Browse some of my favorite books. You'll find my favorite cookbooks here, plus book on nutrition, sustainability and homesteading.
The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook: An Allergen-Free Approach to Managing Chronic Illness
Autoimmune diseases are now epidemic, with modern science offering those who are diagnosed limited solutions. Given this, many people suffering from these conditions have searched for alternatives using nutrition and lifestyle changes. In The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, Mickey Trescott provides a resource for those looking to embark on the Autoimmune Protocol–a version of an ancestral diet that is focused both on removing potential food triggers as well as healing the gut. Research shows there is a clear connection between diet and autoimmune disease, and many, including the author, have used these principles to heal their bodies from these debilitating conditions and their accompanying symptoms. With the information and recipes in this book, you can embark on this process for yourself–without suffering through bland and tasteless “allergen-free” meals. Instead, with all of the incredible food you will be enjoying, you may forget that you are achieving better wellness!
In the first section of the book, you will learn all about the Autoimmune Protocol–what it is, why it works, and which foods you should eat and avoid while on the elimination diet. Instructions are given on how to clear your pantry of questionable ingredients and replace them with healing, nutrient-dense whole foods. Also included are sections on food quality, a shopping guide, tips and tricks to make the protocol go more smoothly, as well as ideas for batch-cooking and breakfast. Mickey provides two, 4-week meal plans, each of them corresponding with recipes from the book and featuring detailed shopping lists. Armed with this information, anyone can integrate the Autoimmune Protocol in to their routine!
In addition to the introductory material, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook includes 112 delicious recipes suitable for anyone on the strictest phase of the Autoimmune Protocol–no grains, beans, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, or nightshades. Although this is quite the list of exclusions, Mickey offers unique, flavorful, and delicious meals suitable for a variety of occasions and preferences. You will find simple recipes that anyone can make for a weeknight dinner, as well as more elaborate preparations for those who want to enjoy with company or for a special occasion. Full-page photos for every recipe show you what to expect and inspire you to create beautiful meals of your own.
With the Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook as your guide, you’ll be inspired to take your health into your own hands–finding better health in the face of autoimmunity, while thoroughly enjoying every last bite!
In Everyday Paleo, Sarah Fragoso gives detailed instructions for acquiring a Paleo lifestyle and improving the health and longevity of your family. An active mother of three, Fragoso shows that eating Paleo is not only feasible for the busiest of families, but also easy, delicious and completely life-changing. She offers numerous recipes for all meals of the day, and provides tips for getting around common roadblocks, such as eating out. Finally, to keep your entire family fit and sane in the 21st century, she lays out easy-to-follow workout routines that you can do either in the gym or your own home. In Everyday Paleo, Fragoso shows you how to make Paleo your lifestyle, not just another fad diet.
The Oil Painting Course You’ve Always Wanted: Guided Lessons for Beginners and Experienced Artists
A great guide to the basics of painting! In The Oil Painting Course You’ve Always Wanted, author Kathleen Staiger presents crystal clear, step-by-step lessons that build to reinforce learning. Brush control, creating the illusion of three dimensions, foolproof color mixing, still-life painting, landscapes, and portraits–every topic is covered in clear text, diagrams, illustrations, exercises, and demonstrations. Staiger has taught oil painting for more than thirty-five years; many of her students are now exhibiting and selling their paintings. Everyone from beginning hobby painters, to art students, to BFA graduates has questions about oil painting. Here at last are the answers!
What has happened to our creativity? This book is fantastic for encouraging kids to expand their minds by sparking them to draw and create. There are no “lines” to color inside of. Each page asks the child to imagine, create, explore and express their thoughts visually. As a former art teacher and mother, this is the ONLY coloring book series that I recommend. We need to teach children how to think, not what to think.
Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival
With research gleaned from the National Institutes of Health, T.S. Wiley and Bent Formby deliver staggering findings: Americans really are sick from being tired. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and depression are rising in our population. We’re literally dying for a good night’s sleep.
Our lifestyle wasn’t always this way. It began with the invention of the lightbulb.
