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Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at…
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Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What… (edition 2010)

by Anna Lappé (Author)

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18733120,029 (3.74)17
"In 1971, Frances Moore Lappe's Diet for a Small Planet sparked a revolution in how we think about hunger, alerting millions to the hidden environmental and social impacts of our food choices. Now, nearly four decades later, her daughter, Anna Lappe, picks up the conversation. In her new book, the younger Lappe exposes another hidden cost of our food system: the climate crisis." "While you may not think "global warming" when you sit down to dinner, our tangled web of global food - from Pop-Tarts packaged in Tennessee and eaten in Texas to pork chops raised in Poland, with feed from Brazil, then shipped to South Korea - is connected to as much as one third of total greenhouse-gas emissions. Livestock alone is associated with more emissions than all of the world's transportation combined. Move over, Hummer. Say hello to the hamburger." "If we're serious about the climate crisis, says Lappe, we have to talk about food. In this book, Lappe exposes the interests resisting this conversation and the spin tactics companies are employing to deflect the heat. With seven principles for a climate-friendly diet and success stories from sustainable food advocates around the globe, she offers a vision of a food system that can be part of healing the planet. An engaging call to action, Diet for a Hot Planet delivers a hopeful message during troubling times."--Jacket.… (more)
Member:Keith_McNeill
Title:Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do about It
Authors:Anna Lappé (Author)
Info:Bloomsbury USA (2010), Edition: 1, 336 pages
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Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do about It by Anna Lappé

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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Yep, doomed is what we are. We are living as if nothing matters but us, and although Lappe has some hope, I guess I don't really. I see how the changes she recommends could have an effect, but I'm doubtful of humanity's willingness to make changes in time. This book made me less hopeful than I was before I started it, and that's going a far piece. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I thought this would be an fascinating book, given my interest in eating well and in climate change. Unfortunately, far from living up to her mother's fame, Anna Lappé repeats tired information, writes unconvincingly, and in the end offers little in the way of solutions to the climate crisis.
Granted, I've done a fair bit of reading on the subject, but I learned nothing new from this book. Instead, I wondered several times how much needless environmental damage Ms. Lappé had done over the course of her reporting.

Not recommended. ( )
  monarchi | May 29, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Don't let yourself get stymied in the first few chapters. They tend to be a few pages longer than later chapters, and are stuffed to the gills with statistics and footnotes after every second sentence. The hard statistics do let up, however, resulting in a enjoyable and readable book about the effects of industrial agriculture and animal husbandry on climate change and the environment more generally.

The book is well balanced between exploring the science of industrial agriculture, and enumerating positive actions that people can take to educate themselves and support alternatives to environmentally hazardous food production. One topic that was not covered in any detail was the value of grassroots political action in effecting change. Though that's a large enough subject that it'd probably need its own book (and I already have The Progressive's Guide to Raising Hell: How to Win Grassroots Campaigns, Pass Ballot Box Laws, and Get the Change We Voted For--A Direct Democracy Toolkit on my "to read" list). ( )
  librarianistbooks | Mar 23, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Excerpted from A belated vegan review of eaarth (Bill McKibben, 2010) and Diet for a Hot Planet (Anna Lappé, 2010).

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Library Thing's Early Reviewer program.)

In Diet for a Hot Planet, Anna Lappé also looks at agriculture's contribution to climate change. In contrast to McKibben's eaarth, Diet for a Hot Planet's comparatively narrow focus results in a more cohesive and comprehensive discussion of the topic. Unfortunately, like eaarth, it too is riddled with speciesism.

From farm to plate and everywhere in between, Diet for a Hot Planet identifies and examines the many unsustainable aspects of our food production and distribution systems. This necessarily involves standardization, industrialization, waste, pollution, and - perhaps above all else - a dependence on fossil fuels, resulting in a glut of energy-dense foods. (It's all connected, yo!) As McKibben notes in the forward, "[T]he entire industrial food system essentially ensures that your food is marinated in crude oil before you eat it."

