Food Tank has selected 20 books that entertain, inform, and reaffirm the importance of food and agriculture. From sustainable seafood to ethical eating to field guides for food activists, these books highlight innovative and creative methods that are creating a better, more sustainable food system while educating and informing eaters and consumers.

The authors and editors that have contributed to this list make up some of the world’s leading experts on food justice and sustainable eating. Food Tank hopes the facts and information in these books will not only inspire people already involved in the food movement but also encourage readers to share and educate others.

American Catch by Paul Greenberg

In 2005, five billion pounds of seafood were imported into the United States. Greenberg takes a deep look into the seafood hubs of the U.S. and attempts to explain why 91 percent of the seafood North Americans eat is, in fact, imported. Through analyzing current crises, oil spills, and mining projects, Greenberg present solutions for a more sustainable future.

EAT UP: The Inside Scoop on Rooftop Agriculture by Lauren Mandel

This book has compiled case studies, resource checklists, and interviews with experts in order to help readers transform their rooftops into a fully functioning green space and a way to feed their family. There are three sections covering rooftop gardens, rooftop farms, and the rooftop agriculture industry that cater to various scales, goals, and skill levels. If you have ever dreamed of transforming your roof into a green space, this is the expert guide for you.  

Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World by Yuson Jung, Jakob Klein, Melissa Caldwell

Buzzwords like organic, free range, and local have gained popularity, and eaters are focusing more on how food is produced and cultivated. This book explores the concept of “ethical food” and how the movement started in postsocialist and socialist societies. More specifically, it covers food systems and consumption of food in Bulgaria, China, Lithuania, Russia, Vietnam, and Cuba.

Feeding Frenzy: Land Grabs, Price Spikes, and the World Food Crisis by Paul McMahon

McMahon traces global food trends throughout history to identify patterns that may have contributed to current turmoil in the global food market. In some countries, obesity is rising at alarming rates while food is scarce in others. McMahon outlines the patterns that exist in a “feeding frenzy” and presents actions to create a more sustainable food system.

Food Between the Country and the City by Nuno Domingos, José Manuel Sobral, and Harry G. West

This book analyzes how the concepts of country and city in relation to food have changed the dynamic of how food is produced and sustained. This book looks at food on all production scales using ethnographic studies of peasant homes, small family farms, urban gardens, community gardens, state food industries, and large corporate supermarket chains.

Food Consumption in Global Perspective: Essays in the Anthropology of Food in Honour of Jack Goody by Jakob Klein and Anne Murott

Honoring the 1982 work of Jack Goody and his book Cooking, Cuisine, and Class: A Study in Comparative Sociology, this book looks at the evolution of food in a global context. As food is becoming more homogenized across the world and more restaurants and corporations are becoming transnational, there is a dramatic shift in the food people consume. This book compares locally and culturally specific methods of cultivating and eating food with transnational processes.

Food for City Building: A Field Guide for Planners, Actionists, & Entrepreneurs by Wayne Roberts

After serving as the manager of the Toronto Food Policy Council for ten years, Wayne Roberts chronicled his experiences and interactions with local food experts in the Food for City Living guide. Roberts has helped improve public health and environmental awareness in his community, and now he shares his experiences with readers.

Green Chefs: The Culinary Creatives Changing How We Eat by Brooke Jonsson

This three-volume electronic book was compiled by chefs who are using innovative methods to integrate new and exciting local foods into their established cuisines. Jonsson pairs personal recipes with in-depth interviews with expert chefs. Readers can begin to understand the passion and intrigue behind the dishes they will soon create.

Green Kitchen Travels: Vegetarian Food Inspired by Our Adventures by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl

Frenkiel and Vindahl journeyed around the world with their daughter Elsa in search of delicious, nutritious vegetarian and vegan food. From hunting for vegetarian restaurants in Beijing to bean sprout pad thai for lunch in Thailand, this book is a compilation of their experiences with easy-to-find ingredients and simple recipes.

