CCR RECOMMENDS 50 BOOKS

This is a highly curated list of significant books, including:

  • Rachel Carson’s classic Silent Spring (1962), which set the stage for understanding the impact humans were having on the planet.
  • Paul Hawken’s Drawdown (2017), which focused on 100 solutions to reverse global warming, 1/3 of which have to do with food, land use or farming.
  • Gabe Brown’s Dirt to Soil (2018), which tells one farmer’s story who turned his back on conventional agriculture and switched to no-till farming transforming his degraded farm ecosystem into one full of life.
  • Jonathan Safran Foer’s We Are the Weather (2019), which addresses ourpower to affect climate change through our food choices. Mark Bittman’s review, in the New York Times, is as stunning as the book itself.
  • Charles Mann’s The Wizard and The Prophet, which tackles the overarching question of how we are going to feed 9.8 billion people in 2050.

We continually question how climate change impacts food and agriculture and how food and agriculture impacts climate change. The titles range from books focusing on what we eat (too much meat) to what we throw away (nearly half of what we buy); on industrial farming as opposed to regenerative farming; on books by fishermen who have turned to kelp farming as the warming of the oceans and the resulting acidification have threatened both their livelihoods and the creatures living in the sea. And, we look at guides – to homesteading on a quarter acre, to “carbon farming,” to creating an eco-friendly home, to regenerating land, storing carbon, and creating climate resilience.

Many of these titles were bestsellers from the time they were published. But, here we are in 2019 and Amazon still doesn’t have a category called climate change and neither does Barnes and Noble.

FOOD

ANIMAL

OCEAN

PRODUCE

SOIL

WASTE

Books covering multiple subjects will have no icon.

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American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half Its Food (And What We Can Do About It) (2011)

By Jonathan Bloom. Published by Da Capo Lifelong Books

Grocery prices and the forsaken foods at the back of your fridge seem to increase weekly. After reading American Wasteland, you will never look at your shopping list, refrigerator, plate, or wallet the same way again. Jonathan Bloom wades into the garbage heap to unearth what our squandered food says about us, why it matters, and how you can make a difference starting in your own kitchen—reducing waste and saving money. Interviews with experts such as chef Alice Waters and food psychologist Brian Wansink, among others, uncover not only how and why we waste, but, most importantly, what we can do about it.

Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment (2011)

By David Kirby. Published by St. Martin's Griffin

Swine flu. Bird flu. Massive fish kills. Concentrations of cancer and other diseases. Recalls of contaminated meats, fruits, and vegetables. Recent public health crises raise urgent questions about how our animal-derived food is raised and brought to market. In Animal Factory, bestselling investigative journalist David Kirby exposes the powerful business and political interests behind large-scale factory farms, and tracks the far-reaching fallout that contaminates our air, land, and water supply―and our food itself.

Animal_Vegetable_Junk_A_History_of_Food_from_Sustainable_to_Suicidal

Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal (2021)

By Mark Bittman. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

In Animal, Vegetable, Junk, trusted food authority Mark Bittman offers a panoramic view of how the frenzy for food has driven human history to some of its most catastrophic moments, from slavery and colonialism to famine and genocide—and to our current moment, wherein Big Food exacerbates climate change, plunders our planet, and sickens its people. Even still, Bittman refuses to concede that the battle is lost, pointing to activists, workers, and governments around the world who are choosing well-being over corporate greed and gluttony, and fighting to free society from Big Food’s grip.

Building Soil: A Down-to-Earth Approach: Natural Solutions for Better Gardens & Yard (2015)

By Elizabeth Murphy. Published by Cool Springs Press

How do you recognize healthy soil? How much can your existing soil be improved? What are the best amendments to use for your soil? Let Building Soil answer your questions and be your guide on gardening from the ground up! Fertilizing, tilling, weed management, and irrigation all affect the quality of your soil. Using author Elizabeth Murphy’s detailed instructions, anyone can become a successful soil-based gardener, whether you want to start a garden from scratch or improve an existing garden.

 

Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth (2013)

By Judith D. Schwartz. Published by Chelsea Green Publishing

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.

Defending Beef (2014)

By Nicolette Hahn Niman. Published by Chelsea Green Publishing

For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists and health advocates that cattle and beef are public enemy number one. But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly, argues environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman in her new book, Defending Beef.

Diet for a Changing Climate: Food for Thought (2018)

By Christy Mihaly. Published by Twenty-First Century Books

The United Nations supports a compelling solution to world hunger: eat insects! Explore the vast world of unexpected foods that may help solve the global hunger crisis. Weeds, wild plants, invasive and feral species, and bugs are all food for thought. Learn about the nutritional value of various plant and animal species; visit a cricket farm; try a recipe for dandelion pancakes, kudzu salsa, or pickled purslane; and discover more about climate change, sustainability, green agriculture, indigenous foods, farm-to-table restaurants, and how to be an eco-friendly producer, consumer, and chef.

Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do about It (2010)⭐

By Anna Lappe. Published by Bloomsbury USA

Nearly four decades after her mother, Frances Moore Lappé, published Diet for a Small Planet, sparking a revolution in our thinking about the social and environmental impact of our food choices, Anna Lappé picks up the conversation, examining another hidden cost of our food system: the climate crisis. From raising cattle in industrial-scale feedlots to razing rainforests to make palm oil for Pop-Tarts, the choices we make about how we put food on our plates, and what we do with the waste, contribute to as much as one third of total greenhouse-gas emissions. Lappé exposes the interests resisting this crucial conversation while she educates and empowers readers and eaters committed to healing the planet.