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A Nation Of Farmers

Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil
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Paperback Book
New Society
April, 2009
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$19.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

Sharon Astyk, author of Depletion and Abundance, and Aaron Newton, co-founder of the online journal Groovy Green, think it’s a “Big Lie” to argue that North Americans aren’t ready for “real and deep and radical change in our way of living.” Now, they insist, is the perfect time for a nation of producers fulfilling “real needs rather than abstracted wants.” Invoking global warming and coming energy shortages (they also subscribe to the Peak Oil theory), the food crisis they foresee demands a shift from industrial farming to sustainable agriculture, from a supermarket and fast-food mentality to a “locavore” approach, and from a diet dominated by meat to one rich in whole grains, potatoes, legumes, roots and vegetables.

A Nation of Farmers argues that we need to make self-provisioning, once the most ordinary of human activities, central to our lives. The results will be better food, better health, better security, and freedom from corporations that don’t have our interests at heart. The authors, both farmers and activists, finger factory farming as a major source of ecological damage and global economic disparity, likening the industry to Soviet collectives. The authors’ radical plan calls for 50 to 100 million Americans to become subsistence farmers working their own small plots, resulting in 200 million relying solely on organic food grown nearby, and huge savings in resources and health care. This is a decidedly Utopian vision with long odds against it, but Astyk and
offer a solid, thought-provoking challenge to conventional wisdom about Americans’ lifestyle and capacity for change.

It’s timely, highly accessible, sensible, forgiving, humorous, and aimed at just about everyone who eats.

A hundred million new farmers! It’s a daunting and invigorating challenge, and it’s a damned good thing that someone is thinking about how it might actually happen. This book is more exuberant than scary, thank heaven—it’s just what we need.” —Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy




Publisher’s Description: 

The new food security - look no further than your own backyard.Once we could fill our grocery carts with cheap and plentiful food, but not anymore. Cheap food has gone the way of cheap oil. Climate change is already reducing crop yields worldwide. The cost of flying in food from far away and shipping it across the country in refrigerated trucks is rapidly becoming unviable. Cars and cows increasingly devour grain harvests, sending prices skyrocketing. More Americans than ever before require food stamps and food pantries just to get by, and a worldwide food crisis is unfolding, overseas and in our kitchens. We can keep hunger from stalking our families, but doing so will require a fundamental shift in our approach to field and table. A Nation of Farmers examines the limits and dangers of the globalized food system and how returning to basics is our best hope.

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