HOPE'S EDGE: The Next Diet for a Small Planet
Thirty years ago, Frances Moore Lappé's groundbreaking Diet for a Small Planet challenged Western assumptions about hunger. Lappé was the first to argue systematically for the rejection of meat-based eating and cultivation in favor of a system where "corn becomes filet mignon" and eating lower on the food chain (i.e. more grains and vegetables) is crucial the key to ending worldwide hunger, since non-meat proteins are much more efficient and sustainable to produce. Her new book, co-written with her daughter, comes into a world still grappling with the problem. Describing their journeys through Brazil, Pakistan, Holland and the U.S., the Lappés continue to question the economic status quo as well as discuss the way different countries handle food production in times of scarcity and plenty. By focusing on their individual journeys and choices, the Lappés bring intellectual concepts to a personal level, and in doing so, challenge us to do the same. What we eat directly, they argue, connects us to the earth and people around the globe. "Food has a unique power," Lappé writes. "With food as a starting point we can choose to meet people and to encounter events so powerful that they jar us out of our ordinary way of seeing the world, and open us to new, uplifting and empowering possibilities. They call us to travel 'hope's edge.' " Recommended for those interested in a better understanding of the world hunger crisis and personal ways to make a difference—and for healthy cooks too: a recipe section features delicious vegetarian, organic and whole-foods dishes from celebrated restaurants such as Chez Panisse and Angelica Kitchen. (Feb.1)
Forecast:The first Diet was a foundational book for modern vegetarianism, finally providing a thoroughly argued rationale that did not rely on the cruelty-to-animals argument. Many boomers will pick up the new edition to see that argument updated for the era of globalism, and younger browsers will recognize the authors from their parents' battered copies. Expect strong, steady sales.
Release date: 02/01/2002