Contributing author: Kimberly Behzadi
Food Tank is excited to share our fall books list. These 22 books provide insight into food access and justice in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities, the injustices women face in the culinary world, the effects of technology on our global supply chain, and the relationship between climate change and food production. Happy reading and if you live in the United States, please remember to register to vote and have a safe plan for voting by mail or in person!
James C. Scott’s book challenges the standard civilization narrative – the idea that agricultural societies made humans safer and more prosperous compared to a nomadic lifestyle. Instead, Against the Grain argues that people were forced to live in the early settlements due to malnutrition, disease, slavery, and other hierarchical inputs. In making this argument, explains the advantages of mobile subsistence and the epidemics that result from crowded civilizations.
2. Agrobiodiversity, School Gardens and Healthy diets, by 75 contributors
Seventy-five contributors pooled their experiences for the newly released Agrobiodiversity, School Gardens and Healthy Diets. Case studies from around the world help to show that schools are the perfect locations to teach young people and communities about healthy eating, biodiversity, and food production. Together, the authors argue that school gardens empower future generations to make food choices that nurture the environment and human health
3. Biodynamic Beekeeping: A Sustainable Way to Keep Happy, Healthy Bees, by Maria Thun (forthcoming, December 15, 2020)
Modern beekeeping, influenced by new technologies and breeding methods, has increased honey production, but left bee colonies weak and vulnerable to disease. Biodynamic Beekeeping offers detailed advice and instruction on how to work more holistically with bees. The book addresses the challenges and advantages of breeding queen bees, ways to artificially populate colonies and combat predator mites, and instructions for making winter-feed according to current biodynamic thinking.
4. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer
In this New York Times bestseller, reissued in honor of the 40th anniversary of Milkweed editions, botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book focuses on the world of botany as described and explored through Indigenous traditions. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Kimmerer follows the notion that plants and animals are our oldest and wisest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, she brings these two lenses of knowledge together.
5. Dark Emu, by Bruce Pascoe
In Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe reexamines colonial accounts of Aboriginal peoples in Australia. Pasco looks for evidence of pre-colonial agriculture, engineering, and building construction by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to better understand their systems of food production and land management. Dark Emu ultimately argues that colonial depictions of Aboriginal peoples have been used to justify dispossession of their land.
In The Full Plate Ayesha Curry brings together 100 flexible and delicious recipes that cooks can prepare in under an hour. With pastas, salads, homemade versions of take-out favorites, and more, the recipes will allow readers to bring their families together over food and celebrate the pleasure brought by a home-cooked meal.
After leaving home at 15, Sarah Frey returns to her family farm when it faces foreclosure years later. At 17, she worked to create her own produce company. Today, her family-operated company, Frey Farms, has become one of America’s largest fresh produce growers and shippers, with farmland spread across seven states. The Growing Season: is the story of Frey’s grit and resilience which paid off in unexpected ways.
8. Let’s Ask Marion: What You Need to Know about the Politics of Food, Nutrition, and Health, by Marion Nestle and Kerry Trueman
In this question-and-answer collection author and scholar Marion Nestle and environmental advocate Kerry Trueman address some of the most pressing issues around consumers’ diets, local and global food systems, and the environment. Let’s Ask Marion offers readers an accessible introduction to these complex topics. It also shows readers how they can fight for a better food system and a healthier planet.
9. The Nature of Nature: Why We Need the Wild, by Enric Sala
In this manifesto, internationally renowned ecologist Enric Sala makes a clear case for protecting nature. He argues that once people appreciate how nature works, they will understand how essential it is to humanity’s survival. Sala, who has expertise in ocean protection, broadens his attention to nature as a whole to argue for more sustainable farming methods and greater ecosystem diversity.
10. Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir, by Kwame Onwuachi with Joshua David Stein
By the time he was 27 years old, Kwame Onuwachi had opened – and closed – one of the most talked-about restaurants in America. In Notes From a Young Black Chef, Onwuachi writes about his past life when he sold drugs in New York spent in Nigeria, started his own catering company, and appeared on Top Chef. Onuwachi’s candid telling sheds light on the injustices he faces as a Black chef trying to find success.His memoir is also being adapted into an illustrated book for children, to be released in 2021.
11. The Reindeer Chronicles: And Other Inspiring Stories of Working with Nature to Heal the Earth by Judith D. Schwartz
Award-winning science journalist Judith D. Schwartz explores regenerative solutions across a range of landscapes from deserts and grasslands to the tropics and Mediterranean. With Schwartz ,the reader travels the world, learning about the impact colonialism and industrial agriculture has had on the world. By exploring the endurance of Indigenous knowledge, she shows readers the unsung heroes fighting to heal and revitalize our planet.
