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A list of 20 food and agriculture books to read this fall

Here are 20 books Food Tank is recommending this fall

1. California Soul: Recipes from a Culinary Journey West by Tanya Holland (forthcoming October 25, 2022)


Celebrity chef, restaurateur, and soul food expert Tanya Holland has created and shared over 80 new recipes in her upcoming cookbook, California Soul. Holland’s “California soul food” highlights African-American Southern-style cuisine brought to the West Coast. Her book blends environmentally-conscious, local ingredients with a story of regional history and migration. This cookbook ties in the work of modern Black foodies, from farmers to culinary professionals, who are shaping this culturally-rich cuisine.

2. Cooking from the Spirit: Easy, Delicious, and Joyful Plant-Based Inspirations by Tabitha Brown

Social media personality and New York Times bestselling author of Feeding the Soul (Because It’s My Business) Tabitha Brown has a new cookbook coming out this fall, Cooking from the Spirit. The foodie influencer merges her bubbly personality and personal wisdom with various vegan recipes to choose from. Brown presents an array of family-friendly, plant-based meals for cooks at all levels to enjoy.

3. Dinner on Mars: The Technologies That Will Feed the Red Planet and Transform Agriculture on Earth by Lenore Newman and Evan D.G. Fraser

In Dinner on Mars, two food scientists explore the ways humans might find sustenance on a distant planet and the implications of these ideas for eating on Earth. For those curious and concerned about the future of our food supply in the current climate era, Lenore Newman and Evan D.G. Fraser offer a unique perspective on how the dinner menu can – and must – transform for sustainable food production.

4. Eat and Flourish: How Food Supports Emotional Well-Being by Mary Beth Albright (forthcoming November 29, 2022)

In Eat and Flourish, journalist Mary Beth Albright unveils the effects of food on the brain. She dives into the latest research explaining the profound, and often overlooked, relationship between food choices and mental health. She clearly lays out the science so that readers can learn how processed food changes stimulation or how a distressed gut can lead to a depressed mind. Albright also presents readers with an accessible guide on the foods and habits that encourage a healthy emotional state.

5. Food Stars: 15 Women Stirring Up the Food Industry by Ellen Mahoney (forthcoming October 18, 2022)

Food Stars shines a light on the important role of women in building, changing, and sustaining the food industry. Author Ellen Mahoney delves into the lives and accomplishments of 15 women with diverse careers, from farmers and chefs to scientists, activists, and content-creators. Mahoney’s empowering stories highlight each woman’s successful and unique path and the positive, lasting impacts she leaves along the way.

6. Grass-Fed Beef for a Post-Pandemic World: How Regenerative Grazing Can Restore Soils and Stabilize the Climate by Ridge Shinn and Lynne Pledger (forthcoming November 11, 2022)

The founder and communications director of Big Picture Beef, a 100 percent grass-fed cattle farm and networking company in the Northeast, are working to spread their knowledge and farming model through Grass-Fed Beef for a Post-Pandemic World. This book introduces readers to the concept of regenerative grazing and its many benefits for public, planetary, and animal health. The authors argue that a more localized, holistic style of meat production is more urgently needed than ever before.

7. Groundbakers by Mackenzie Feldman and Kathy Feldman

In their new cookbook, Groundbakers, mom-daughter duo Mackenzie and Kathy Feldman present over 60, vegan and gluten-free recipes. With key insight from diverse stakeholders in the food system intermingled with the recipes, the Feldmans illuminate the story behind the ingredients. They discuss the importance of a plant-based diet in the broader context of the food industry and the impact of food choices on the farms, animals, workers, and environment. (Check out Mackenzie’s activist work here).

8. I Am From Here by Vishwesh Bhatt

Mississippi restaurateur and James-Beard Award-winning chef Vishwesh Bhatt blends his Indian roots with Southern-style cuisine in over 100 recipes for the home cook. While celebrating various vegetarian meals and comfort foods, Bhatt honors his childhood in Gujarat, India and reflects on his immigration story. He also highlights the role of history, culture, and complex social issues behind the ingredients that form the foundation of his cooking.

9. Kuni: A Japanese Vision and Practice for Urban-Rural Reconnection by Tsuyoshi Sekihara and Richard McCarthy (forthcoming October 18, 2022)

Two community development leaders from different nations shed light on universal human values in Kuni. These values of equality, democracy, balance, and interdependence can help bridge the gap between urban and often forgotten rural areas. In particular, Sekihara and McCarthy promote principles of regeneration and circularity, in which the collective uses food to support, rather than degrade, rural vitality.

10. Milked: How an American Crisis Brought Together Midwestern Dairy Farmers and Mexican Workers by Ruth Conniff

Inspired by her upbringing in Wisconsin and journey to Mexico in adulthood, journalist Ruth Conniff details the unique relationship between undocumented Mexican dairy workers and Midwestern farmers in Milked. Despite opposing politics, these two groups of people have forged seemingly unexpected friendships. The increasing interconnectedness between the workers and farmers reveals prevailing commonalities not well-recognized by society. Conniff explores the implications of this bond on immigration, labor, farm, and food policy.

