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Cover of Development as Swaraj

Book Review: “Development as Swaraj”

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

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Cover of Bugs for Breakfast

Book Review: “Bugs for Breakfast”

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

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Book cover: The Insect Crisis

Book Review: “The Insect Crisis”

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

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Book cover: Wildcrafted Vinegars

Book Review: “Wildcrafted Vinegars”

If you are a foodie, a fermentista or a gardener passionate about flavor, “Wildcrafted Vinegars” may be your next savory adventure. In his third book on fermentation (“The Wildcrafting Brewer” covers yeast fermentations and “Wildcrafted Fermentation” covers lactic acid ferments), Pascal Baudar takes us through the steps of making vinegar and flavoring it. His instructions

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Book cover: Fresh Banana Leaves

Book Review: “Fresh Banana Leaves”

With uncomplicated prose and a distinct perspective, “Fresh Banana Leaves” interweaves a heartfelt narrative about an Indigenous scientist’s journey through academia, and the family and community that have taught her along the way, with a comprehensive primer about the importance of centering Indigenous voices in environmental science and policy. Author Jessica Hernandez is an environmental

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Book cover: Eating to Extinction

Book Review: “Eating to Extinction”

Drawing on over 10 years of travel and research to document food on the brink of disappearing, BBC food journalist Dan Saladino created the captivating book “Eating to Extinction.” Divided into 10 sections of food types (including cereal, vegetable, cheese and alcohol), Saladino delves into the threats to food around the world. The emergent patterns

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Book Cover: The Art Practice of Spiritual Herbalism

Book Review: “The Art & Practice of Spiritual Herbalism”

There are many ways people come to herbalism and become connected to the healing power of plants. Karen M. Rose, author of “The Art & Practice of Spiritual Herbalism: Transform, Heal, & Remember with the Power of Plants and Ancestral Medicine,” comes from a long line of “Roses,” a perfect last name for an herbalist.

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Book cover of "Healing Grounds"

Book Review: “Healing Grounds”

Liz Carlisle could have written a book on regenerative agriculture that extolled the virtues of intensive grazing and no-till. She could have focused on practices like cover cropping and polyculture, and how they can lead to carbon sequestration and increased soil organic matter. That was her intent, after all: “to pin down the potential for

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Book cover of "Seed Money"

Book Review: “Seed Money”

If you think you know Monsanto — the biochemical company that has become synonymous with genetically modified monoculture and toxic herbicides — think again. Bartow J. Elmore’s “Seed Money: Monsanto’s Past and Our Food Future” is a history of the corporation, its blunders and how it became the black hat of modern agriculture. Elmore’s detailed

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