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Babble Book Club: TODAY Food Inc. discussion 3:00pm EST

Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

Hey all you Babble Book Clubbers!

We have been gathering ideas for the next BBC selection and have realized that Earth Week and the Vegan Challenge is coming up and reading a Earth/food-related book could be a great way to engage!

So far there have been a couple suggestions:

Edible Action by Sally Miller

Food in the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution by Jennifer Cockrall-King

 

Check these titles out and let us know which you like or if you have any other suggestions on the food movement/sustainability motif!


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infracaninophile
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Joined: Aug 31 2011

Both look interesting, but neither is available from my (very large) local library system. Food and the City is on order. Purchasing a new book is not something I want to do.

 

How about something that has been out long enough to be in cheaper paperback, in libraries or secondhand? Here's a suggestion:

http://www.amazon.ca/Food-Inc-Participant-Industrial-Poorer/dp/1586486942

I saw the documentary film, about a year ago I guess, and it was quite powerful. The book promises to be a good complement, with both information and action components.


Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

hmmmm,

slight bummer that those aren't widely available. 

I think your suggestion for Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How industrial food is making us sicker, fatter and poorer is a great suggestion for our Earth week read! Especially since it does have the accompanying documentary to add additional context!

 

We were thinking of having the discussion sometime on Earth Week (April 23-27), which is a quick turn around, but do you think that is feasible? This book would probably be widely available and accessible to everyone, so wait times might be shorter?

After, I promise we will extend the reading deadlines!

 


alex
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Joined: May 8 2008

I'm into doing FOOD INC. I've always wanted to watch the doc...any others have thoughts?


Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

Okay so Earth Week is actually April 16-23 (what do I know?): so let us all discuss deadlines.

As mentioned, this will be a quick turnaround time to coincide with Earth Week and the Vegan Challenge -- how does everyone feel about that?

It seems like either Sunday April 22 or Monday April 23 might work the best, and it seems like Sundays work better for book clubbers to engage in discussion on those days.

On a personal note I will be out of town from the 22-24, but can always figure something out!

 

How would folks feel about attempting to have a discussion date on say Sunday April 22? Thoughts?


jrose
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Joined: Oct 24 2006

I can't keep up with you speed readers! I'll try (again!) for this one, but if I can't get through the whole thing I'll just lurk like I did yesterday! :) The Food Inc. documentary is great. Another book I really enjoyed is Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer.


Campus Notes
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Joined: Nov 11 2009

@jrose I know, I know, the timelines are so quick! I am definitely no speed reader!Cry

We are having a quick turn around time, so we can discuss during Earth Week, and Food Inc would be a great selection because it has an accompanying documentary for the speed-reading inclined (me). But definitely any conversation about food politics and food revolutions are welcomed in this thread for Earth Week too!

What do you think would work best for a discussion date if we were to do it for Earth Week April 16-23


Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

whoops, forgot to log out of my Campus Notes identity!

Sorry Alex (please don't fire me!)Wink


Rebecca West
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I've put both books on hold in my public library system ... Edible Action is most readily available.

Not for this selection, but perhaps for the future, I've just been re-reading one of my favourite novels: The Gargoyle, by Canadian writer Andrew Davidson.  A lovely story.


Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

Have we made a decision? I'l want to order the book and shipping times are variable.


Left Turn
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Joined: Mar 28 2005

Maybe not for this time, since folks have apparently already decided to read a book about urban agriculture, but I think it would be great to read Yves Engler's new book Lester Pearson's Peacekeeping: The Truth May Hurt

Here's what the blurb on the back cover says about it.

Quote:
Written in the form of a submission to an imagined  truth and reconcilliation commission about Canada's foreign policy past, Lester Pearson's Peacekeeping: The Truth May Hurt will challenge how you think about this country's most famous statesman. Rather than an honest broker or peacekeeper, Pearson was an ardent cold warrior who backed colonialism and apartheid in Africa, coups in Gautemala, Iran and Brazil, and the US invasion of the dominican republic. The Nobel Peace Laureate helped construct the post World War II US-empire and was an important contributor to the american war against Vietnam.

Yves Engler has been dubbed "One of the most important voices on the Canadian Left today" (Briarpatch), "in the mould of I. F. Stone (Globe and Mail), "ever insightful" (rabble.ca) , and a "Leftist gadfly (Ottawa Citizen). His five previous books have been praised by Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, William Blum, Rick Salutin and many others.

On top of which, it's only 150 pages, which is good for those who are not speed readers.


Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

@Caissa: we are going with infracaninophile's pick: Food Inc. for our Earth Week selection. We have yet to decide on a discussion date, but were playing around with the idea of Sunday April 22 or Monday April 23. What works for you?

