A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil

A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil

by Sharon Astyk, Aaron Newton

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The new food security - look no further than your own backyard.See more details below


The new food security - look no further than your own backyard.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Astyk (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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Library Journal

Although most Americans are used to a seemingly endless supply of industrially grown and imported food, many fail to realize that this abundance is neither sustainable nor reliable. Industrial agriculture depletes the soil, poisons the environment, relies on petroleum-based fertilizers, and is controlled by a handful of large corporations. Small-scale farmer Astyk (Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front) and Newton, a sustainable systems land planner, argue that it is both possible and necessary to stop the harm caused by industrial agriculture. They show how the food crisis is tied to the energy crisis, global warming, and resource depletion and conclude that worldwide food shortages are imminent. What the authors propose is a victory farm and garden movement, one similar to the World War II undertaking in which Americans grew their own produce in home gardens. They discuss the many advantages of growing one's own food and of cooking nutritious, flavorful meals from scratch. Their book includes informative discussions of other pertinent works as well as interviews with authors like Richard Heinberg and Bill McKibben. This outstanding and well-written compendium of insights and recommendations, of fervent idealism and practical solutions, is highly recommended.
—Ilse Heidmann

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