When we don’t get enough sleep in sync with seasonal light exposure, we fundamentally alter a balance of nature that has been programmed into our physiology since day one. This delicate biological rhythm rules the hormones and neurotransmitters that determine appetite, fertility, and mental and physical health. When we rely on artificial light to extend our day until 11 p.m., midnight, and beyond, we fool our bodies into living in a perpetual state of summer. Anticipating the scarce food supply and forced inactivity of winter, our bodies begin storing fat and slowing metabolism to sustain us through the months of hibernation and hunger that never arrive. Our own survival instinct, honed over millennia, is now killing us.
Wiley and Formby also reveal:
-That studies from our own government research prove the role of sleeplessness in diabetes, heart disease, cancer, infertility, mental illness, and premature aging
-Why the carbohydrate-rich diets recommended by many health professionals are not only ridiculously ineffective but deadly
-Why the lifesaving information that can turn things around is one of the best-kept secrets of our day.
Lights Out is one wake-up call none of us can afford to miss.
Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture
Mother Nature has shown her hand. Faced with climate change, dwindling resources, and species extinctions, most Americans understand the fundamental steps necessary to solve our global crises-drive less, consume less, increase self-reliance, buy locally, eat locally, rebuild our local communities.
In essence, the great work we face requires rekindling the home fires.Radical Homemakers is about men and women across the U.S. who focus on home and hearth as a political and ecological act, and who have centered their lives around family and community for personal fulfillment and cultural change. It explores what domesticity looks like in an era that has benefited from feminism, where domination and oppression are cast aside and where the choice to stay home is no longer equated with mind-numbing drudgery, economic insecurity, or relentless servitude.
Radical Homemakers nationwide speak about empowerment, transformation, happiness, and casting aside the pressures of a consumer culture to live in a world where money loses its power to relationships, independent thought, and creativity. If you ever considered quitting a job to plant tomatoes, read to a child, pursue creative work, can green beans and heal the planet, this is your book.
Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life
How do we change?
Gretchen Rubin’s answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.
So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits?
Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin’s compelling voice, rigorous research, and easy humor, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, Better than Before explains the (sometimes counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation.
Along the way, Rubin uses herself as guinea pig, tests her theories on family and friends, and answers readers’ most pressing questions—oddly, questions that other writers and researchers tend to ignore:
• Why do I find it tough to create a habit for something I love to do?
• Sometimes I can change a habit overnight, and sometimes I can’t change a habit, no matter how hard I try. Why?
• How quickly can I change a habit?
• What can I do to make sure I stick to a new habit?
• How can I help someone else change a habit?
• Why can I keep habits that benefit others, but can’t make habits that are just for me?
Whether readers want to get more sleep, stop checking their devices, maintain a healthy weight, or finish an important project, habits make change possible. Reading just a few chapters of Better Than Before will make readers eager to start work on their own habits—even before they’ve finished the book.
Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence
“The seminal guide to the new morality of personal money management” (Los Angeles Times(on the first edition))
In an age of great economic uncertainty when everyone is concerned about money and how they spend what they have, this new edition of the bestselling Your Money or Your Life is an essential read. With updated resources, an easy-to-use index, and anecdotes and examples particularly relevant today-it tells you how to:
- get out of debt and develop savings
- reorder material priorities and live well for less
- resolve inner conflicts between values and lifestyle
- save the planet while saving money
- and much more
In Your Money or Your Life, Vicki Robin shows readers how to gain control of their money and finally begin to make a life, rather than just make a living.
The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
Whether we’re buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, selecting a long-distance carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions—both big and small—have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented.
As Americans, we assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression.
In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice—the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish—becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice—from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs—has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution. Schwartz also shows how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse.
By synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counter intuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. He offers eleven practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on those that are important and ignore the rest, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.
The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Better
A classic exposé in company with An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring, The Story of Stuff expands on the celebrated documentary exploring the threat of overconsumption on the environment, economy, and our health. Leonard examines the “stuff” we use everyday, offering a galvanizing critique and steps for a changed planet.
The Story of Stuff was received with widespread enthusiasm in hardcover, by everyone from Stephen Colbert to Tavis Smiley to George Stephanopolous on Good Morning America, as well as far-reaching print and blog coverage. Uncovering and communicating a critically important idea—that there is an intentional system behind our patterns of consumption and disposal—Annie Leonard transforms how we think about our lives and our relationship to the planet.
