Guide to Good Food – Summer Days

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With a long weekend approaching and (hopefully!) better weather around the country, people will be heading to the beach, mountains, and various vacation areas to relax and unwind. The Guide to Good Food will be taking a little break, but while we’re gone, take advantage of a new crop of books and movies now available. Happy summer!

Deeply Rooted, Lisa Hamilton
In this narrative nonfiction book, Hamilton tells three stories – of an African-American dairyman in Texas who plays David to the Goliath of agribusiness corporations; a tenth-generation rancher in New Mexico struggling to restore agriculture as a pillar of his community; and a modern pioneer family in North Dakota breeding new varieties of plants to face the future’s double threat of climate change and the patenting of life forms.

Food Inc., Edited by Karl Weber
Most of you have probably heard about Food, Inc., the movie, but did you also know there’s a companion book to the film? The book explores the challenges raised by the movie in fascinating depth through 13 essays, most of them written especially for this book, and many by experts featured in the film. Highlights include chapters by Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food), Anna Lappe (Hope’s Edge and Grub), Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation and film co-producer), Robert Kenner (film director), and a chapter on asking the right questions from Sustainable Table! The book is so popular it’s already in its fourth printing.

Food Matters, Mark Bittman
Food Matters explores the links among food, global warming and other environmental challenges, obesity and the so-called lifestyle diseases, and the overproduction and overconsumption of meat, simple carbohydrates, and junk food. Includes over 75 recipes.

The Righteous Porkchop, Nicolette Hahn Niman
Righteous Porkchop is a thoughtful, and surprisingly lighthearted, memoir about a most serious topic: poop…and the animals that make it. Porkchop guides readers through the ills of industrial farming, the faces and lives of the people most affected by it, a hopeful exploration of sustainable meat production and, surprisingly, a little romance.

Food, Inc., Robert Kenner
Food, Inc., is the summer movie everyone’s talking about. The film has received fantastic reviews from all over and is currently playing in select cities. Food, Inc., reveals surprising, and often shocking, truths about what we eat, how it’s produced, and who we have become as a nation. Don’t miss this one!

Fresh, Ana Sofia Joanes
Fresh celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the transformation of agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet. Fresh is not being shown in theatres – visit the site for information on how to attend a screening or host your own.

Good Food, Mark Dworkin, Melissa Young
An intimate look at the farmers, ranchers, and businesses that are creating a more sustainable food system in the Pacific Northwest. Copies are available for rent or purchase.

The Meatrix, Louis Fox, Diane Hatz
If you haven’t seen it yet, now’s the time to join Moopheus and the 20 million plus who have taken the red pill. This award-winning, four-minute animation uses humor and pop culture to explain what factory farming is. Online now!

What’s on Your Plate?, Catherine Gund
Filmed over the course of a year, the film follows two eleven-year-old African-American city kids as they explore their place in the food chain. With the camera as their companion, the girl guides talk to each other, food activists, farmers, new friends, storekeepers, their families, and the viewer, in their quest to understand what’s on all of our plates.

(Diane Hatz is the Founder of Sustainable Table, Executive Producer of The Meatrix movies and co-Founder of the Eat Well Guide. This is the 15th installment in her series Sustainable Table’s Guide to Good Food.)

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