Food Tank is highlighting 21 books on food, agriculture, and environment to inspire readers of all ages to get in on the National Reading Month celebrations in 2019.
Every March, the United States’ National Reading Month encourages children to go on a quest to improve their reading skills and find a love for books. And kids and adults alike can follow Food Tank’s latest reading list to find books that satisfy their curiosity about the food system.
The books below cover topics from ocean pollution and sustainable farming to the theology and philosophy of eating. And using stories from the past, the books seek to inspire readers to act, work, and eat for a better future. For people who want to do more with their hands than just flip pages, the cookbooks featured below offer an interactive experience with whole-food and plant-based recipes.
1. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Across the United States, schools are starting off National Reading Month with classic reads from Dr. Seuss. The Lorax tells a tale about the risks corporate greed and inaction pose on nature. In the story, a boy named Ted visits the Once-ler who tells him about using Truffula trees to create and sell the Thneed—a wildly popular garment. Despite the Lorax’s attempts to stop the Once-ler’s expansions, the Once-ler cuts down the last tree and the Lorax—and all other enchanting wildlife—disappear. The book ends calling upon future environmental activists to take a stand for the health of the planet.
2. Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It? By Eric Holt-Gimenez
Holt-Gimenez pushes back against the world’s challenge to double food production in order to feed 10 billion people by 2050, calling the goal an environmental, ecological, and social catastrophe that would extend the planet and people beyond their limits. Instead, Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It? concludes in a resounding yes—with current technology, resources, and expertise, feeding a growing world is possible with a global food transformation that improves access to food and diminishes agriculture’s environmental impacts.
3. Coffee: From Bean to Barista by Robert W. Thurston
Thurston tells the history, cultivation, and culture of coffee as it intersects with and quarrels against globalization, climate change, and social justice. While Coffee covers traditional roasting and planting techniques, it also reports on the newest ideas in roasting, challenges in cultivation, and technology in brewing. Thurston also takes cultural phenomenons head on in his discussion of coffee, including the reported health benefits of the drink and debates over organic and conventional coffee agriculture.
4. Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey Into Regenerative Agriculture by Gabe Brown
After weather-related crop disasters, Brown and his wife began experimenting with regenerative agriculture to recreate a viable farm. In Dirt to Soil, Brown details the journey’s ups and down and introduces the solutions to worldwide agricultural challenges he garnered. Dirt to Soil seeks to transform the way readers think, moving away from the industrial agricultural model—which focuses on killing things—and toward a model that embraces life and diversity on the land.