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Manifestos on the Future Of Food and Seed [Paperback]

Vandana Shiva
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 11.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2010

“Shiva is a burst of creative energy, an intellectual power.”—The Progressive

Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed is a short, pocket-sized collection that goes to the heart of our existence—what we eat and how we grow it. It covers the questions:

  • How are seeds cultivated and saved?
  • How far must food travel before reaching our plate?
  • Who gets paid for the food we eat?
  • Why does our food taste like this?

We live in a world where of the eighty thousand edible plants used for food, only about 150 are being cultivated, and just eight are traded globally. A world where we produce food for 12 billion people when there are only 6.3 billion people living, and still, 800 million suffer from malnutrition and 1.7 billion suffer from obesity. A world where food is modified to travel long distances rather than to be nutritious and flavorful.

Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed lays out, in practical steps and far-reaching concepts, a program to ensure food and agriculture become more socially and ecologically sustainable. The book harvests the work and ideas produced by thousands of communities around the world. Emerging from the historic gatherings at Terra Madre, farmers, traders, and activists diagnose and offer prescriptions to reverse perhaps the worst food crisis faced in human history.

There is a growing realization that food politics is vital to the health of our bodies, economies, and environment—in other words, a matter of life or death. Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, writes, “Reinstating food as a central, primary element in our lives seems an obvious thing to do, since without food, no living things would exist.” Thousands of communities around the world are working to do just this.

A world-renowned environmental leader and thinker, Vandana Shiva is the author of many books, including Earth Democracy, Water Wars, and Staying Alive. Manifestos includes essays by Prince Charles and Carlo Petrini.

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About the Author

A world-renowned environmental leader and recipient of the 1993 Alternative Nobel Peace Prize (the Right Livelihood Award), Shiva has authored several bestselling books, most recently Earth Democracy. Activist and scientist, Shiva leads, with Ralph Nader and Jeremy Rifkin, the International Forum on Globalization. Before becoming an activist, Shiva was one of India's leading physicists.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great info, Nice little book Sept. 9 2009
I wish I could turn the manifestos into a poster. They are intelligent and poignant in this age of corn and soy monocultures.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great information July 10 2009
Manifestos on the future of food and seed is an excellent read. I had no idea there was such a thing as the slow food movement until this book. Vandana Shiva is great at explaining how we got to where we are now, and also how to do our part to stop the planting and consuming of GMO's. Start sharing your vegetable seeds everyone.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent call(s) to action Jan. 11 2008
By Kerry Walters - Published on Amazon.com
Okay. Michael Pollan's note (see his "review" of this book) has worked. He's clearly no longer listed as the "author" of this wonderful little book. I'm glad that this was straightened out. The problem is that his 1-star rating has pulled down the overall rating for Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed. This is a real shame, because the book is a gem.

Edited by Vandana Shiva, the tireless scientist and food activist/ecologist, the book collects papers read at Terre Madre conferences in Italy. Participants in the conference were proponents of the slow food movement, advocates of organic farming, local eating, and the deindustrialization of the food industry, and people who object to the patenting and industrial control of seeds (Shiva has led the way in this battle).

Sandwiched in between the lectures (including the one by Michael Pollan) are the two manifestos, one on food and one on seeds, which give the book its title. They call for concerned and united action on behalf of the good earth, farmers, human consumers, and members of the biosphere affected by industrial agriculture's heavy reliance on chemicals and, now, GMOs.

A very timely and worthwhile introduction to alternatives to agribusiness, fast food culture, and agriculture-based environmental and economic devastation. The essays are all solid and interesting (I was especially impressed by Prince Charles', largely, I suppose, because I unfairly didn't expect much from it). People who want a quick but reliable primer on food will benefit from reading them.

And so Mr. Pollan: delete your review so that the ratings for this fine book can soar,won't you?
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deftly composed treatise May 6 2008
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
No matter how much technology advances, no matter what new advances in medical science society make, somethings will never change - that humanity will have to do one thing the same way it did when it was closer to beast then man - eat. "Manifestos On The Future of Food & Seed" is an examination of modern agriculture, and an encouragement to increase the world's cultivating range and trade amongst each other, stating the fact of 80,000 plants in the world are edible for food, 150 of them are grown intentionally, and only eight are traded internationally. "Manifestos On The Future of Food & Seed" is highly recommended as a deftly composed treatise in the form of essays from five intellectuals on the subject and deserves a place on any community library agriculture shelf.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an important book but not a great read Aug. 1 2010
By Tobias Handschin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wish not to bash this book because it stands for something great that we should all contribute to. However, to me it was not an interesting read. That's because many of the things talked about appear over and over in information stemming from different people (some of which could come from speeches), such as for instance that we should support small farms. This is true, but rather than mentioning it several times, I wish it was talked about it in more depth once. Also, I would have loved some more concrete data and better support for the data that is provided. If you make a controversial claim, back it up or else nobody believes it. Also, the book is just plain boring because of how it is fragmented, but also because for half of the book you are reading a summary of what was coined at a convention.
I give this book four stars, because I strongly support its cause. If it was for the way it was put together and the uninteresting way in which the information is presented, I would give it one star. Also, I think Vandana Shiva is an amazing lady. She is brilliant and determined to do what is right for this planet. We need more people like her, and probably also more of those other people who meet at Terra Madre. These selfless people will brighten our future.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME Sept. 9 2013
By Layla Fidel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was a great and interesting book. I liked it a lot and I can't wait to finish it up.
10 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pollan is not the author, and that's ok. Oct. 19 2007
By Preston C. Enright - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like Michael Pollan, I have not yet read "Manifestos", but I have purchased it and I'm sure it will be deserving of the 5 stars I gave it. I gave it one star for featuring the art of the wonderful Nikki McClure on the cover. I've purchased her cards and calendars in the past, and thoroughly enjoy her work. Collect Raindrops: The Seasons Gathered
I gave "Manifestos" another star for featuring Vandana Shiva, an internationally-renown renaissance woman who has been challenging agribusiness lobbyists and lawyers for years. She also has won the "Right Livelihood Award" for her all her efforts to advance justice.Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, And Peace
"Manifestos" is deserving of another star for featuring Carlo Petrini, the founder of the "Slow Food" movement. Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should Be Good, Clean, And Fair
The book also gets advanced another star from me for being published by South End Press, which has been publishing incredibly important ideas for decades, including Dispatches from Latin America: On the Frontlines Against Neoliberalism Recovering The Sacred: The Power Of Naming And Claiming and Chomsky's books long before he was a best-selling author Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies.
Lastly, I gave "Manifestos" a fifth star in advance because it features a transcript of a speech by Michael Pollan. It's too bad there was some confusion concerning his contribution, but he doesn't need to be the author for people to want to buy it. After becoming familiar with Pollan's insights through boks like The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World, many will be satisfied simply knowing he is a contributor.
To see Pollan on a DVD, he's featured in the extras of The Future of Food.

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." - J. R. R. Tolkein
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