The Local Food Revolution: How Humanity Will Feed Itself in Uncertain Times

The Local Food Revolution: How Humanity Will Feed Itself in Uncertain Times

by Michael Brownlee


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Demonstrating that humanity faces an imminent and prolonged global food crisis, Michael Brownlee issues a clarion call and manifesto for a revolutionary movement to localize the global food supply. He lays out a practical guide for those who hope to navigate the challenging process of shaping the local or regional food system, providing a roadmap for embarking on the process of righting the profoundly unsustainable and already-failing global industrialized food system. Written to inform, inspire, and empower anyone—farmers or ranchers, community gardeners, aspiring food entrepreneurs, supply chain venturers, commercial food buyers, restaurateurs, investors, community food activists, non-profit agencies, policy makers, or local government leaders—who hopes to be a catalyst for change, this book provides a blueprint for economic action, with specific suggestions that make the process more conscious and deliberate.

Brownlee, cofounder of the nonprofit Local Food Shift Group, maps out the underlying process of food localization and outlines the route that communities, regions, and foodsheds often follow in their efforts to take control of food production and distribution. By sharing the strategies that have proven successful, he charts a practical path forward while indicating approaches that otherwise might be invisible and unexplored. Stories and interviews illustrate how food localization is happening on the ground and in the field. Essays and thought-pieces explore some of the challenging ethical, moral, economic, and social dilemmas and thresholds that might arise as the local food shift develops. For anyone who wants to understand, in concrete terms, the unique challenges and extraordinary opportunities that present themselves as we address one of the most urgent issues of our time, The Local Food Revolution is an indispensable resource.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781623170004
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication date: 10/18/2016
Pages: 456
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 12.00(h) x 3.80(d)

About the Author

Michael Brownlee has long been a catalyst in the process of food localization in Colorado, working to ignite, inspire, guide, and empower those who are facing the challenges and opportunities of localizing our food supply. He is the cofounder of nonprofit Local Food Shift Group (formerly Transition Colorado, the first official Transition initiative in North America).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Prologue xiii

Part 1 What Must Be Said Now 1

1 Toward a Local Food Revolution 3

2 The Local Food Declaration of Independence 15

3 The Coming Revolution 17

4 Note to the Reader 33

Part 2 The Making of an Evolutionary Catalyst 43

5 Beginnings: The Convergence of Global Crises 45

6 Going Local! A Coherent Community Response 57

7 In Transition: A Movement Dies, Another Is Born 67

8 The Evolution of Transition in the United States 75

9 Diving into Food 89

Part 3 The Full Extent of Our Predicament 105

10 Peak Everything Revisited 107

11 Climate Collapse: The Rogue Factor 119

12 Stories from the Front Lines 129

Part 4 Emergence: The Evolutionary Perspective 133

13 The Problem with Peak Everything 135

14 Patterns of Emergence: The Evolutionary Process 143

15 Human Evolution at the Turn 165

16 Message to Students 185

17 Radicalization 189

Part 5 Toward Deep Revolution 197

18 A Truly Revolutionary Revolution 199

19 Deep Revolution and the Evolutionary Catalyst 205

Part 6 Field Notes for the Emergence of a Foodshed 213

20 How the Local Food Revolution Can Unfold 215

21 Toward a Pattern Language for Food Localization 221

22 Deadwood: A Parable 229

23 Overview of the Process 231

24 The Evolutionary Catalyst and the Emerging Foodshed 243

25 Patterns of Emergence in an Awakening Foodshed 249

Part 7 Revolution in Practice 317

26 From Theory of Change to Theory of Revolution 319

27 Christopher Alexander and the Evolutionary Catalyst 329

28 The Secrets of Cocreative Collaboration 335

Part 8 The Future of Food 351

29 Preparing for Climate Collapse 353

30 The Moral Challenge of Biotechnology 357

31 The Role of Animals in Local Food and Agriculture 361

32 The Promise of Controlled-Environment Agriculture 365

33 Shifting Local Capital into the Foodshed 373

34 What We All Can Do 383

Afterword: Inhabiting our Foodshed 387

Acknowledgments 391

Appendix 393

References 397

Notes 411

Index 427

About the Author 439

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