From 'Wild Flavors' to 'This Ain't Normal,' New Books About Food

A selection of titles from Polity Press, Center Street, Chelsea Green, and other publishers worth picking up and checking out this season

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I get sent a lot of manuscripts to review for possible endorsements ("blurbs"). I read them and happily agree to blurb the ones I think worth special attention. These were recently released:

Jennifer Clapp's Food (Polity Press, 2012). "The global food economy may seem remote from daily experience, but it affects every aspect of what we eat and, therefore, our health and welfare. Jennifer Clapp explains what happens when food is no longer considered a mere source of nourishment or cultural element but is transformed into a fungible commodity. Clapp unpacks and clarifies the mind-numbing complexities of transnational corporations, international trade, and financial markets. Best of all, the book provides precisely the information and tools advocates need to redesign the global food economy to promote fair trade, food justice, and local sovereignity."

If you are a city person, with a secret yen to forage for wild greens, Wild Flavors is an inspiration.

Tanya Denckla Cobb's Reclaiming Our Food: How the Grassroots Food Movement is Changing the Way We Eat (Storey, 2011). I blurbed this one: "People constantly ask me what kinds of things they can do to get involved in the food movement and where to start. Now I can just hand them this. The projects it describes should inspire readers to get busy doing similar projects in their own communities."

Didi Emmons' Wild Flavors: One Chef's Transformative Year Cooking from Eva's Farm (Chelsea Green, 2011). My blurb: "If you are a city person like me, with a secret yen to forage for wild greens, Wild Flavors is an inspiration. Read it, and you will want to harvest, share, and eat everything you find.... Emmon's recipes are lovely and easy to follow."

Joel Salatin's Folks,This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People and a Better World (Center Street, 2011). I blurbed this one too. "Joel Salatin says it's high time we stopped taking our industrialized food system as a given and instead consider local, sustainable food production as the norm. Good plan. Whether or not you agree with this contention that we would be better off if the government got out of food regulation, his ideas are compellingly written, fun to read, and well worth pondering."

I wasn't asked to do a blurb for this one, but it's well worth a mention:

Michael Pollan's Food Rules: An Eater's Manual, illustrated by Maira Kalman (Penguin, 2011). This is an updated version of Pollan's best-seller of a couple of years ago with some new rules and delightful paintings by the creator of the famous New Yorker newyorkistan cover. The book is a quick read and the rules are short and to the point: "Compost!" "Eat slowly!" "Cook!"

Image: Crisferra/Shutterstock.

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This post also appears on Food Politics, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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