Eating (and reading) to save the world

It’s been a while since my passionate vegan days (around ages 15-20). But as a Google search of my name reminds me, I was once a teenaged vegan idealist who snatched at the first glimmers of the e-networking world as a member of the Vegetarian Youth Network (scroll down to “New Paltz”). On this proto-listserv, we exchanged recipes for egg-and-dairy-free baked goods along with plots for a vegan revolution.

That well-spent youth all came back to me when I picked up the book Veggie Revolution: Smart Choices for a Healthy Body and a Healthy Planet by Sally and Sara Kate Neidel (Sally is a Ph.D. — Sara  Kate I think is her daughter). This book argues that vegetarianism can help alleviate climate change, water pollution, world hunger, and pretty much every other bad thing you can think of. I bought it this weekend at Busboys and Poets and the 16-year-old vegan in me is cheering.

I also came upon a new book that makes a similar argument about food choices saving the planet without necessarily suggesting that you give up animal products. It’s The Global Warming Diet by Laura Stec and Eugene Cordero. It appears it hasn’t been released yet, but the authors are traveling around doing the Southern California lecture circuit.

Another book related to food and saving the world is Plenty. (It seems it was released in Canada as The 100-Mile Diet–a distinction that fascinates me to no end). This has been out for a while. It follows a couple through a year of living on only food produced within 100 miles of their Vancouver, BC home.

This couple is not to be confused with No Impact Man Colin Beavan and his wifey and kid, whose book I also would love to read.

At any rate, a turn of events has gotten me back into this stuff now that college, visits to developing countries, settling in a big city, and then taking a day job have made me by turns ultra-liberal, activist, advocate, cynic, apathetic city dweller, mainstream liberal and finally the kind of person who college kids ask to make a presentation about climate change and food. Thus the reading. I’ll keep you updated.


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