Foodie and food security books

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Foodie and food security books



This isn't just a plug for the rabble's latest book reviews, although I see that the last three are about food, and two out of three are about food security, combined with some foodiness. (And actually, I think rabble's hosted reviews of other interesting books on food security too.)

Anyhow, here are the three book reviews from rabble:

[url=]Apples to Oysters, Margaret Webb[/url]
[url=]The Fruit Hunters, Adam Leith Gollner[/url]
[url=]Dinner behind the Great Wall[/url]

Has anyone else noticed the intersection between foodie and food security themes in a number of books hitting the market lately? I'm not sure whether food security is getting coopted, or whether foodies are getting more socially conscious.

Bookish Agrarian

It might be a bit of both. One thing I have noticed is that my requests for being a speaker or panelist at events that usually don't include actual farmers when they talk about food is up.

In fact it often makes me laugh when I see groups discussing food issues and they DON'T include farmers. It is a bit like having a discussion on teeth without inviting a dentist.

There are some other good books out there right now too-

The End of Food by Thomas Pawlick
PANDEMONIUM - Andrew Nikiforuk (not just food, but it will give you the willies)
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollon
GOOD CROP/ BAD CROP by Devlin Kuyek


I've been reading a lot of food security books lately, so I think I might be the prime example of a (wannabe) foodie that becomes more socially aware.

Among them:

The End of Food, Thomas Pawlick
100-Mile Diet, J.B MacKinnon and Alisa Smith
Harvest for Hope, Jane Goodall
The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan

Surprisingly, I might even recommend the Jane Goodall one above all the others, especially as an introduction to food security. I've passed it on to a few people who don't know much about their food, beyond what the packaging tells them, and its really had an affect on them.

[ 22 June 2008: Message edited by: jrose ]


How important is it to the health of child who diets on food that has expired such as white rice, big bags of it, expired chips and chocolate bars,cookies,chocolates,chips,easter bunnies,valentine chocolate hearts,chocolate Santa's, expired fruits and vegetable in cans, expired frozen foods like moldy bread and others withoug a date. Would these products have any nutritional value? And is this not a diet that would almost guarantee diabetes.
There are no rules on the handling of this food as victims of hep c and aids have know to transport this food and shelf it.
These kids eat a steady diet of this crap that sits of a shelf which thanks to their government they now have special stores where these kids can go buy there exired food products. Whose children are forced to eat the cities garbage?


Are you talking about food banks, mybabble? (Welcome, by the way.) If so, I agree with you. I've heard stories about people getting expired stuff from food banks - it's appalling. And it's the reason why social justice and not food banks, which rely on donations of expired stuff from people's cupboards that they don't want anymore.

Just a slight drift - rice expires? I didn't know that.


Brown rice definitely expires, but it takes a long time. I really wouldn't worry about expired white rice - but true, most food banks I've seen are a collection of the worst possible foods, and many people using them already have illnesses that are compounded by a diet high in sugar, bad starch, and fat.


To drift off BA's point, not many farmers are authors, and as he said, farmers are generally not taken as authorities when discussions turn to food. And when a farmer is on a panel or a show, it seems as if only nice and polite farmers are allowed to speak and give their opinions.

Now, for a farmer-writer, I'm a fan of Wendell Berry. He's a little more philosophical than the current crop of food journalists, but at least he's had his hands in the dirt.

Joel Salatin, prominently featured in Omnivor's Dilemma, is also a good writer (used to be a journalist). In fact, you can probably learn as much about what food farming is really like by reading Pastured Poultry Profits, than you can by taking on the seemingly endless foodie titles flooding the book market.


Goodall's book, among others, goes into small detail about poverty in Western countries in relation to food. It isn't always that people don't have access to food, rather they have access to the wrong foods. Think of the shelves of Giant Tiger or any chain of dollar store, which offer cans or packages of food with little or no nutritional value for 2/$1. I discussed this while writing an article about our local Food Not Bombs chapter, and this is one of the organization's main concerns (accessability of the RIGHT foods, not just food). This chapter gathers leftovers from local bakeries, farmer's markets and businesses to provide free, vegan dishes every week in a park near my house. Sure, one day a week isn't going to provide every family with enough nutrients to get through seven days, however it gets people talking about issues of food security in our own neighbourhood.


This isn't about a food security book, rather it is a talk by a food writer.

My boyfriend and I have been watching on an almost nightly basis. Anyone who is interested in food security or the environmental impact of food should check out this talk by Mark Bittman.

[url='s Wrong With What We Eat?[/url]

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture


Originally posted by Bookish Agrarian:
[b]It might be a bit of both. One thing I have noticed is that my requests for being a speaker or panelist at events that usually don't include actual farmers when they talk about food is up.

In fact it often makes me laugh when I see groups discussing food issues and they DON'T include farmers. It is a bit like having a discussion on teeth without inviting a dentist.

I've noticed the same thing too. Though in the past couple of years a few of the events I've attended there have been some farmers though they tend to be organic farmers or from farms such as CSA's. Which is good but then I've also noticed that in some views there tends to be a separation created between what's deemed to be the 'good' farmers and the bad 'farmers'. So basically anyone that follows a perceived corporate view 'bad' others good. It can be very polarized.
I'll admit that when I first really started to get interested in this area I took a more polarized viewpoint. Then I started to actually talk to actual farmers. Yep a lot more going on then I thought and this polarized point of view is imo a problem. Those discussion need to be broaden.
I am a foodie, interested in food security and I suppose in one sense a type or at least trying to be a small scale farmer. Micro-farming is probably then best term I've come across.
After some of the conversations that I've had with farmers about various I've found that the overwhelming majority actually agree about the state of things and are just as concerned, not only for there own security but in general. There's just a lot more that I think could be discussed.
I think though that Farmpunk has hit on something that most farmers aren't writers, nor would even have time to write even if they wanted too.Most I know don't just farm but have other jobs off the farm which they need to stay afloat. Not everyone can speak either.
It's actually has crossed my mind that maybe I should actually record or write about all this and gets some of those views out at least from the area that I'm in. Especially with some of the old-timers. A lot of those folks rock! It may be cliche but there's a lot of wisdom to be gleaned from those that have been working the earth for that many years and dealing with all of the changes that have happened in both the political and economic aspects of farming.
Maybe with all these foodie books coming out it would be a good time.


There are some wonderful Food Security resources linked to Ryerson's food security certificate program. The resource section can be found [url=]here.[/url]

Is this also a new trend (schools offering food security programs)? I haven't heard of any elsewhere.