7 Books to Read this Spring

Food Tank has compiled a list of books to educate, inform, and inspire us this season. You can find the full list on foodtank.com.

Whether you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of modern, sustainable agriculture or searching for a new hobby—like making cheese with no dairy—these books about food, agriculture, and sustainability offer something for everyone. 

1. Women in Agriculture: Professionalizing Rural Life in North America and Europe, 1880–1965, edited by Linda M. Ambrose and Joan M. Jensen

Studies of women in rural life, agriculture, and the home are fairly extensive, but the role of women in other agricultural roles has been examined less. This series of essays explores the role of women as agricultural researchers, producers, marketers, educators, and community organizers in North America and Europe and the expertise they have contributed to rural life and modern agriculture.

2. The President’s Kitchen Cabinet, by Adrian Miller

African-American culinary traditions have significantly influenced American food culture at its roots. In the past few centuries, soul food has pervaded more than the kitchens of American households and restaurants. It has left its mark on one of the most vital kitchens in the country—the White House. This book compiles the stories of more than 100 black men and women who served and fed our nation’s presidents.

3. Building the Agricultural City, by Robert Wolf

Wolf offers a plan for the future of rural economies based on the concept of regionalism, in which widespread, isolated communities become large cities, or agricultural cities. He implores rural communities to decentralize the wealth, work cooperatively to rebuild their economies, and move toward a stronger future.

4. Scraps, Wilt & Weeds: Turning Wasted Food into Plenty, by Mads Refslund and Tama Matsuoka Wong

With the new cookbook from Noma chef Mads Refslund, otherwise wasted foods—such as the presumably inedible parts of vegetables or stale and wilted foods—transform into impressive dishes. Overripe fruit becomes sweet glazes for meat dishes. Vegetable leaves and stalks become the savory bases of soups and sauces. Refslund’s tips and recipes enforce a new respect for the foods we exploit in our kitchens.

5. Natural Defense: Enlisting Bugs and Germs to Protect Our Food and Health, by Emily Monosson

The chemicals we have relied on for more than a century to keep our crops clean and healthy are no longer living up to their job. Diseases are outsmarting our defenses. Fortunately, Monosson offers a positive outlook on the future of plant protection and our subsequent health benefits with innovative scientific advancements that look to germs and bugs to work with nature instead of fighting against it.

6. The Food Lover’s Garden: Growing Cooking and Eating Well, by Jenni Blackmore

Whether you’re working with a small backyard plot or a few pots on your balcony, The Food Lover’s Garden will offer what you need to get started growing your own food. This guidebook/cookbook has the essentials for those who have a piqued interest in gardening but are not sure where to start. Blackmore then takes you beyond the growing phase with recipes for cooking, as well as preserving, the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor.

7. The Tropical Oil Crop Revolution, by Roz Naylor

This information-packed book provides an outlook for an industry on the cusp of change. The oil crop revolution is gaining momentum and with it, the power to influence the food we eat, feed for our animals, the landscape, biofuels, and the economy. The industry’s biggest stakeholders and harshest critics aren’t the only ones to chime in on its impact. The Tropical Oil Crop Revolution analyzes the major costs versus benefits while exploring the sustainable options that could balance out its future.

List provided by: FoodTank 

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