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Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty

Overview

Closing the Food Gap exposes America's dangerous dietary split: from patrons of food pantries, bodegas, and convenience stores to the more comfortable classes who increasingly seek out organic and local products. Calling largely on his own experience in food activism, and mixing in refreshingly witty observations, Mark Winne ultimately envisions realistic partnerships in which family farms and improverished communities come together to get healthy, locally produced food onto ...
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Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty

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Overview

Closing the Food Gap exposes America's dangerous dietary split: from patrons of food pantries, bodegas, and convenience stores to the more comfortable classes who increasingly seek out organic and local products. Calling largely on his own experience in food activism, and mixing in refreshingly witty observations, Mark Winne ultimately envisions realistic partnerships in which family farms and improverished communities come together to get healthy, locally produced food onto everyone's table.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A calm, well-reasoned and soft-spoken call to arms. —Publishers Weekly

"Fearless, intelligent, and surprisingly funny." —Gwyneth Doland, Sante Fe Reporter

"It's heartening to find a book that successfully blends a passion for sustainable living with compassion for the poor."—Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, author of Harvest for Hope

"Reading this book should make everyone want to advocate for food systems that will feed the hungry, support local farmers, and promote community democracy-all at the same time."—Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat

"By combining stories of his deep personal experience as an activist with keen insights into strategies for addressing food injustice, Winne fills a gap in the growing literature on good food, why it matters, and how to ensure that everyone everywhere has access to it. Plus, the book is a fun read. Winne's stories made me want to meet him down at the local farmers' market and then join him afterward for a cold beer." —Anna Lappé, cofounder of the Small Planet Institute and author of Grub

"Part personal journey, part manifesto for creating food security in the United States, Closing the Food Gap sets out the dream of a nation without poverty and hunger, telling stories of people and community projects that have made a difference in the lives of the food-insecure." —Rod MacRae, Food for Thought

Library Journal

"Nearly every urban community in America, and countless rural areas as well, has confronted the failure of the retail food industry to adequately serve its citizens." From Winne's own experience as executive director of the Hartford Food System in Connecticut, he writes about the lack of options for many elderly and poor people in the United States. He discusses strategies tried by numerous communities to combat this problem-e.g., farmers' markets, community gardens, food pantries-pointing out where, why, and the various ways in which these strategies have managed to fail or succeed. Chapter content ranges from largely factual accounts of various food-systems projects to memoirlike accounts of the author's experiences in Hartford and elsewhere. The book closes with a call to action to "re-store America's food deserts" by looking at the larger picture rather than focusing too narrowly on one aspect of the problem. More suitable for academic readers than general audiences; recommended for academic and larger public libraries.
—Mindy Rhiger

Kirkus Reviews
In the midst of a bountiful land, many Americans are not sure where their next meal will come from, and others are just plain hungry, writes activist Winne, who wants to supply provisions for people who can't get the groceries they need and deserve. There are at least 15 different federal food programs to feed the undernourished, notes the author, yet they are so inadequate that many people suffer from "food insecurity." Clinging to frayed safety nets, they send their kids to friends and neighbors at mealtime. They employ dumpster-diving as a potluck mode of shopping. But how many grocery bags will they be able to carry on the bus after the last nearby inner-city market leaves? Endemic obesity, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes vex the poor. It's not only Big Cola and the junk-food forces that are to blame; also at fault are supermarket economics, wavering support of the public sector and, it seems, those of us who don't set the table with local produce and organic fare. Winne tells of fighting the good food fight for 25 years in Hartford, Conn., and environs. The earnest activist, now living in New Mexico, explains what he and his friends have done in various soup kitchens, food pantries, farmers' markets, co-ops, food banks and-revivified from World War II-victory gardens. He salts his personal history with pertinent reportage. But he is not a puritanical moralizer passing judgment on anyone "who chooses to pay $30 a month for cable TV rather than shop regularly at Whole Foods," where $30 buys two pounds of grass-fed beef. What's needed, avers Winne, is a unified federal program, less dependence on food banks, more slow food and more investment in healthy viands. It boils down to"projects, partners and policy." Meanwhile, eat your parsnips. Worthy fare, served with much apple piety.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807047316
  • Publisher: Beacon
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 682,680
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction: I've Come to ... Shop? xiii

The History

Chapter 1 Suburbia, Environmentalism, and the Early Gurglings of the Food Movement 3

Chapter 2 Reagan, Hunger, and the Rise of Food Banks 21

The Reactions

Chapter 3 Farmers' Markets: Bringing Food to the People 37

Chapter 4 Community Gardens: Growing Our Own 50

Chapter 5 Food Banks: Waste Not, Want Not 69

The Current Landscape

Chapter 6 Re-Storing America's Food Deserts 85

Chapter 7 Growing Obese and Diabetic; Going Local and Organic 110

Chapter 8 Community Supported Agriculture: Communities Find the Way 137

Chapter 9 Public Policy: Food for the People 149

Chapter 10 Income Disparities, Poverty, and the Food Gap 173

Conclusion: Resetting America's Table 183

A Note on Sources 195

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An account of the Food Social and Food Justice Movements

    CSA's, Co-ops, Organic, Greenmarkets, Locavore, the food world seems flooded with all of these sustainable initiatives. The Closing the Food Gap moves these Food Social issues into the Food Justice realm. With a mix of personal anecdotes and interesting facts, the book pulls readers into a very current topic.

    For old-timers and people who have a history experience with food justice it can seem dry and one-sided. Winne worked in Hartford Connecticut and tries to relate his experiences to other parts of the country. In that aspect, I would take the suggestion most foodies give out: stay local.

    Interested in these topics?: domenclature.blogspot.com

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    Posted April 30, 2009

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    Posted December 3, 2008

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