From sneaking into factories and dumps around the world to visiting textile workers in Haiti and children mining coltan for cell phones in the Congo, Leonard, named one of Time magazine’s 100 environmental heroes of 2009, highlights each step of the materials economy and its actual effect on the earth and the people who live near sites like these.
With curiosity, compassion, and humor, Leonard shares concrete steps for taking action at the individual and political level that will bring about sustainability, community health, and economic justice. Embraced by teachers, parents, churches, community centers, activists, and everyday readers, The Story of Stuff will be a long-lived classic.
The Family Cow
A family cow can provide an endless supply of delicious fresh milk, but also requires a large investment of time and money. In this practical guide, Dirk van Loon provides detailed information on choosing an appropriate breed for your needs, nutrition, milking, health care, and bovine behavior. With expert advice on everything you need to know keep your animal healthy, happy, and productive, you’ll soon be enjoying all the benefits a family cow can bring.
Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep, 4th Edition: Breeding, Care, Facilities
Whether you’re about to acquire your first sheep or are interested in diversifying your operation with rare breeds, Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep covers everything small-scale sheep farmers need to know to keep their animals healthy and productive. Drawing from years of hands-on experience, Paula Simmons and Carol Ekarius provide expert advice on breed selection, lambing, feeding, housing, pasture maintenance, and medical care. You’ll also find tips on profitably marketing your meat and fiber products, as well as information on obtaining organic certifications.
Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens
From hatching chicks to putting eggs on the table, this comprehensive guide has all the information you need to successfully keep chickens. Gail Damerow shows you how to choose the right breeds for your needs, build efficient chicken coops, provide necessary medical attention for your animals, and much more. Whether you’re raising broilers for meat or preparing your chickens to win a blue ribbon at the next county fair, Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens will help you achieve your poultry-raising goals.
Storey’s Guide to Raising Poultry, 4th Edition: Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Guineas, Game Birds
Whether you’re running a farm or interested in keeping a few backyard birds, Storey’s Guide to Raising Poultry covers everything you need to know to successfully raise your own chickens, turkeys, waterfowl, and more. Stressing humane practices throughout, Glenn Davis provides expert advice on breed selection, housing, feeding, behavior, breeding, health care, and processing your own meat and eggs. With tips on raising specialty species like doves, ostriches, and peafowl, you’ll be inspired to experiment with new breeds and add diversity to your poultry operation.
The Rodale Book of Composting: Easy Methods for Every Gardener
The essential guide to composting for all gardeners and environmentally conscious people
Composting is fast becoming a household word. Gardeners know it is the best way to feed the soil, while others look to composting as a way to dispose of grass clippings, autumn leaves, and tree trimmings. The Rodale Book of Composting edited by Grace Gershuny and Deborah L. Martin offers:
* Easy-to-follow instructions for making and using compost
* Helpful tips for apartment dwellers, suburbanites, farmers and community leaders
* Ecologically sound solutions to growing waste disposal problems
The Cambridge World History of Food (2-Volume Set)
An undertaking without parallel or precedent, this monumental two-volume work encapsulates much of what is known of the history of food and nutrition throughout the span of human life on earth. It constitutes a vast and essential chapter in the history of human health and culture. Ranging from the eating habits of our prehistoric ancestors to food-related policy issues we face today, this work covers the full spectrum of foods that have been hunted, gathered, cultivated, and domesticated; their nutritional makeup and uses; and their impact on cultures and demography. It offers a geographical perspective on the history and culture of food and drink and takes up subjects from food fads, prejudices, and taboos to questions of food toxins, additives, labeling, and entitlements.
It culminates in a dictionary that identifies and sketches out brief histories of plant foods mentioned in the text–over 1,000 in all–and additionally supplies thousands of common names and synonyms for those foods. The essays in this volume are the work of 220 experts in fifteen countries, in fields from agronomy to zoology. Every chapter is accompanied by bibliographical references.
