Widely considered the "gateway book" to caring and knowing about where your food comes from, Omnivore's Dilemma has been an inspiration for millions consumers worldwide. Michael Pollan follows four food chains (industrial, organic, and foraged) from the source to a final meal, and in the process develops a definitive account of the American way of eating.
On the verge of fatherhood, Jonathan Safran Foer found himself concerned about what he would be feeding his child. What ensued was the journey of a lifetime. From midnight adventures into factory farms to intensely researched accounts of where our food comes from, Safran Foer comes to very interesting conclusions about how he decides to eat.
Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, AVM tells the story of how Barbara Kingsolver's family was changed by one year of deliberately eating food produced in the place where they live. Barbara Kingsolver wrote the central narrative, Steven Hopp digs deeper into various aspects of food-production science and industry, and Camille Kingsolver contributes essays that offer a nineteen-year-old's perspective on the local-food project. The book also includes a variety of nutritional information, meal plans and recipes.
Joel Salatin is the iconic "small, family farmer" in the U.S., thanks to his ambition and the fortunate inclusion in Michael Pollan's book Omnivore's Dilemma. In this book we hear the stories that stem from a lifetime of noncompliance, frustration, and passion. These are the behind-the-scenes real stories that have brought Polyface farm to the forefront of the non-industrial food system.
Another Joel Salatin classic, Family Friendly Farming details what it takes to operate a small, profitable, family-run farming enterprise. As evidence, Joel offers Polyface where four generations currently live. The subtitle, "A Multigenerational Home-Based Business Testament" delineates the far-reaching implications discussed in these pages. Whether you're a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker, these principles and the accompanying stories will renew your commitment to all the values that matter most.
Gene Logsdon offers the tried-and-true, practical advice of a manual for the cottage farmer, as well as the subtler delights of a meditation in praise of work and pleasure. The Contrary Farmer gives its readers tools and tenets, but also hilarious commentaries and beautiful evocations of the Ohio countryside that Logsdon knows as his place in the universe.
Farmer's Progress may be out of print, but that doesn't mean it isn't one of the best and most entertaining farming books out there. It is available at Soil & Health Library. George Henderson, a sagacious livestock farmer with a facility for the literary, provides excellent advice to the young who may wish to enter farming as a life-work, instructions for the existing farmer that they might be more successful, and suggestions for the general public that they might more wisely avoid interfering with the proper conduct of farming thorugh absurd bureaucratic regulation. Henderson was a crusty, enjoyable person well worth spending a few hour's time with.
Masanobu Fukuoka’s manifesto about farming, eating, and the limits of human knowledge presents a radical challenge to the global systems we rely on for our food. At the same time, it is a spiritual memoir of a man whose innovative system of cultivating the earth reflects a deep faith in the wholeness and balance of the natural world. As Wendell Berry writes in his preface, the book “is valuable to us because it is at once practical and philosophical. It is an inspiring, necessary book about agriculture because it is notjust about agriculture.”