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Part of what I love about “food books” as a genre is that the phrase is entirely non-specific, and covers everything from poetry to science, from art to history, from memoir to fiction. Today, some more summer reading suggestions, both about our broken food system, but very different from each other.

First, Robyn O’Brien‘s the Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It. Her book is a good companion piece to “Food, Inc.” I think, exploring how food is making our kids sick, and how big business is profiting from that, all from a Mom’s first-hand perspective. As she explains it, pretty plain and simple: “the recent deregulation of the American food system allowed chemicals and additives into the American food supply that have either been banned or labeled from foods around the world in order to enhance profitability for the food industry.” Click here to read an excellent interview with her on Civil Eats.

Next up, a book I had the pleasure of getting to hear read aloud live (ok, well, parts of it) by the author the other night. Lisa Hamilton, a photographer and writer has crafted a beautiful triptych–three stories, three farmers, and how they are struggling to keep their way of farming alive in a world pushing towards the industrialization of damn near everything. Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness is clearly the work of a seasoned photographer; it reads like a giant photograph, with depth of field, and texture, and life bubbling up off the page.


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