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

By Marion Nestle

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.

TEMPLATEFoodPolitics02.jpg

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

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/01/2-food-books-worth-reading-fed-up-with-lunch-and-urban-farmer/251976/