Manifestos on the Future Of Food and Seed Paperback – Jan 1 2010
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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?
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.
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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