The volumes are organized in the following sections: 1. A determination of what our Paleolithic ancestors ate during their stay on the planet (over 99 percent of the time humankind has lived on earth). 6 chapters 2. An extensive treatment of the domestication and development of each of humankind’s staple foods. 60 chapters 3. The history of our dietary liquids from beer through soft drinks to water. 13 chapters 4. Studies on the discovery of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and the essential fatty acids along with a look at what they do for us. 37 chapters 5. A history of food and drink for all of the countries in the world. In addition there is a chapter on culinary history. 23 chapters 6. Historical issues involving human health, such as nutrition and mortality decline, height and nutrition, infection and nutrition. 18 chapters 7. Contemporary food-related policy issues are treated in this penultimate section of the work. Examples include chapters on food labeling, food biotechnology and the RDAs. 13 chapters 8. The last section of the work is a food-plant dictionary with over 1,000 entries that emphasize history and usage.
The dictionary also includes over 4,000 synonyms for the names of plant food. Here readers well-informed about potatoes or asparagus can learn about lesser-known or strictly regional foods such as ackee or zamia and–among the thousands of synonyms provided–can discover that an aubergine is an eggplant, that “swedes” are rutabagas, and that “bulgar” comes from bulghur, which means “bruised grain.”
The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science
The New York Times bestselling winner of the 2016 James Beard Award for General Cooking and the IACP Cookbook of the Year Award.
A grand tour of the science of cooking explored through popular American dishes, illustrated in full color.
Ever wondered how to pan-fry a steak with a charred crust and an interior that’s perfectly medium-rare from edge to edge when you cut into it? How to make homemade mac ‘n’ cheese that is as satisfyingly gooey and velvety-smooth as the blue box stuff, but far tastier? How to roast a succulent, moist turkey (forget about brining!)―and use a foolproof method that works every time?
As Serious Eats’s culinary nerd-in-residence, J. Kenji López-Alt has pondered all these questions and more. In The Food Lab, Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Kenji shows that often, conventional methods don’t work that well, and home cooks can achieve far better results using new―but simple―techniques. In hundreds of easy-to-make recipes with over 1,000 full-color images, you will find out how to make foolproof Hollandaise sauce in just two minutes, how to transform one simple tomato sauce into a half dozen dishes, how to make the crispiest, creamiest potato casserole ever conceived, and much more.
Over 1000 color photographs
The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor
A lively argument from an award-winning journalist proving that the key to reversing America’s health crisis lies in the overlooked link between nutrition and flavor: “The Dorito Effect is one of the most important health and food books I have read” (Dr. David B. Agus, New York Times bestselling author).
We are in the grip of a food crisis. Obesity has become a leading cause of preventable death, after only smoking. For nearly half a century we’ve been trying to pin the blame somewhere—fat, carbs, sugar, wheat, high-fructose corn syrup. But that search has been in vain, because the food problem that’s killing us is not a nutrient problem. It’s a behavioral problem, and it’s caused by the changing flavor of the food we eat.
Ever since the 1940s, with the rise of industrialized food production, we have been gradually leeching the taste out of what we grow. Simultaneously, we have taken great leaps forward in technology, creating a flavor industry, worth billions annually, in an attempt to put back the tastes we’ve engineered out of our food. The result is a national cuisine that increasingly resembles the paragon of flavor manipulation: Doritos. As food—all food—becomes increasingly bland, we dress it up with calories and flavor chemicals to make it delicious again. We have rewired our palates and our brains, and the results are making us sick and killing us.
With in-depth historical and scientific research, The Dorito Effect casts the food crisis in a fascinating new light, weaving an enthralling tale of how we got to this point and where we are headed. We’ve been telling ourselves that our addiction to flavor is the problem, but it is actually the solution. We are on the cusp of a new revolution in agriculture that will allow us to eat healthier and live longer by enjoying flavor the way nature intended.
The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry
“Here is a human being speaking with calm and sanity out of the wilderness. We would do well to hear him.”—The Washington Post Book World
Art of the Commonplace gathers twenty essays by Wendell Berry that offer an agrarian alternative to our dominant urban culture. Grouped around five themes—an agrarian critique of culture, agrarian fundamentals, agrarian economics, agrarian religion, and geo-biography—these essays promote a clearly defined and compelling vision important to all people dissatisfied with the stress, anxiety, disease, and destructiveness of contemporary American culture.