In order to compensate for the degradation of soil quality, farmers have moved away from crop rotation and the use of leguminous crops (which bind with atmospheric nitrogen) to the over/use of synthetic, petroleum-based fertilizers and animal waste (which may solve the problem of soil fertility in the short-term, but actually exacerbate it in the long run). Food travels across countries and around the globe before reaching our dinner tables, requiring the use of fuel and attendant carbon emissions. Consumers travel by car to supermarkets and groceries - many of which are concentrated in the suburbs - to buy this food, most of which is heavily processed. (Not even the fruits and veggies escape such a fate: about half of the vegetables consumed in the U.S. are canned, frozen or dried!) In anticipation of our patronage, grocers store perishable items in massive, continuously-powered refrigerators and freezers - some of which consist of open cases. (Explain that one to your ten-year-old!)

As if this isn't appalling enough, roughly 27% of our edible food is wasted – simply thrown away – at both the individual and institutional levels. As Lappé points out, most of this waste finds its way not into compost piles, but the garbage; some municipalities report that food waste represents 50% of the contents discarded into their landfills. Instead of feeding people or nourishing the soil, this uneaten food becomes waste - waste that's the second-largest source of methane, next only to enteric fermentation (read: animal agriculture).

And then we have the most egregious offender of them all: meat, eggs and dairy. In Lappé's own words,

"[L]ivestock production is one of the biggest contributors to the country's greenhouse-gas emissions, both from pastures and from feed-crop production, from smallholder farms to large-scale ranchers to multinational corporations. The deforestation driven by pastureland and cropland is only one reason livestock contribute so much to global warming, as we'll see.

"Globally, livestock account for as much as 18 percent of all global greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the U.N. study mentioned earlier. That figure includes almost one tenth of carbon emissions, more than one third of methane, and roughly two thirds of nitrous oxide. (Livestock is responsible for other polluting emissions as well, including two thirds of all human-made ammonia.)" (p. 19)

Yet, like McKibben, Lappé simply isn't able to imagine in world in which humans don't retain their supremacy over nonhuman animals:

"All told, 70 percent of all agricultural land in the world is tied up with livestock production. But livestock don't need to cause such ecological harm. Traditionally and still today, in much of the world, livestock have been integrated into diverse farms and their communities, playing a range of roles: providing companionship, manure to enrich soils, muscle for farm work, and as a source of protein as meat. [...L]ivestock can be an integral component of sustainable systems. Well-managed livestock can even nurture the land. All that stomping and tromping helps to press seeds into the earth, fostering plant growth. The action of hooves on the ground can also break up the soil, allowing in more oxygen and improving soil quality. Today's self-described "carbon farmers" are adopting these proven practices and mimicking time-honored grazing methods to increase carbon content in the soil." (p. 19)

While I agree that nonhuman animals "can be an integral component of sustainable systems," I don't understand why humans must enslave them in order to realize this. Nor can I comprehend why a diet comprised of no meat is so much harder for Lappé, McKibben & Co. to swallow than one involving a serving of meat once every few weeks or months. Lappé (daughter of Frances Moore Lappé, a longtime vegetarian and author of Diet for a Small Planet) describes herself as an "on and off" vegetarian since her teen years - so you'd think she'd know better than to, say, categorize nonhuman animals as "plants." Then again, perhaps the "and off" part explains it.

All snark aside, as with eaarth, a good deal of Diet for a Hot Planet is devoted to celebrating small, local, organic farmers - including those who make a buck off the bodies of others. While Lappé does at least broach the idea of vegetarianism - according to my notes, McKibben only mentions the v-word (vegan) once and, if I remember correctly, it's to make a very unfunny joke at our expense - it's in a rather wishy-washy, noncommittal way that's guaranteed to have abolitionists rolling their eyes. Sandwiched between the glorified animal exploitation, however, sits a wealth of facts and figures, tables and numbers, including some original reporting by Lappé. Additionally, she tackles a number of common myths surrounding climate, industrial agriculture - and biotechnology's ability to save us from the perils of each.