11. My Ackee Tree: A Chef’s Memoir of Finding Home in the Kitchen by Suzanne Barr with Suzanne Hancock

Readers may know Canadian chef Suzanne Barr for her popular restaurants, appearance in television shows and documentaries, or advocacy around food security and marginalized communities. Barr takes readers through her personal journey as a successful chef and activist in My Ackee Tree. She reflects on her Jamaican heritage, upbringing, travels, and relationships in shaping her passion for cooking. Barr delves into inspiring stories of great hardship and love integral to the famous comfort meals she shares with the world today.

12. Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed, and the Fight for the Future of Meat by Chloe Sorvino (forthcoming December 6, 2022)

Raw Deal is an investigatory dive into America’s meat industry. Sorvino’s captivating discoveries convey the vulnerabilities of a powerful part of the food system and the effects of this broken industry. She tackles the convergence of political, economic, environmental, and social issues stemming from corporate meatpacking. Ultimately this story seeks to raise awareness to problems that go largely unnoticed by consumers while advocating for decentralized, localized alternatives to meat production.

13. Regenesis: Feeding the World Without Devouring the Planet by George Monbiot

Activist George Monbiot illustrates the ways that current forms of agriculture create vast amounts of environmental damage. In Regenesis, he seeks to educate and inspire others on implementing a reformed approach to farming. Monbiot takes readers through the intricate world beneath eaters’ feet and urges for the revitalization of the soil. His call for change is not a simple swap of practices, but rather a radical revolution in the way people grow food.

14. Sixty Harvests Left: How to Reach a Nature-Friendly Future by Philip Lymbery

Philip Lymbery responds to the United Nations’ continuous warnings on soil erosion in Sixty Harvests Left. Lymbery travels across the world to expose the effects of industrialized farming on unprecedented topsoil depletion. But his comprehensive research on the perils of the food system need not leave readers crippled with fear, anger, and guilt. Lymbery offers stories of inspiration from a diverse range of change-makers, revealing the power to farm responsibly. Importantly, he provides clear and achievable solutions to an ever-growing problem.

15. The Land Remains: A Midwestern Perspective on Our Past and Future by Neil D. Hamilton

Retired professor Neil D. Hamilton shares his personal stories and experiences as a leader of agricultural conservation in Iowa. Through teaching, writing, and advising others, Hamilton has a wealth of knowledge and insight on rural communities. In his memoir, The Land Remains, Hamilton sheds light on the intersection of land stewardship, public health, social and racial justice, economic equality, and climate action.

16. The Meat Paradox: Eating, Empathy, and the Future of Meat by Rob Percival

According to author Rob Percival, there is a growing demand for meat at the same time that there is a growing sympathy toward factory-farmed animals. To explain this discrepancy, Percival looks to psychology in The Meat Paradox. He delves into the evolution of consumers’ diets and their relationship to animals, the modern culture around meat, and the contentious debates on veganism. This book seeks to answer how the tension between people’s morals and insatiable appetites emerged, and how it will continue to influence decisions around food.

17. The Seed Detective: Uncovering the Secret Histories of Remarkable Vegetables by Adam Alexander

Adam Alexander explores how modern-day vegetables came to be in The Seed Detective. In pondering the enhanced flavors and colors of heirloom plants, Alexander uncovers how society began to manipulate and forever change the seed supply. His journey through the past helps readers understand the difference between those seeds saved and cultivated for centuries and the ones that dominate food production now. In his hunt for the future, he strives to protect the extinction of the seeds passed down from generation after generation.

18. Wastelands: The True Story of Farm Country on Trial by Corban Addison

Wastelands unearths a rare and inspiring story of David beating Goliath. After dealing with unbearable odors, noises, pests, and pollution from nearby factory farms, local North Carolinian residents decided to take action. With bold lawyers, the small-town activists engaged in a messy and complicated legal battle against a meatpacking company. In the second highest hog-producing state, this band of rural neighbors did not seem to stand a chance of victory. But this grassroot effort demonstrated the power of courage, persistence, and determination in achieving justice.

19. We Are Not Starving: The Struggle for Food Sovereignty in Ghana by Joeva Sean Rock

How have genetically modified organisms (GMOs) influenced the countries they have been touted to save? Professor Joeva Sean Rock tackles this question and more in We Are Not Starving. This cultural analysis does not pick a side regarding the necessity of biotechnology. Rather, Rock analyzes the actors working for or against the corporate and philanthropic narrative that GMOs are the panacea to hunger in Africa. She explains how this discourse reveals the power, exploitation, and fierce resistance underlying the African food system.

20. What Your Food Ate: How to Heal Our Land and Reclaim Our Health by Anne Biklé and David R. Montgomery

In a time when carrots have less zinc than carrot varieties of the past, Anne Biklé and David R. Montgomery believe agricultural practices must change. By stripping the soil of nutrients, intensive farming methods are stripping people of nutrients, too. What Your Food Ate calls for the displacement of these methods with a regenerative model, not only for environmental benefits, but for better health. Biklé and Montgomery connect the density of vitamins and minerals in the soil to the plant, animal, and human.


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