Why is agriculture becoming culturally irrelevant, and at what cost? What are the forces of social disintegration and how might they be reversed? How might men and women live together in ways that benefit both? And, how does the corporate takeover of social institutions and economic practices contribute to the destruction of human and natural environments?
The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from around the World
Winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship, and a New York Times bestseller, The Art of Fermentation is the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents the concepts and processes behind fermentation in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, and in-depth enough to provide greater understanding and insight for experienced practitioners.
While Katz expertly contextualizes fermentation in terms of biological and cultural evolution, health and nutrition, and even economics, this is primarily a compendium of practical information―how the processes work; parameters for safety; techniques for effective preservation; troubleshooting; and more.
With two-color illustrations and extended resources, this book provides essential wisdom for cooks, homesteaders, farmers, gleaners, foragers, and food lovers of any kind who want to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for arguably the oldest form of food preservation, and part of the roots of culture itself.
Readers will find detailed information on fermenting vegetables; sugars into alcohol (meads, wines, and ciders); sour tonic beverages; milk; grains and starchy tubers; beers (and other grain-based alcoholic beverages); beans; seeds; nuts; fish; meat; and eggs, as well as growing mold cultures, using fermentation in agriculture, art, and energy production, and considerations for commercial enterprises. Sandor Katz has introduced what will undoubtedly remain a classic in food literature, and is the first―and only―of its kind.
Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front
Drawing upon 40 years’ experience as an ecological farmer and marketer, Joel Salatin explains with humor and passion why Americans do not have the freedom to choose the food they purchase and eat. From child labor regulations to food inspection, bureaucrats provide themselves sole discretion over what food is available in the local marketplace. Their system favors industrial, global corporate food systems and discourages community-based food commerce, resulting in homogenized selection, mediocre quality, and exposure to non-organic farming practices. Salatin’s expert insight explains why local food is expensive and difficult to find and will illuminate for the reader a deeper understanding of the industrial food complex.
Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World
From farmer Joel Salatin’s point of view, life in the 21st century just ain’t normal. In FOLKS, THIS AIN’T NORMAL, he discusses how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love. Salatin has many thoughts on what normal is and shares practical and philosophical ideas for changing our lives in small ways that have big impact.
Salatin, hailed by the New York Times as “Virginia’s most multifaceted agrarian since Thomas Jefferson [and] the high priest of the pasture” and profiled in the Academy Award nominated documentary Food, Inc. and the bestselling book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, understands what food should be: Wholesome, seasonal, raised naturally, procured locally, prepared lovingly, and eaten with a profound reverence for the circle of life. And his message doesn’t stop there. From child-rearing, to creating quality family time, to respecting the environment, Salatin writes with a wicked sense of humor and true storyteller’s knack for the revealing anecdote.
Salatin’s crucial message and distinctive voice–practical, provocative, scientific, and down-home philosophical in equal measure–make FOLKS, THIS AIN’T NORMAL a must-read book.
You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise
For all the wannabes and newbies, this book is subtitled: “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start and Succeed in a Farming Enterprise.” A veritable compendium of information, Joel pulls from his eclectic sphere of knowledge, combines it with a half century of farming experience, and covers as many topics as he can think of that will affect the success of a farming venture. He offers his 10 best picks for profitable ventures, and the 10 worst. He covers insurance, record keeping, land acquisition, and equipment. Some people have suggested the title should just be “You Can,” meaning that really the book is about succeeding in life. A hard hitting, practical view from a successful farmer, if this book scares you off, it will be the best reality check you ever spent.
The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture
Since its publication by Sierra Club Books in 1977, The Unsettling of America has been recognized as a classic of American letters. In it, Wendell Berry argues that good farming is a cultural development and spiritual discipline. Today’s agribusiness, however, takes farming out of its cultural context and away from families. As a result, we as a nation are more estranged from the land—from the intimate knowledge, love, and care of it.
Sadly, his arguments and observations are more relevant than ever. We continue to suffer loss of community, the devaluation of human work, and the destruction of nature under an economic system dedicated to the mechanistic pursuit of products and profits. Although “this book has not had the happy fate of being proved wrong,” Berry writes, there are good people working “to make something comely and enduring of our life on this earth.” Wendell Berry is one of those people, writing and working, as ever, with passion, eloquence, and conviction.
