Diet for a Small Planet had a profound effect on the way we look at food. We are honored to feature its author, the pioneering Frances Moore Lappe, as our first post on our food channel Real Food.
At 26, a simple truth hit me. Food touches everything. It is life. Food ties me to my family and community as we break bread together, it connects my everyday choices to my body’s health, and food is my most direct tie to the nurturing earth. Every choice I make about food sends out endless ripples shaping me and the world around me. I wrote Diet for a Small Planet to explain that we’d turned our food system into a scarcity-making machine. I wanted to share my discovery with the world.
Then, with my new “ah-ha,” I felt quite alone. Yes, there were back to the landers growing their own and health food stores and food coops springing up, selling stuff I’d never even heard of before — bean sprouts? tofu? buckwheat groats?
Today, I don’t feel alone. I feel part of one of the most exhilarating movements our country and world has ever seen. And I’m thrilled to be working with my daughter, Anna Lappé, who is carrying the torch with her new book Diet for a Hot Planet, helping us see the huge impact of food and farming choices on spreading climate chaos.
In my just-released Getting a Grip 2: Clarity, Creativity and Courage for the World We Really Want, I ask the question to which hunger-amidst-plenty led me: Why are we creating a world that we as individuals abhor? (No one of us would choose to make a child starve or erode and poison our farmland.)
My answer to that question of all questions has led me to become, not an optimist, but a “possibilist,” convinced that we humans do have the answers and that it is possible that we can make the global turn toward health. My personal mantra has therefore become, It’s not possible to know what’s possible. And in that realization, we are free to act from our own deepest truths.
Frances Moore Lappe is a true food pioneer. Her book Diet for a Small Planet, broke through as few others have and raised awareness about food, the “food chain” and food access. Her latest book, Getting a Grip 2: Clarity, Creativity and Courage for the World We Really Want continues that conversation across many issues, tactics and strategies.
Paul Dunn for YES Magazime
by Frances Moore Lappe