2 Food Books Worth Reading: 'Fed Up With Lunch' and 'Urban Farmer'

Only someone who has actually eaten what our kids are fed in school could write so convincing an expose about this broken food system.

main PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek shutterstock_59856091.jpg

Sarah Wu (aka Mrs. Q), Fed Up With Lunch: How One Anonymous Teacher Revealed the Truth About School Lunches -- and How We Can Change Them! Chronicle Books, 2011.

I did a blurb on this one:

Only someone who has actually eaten what our kids are fed in school -- every day for an entire school year -- could write so convincing an expose. Mrs. Q did not set out to be an activist, but her book is a compelling case study of what's wrong with our school food system and what all of us need to do to fix it. Her account of what one person can do should inspire every parent to advocate for better food for kids in school as well as out.

Novella Carpenter and Willow Rosenthal, The Essential Urban Farmer. Penguin, 2011.

This book is a must for anyone interested in growing food plants in urban environments. Carpenter wrote Farm City about her own inner city farm in Oakland, California, and teams up with the founder of City Slicker Farms, also in Oakland. They cover everything you can think of, from dealing with contaminated soil to growing enough food to start your own business.

They illustrate the how-to with photos, diagrams, and line drawings that make it all look easy. Urban farming is easy, at least in miniature (tomatoes, lettuce, herbs, and blueberries flourish on my Manhattan terrace). It doesn't have to be a big deal. Go for it!

Image: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/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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