Zero Waste Book Club: Fair Food

I don’t know how common this phenomenon is elsewhere in the world, but in New England (where I live), it’s fairly common to come across Little Free Libraries, which are small covered bookshelves placed where people can access easily them, such as on the corner of a busy street. The Libraries themselves are stocked with books that people can take and leave for free.

I did a little research and discovered that the Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization in the US and in over 80 countries abroad which aims to support reading in all ages. The organization was created in Hudson, Wisconsin in the US by Todd Bol in 2009.

The reason I bring this up is because I recently found a great book called Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All in one of the Little Free Libraries near my home. The book, written by Oran B. Hesterman, is a discussion of the agribusiness sector in the United States, its pitfalls and problems, and culminates in his recommendations for how to fix the system, complete with case studies of people and organizations who have had success in breaking away from the vicious cycle of excessive consumption and over-exploitation of the land characteristic of the traditional US system.

Full disclosure, I haven’t finished the book yet, but what I’ve read so far is fascinating. The book is broken up into 3 parts; part 1 is a discussion of the problems (and there are a lot of them) with our food system, part 2 details all of the principles and features of what Hesterman feels is the “ideal” food system- namely, one that is fair, and the 3rd part contains a series of action items for people wishing to break free from the system and become “fair food activists.”

My progress with this book is slow because of all the required reading I have to do for my graduate program, but I will definitely be posting more about this book as I have more opportunity to read it. I would love to discuss the book with anyone who has already read it, so please leave a comment if you are interested.


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