@Rebecca West: That is a great idea (re: The Gargoyle) I'll keep that on the back-burner! I think we will go with Food Inc so everyone can get a hold of the book easier or watch the documentary. If you read edible action let us know how it is and bring the no doubt vast amount of knowledge that it holds!

@Left Turn: a great idea too! The book lounge reviewed it as well (always nice to incorporate!). We will keep that on the back-burner as well (!) thanks for the suggestion!

 

So just as a clarification to all: For ease, let's go with Food Inc. as our choice for our Earth Week read; however, we are still deciding on a discussion date -- let me know what works best, possibly around Sunday April 22 or Monday April 23? Also, feel free to bring any other knowledge or book suggestions about food politics/revolution to the discussion as well!

 


Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

@Left Turn: oh here is a link to the Book Lounge's review of Lester Peaerson's Peackeeping in case you were interested:

http://rabble.ca/books/reviews/2012/02/lester-pearson%E2%80%99s-peacekee...

 


Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

Ok discussion dates.

I've we had the discussion date for our Earth Week read on Sunday April 29 say 12:00pm PST/3:00pm EST how would that work for most people?

This way it is a touch later for us not equipped with speed-reading eyes, but still close to Earth Week dates for relevance. (also I could participate!)

Thoughts?


jrose
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Joined: Oct 24 2006

Count me in! I just put it on hold at my library.


Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

Ms. C. is picking me up a copy tomorrow.


Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

Nice! I just reserved a copy as well!

I am hoping to read Food Inc. and possible some other food-related reads to give myself a more well-rounded opinion on my ranty "but that's not sustainable!" arguement. 

I think I will post tomorrow that we will discussion date Sunday April 29 12:00pm PST/3:00pm EST tomorrow unless there are any huge objections by anyone? We also won't have an author on this time and just promote discussion between all us book-clubbers. I good old fashioned convo!

Thanks everyone for your input, it was greatly appreciated! 


infracaninophile
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Joined: Aug 31 2011

A nice feature of a book (such as Food, Inc) that is a compilation of essays/chapters with diffeent authors and viewpoints on the issues, is that you can read some of it --pick the sections that look  most a propos or of personal concern -- and still be part of the discussion -- you don't have to read it all. With a novel, like Six Metres of Pavement (which I found engrossing ) you really can't "read around" in the book, you miss the nuances, the carefully developed characterization and adumbrations of things to come, etc.   

I've put a hold on it at the library too and I'll try to look at the documentary again, as well. You can get some idea about it from these YouTube snippets:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXmF_erEv1o (interview with the filmmaker)

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2P1CJ7IEt0c

-section on Monsanto's nefarious role (wasn't Dick Cheney head of Monsanto? Or was it Rumsfeld? They are also responsible for ethoxyquin in pet food, and aspartame(very toxic substance)

I'm looking foward to reading the book for some practical action steps. Buying local, avoiding processed foods, are all good initiatives but not enough to turn the tide. 

 


Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

it's official we are going steady with Food Inc. for our Earth Week read and will have the final discussion date Sunday April 29 12:00pm PST/3:00pm EST.

Check out the blog post for additional information and some probing questions!

Just received my copy from the library and I am excited to discuss food politics with all of you!

 


Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

I've read the first 80 pages. Another book that i wouldn't have chosen to read of my own volition. That's what i like about the babble Book Club; it has introduced to works i wouldn't have read otherwise.


Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

@Caissa: that is really great to hear. I'm glad you are branching out with all of us -- it has been fun and challenging to step outside genres different from ones I would read.

 

On a seperate note, I was reading Food Inc. last night (the beginning essay Embarassed) and really enjoyed this moment:

"It ran the risk of becoming something terribly kitschy and ironic. So I did what I always do when I want to learn more about a subject: I went to the New York Public Library. Almost everything I write begins at a library -- and that is still true today, even with the incredible amount of information available on the Internet."

 

Nice shout out to libraries, and nice reassurance that people seek out the library and books (!) for information instead of reliance on the internet. Don't get me wrong, I love the internet, but brings me back to pre-wikipedia days and pre-internet domination and searching through the stacks and getting lost in the information. 

A nice anecdote of the writer!


Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

@Caissa: that is really great to hear. I'm glad you are branching out with all of us -- it has been fun and challenging to step outside genres different from ones I would read.

 

On a seperate note, I was reading Food Inc. last night (the beginning essay Embarassed) and really enjoyed this moment:

"It ran the risk of becoming something terribly kitschy and ironic. So I did what I always do when I want to learn more about a subject: I went to the New York Public Library. Almost everything I write begins at a library -- and that is still true today, even with the incredible amount of information available on the Internet."

 

Nice shout out to libraries, and nice reassurance that people seek out the library and books (!) for information instead of reliance on the internet. Don't get me wrong, I love the internet, but brings me back to pre-wikipedia days and pre-internet domination and searching through the stacks and getting lost in the information. 

