“The Devil’s Element” is a timely introduction to the nuance and complexity of the issue of phosphorus and its impacts — and should be a wake-up call for eco-conscious readers. With a biting wit and human-focused storytelling, author Dan Egan masterfully illustrates how the connection between phosphorus and human society is one of constant balance […]
The gathering of agricultural data, from soil types to market rates, has a long history. The earliest states sought to impact the welfare of agriculturalists and consequently the welfare of their appropriative taxation schemes. Basic cadastral mapping has developed into surveys, sampling and data collection of all kinds. In historical terms these efforts have been
As the pandemic descended on the world in 2020 and the orbits of many people shrunk to the size of their home, the busy pace of life shuddered to a standstill. For some of us lucky enough, we were granted the gift of time, a gift that we didn’t immediately know what to do with.
“Drawdown,” edited by Paul Hawken, makes an audacious claim for its subtitle: “The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.” But, it lives up to its claim of offering a broad picture of what the Earth, and we humans, need to do if we want to reverse global climate catastrophe. What is “drawdown”?
“What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be?” is a thought-provoking book that encourages readers to consider their impact on future generations and the environment. This collection presents the idea that we are all ancestors-in-waiting and that the choices we make today will shape the world that our descendants inherit. It draws on insights
As a chocolate lover and morning coffee drinker, I worry about the impacts a changing climate will have on my favorite foods. Those same concerns are what inspired Michael Hoffmann, an entomologist studying biological control, writer Carrie Koplinka-Loehr, and Danielle L. Eiseman, who once worked as a chef, to collaborate on this book. They structure
“How to Sell a Poison: The Rise, Fall and Toxic Return of DDT” by writer and medicine historian Elena Conis is a meticulous chronicle of the complex forces that brought the insecticide DDT into prominent use, eventual disuse, and more recent resurgence. Though DDT is the focus of Conis’ research, ultimately, this is a story
This slim and well-referenced book offers a compelling description of what a truly sustainable community looks like. Author Sumanas Koulagi (full disclosure: I’m a personal acquaintance) examines an old concept called “swaraj” to define and then demonstrate how a community can practice self-sufficiency. This vison can apply to food production as easily as it does
Mary Boone got interested in entomophagy (eating insects) about a decade ago when the United Nations issued its report on using insect protein to feed the world’s growing population. When she later traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia, Boone had opportunities to snack on fried grasshoppers at a local market. They were surprisingly tasty, and she
Three quarters of known animal species are insects. From pollinators to pests, dinner to decomposers, insects are integral to healthy ecosystems. So, when there is a huge decline in populations, scientists get worried. And they should, because a lack of caterpillars means no baby birds. More importantly, from my point of view, no flies means