For Food & Water Watch’s Executive Director Wenonah Hauter, fast food is the least of America’s eating problems. The simple pleasures of the family dinner have been replaced by a modern-day corporate structure that has robbed us of choice, money, and most importantly, democracy. Writing much more than a book, Hauter uses smart reporting in the form of a call to action to reveal how policy, wealth, and industry have come together to con independent farmers, governments, and the public.
In the San Francisco Chronicle review, Christopher Cook writes: “Foodopoly is politically brave - not just naming names in the agri-industrial complex, but pushing us to think more deeply about the politics and economics that dictate our diets beyond our own roles as shoppers and eaters.”
My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme
Posthumously published in 2006, this pivotal memoir from the classic chef has enjoyed sparkling success in recent years, thanks in part to a less-than-appetizing Meryl Streep vehicle and a centennial birthday, which the Smithsonian commemorated with a peek into the shape and perfection of the quintessential kitchen. More than anything though, it capitalized on the American love affair with Julia Child and the ideals she represented. At the heart of Child’s memoir, written with her grand-nephew Alex Prud’homme, is a tale of love and learning, both in Julia’s relationship with her husband Paul and with that of French cuisine. Child’s stories shine with a message for every reader: “Try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”
Celebrity chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns previewed his new book The Third Plate in the New York Times Sunday Review this past weekend, throwing a wrench into the organic, grass-fed, free-range lifestyle with some big disclaimers about how our “healthy” lifestyles might be hurting the small-time farmers we rely upon to supply us with our guilt-free nutrition. The current Band-Aid that is the farm-to-table system, Barber writes, is broken. “Perhaps the problem with the farm-to-table movement is implicit in its name,” he says. “Imagining the food chain as a field on one end and a plate of food at the other is not only reductive, it also puts us in the position of end users. It’s a passive system—a grocery-aisle mentality—when really, as cooks and eaters, we need to engage in the nuts and bolts of true agricultural sustainability. Flavor can be our guide to reshaping our diets, and our landscapes, from the ground up.”
Already acclaimed by more than a few notable players, The Third Plate is sure to rise quickly on that bestseller list and likely change a few grocery lists and menus in the process.