So often, a podcast interview opens up whole new areas of discovery and here, food and farm books can help provide additional depth. In fact, the last few episodes opened that curiosity for host Janice Person who jumped on a friend’s book recommendation. Now Janice shares recommendations for 10 books in the food and farm space!
We’ll go one-by-one on the books — links are affiliate links where available:
1. “To Boldly Grow: Finding Joy, Adventure, and Dinner in Your Own Backyard” by Tamar Haspel: This book follows Tamar’s personal story of transitioning from living in New York City to backyard farming with her husband Kevin on Cape Cod. It explores the joys and challenges of growing your own food. It’s an enlightening and fun listen — producing all the food for a year is a challenge to say the least.
2. “Tomorrow’s Table” by Pam Ronald and Raul Adamchak: Love this common sense approach to food and farming from organic farmers and university professors. They have a depth that is uncommon as well as a shared appreciation for a diverse selection of production practices. You may also enjoy Pam’s TED Talk on engineering our food.
3. “The Wizard and the Prophet” by Charles C. Mann: This book delves into the lives of Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, exploring their differing approaches to food production. It prompts readers to consider both mindsets and highlights that we can find common ground between scientific advancements and environmental preservation.
4. “The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race” by Walter Isaacson: This book explores the groundbreaking work of Jennifer Doudna and the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR. It delves into the ethical implications of this technology and its potential impact on the future of humanity. Love that the is a teen version now too because this is important science to understand.
5. “The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World” by Amanda Little: This book looks into the future of our food system in the face of growing population, climate change, and technological advancements. It offers insights and potential solutions for feeding the world sustainably. Lots to think about.
6. “The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats” by Daniel Stone: This book tells the captivating story of David Fairchild, a botanist who traveled the world to discover new and exotic crops, ultimately transforming American cuisine. I love hearing how various foods came to be grown here.
7. “Cuisine & Empire: Cooking in World History” by Rachel Laudan: This book explores the historical relationship between food, culture, and empire. It provides a rich understanding of how culinary practices have shaped societies throughout history.
8. Edna Lewis’ cookbooks: “The Taste of Country Cooking” and “In Pursuit of Flavor”: These cookbooks by celebrated chef Edna Lewis emphasize seasonality and the use of fresh ingredients from your garden. They invite readers to think more deeply about flavors and cooking with the bounty of each season.
9. “The Complete Food & Nutrition Guide” by Roberta Larson Duyff: Published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, this comprehensive guide covers various aspects of food and nutrition. It provides practical information and guidance on managing health concerns, such as food allergies, heart disease, and diabetes.
10. “We Are Each Other’s Harvest” by Natalie Baszile: This bookvfeatures interviews conducted by Natalie Baszile with African American farmers from the South as well as some materials by other writers. It offers a unique perspective and explores the experiences and challenges faced by these farmers. I know several farmers featured in it (including Kamal Bell who’s been on the podcast) and wrote a review of it if you want more info.
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