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability
Part memoir, nutritional primer, and political manifesto, this controversial examination exposes the destructive history of agriculture—causing the devastation of prairies and forests, driving countless species extinct, altering the climate, and destroying the topsoil—and asserts that, in order to save the planet, food must come from within living communities. In order for this to happen, the argument champions eating locally and sustainably and encourages those with the resources to grow their own food. Further examining the question of what to eat from the perspective of both human and environmental health, the account goes beyond health choices and discusses potential moral issues from eating—or not eating—animals. Through the deeply personal narrative of someone who practiced veganism for 20 years, this unique exploration also discusses alternatives to industrial farming, reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms.
Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms
A crusading environmental activist, vegetarian, and lawyer who has worked with Robert Kennedy, Jr. on environment issues, Nicolette Hahn Niman blows the lid off the shocking practices in the pork, meat, and poultry industries in Righteous Porkchop, a Fast Food Nation for the hog trade. Subtitled, “Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond the Factory Farm,” Righteous Porkchop is at once an eye-opening grand tour of Hahn Niman’s battles with the industrial farming conglomerates, a guide to avoiding unhealthy meats, and a very personal story of one woman’s reawakening.
Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth
In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith D. Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic, and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems—climate change, desertification, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition, and obesity—there are positive, alternative scenarios to the degradation and devastation we face. In each case, our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil.
Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems. For example, land can suffer from undergrazing as well as overgrazing, since certain landscapes, such as grasslands, require the disturbance from livestock to thrive. Regarding climate, when we focus on carbon dioxide, we neglect the central role of water in soil—”green water”—in temperature regulation. And much of the carbon dioxide that burdens the atmosphere is not the result of fuel emissions, but from agriculture; returning carbon to the soil not only reduces carbon dioxide levels but also enhances soil fertility.
Cows Save the Planet is at once a primer on soil’s pivotal role in our ecology and economy, a call to action, and an antidote to the despair that environmental news so often leaves us with.
The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies Are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet
Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices―and, especially, modern industrial agriculture―have led to the loss of up to 80 percent of carbon from the world’s soils. That carbon is now floating in the atmosphere, and even if we stopped using fossil fuels today, it would continue warming the planet. In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for “our great green hope”―a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon―and potentially reverse global warming.
As the granddaughter of farmers and the daughter of avid gardeners, Ohlson has long had an appreciation for the soil. A chance conversation with a local chef led her to the crossroads of science, farming, food, and environmentalism and the discovery of the only significant way to remove carbon dioxide from the air―an ecological approach that tends not only to plants and animals but also to the vast population of underground microorganisms that fix carbon in the soil. Ohlson introduces the visionaries―scientists, farmers, ranchers, and landscapers―who are figuring out in the lab and on the ground how to build healthy soil, which solves myriad problems: drought, erosion, air and water pollution, and food quality, as well as climate change. Her discoveries and vivid storytelling will revolutionize the way we think about our food, our landscapes, our plants, and our relationship to Earth.
Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production
In Defending Beef, Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for either the Earth or our own nutritional health. In fact, properly managed livestock play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by functioning as surrogates for herds of wild ruminants that once covered the globe. Hahn Niman argues that dispersed, grass-fed, small-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production, replacing the factory farms that harm animals and the environment.
The author―a longtime vegetarian―goes on to dispel popular myths about how eating beef is bad for our bodies. She methodically evaluates health claims made against beef, demonstrating that such claims have proven false. She shows how foods from cattle―milk and meat, particularly when raised entirely on grass―are healthful, extremely nutritious, and an irreplaceable part of the world’s food system.
Grounded in empirical scientific data and with living examples from around the world, Defending Beef builds a comprehensive argument that cattle can help to build carbon-sequestering soils to mitigate climate change, enhance biodiversity, help prevent desertification, and provide invaluable nutrition.
Defending Beef is simultaneously a book about big ideas and the author’s own personal tale―she starts out as a skeptical vegetarian and eventually becomes an enthusiastic participant in environmentally sustainable ranching.
While no single book can definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth’s growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world’s future food system looks like, cattle and beef can and must be part of the solution.