A nice anecdote of the writer!


Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

Earth Week is drawing near -- next week to be exact!

This year rabble.ca is participating in the Vegan Challenge again and an interesting babble thread has been opened up about the politics of vegan diets and the personal views and opinions behind it. It is a really interesting thread and I think provides a lot of context to our conversation and book selection for Earth week and I encourage you all to read over the thread(s) and join in (here or there).

Hope everyone is enjoying there Earth Week read and for those in Vancouver that foreign object known as the sun that has been present in our lives for the last few days!

Happy Friday 13 everyone. Surprised


infracaninophile
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Joined: Aug 31 2011

I picked up Food, Inc. at the library last weekend.  A feature I like about these anthology-type books is that you can open to the table of contents and select the section that interests you most to read first (and of course, if you haven't time to read the whole book, you can select only those parts of greatest personal importance).

My interest was immediately drawn to Part III: What You Can Do About It, a section with 5 chapters. I recognized Michael Pollan's name from The Omnivore's Dilemma, and the name Joel Salatin tugged at my neurons....wasn't he the very aericulate organic farmer in the Food,Inc. documentary? Aha, yes, and he is as articulate on paper as he is viva voce. His chapter is entitled, "Declare Your Independence," and the opening sentence grabbed me immediately: "Perhaps the most empowering concept in any paradigm-challenging movement is simply opting out. The opt-out strategy can humble the mightiest forces because it declares to one and all, 'You do not control me.'" He goes on to elaborate in some detail.

My reservations about this strategy (in general) have been about the efficacy of isolated individual initiatives. But Salatin makes a compelling case for the collective power of individuals' demands and choices.

I contend that it [industrial food system] will not move. Entrenched paradigms never move . . . until outside forces move them. And those forces always come from the bottom up. The people who sit on the throne tend to like things the way they are. They have no reason to change until they are forced to do so.The most powerful force you and I can exert on the system is to opt out. Just declare that we will not participate. Resistance movements from the antislavery movement to women’s suffrage to sustainable agriculture always have and always will begin with opt-out resistance to the status quo.

That got me thinking about other "movements" that have had significant impact, from the civil rights movement to the inclusion movement for children with exceptionalities -- they were in fact largely propelled, at least at the start, by actions of individuals and small groups. Think of the Montgomery bus boycott, the changes in pet food due to the ethoxyquin scandal, and numerous others. I liked this bit, speaking of pork production:

Our pigs aerate anaerobic, fermented bedding in the hay feeding shed,where manure, carbon, and corn create a pig delight. We actually believet hat honoring and respecting the “pigness” of the pig is the first step in an ethical, moral cultural code. By contrast, today’s industrial food system views pigs as merely inanimate piles of protoplasmic molecular structure to be manipulated with whatever cleverness the egocentric human mind can conceive. A society that views its plants and animals from that manipulative, egocentric, mechanistic mindset will soon come to view its citizens in the same way. How we respect and honor the least of these is how we respect and honor the greatest of these.

Food for thought here, just to pique other babblers' interest. 

 


infracaninophile
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Joined: Aug 31 2011

I forgot to include this link:

 http://www.alternet.org/environment/140477/taking_down_the_corporate_food_system_is_simple?page=entire

It's a short summary of Salatin's chapter, worth reading especially if you don't read the book. 

 


Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

60 pages to go. By far the least favourite of the babble Book Club selections.

Then again I'm an unrepentant carnivore who prefers fiction. Wink


Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

@infrancaninophile: i have yet to reach that essay yet, but I see what your saying. It is also nice that someone's philosophy doesn't revolve around the idea of if something's broke let's just keep breaking it.

I am getting really excited for our full-out discussion on April 29, especially after (attempting) the Vegan Challenge and creating the list of Urban Agriculture books. These books and discussion are really inspiring in taking back control and power over food and also re-establishing that connection.

 

@Caissa: I am glad you have stuck with it though! Props! I too eat up the fiction (nice carnivore reference), but it has been nice to think and discuss things based outside of the theorhetical? What particularly are you not loving about this selection? Topic, style? I think Food Inc has been a good jumping off point for discussion on this style of writing/reading -- investigating, researching -- and for a continued conversation of food politics and food writing.

Will you be able to make it to the discussion?


Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

Finished it last night. Loved the hospital which held a weekly farmers market to help promote healthy eating.


Slumberjack
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Joined: Aug 8 2005

Kaitlin McNabb wrote:
It is also nice that someone's philosophy doesn't revolve around the idea of if something's broke let's just keep breaking it.

Sometimes it's better just to sweep things up when they're broken, and toss them in the garbage.


Kaitlin McNabb
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Joined: Oct 19 2011

my comment is below, below.

my computer is going crazy!


Kaitlin McNabb
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crazy comptuer!

(I don't know how to delete posts if necessary...)


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