Food Tank has selected 20 cookbooks that reflect a growing and transforming food system. From local and sustainable to delicious and creative, these 20 books include dishes and anecdotes that are perfect for any food activist looking for creative eats.
The authors and editors that have contributed to this list make up some of the world’s leading experts in sustainable eating. Food Tank hopes the facts and information in these books will inspire people to get involved in the food movement and also encourage readers to share and educate others.
This book is a collection of recipes promoting health and joy. The recipes bring together modern scientific research, ancient medicinal knowledge, and natural ingredients from a variety of world cultures to deliver dishes that are packed with five categories of “foodtrients,” including antioxidants and immunity boosters.
This book features 250 recipes for seasonal cooking while also addressing key food issues that drive Chef Mallett’s food sourcing philosophy, including biodiversity, food waste, food security, processing regulations, sustainable fisheries, and community development.
The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook by Ellen Jackson
The Chefs Collaborative network includes more than 12,000 American chefs who are working to change the way Americans eat. The cookbook celebrates sustainable agriculture and seasonal eating and the recipes are accessible to home cooks of all levels.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs connect farms to consumers and promote higher consumer engagement, but CSAs still present a challenge for many beginner cooks. The CSA Cookbook helps readers cook their way through a CSA share with more than 100 seasonal recipes that encourage using every edible part of the plant.
The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson
Acheson was inspired by a frequent query overheard at the market: “What the hell do I do with kohlrabi?” He answers the question in this cookbook, which provides a seasonal narrative, covering 50 unique ingredients and more than 200 recipes.
The Farmers Market Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying Fresh, Local, Seasonal Produce by Julia Shanks and Brett Grohsgal
This cookbook provides a wealth of information about what exactly to do with produce once it leaves the farmers’ market, from cooking garlic scapes to making a unique cilantro cantaloupe salsa.
Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast by Becky Selengut
Selengut helps readers discover the fish of the Pacific Coast with dishes featuring fish that are good for both the body and the environment. Selengut’s website also has more than 15 how-to videos that show viewers how to prepare a fish.
The Green Southwest Cookbook: Fresh, Zesty, Sustainable by Janet E. Taylor
This book provides cooks with tips that encourage healthy eating and sustainable buying. And it includes recipes that use seasonal garden ingredients and support local agriculture. Taylor’s Banana Buckwheat Pancakes are a fan favorite.
The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet by Arnold van Huis, Henk van Gurp, and Marcel Dicke
The Insect Cookbook written by Arnold van Huis, Henk van Gurp, and Marcel Dicke makes a strong case for the ecological benefits of eating insects. Their high protein content and widespread availability can make insects both a healthy and sustainable food source. Recipes are paired with information on sourcing, purchasing, and storage.
Modern Native Feasts: Healthy, Innovative and Sustainable Cuisine by Andrew George
Modern Native Feasts incorporates both indigenous culinary wisdom and new cooking techniques. Dishes range from venison barley stew to buffalo tourtiere. Andrew George Jr. was head chef of Aboriginal foods at the 2010 Winter Olympics and published his first book, A Feast for All Seasons, that same year.
The New Sustainable Kitchen Cookbook by Stuart Stein CEC, CCE
Stein created a cookbook “a cookbook with a conscience” that shows readers how to create fine cuisine with the best, locally grown seasonal ingredients. This cookbook is ideal for those who want to make reasonably priced food choices that are also good for the environment.
The Real Meal Revolution: The Radical, Sustainable Approach to Healthy Eating by Tim Noakes, Jonno Proudfoot, and Sally-Ann Creed
The Real Meal Revolution aims to debunk the idea that fat is inherently unhealthy and shows how eating seafood, nuts, butter, and eggs can promote better health. Noakes, Proudfoot, and Creed encourage consuming things forbidden by most diets.
Root to Leaf: A Southern Chef Cooks Through the Seasons by Steven Satterfield
While Satterfield has been called the “vegetable shaman” by The New York Times, Root to Leaf is a cookbook for everyone. Satterfield celebrates the wide world of fresh produce by demonstrating how to use every part of a vegetable, from root to leaf. Satterfield’s recipes lean heavily on vegetables and celebrate the wonders of local produce.
Root-to-Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable by Tara Duggan
Carrot tops, broccoli stalks, and potato peels are commonly discarded during cooking. Tara Duggan turns these trimmings into delicious meals in Root-to-Stalk Cooking, a cookbook with 65 recipes that use parts of vegetables we normally toss in the trash.
Savor: Rustic Recipes by Forest, Field, and Farm by Ilona Oppenheim
Ilona Oppenheim celebrates cooking casual meals through simple recipes and stunning, full-page photographs. Based in Aspen, Colorado, Oppenheim uses the bounty of her surrounding environment to incorporate a sense of harmony with nature to readers. Foraging, fishing, and gardening are as essential to these recipes as the ingredients themselves.
Seagan Eating: The Lure of a Healthy, Sustainable Seafood + Vegan Diet by Amy Cramer and Lisa McComsey
Think going vegan is hard? Seagan Eating aims to help readers overcome any trepidation. Cramer and McComsey encourage readers to increase their daily intake of nutrients by emphasizing omega-3s and plant-based dishes—complete with healthy replacements for guilty pleasures.
Barton’s 72 recipes aim to show readers that healthy food and sustainable living can still be delicious. Every recipe in The Sparkle Kitchen Cookbook is Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, Peanut-Free, Seed-Free, and Corn-Free.
The Sustainable Table by Cassie Duncan and Hayley Morris
The Sustainable Table is a compilation of recipes and wisdom from chefs, farmers, and gardeners who want to make environmentally conscious food choices. Duncan and Morris include both recipes and stories of those who have transformed their lives and communities by eating seasonally, shopping locally, and purchasing ethically.
Two if By Sea: Delicious Sustainable Seafood by Barton Seaver
Following For Cod and Country, Seaver’s second book on seafood cookery provides readers with the tools they need to prepare delicious seafood dishes in their own homes. In addition to favorites like the Smoked Lobster and Fennel-Carrot Salad or the Poached Salmon, Seaver includes a guide to buying sustainable seafood.
Every year, 40 percent of the food in the United States gets thrown away, Gunders’ cookbook is packed with practical strategies for reducing food waste at home by shopping smarter, planning meals better, understanding expiration dates, and cooking with leftover ingredients.