates hunger out of plenty. Organic, local, plant-based foods, on the other hand, have the potential to not only mitigate but ultimately repair this damage. Lappé bolsters her support for a local, organic diet with a substantial bibliography of peer-reviewed science, studies, policies and interviews. Her journalism and science is rock-solid, as are her clear-headed critiques of scare-mongering by corporations (like Monsanto or Dow) invested in biotech or industrial food production. The author offers simple solutions to our near-future food security and climate stability—eat real foods, mostly plants, from organic, local sources. Yes, Michael Pollan owns this territory, but Lappé helpfully recontextualizes the argument, noting that one mealtime choice, multiplied by millions, offers benefits toward planetary health and food security. Accessibly written, rationally argued and focused on action over rhetoric, the book will interest parents, foodies, economists, committed vegetarians, moral omnivores, environmentalists, health enthusiasts and anyone interested in actually doing something about climate change while government responses stagnate.
An essential toolkit for readers looking for a pragmatic climate-response action plan of their own.