If you can get past the speciesism, both books are interesting reads. Whereas eaarth is more thought-provoking in its subversiveness, Diet for a Hot Planet leaves the reader with the information necessary to counter climate change skeptics and corporate apologists for our existing food industries.

Three out of five stars, with two stars deducted for speciesism - including Lappé's inability to promote a plant-based diet without objectifying nonhuman animals.

http://www.easyvegan.info/2011/01/15/a-belated-vegan-review-of-eaarth-and-diet-f... ( )
  smiteme | Jan 15, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Please see my review at the following location. http://petrophy.blogspot.com/2010/12/review-diet-for-hot-planet.html ( )
  pamur | Dec 13, 2010 |
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Epigraph
Like artistic and literary movements, social movements are driven by imagination...Every important social movement reconfigures the world in the imagination. What was obscure comes forward, lies are revealed, memory shaken, new delineations drawn over the old maps: It is from this new way of seeing the present that hope emerges for the future...Let us begin to imagine the worlds we would like to inhabit, the long lives we will share, and the many futures in our hands.
--Susan Griffin, environemtal philosopher
Dedication
For my mother, Frances Moore Lappé,
and my daughter, Ida Jeanette Marshall-Lappé,
and for all the mothers who came before us and the daughters who will come after.
First words
Foreward:
Climate change is the biggest thing human beings have ever done; nothing else even comes close.
Introduction:
Sometimes the Onion really lands a headline.
How to Read This Book:
I wrote this book for anyone interested in the food on their plate and the sky up above.
Chapter 1: The Climate Crisis at the End of Our Fork
Prelude To a Crisis: A Taste of a Climate-Friendly
Farm
By the time I pull into Full Belly Farm, the rain has started to come down in sheets.
Quotations
Where forty years ago there was a family farm, there is now a KMart and a strip mall.
An economic logic driven by the interests of global corporations continues to push the anti-ecological industrialization of farming.
Like artistic and literary movements, social movements are driven by imagination… Every important social movement reconfigures the world in the imagination. What was obscure comes forward, lies are revealed, memory shaken, new delineations drawn over the old maps: It is from this new way of seeing the present that hope emerges for the future… Let us begin to imagine the worlds we would like to inhabit, the long lives we will share, and the many futures in hour hands. Susan Griffin, environmental philosopher, qtd in front of book
Ne huli ka lima iluna, polloi ka opu;
Ne huli ka kima ilalo, piha ka opu.
When your hands are turned up, you will be hungry;
When your hands are turned to the soil, you will be full.
Hawaiian proverb from Ma’o Organic Farm, Wai’anae, Hawaii” p 165
As we make these choices, we are no longer passive consumers; we are active citizens shaping the marketplace. p 231
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"In 1971, Frances Moore Lappe's Diet for a Small Planet sparked a revolution in how we think about hunger, alerting millions to the hidden environmental and social impacts of our food choices. Now, nearly four decades later, her daughter, Anna Lappe, picks up the conversation. In her new book, the younger Lappe exposes another hidden cost of our food system: the climate crisis." "While you may not think "global warming" when you sit down to dinner, our tangled web of global food - from Pop-Tarts packaged in Tennessee and eaten in Texas to pork chops raised in Poland, with feed from Brazil, then shipped to South Korea - is connected to as much as one third of total greenhouse-gas emissions. Livestock alone is associated with more emissions than all of the world's transportation combined. Move over, Hummer. Say hello to the hamburger." "If we're serious about the climate crisis, says Lappe, we have to talk about food. In this book, Lappe exposes the interests resisting this conversation and the spin tactics companies are employing to deflect the heat. With seven principles for a climate-friendly diet and success stories from sustainable food advocates around the globe, she offers a vision of a food system that can be part of healing the planet. An engaging call to action, Diet for a Hot Planet delivers a hopeful message during troubling times."--Jacket.

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