The best books on food sovereignty

Who am I?

My life's work has been to educate and encourage others to take food into their own hands with the intention of reclaiming real nutrition and declaring independence from the conventional food system. I'm humbled by the fact that my DIY Kombucha business has been successful, and it means that enough people are realizing the importance of intentionality when considering the food and drink we put in our bodies. I'd say that our motto of "Changing the world, one gut at a time" accurately represents what we're doing every day.

I wrote...

The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea

By Hannah Crum, Alex Lagory,

Book cover of The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea

What is my book about?

This book is the culmination of more than 10 years of teaching people how to brew Kombucha, and there is no more extensive, comprehensive, detailed, or researched book available than this! Everything the new brewer and the experienced fermenter wants in one Big Book, these 400 pages are packed with instruction, tips, troubleshooting, cooking, cocktails, smoothies, history, science, & so much more! 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements

Why did I love this book?

Sandor Katz is one of the most important faces in the modern fermentation movement, and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved proves that his influence extends beyond the microbial sphere. This incredible book shows how ordinary people can resist the dominant food system, revive their community, and take direct action to benefit their own health and nutrition.

By Sandor Ellix Katz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An instant classic for a new generation of monkey-wrenching food activists. Food in America is cheap and abundant, yet the vast majority of it is diminished in terms of flavor and nutrition, anonymous and mysterious after being shipped thousands of miles and passing through inscrutable supply chains, and controlled by multinational corporations. In our system of globalized food commodities, convenience replaces quality and a connection to the source of our food. Most of us know almost nothing about how our food is grown or produced, where it comes from, and what health value it really has. It is food as…

The Omnivore's Dilemma

By Michael Pollan,

Book cover of The Omnivore's Dilemma

Why did I love this book?

If you've been paying attention to local food to any degree in the current century, there's a good chance you've at least heard of Michael Pollan. The Omnivore's Dilemma is my favorite of his books because it breaks down ethical eating into a more digestible and personal story while inviting us to ponder our own eating habits. It's a highly relatable and inspiring read!

By Michael Pollan,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Omnivore's Dilemma as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller that's changing America's diet is now perfect for younger readers

"What's for dinner?" seemed like a simple question-until journalist and supermarket detective Michael Pollan delved behind the scenes. From fast food and big organic to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers' adaptation of Pollan's famous food-chain exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and global health implications of their food choices.

In a smart, compelling format with updated facts, plenty of photos, graphs, and visuals, as well as a new afterword and backmatter, The Omnivore's Dilemma serves up a bold message…

Book cover of Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat: Why Well-Raised Meat Is Good for You and Good for the Planet

Why did I love this book?

With veganism and vegetarianism on the rise, it's books like these that make an important case for keeping meat, especially beef, in our diet. While reputable science is the backbone of the book, it also takes a look at the ethical arguments for keeping local cattle ranching alive, the use of natural fertilizers produced by farm animals, and delicious beef on our plates.

By Diana Rodgers, Robb Wolf,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sacred Cow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We're told that if we care about our health-or our planet-eliminating red meat from our diets is crucial. That beef is bad for us and cattle farming is horrible for the environment. But science says otherwise.

Beef is framed as the most environmentally destructive and least healthy of meats. We're often told that the only solution is to reduce or quit red meat entirely. But despite what anti-meat groups, vegan celebrities, and some health experts say, plant-based agriculture is far from a perfect solution.

In Sacred Cow, registered dietitian Diana Rodgers and former research biochemist and New York Times bestselling…

Book cover of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

Why did I love this book?

This book offers a less direct argument for creating ethical food systems, but it adds a deeply personal element to the cause. The author takes you on a spiritual journey of gratitude through visiting wild strawberry meadows, maple groves, wildflower fields, and her own garden. A scientist by trade, she does the important work of validating indigenous systems of knowledge as an important counterpart to data-driven science. An important book that's an absolute pleasure to read!

By Robin Wall Kimmerer,

Why should I read it?

39 authors picked Braiding Sweetgrass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Called the work of "a mesmerizing storyteller with deep compassion and memorable prose" (Publishers Weekly) and the book that, "anyone interested in natural history, botany, protecting nature, or Native American culture will love," by Library Journal, Braiding Sweetgrass is poised to be a classic of nature writing. As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer asks questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces indigenous teachings that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take "us on a journey that is…

Book cover of Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land

Why did I love this book?

Farming While Black aims to restore the connection between Black people and the land, acknowledging the complications involved in returning to a profession that ties them to a traumatic and exploitive history and also providing a positive outlook by tying in traditional African growing traditions and wisdom. Along with discussing the necessary redesign of our food system in order to benefit us all, it also includes a practical agricultural how-to guide.

By Leah Penniman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Farming While Black as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Leah Penniman - recipient of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award 2019'An extraordinary book...part agricultural guide, part revolutionary manifesto.' VOGUE

'Farming While Black offers a guide to reclaiming food systems from white supremacy.' Bon Appetit

In 1920, 14 percent of all land-owning US farmers were black. Today less than 2 percent of farms are controlled by black people, a loss of over 14 million acres and the result of discrimination and dispossession. While farm management is among the whitest of professions, farm labour is predominantly brown and exploited and people of color disproportionately live in 'food apartheid' neighborhoods and suffer…

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