With the new emphasis on environmentalism in the 1990's, Lappe stresses how her philosophy remains valid, and how food remains the central issue through which to understand world politics.
My new friends included a small group of women in their late twenties and early thirties who had left abusive husbands, had small children, and were in the midst of gaining a new awareness that later on took on the sobriquet, "consciousness raising." Among other tools we acquired a number of books including, THE WOMEN'S ROOM and DIET FOR A SMALL PLANET.
DIET FOR A SMALL PLANET is a gem, not because it contains wonderful recipes (it doesn't) but because when you read it, you can get an inside view of a subculture that has disappeared. Sometimes I think the happiest moments of my life occurred in those days. I had no money, but I was in college--a life long dream my mother had and never realized--and with friends who helped me to feel good about myself for the first time in my life. DIET FOR A SMALL PLANET nourished this feeling. DIET explained how the real food chain worked and that everything we ate affected some other life form. We learned that we could eat and hurt others less, and save a few bucks because the meals were cheap.
My kids still laugh at some of the meals I served them based on the recipes in DIET. Over the years, we've had many discussions about which food was worst. They say the "yogurt and barly soup" wins hands down. This book explains how to make awful food and many better veggie books are on the market.Read more ›
The secret of "Diet for a Small Planet" is that it contains something for everyone, whether you believe in vegetarianism, the ecological production of the food supply or just want better health.
If you are an animal activist or don't eat meat for religious reasons, Lappe provides valuable info on how to get the proper balance in your diet by matching foods to get all the essential amino acids you need (the building blocks of proteins.)
If you are interested in health, you can use Lappe's book to provide alternative main dishes that are satisfying and lower in fat, higher in fiber. Meat is a major source of saturated fats, beans and rice and other grains provide lots of benefits such as soluable and insoluable fiber, vitamins and minerals.
If you are ecologically minded, and this is the thrust of the book, you can eat comfortably, knowing your dietary items take up less resources to grow.
I don't subscribe to all Lappe's philosophies, yet, this book had and continues to have a major influence on me. Rice and beans or grains and beans are regular items on our table, meatless days outnumber days when meat is on the table, and this is because I read Lappe's book long ago. I am sure I am better for knowing the information here.