Monday, April 12, 2010

Report from a special 18 reasons event: A Diet for A Hot Planet

Food & climate change -- you don't hear much about how these two issues intersect -- Anna Lappé's new book A Diet for a Hot Planet will change this. Last Friday night, I attended a thoughtfully crafted, cozy meet and greet with Lappé' at 18 Reasons. With walls adorned in food art (in this case a wall painting made of curry inundating the room with smells and invoking food memories in us all) Lappé told great stories of..
  • why she started this book: despite the fact that agriculture is second only to transportation in generating potent global warming gasses, no major news outlets were reporting on this key issue.
  • infiltrating corporate food conferences to learn about the greenwashing skills of big food marketers
  • her public speaking debut at Bioneers in front of thousands of people, side by side with her mom, Francis Lappé Moore
I first came across Anna Lappé when I picked up a great cookbook called Grub. Lappé and her co-author Bryant Terry breathe new life into the cookbook genre creating not just a list of delicious vegetarian recipes but a guide to food activism resources and a party planner too. They embrace both the personal and the political of this new food movement.

Lappe continues this trend with a Hot Planet -- as she states on her website: "I plunge into the heart of this era’s newest food fight with a simple message: if we are serious about addressing climate change, we have to talk about food." I look forward to cracking open this book and seeing what she has to say.

A great event to be sure and I can't suggest going to 18 reasons enough. Yes, I will admit, I have balked at the $10 fee for many of their events, but pick one that features a little free food and it will be better than the six pack of microbrews you would've bought instead. 18 reasons, coordinated by the talented Rachel Cole, is a special place--a model to be shared in every city. Turn a quaint gallery space (big enough for one, long dining table) into a gathering spot around food/art/and community. Have cookbook swaps, author events, food classes, potlucks and feature farmer nights. Do it!

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