8 books on sustainable food to inspire your 2020 diet

From cookbooks to permaculture manuals, here’s to a healthy new year

14 January 2020
Ming Chun Tang

We’ve all been there, pledging to start eating better at the beginning of a new year, despite knowing the ease of just ordering takeaway rather than taking the time to cook a healthy meal. But while modern food systems might be rife with additives, growth hormones and excess packaging, there’s nonetheless a wide range of resources out there to help us feed ourselves more healthily and sustainably. Whether it’s growing your own food at home, or making the most out of leftovers, or even simply deciding what groceries to buy, these essential reads on nutritious and sustainable food will guide your new eating decisions for your new year.

Anna Lappé – Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do about It

A follow-up to her mother Frances Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet, Anna Lappé draws the connections between climate change and our food system and sets seven principles for a climate-friendly diet.

Vandana Shiva – Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis

In this short primer on industrial agriculture, Indian environmental activist and author Vandana Shiva shows why small independent farms can be a bulwark against climate change, while also protecting farmers and biodiversity.

Massimo Bottura – Bread is Gold

In this part-cookbook, part-memoir, renowned chef Massimo Bottura takes on the issue of food waste with a collection of recipes made from ordinary and often discarded ingredients.

Toby Hemenway – Gaia’s Garden

In one of the most influential books on permaculture to date, Toby Hemenway explains how to build an edible ecological garden in your own backyard.

Walter Willett – Eat, Drink and Be Healthy

Leading nutritionist Walter Willett presents his alternative to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food pyramid, based on decades of research on what makes up a healthy diet.

Arnold van Huis, Henk van Gurp and Marcel Dicke – The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet

What if insects could be the answer to our insatiable and growing appetite for proteins? From popped ants to roasted grasshoppers, here’s a unique cookbook devoted to exploring that question.

Masanobu Fukuoka – The One-Straw Revolution

Farming meets spirituality in this classic by Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka, who showcases the fine art of just doing nothing: growing food without tillage, fertilizers, pesticides, weeding or pruning.

Joshua McFadden – Six Seasons

In an award-winning cookbook devoted primarily to vegetables, chef and farmer Joshua McFadden explores easy ways to bring the finest tastes out of every plant as it evolves through its growing season.


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