July 28, 2010
Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher
by Frederick L. Kirschenmann
A collection of Kirschenmann’s greatest writings on farming, philosophy, and sustainability
Theologian, academic, and third-generation organic farmer Frederick L. Kirschenmann is a celebrated agricultural thinker. In the last thirty years he has tirelessly promoted the principles of sustainability and has become a legend in his own right. Marion Nestle says, “Kirschenmann is right up there with the other agronomic philosophers-Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson. His book is an unfailingly interesting reflection on his own farming experience. It should inspire everyone to start planting and to think deeply about the food we eat.”
The CAFO Reader
edited by Daniel Imhoff
A collection of essays by farmers Wendell Berry, Becky Weed, and Fred Kirschenmann, Republican speech writer Matthew Scully, journalist Michael Pollan, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., members of our Center for a Livable Future staff, among many others
The CAFO Reader gives a full picture of the environmental, social, and ethical implications of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO), and includes a section of essays on “Putting the CAFO Out to Pasture.” A CAFO is an Environmental Protection Agency designation for a farming facility that keeps numerous animals raised for food in close confinement, with the potential to pollute. These facilities often produce extreme amounts of waste, which ends up in toxic lagoons, sprayed on the land, and eventually in the watershed; require the use of high doses of antibiotics, thereby adding to the growth of drug-resistant bacteria; and are exempt from most animal cruelty laws. The CLF-penned article is about the role that CAFOs play in the rise in drug-resistant bacteria.
Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution
by Thomas McNamee
The first authorized biography of “the mother of American cooking”
When Francophile Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley in 1971, few Americans were familiar with goat cheese, cappuccino, or mesclun. But it wasn’t long before Waters and her motley coterie of dreamers inspired a new culinary standard incorporating ethics, politics, and the conviction that the best-grown food is also the tastiest. Based on unprecedented access to Waters and her inner circle, this is a truly delicious rags-to-riches saga.
The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-eye View of the World
by Michael Pollan
Do plants control humans to ensure their survival?
In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires-sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control-with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?
“A whimsical, literary romp through man’s perpetually frustrating and always unpredictable relationship with nature.” – The Los Angeles Times
Mulvaney, Richard L, SA Khan, and TR Ellsworth. “Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizers Deplete Soil Nitrogen: A Global Dilemma for Sustainable Cereal Production.”
Journal of Environmental Quality 38 (2009): 2295-314.
Powlson, DS, et al. “Comments on ‘Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizers Deplete Soil Nitrogen: A Global Dilemma for Sustainable Cereal Production,’ by R.L. Mulvaney, S.A. Khan, and T.R. Ellsworth in the Journal of Environmental Quality 2009 38:2295-2314.”
Journal of Environmental Quality 39 (2010): 749-52.
Mulvaney, Richard L, SA Khan, and TR Ellsworth. “Reply to Comments on ‘Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizers Deplete Soil Nitrogen: A Global Dilemma for Sustainable Cereal Production,’ by R.L. Mulvaney, S.A. Khan, and T.R. Ellsworth in the Journal of Environmental Quality 2009 38:2295-2314.”
Journal of Environmental Quality 39 (2010): 753-56.
The food bubble: How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it
By Frederick Kaufman
Harper’s, July 2010