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Food Tank’s Reading List: 17 Books for Spring 2017

Food Tank has compiled 17 books to educate, inform, and inspire us this season.

Food Tank has compiled 17 books to educate, inform, and inspire us this season. Whether you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of modern, sustainable agriculture or searching for a new hobby—like making cheese with no dairy—these books about food, agriculture, and sustainability offer something for everyone. Including both seasoned and new authors, writing about health, food, the environment, and the intersection of all three, we hope you find inspiration this Spring through these 17 reads.

1. Women in Agriculture: Professionalizing Rural Life in North America and Europe, 1880–1965, edited by Linda M. Ambrose and Joan M. Jensen

Studies of women in rural life, agriculture, and the home are fairly extensive, but the role of women in other agricultural roles has been examined less. This series of essays explores the role of women as agricultural researchers, producers, marketers, educators, and community organizers in North America and Europe and the expertise they have contributed to rural life and modern agriculture.

African-American culinary traditions have significantly influenced American food culture at its roots. In the past few centuries, soul food has pervaded more than the kitchens of American households and restaurants. It has left its mark on one of the most vital kitchens in the country—the White House. This book compiles the stories of more than 100 black men and women who served and fed our nation’s presidents.

Wolf offers a plan for the future of rural economies based on the concept of regionalism, in which widespread, isolated communities become large cities, or agricultural cities. He implores rural communities to decentralize the wealth, work cooperatively to rebuild their economies, and move toward a stronger future.

4. Scraps, Wilt & Weeds: Turning Wasted Food into Plenty, by Mads Refslund and Tama Matsuoka Wong

With the new cookbook from Noma chef Mads Refslund, otherwise wasted foods—such as the presumably inedible parts of vegetables or stale and wilted foods—transform into impressive dishes. Overripe fruit becomes sweet glazes for meat dishes. Vegetable leaves and stalks become the savory bases of soups and sauces. Refslund’s tips and recipes enforce a new respect for the foods we exploit in our kitchens.

5. Natural Defense: Enlisting Bugs and Germs to Protect Our Food and Health, by Emily Monosson

The chemicals we have relied on for more than a century to keep our crops clean and healthy are no longer living up to their job. Diseases are outsmarting our defenses. Fortunately, Monosson offers a positive outlook on the future of plant protection and our subsequent health benefits with innovative scientific advancements that look to germs and bugs to work with nature instead of fighting against it.

6. The Food Lover’s Garden: Growing Cooking and Eating Well, by Jenni Blackmore

Whether you’re working with a small backyard plot or a few pots on your balcony, The Food Lover’s Garden will offer what you need to get started growing your own food. This guidebook/cookbook has the essentials for those who have a piqued interest in gardening but are not...

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