Thursday, October 8, 2009

Review: Hope's Edge by Frances Moore Lappe

Hope's Edge follows the author of the classic Diet for a Small Planet and her daughter as they travel the world, discovering practical visionaries who are making a difference in world hunger, sometimes one village at a time.

Thirty years ago, Frances Moore Lappe started a revolution in the way Americans think about food and hunger. Now Frances and her daughter, Anna, pick up where Diet for a Small Planet left off. Together they set out on an around-the-world journey to explore the greatest challenges we face in the new millennium. Traveling to Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe, they discovered answers to one of the most urgent issues of our time: whether we can transcend the rampant consumerism and capitalism to find the paths that each of us can follow to heal our lives as well as the planet.

Featuring nearly seventy recipes from celebrated vegetarian culinary pioneers-including Alice Waters, Mollie Katzen, Laurel Robertson, Nora Pouillon, and Anna Thomas-Hope's Edge highlights true trailblazers engaged in social, environmental, and economic transformations.

From the library.

This was my first experience with the author and I was quite pleasantly surprised overall. Sure, she had the typical Berkley views that are very different than 99% of the population, but there was some worthwhile information in the book. And, while I certainly didn't agree with many of the social movements described in the book (MST in Brazil, etc.) I could understand the motivations of the people behind them.

There was a thought provoking quote:

Every year, we rely upon roughly a million farm workers planting and harvesting our food, and, depending upon the season, several million more undocumented migrant workers.

I had a completely different reaction to these statistics about migrant workers than the author probably intended. Instead of feeling pity for the migrant workers I was incensed that millions of these leeches were coming into the country to suck our public assistance programs dry while actual citizens suffer. I will pay more for local, organic foods, if only to prevent the use of migrant workers to produce my food. I would much rather have my food produced by legal, American citizens.

The smaller passages, written by the daughter, scattered throughout the text were an interesting snapshot of another perspective, and that perspective came from someone closer to my own age, which shone a different, and clearer, light on the issues.

This one gets two stars for the sheer length of it. Seriously, you could throw your back out hauling this tome around. It was so long and so boring. I really could barely make it a third of the way through. I didn't feel up to spending the next year of my life wading through it so I had to abandon it.

☆☆= Didn't Like It


lilly said...

I admire your courage to state clearly what you think about the illegal immigration issue touched upon in this book. Kudos to you because these are dangerous times to say this. I am an immigrant myself, however I didn't spend one day illegally in this country, I am now a citizen and I know for a fact that it is possible to live and work here legally if only one makes enough effort. So I agree with you 100% and have no compassion for people who come here by breaking the law and keep breaking that law, not respecting this country and making the good citizens pay for them, because this is the reality many people refuse to face.

Post a Comment