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Publishers WeeklyAstyk (Depletion and Abundance) and Newton, both farmers and activists, think it's a "Big Lie" to argue that Americans aren't ready for "real and deep and radical change in our way of living." Now, they insist, is the perfect time for a nation of producers fulfilling "real needs rather than abstracted wants." With links to global warming and coming energy shortages (they also subscribe to the Peak Oil theory), the food crisis they foresee demands a shift from industrial farming to sustainable agriculture, from a supermarket and fast-food mentality to a "locavore" approach, and from an American diet dominated by meat to one rich in whole grains, potatoes, legumes, roots and vegetables. They finger factory farming as a major source of ecological damage and global economic disparity, likening the industry to Soviet collectives. The authors' radical plan calls for 50 to 100 million Americans to become subsistence farmers working their own small plots, resulting in 200 million relying solely on organic food grown nearby, and huge savings in resources and health care. Naturally, this is a decidedly Utopian vision with long odds against it, but Astyk and Newton offer a solid, thought-provoking challenge to conventional wisdom about Americans' lifestyle and capacity for change.
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