Food Tank is excited to present our 2016 Winter Reading List, a collection of the recent literature on food and farming this winter. Topics cover Asian-American recipes, Senegalese food, references for sustainable farming entrepreneurs and aid workers, books on folklore and food history, as well as scientific research and books devoted to specific ingredients like coffee and food additives. The ingredients, dishes, people, and ideas featured here are the perfect way to satiate your intellectual appetite and inspire your cooking.
Here are 22 books to sink your teeth into this winter. For more books to add to your list, check out our past reading lists: Fall 2015, Summer 2015, Spring 2015, Winter 2014, Fall 2014, Summer 2014, Spring 2014, Winter 2013, and Fall 2013.
1. Anubandh by Dr. Ela Bhatt
Dr. Ela Bhatt, founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India, explores how basic human needs can be met locally to integrate solutions to poverty, social exploitation, and environmental degradation. Bhatt advocates for hundred-mile communities to empower people and provide environmental restoration through holistic living.
2. Biofuels, Food Security, and Developing Economies by Nazia Mintz-Habib
Dr. Mintz-Habib of the University of Cambridge researches the use of crops for biofuels and shows how this phenomenon is affecting food production and food security in developing countries.
3. The Carbon Farming Solution by Eric Toensmeier
The Carbon Farming Solution explores how agriculture might be an important part of solutions to climate change, rather than a global contributor to the problem. Toensmeier not only explains the scientific concepts and current state of carbon farming, but also explores how policy changes may be important.
4. Cities and Agriculture edited by Henk de Zeeuw and Pay Drechsel
As the world's urban population begins to outnumber the global rural populace, Cities and Agriculture: Developing Resilient Urban Food Systems brings together an international team of authors to examine cutting-edge solutions to the challenge of feeding urban populations. This volume is an effective resource for students and professionals in food security, urban planning, and development.
5. Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace by Vandana Shiva
Author and environmental activist Vandana Shiva argues in support of Earth Democracy, which includes respect for natural resources and the reestablishment of land for the public good. Shiva cautions that unchecked globalization and disregard for the environment will eventually be disastrous for humanity.
6. The Ethical Meat Handbook by Meredith Leigh
Meredith Leigh seeks a middle ground between carnivores and vegetarians in her new handbook on ethical meat consumption. From basic butchery and charcuterie to integration of animals into home gardens, Leigh explores a variety of topics to suggest that animals can be a sustainable aspect of environmental management.
7. Everyday Super Food by Jamie Oliver
Chef Jamie Oliver gets personal in his latest book by focusing on health and nutrition, topics that he has become very passionate about. The recipes in Everyday Super Food are intended to make cooking simple, fun, delicious, and healthy.
8. Food52 Vegan: 60 Vegetable-Driven Recipes for Any Kitchen by Gena Hamshaw
Food52 Vegan is an effective and delicious way to step up one's plant-based vegetable-forward repertoire. Some of the simple and nutritious recipes include polenta for breakfast, ratatouille, and a peach coffee cake.
9. Food and Folklore Reader by Lucy Long
The Food and Folklore Reader explores how food affects the cultures and traditions we are a part of. From religious beliefs and holidays, to power, gender, race, and class, food is an integral component of our lives. Lucy Long provides a thorough exploration of the history of food as it relates to folklore.
10. Food Truckin': Recipes from the World's Best Food Trucks by Graffito Books
Food Truckin' contains recipes and stories from a myriad of fun and inventive food trucks in cities across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and Africa. A taco truck introduces Sweden to Mexican food. A Korean-Mexican barbecue truck is invigorating the L.A. food scene. And a South African food truck offers high-end dishes committed to variety and organic sourcing.
11. Forked: A New Standard for American Dining by Saru Jayaraman
Saru Jayaraman’s forthcoming book on restaurant workers will explore the hidden side of labor in the food industry—from line cooks to waitstaff. Jayaraman is the author of Behind the Kitchen Door and the co-founder of Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC United).
12. The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet by Arnold van Huis, Henk van Gurp, and Marcel Dicke
Created by two entomologists and a chef, The Insect Cookbook contains everything you ever wanted to know about insect protein. Insect’s high protein content, widespread availability, traditional usage in some regions make bugs a food source worth considering. Recipes are paired with extensive information on sourcing, purchasing, and storage.
13. Just Food: Philosophy, Justice and Food edited by J.M. Dieterle
Just Food is a compilation of philosophical essays that examine the complex relationship between food and some of society's greatest challenges, including poverty, racism, and gender inequality.
14. The Myths of Safe Pesticides by Andre Leu
With a foreword by activist and scientist Dr. Vandana Shiva, The Myths of Safe Pesticides explores the role of chemicals in agriculture and advocates for a global shift to organic practices. According to Leu, ecological agriculture needs an influx of research dollars to achieve dramatic reductions in pesticides while maintaining or increasing yields.
15. The New Livestock Farmer: The Business of Raising and Selling Ethical Meat by Rebecca Thistlethwaite and Jim Dunlop
In The New Livestock Farmer, experienced livestock farmers Thistlethwaite and Dunlop explore scaling up responsible animal production. From government regulation to food safety, many thorny aspects of livestock farming are uncovered, offering a guide for producers and consumers alike.
16. Nutrition for Developing Countries by Felicity Savage-King and Ann Burgess
A vital resource for nutrition workers, aid workers, agricultural workers, and teachers, Nutrition for Developing Countries provides extensive information on how to best work with and help malnourished individuals and communities in developing countries.
17. Permaculture for the Rest of Us by Jenni Blackmore
Through humor and photography, Blackmore illustrates how permaculture can be easily practiced by urbanites and rural dwellers alike. Both informational and inspirational, the handbook offers a personal account of the struggles of trial-and-error as well as practical solutions to homestead sustainability.
18. Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl by Pierre Thiam
New York Senegalese Chef Pierre Thiam showcases unique flavors, ingredients, recipes, and people from his native Senegal, a country whose cuisine has been too often overlooked.
19. Soda Politics by Marion Nestle
In her latest foray into the world of food business, Marion Nestle takes on big soda. Through historical and cultural research, Nestle adds a rich story to her nutrition and public health perspective, resulting in a unique account of the political power of the sugar-sweetened beverage industry in the United States.
20. Soil Sisters: A Toolkit for Women Farmers by Lisa Kivirist
Soil Sisters is a resource for women farmers and entrepreneurs filled with business advice and sustainable farming techniques. Soil Sisters gathers information from over 100 successful women farmers to provide a unique focus and a women’s' perspective on agriculture.
21. World Hunger: 10 Myths by Frances Moore Lappé and Joseph Collins
Distinguished food writers Lappé and Collins bring our attention to the true causes of hunger by addressing global crises such as population growth and climate change. World Hunger argues that sustainable agriculture can lead the world to food security.
22. Yams in West Africa: Food, Money, and More by Felix Nweke
Nweke highlights a versatile, nutritious, and delicious food that is central to West African diets and is still overlooked by many chefs and consumers. While yam production is beset with challenges related to its production, distribution, and technology, Nweke argues that the crop can help pull its producers out of poverty.