Mmm… Food


Week 6: Diet for a Small Planet by France Moore Lappe
February 11, 2009, 12:59 pm
Filed under: Books

dietplanet1Diet For a Small Planet : Frances Moore Lappe

One of the first things to know (which may be obvious by the look of the cover) is that this book is not a current title. Originally published in 1971, I read a 20th Anniversary Edition, which while still adds some updated and revised information via 1991, that’s still 18 years ago!!! I wanted to add this book to the list because it does feel like one of those pivotal food books that has ever been published, especially in recent memory. While trying to remain open minded, I admit I went into it thinking everything would sound outdated and not applicable to the world we currently live in where the new food push seems to be all about organic and local. I thought this book would be all about vegetarianism. While some of my preconceived notions were true, I was more surprised at the things that weren’t true, and those things that felt like they could have been published now! It doesn’t feel like an old outmoded movement as a way of eating. Kind of scary.

First, she isn’t trying to promote vegetarianism. She wants a return to a more “natural” way of eating, where the majority of our food consumed is plants and meat appears only briefly as a supplement. She wants people to eat whole grains and vegetables and fruits. Un-processed foods. The further we get away from the initial starting ingredients the worse our food becomes and it become less and less about food, and more about profit margins for corporations and power over the food supply and therefore the people. The return to natural grains echoed what I had read in the South Beach Diet. The thing that continually gets me, is it seems so obvious! Whole grains have all the fiber and nutrients that your body needs. You feel full. And there are so many different kinds of foods to eat you can hardly believe it at first.

So much of the book actually seems to focus on power. And the lack of power by many people to control the foods available to them. Why are there starving people when there is so much food? We feed so much grain to livestock to provide meat for an elite world class while millions starve and don’t have enough sustenance to live. Lappe argues people to do starve because there is not enough food. The solution is not ramping up our production. The solutions lie in what food gets to what people. Can we forget the masses and only think of ourselves?? Lappe feels that choosing to eat in the reduced meat way that she provides is responsible and a start to addressing the real problems involving the needs of the powerless. Starting here will you get you interested there, learning more, becoming informed, no longer turning a blind eye, doing something about it. Change can happen. She wants it to happen. We can make it happen.

Here’s a little video she’s got on the website http://www.smallplanet.org

2.5 stars. Interesting informationt that helped push me more to think about where the food movement has been and where it is now to where it is going. But no revolutionary new information that you can’t find in something newer and perhaps more relevant to today’s food systems (such as “The Omnivores Dilemna” which I read a couple years ago, or what I am guessing will be “In Defense of Food“. (which I plan on reading soon) Michael Pollan seems to be the new mass media published voice for a new way of thinking about our food).

Ooh, this quick articleMichael Pollan published in 2008 in Newsweek sums up a lot of the ideas from this book which are still a problem today!!!

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