Kiss the Ground: How the Food You Eat Can Reverse Climate Change, Heal Your Body and Ultimately Save Our World

Josh Tickell. Atria, $26 (350p) ISBN 978-1-5011-7025-6
The soil in which food is grown will fix everything, including desertification and climate change, according to this overwrought manifesto. Tickell, an activist and film director (Fuel, The Big Fix), fleshes out his documentary (also titled Kiss the Ground) on “regenerative agriculture,” a suite of farming reforms that aim to restore soil health through no-till agriculture, crop rotation, fertilization with compost and manure, and free-range livestock grazing. In his messianic telling, this program will halt erosion, feed a swelling population, save farmers from bankruptcy, summon rain, and sequester enough carbon underground to reverse global warming. Tickell entwines his explanation of the new agriculture in vivid reportage, featuring much dirt porn as farmers, ranchers, and agronomists savor rich, dark soil full of earthworms and fungi. It also feels like a one-sided treatment, drawn from the most optimistic reaches of scientific literature and paired with a biased attack on conventional farming, aka “the Nazi chemical experiment that has become our modern industrial agriculture.” (His condemnation of genetically modified crops repeats long-debunked claims that they helped cause a wave of farmer suicides in India.) Tickell’s vision is captivating, but these complex agricultural innovations deserve a more balanced, clear-eyed investigation. Photos. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/25/2017
Release date: 11/14/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-5011-7027-0
Downloadable Audio - 352 pages - 978-1-5082-5313-6
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-5011-7026-3
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