In Search of the Perfect Loaf: A Home Baker’s Odyssey by Samuel Fromartz

From Berlin to Kansas, Fromartz searches for the perfect loaf and shares his love for bread. He chronicles his experience in France working at a boulangerie, where he created a deeper understanding of bread from seed to table. During his travels he met with historians, farmers, sourdough biochemists, millers, and more. This book is a result of his journey and takes a deep look into the story of handmade bread.

The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World by Andrew Winston

According to Winston, the way companies currently operate will not allow them to keep up with the current and future challenges of climate change, scarcity, and transparency. He suggests companies need to make “the big pivot.” Winston provides ten strategies for leaders and companies to be sustainable and successful for the future using stories from Unilever, Nike, Walmart, and other major companies.

The Carnivore’s Manifesto: Eating Well, Eating Responsibly, and Eating Meat by Patrick Martins with Mike Edison

It can be difficult for meat-eaters to find ethically produced meat. Factory farms and fast food restaurants offer quick meals, but at what cost? Patrick Martins, founder of Slow Food USA and Heritage Foods USA, has much to say about sifting through all the packaging nonsense and determining whether or not meat is sustainably produced. With this knowledge, Martins encourages readers to engage in more sustainable consumption.

The Handbook of Food Research by Anne Murcott, Warren Belasco, and Peter Jackson

This book is a collection of essays from sociologists, researchers, and academics discussing food psychology, politics, history, geography, and economics. It contains some of the most recent and groundbreaking research in food science. Experts investigate topics such as the way globalization affects the food supply, understanding famine, the social meaning of meals, and more.

The Market Gardener by Jean-Martin Fortier

Les Jardins de la Grelinette is a 1.5-acre farm in Quebec, Canada run by Jean-Martin and Maude-Helène Fortier. Through their low-tech, high-yield cultivation practices they provide produce to more than 200 families. This book focuses on their methods of growing better rather than growing bigger.

The Political Economy of Arab Food Sovereignty by Jane Harrigan

Harrigan researches the global food price spikes from 2007 to 2011 as a trigger to the Arab Spring Revolution in 2011. This book provides a political and economic analysis of the history of food security in the Arab world, including the geopolitics of food. Harrigan examines food sovereignty in the Arab world and how it has driven domestic food production as well as land acquisition overseas.

The Soil Will Save Us by Kristin Ohlson

This book focuses on soil, an often overlooked resource. According to Ohlson, 80 percent of the carbon in the world’s soil has been lost. This book argues that soil is “our great green hope” and that by reestablishing carbon-fixing microbes in the soil, the Earth has a chance at reversing some of the effects of global warming.

To Eat with Grace, a selection of essays and poems from Orion Magazine

Orion Magazine has selected past articles and poetry that best exemplifiy what eating with grace truly means—staying connected with fellow humans. Personal relationships and connections can sustain eaters just as much as the food one eats. To Eat with Grace shows how there are many different ways food can nourish the body.

Waste Matters edited by David Evans, Hugh Campbell, and Anne Murcott

An alarming 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted globally each year. The authors of this book look at waste through sociological, economic, and cultural lenses in order to give the reader a full understanding of the current waste problem. The book explores issues such as social practices, the way food and waste are circulated in society, and dumpster diving. It highlights various initiatives and programs that aim to decrease the presence of food waste globally.

What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses by Dr. Danny Chamovitz

People do not often consider plants as having “awareness” of the environment around them, but Dr. Danny Chamovitz, a biologist, would disagree wholeheartedly. By analyzing plant biology and diversity, Dr. Chamovitz is able to ascertain parallels between humans and plant species. He concludes humans may be more similar than the reader would think.   

Why We Eat, How We Eat: Contemporary Encounters Between Foods and Bodies edited by Emma-Jayne Abbots and Anna Lavis

This book explores the intersection between food and body. Why We Eat, How We Eat recognizes eating as a tool for building relationships, silencing hunger, and more. This multi-disciplinary approach to how people eat may illuminate new ideas and perspectives that readers have ignored in the past.

Food Tank Summer 2014 Reading List

Food Tank Spring 2014 Reading List

Food Tank Fall 2013 Reading List

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