12. Salmon: A Fish, the Earth, and the History of a Common Fate, by Mark Kurlansky
In his latest book Mark Kurlansky focuses on salmon to explore the impacts of overfishing, industrial pollution, climate change, and more. Similar to his previous work, Cod, Kurlansky traces the history of the world through his fish-eye lens, laying bare humanity’s misdirected attempts to manipulate salmon for our own benefit. He argues that the only way to save the salmon is to save the planet.
13. A Small Farm Future: Making the Case for a Society Built Around Local Economies, Self-Provisioning, Agricultural Diversity and a Shared Earth, by Chris Smaje, (Forthcoming, October 21)
In A Small Farm Future farmer and social scientist Chris Smaje argues for downsizing. He believes that we must move away from large commercial agriculture and organize instead around small-scale farming. Thoroughly analyzed and researched, Smaje sets out to prove that small-scale farming offers the most reasonable response to climate change and other crises of civilization and will yield the best chance at survival.
14. Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria (Forthcoming, October 6)
CNN host and best-selling author Fareed Zakaria helps readers understand the nature of a post-pandemic world. These ten lessons cover all areas of the post-pandemic world: the political, social, technological, and economic consequences that may take years to unfold. While urgent and timely, these lessons are sure to be an enduring reflection of life in 2020.
15. Women on Food: Charlotte Druckman and 115 Writers, Chefs, Critics, Television Stars, and Eaters, edited by Charlotte Druckman
Charlotte Druckman’s Women on Food unites the radical, diverging women voices of the food industry. A collection of essays, interviews, questionnaires, illustrations, quotes, and ephemera, the book highlights issues including gender bias and racism in the workplace and the #MeToo movement. Featured voices include Soleil Ho, Nigella Lawson, Diana Henry, Carla Hall, and many more.
16. The Secret Life of Groceries: The Dark Miracle of the American Supermarket, by Benjamin Lorr, (Forthcoming, September 8, 2020)
COVID-19 has changed the way many perceive r supermarket clerk, now designated an essential worker. In The Secret Life of Groceries, Benjamin Lorr argues that the grocery industry has been failing its workers for decades. Rich with research and immenserive reporting, Lorr looks at what it takes to run a supermarket and how consumers’ demand for efficiency impacts workers.
17. The Fishmeal Revolution: The Industrialization of the Humboldt Current Ecosystem, by Kristin A. Wintersteen (Forthcoming, May 25, 2021)
The Humboldt Current is one of the world’s most productive marine ecosystems off the Peru-Chile coast. In the Fishmeal Revolution Kristin A. Wintersteenexplains how fishmeal producers exported unprecedented volumes of marine proteins to satisfy the growing taste in the global supply chain and as a result, industrialized the coast. This forthcoming book explores the economic and environmental uncertainties facing the area and critiques the science and policy that shaped the global food industry.
18. Rooted Resistance: Agrarian Myth in Modern America (Food and Foodways), by Ross Singer, Stephanie Houston Grey, Jeff Motter
Ross Singer, Stephanie Houston Grey, and Jeff Motter argue that the food scene is a complicated and often paradoxical space. Americans care passionately about eating healthy but are also demanding the convenience of fast food. Rooted Resistance explores this fraught but promising food scene, spanning topics including farm-to-table restaurants and farmers markets, fair trade and food sovereignty, and movements for food-system change that hold the promise for deeper transformations.
19. We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy, by Natalie Baszile (forthcoming, April 6, 2021)
Through essays, poems, photographs, quotes, and more, We Are Each Other’s Harvest explores the relationship between Black people in the U.S. and land. With stories that span from Emancipation to the present day, these stories highlight the different challenges that young, middle-aged, and elderly farmers face and their efforts to address issues of food sovereignty and reparations.
20. Eat a Peach, by David Chang and Gabe Ulla
In his memoir Eat a Peach restaurateur David Chang traces the path that helped him become one of the most celebrated chefs in the restaurant industry today. On his journey from the U.S. to Japan and back, Chang touches on the unrelenting nature of the restaurant industry, his experience with mental illness, and his feelings of inadequacy and otherness. But he also explores joy and agency food brings him as he finds new ways to connect with others.
21. Hooked: Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit Our Addictions, by Michael Moss (forthcoming March 2, 2021)
In his latest book, author of Salt Sugar Fat, Michael Moss reveals the findings of the latest research on food addiction. The processed food industry, Moss explains, not only knows that sweets can be just as addictive as alcohol; he also shows how companies exploit this fact for their own profit. In Hooked Moss argues that companies are deepening consumers’ addiction, but also outlines ways for people to retrain their brains and regain control of their diets.
Diet for a Small Planet: 50th Anniversary Edition, by Frances Moore Lappé (forthcoming Fall 2021)
It has been half a century since Diet for a Small Planet was first released and taught readers about the social and personal importance of their diets. In celebration of the book’s 50th anniversary, a new edition is forthcoming in 2021, featuring simple rules for a healthy diet, a comprehensive reference guide for cooks, and author Frances Moore Lappé’s philosophy on changing yourself through the food you eat.