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The Green Life: Book Roundup Wednesday: Books About Eating Green

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May 27, 2009

Book Roundup Wednesday: Books About Eating Green

Books about environmentalism Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. Since the last time we recommended books about food and its relation to the environment, a new crop of books on the same topic has found its way onto our desks, so here’s another roundup of books that’ll help you eat green.

Big Green Cookbook: Hundreds of Planet-Pleasing Recipes & Tips for a Luscious, Low-Carbon Lifestyle (by Jackie Newcent, $25, Wiley, Apr. 2009): This chunky volume is well-designed and packed with non-intimidating recipes for people committed to eating conscientiously. Sprinkled in are tips for greener cooking, such as which coal to use when barbecuing (natural-lump charcoal from sustainably sourced hardwood), and using the microwave instead of the oven, thereby conserving two-thirds the amount of energy.

Cool Cuisine: Taking the Bite Out of Global Warming (by Laura Stec with Eugene Cordero, $25, Gibbs Smith, Sept. 2008): Recipes are just part of the equation here: The rest of this colorful book provides the context for why your dinner might be linked to global warming (the authors call the standard American diet [SAD] “a Hummer on a plate”), what you can do about it, and a discussion of “America’s changing palate.”

Clean Food: A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source with More Than 200 Recipes for a Healthy and Sustainable You (by Terry Walters, $30, Sterling Epicure, Sept. 2009): A cookbook written to keep its readers in harmony in nature. Clean Food’s author is a holistic health counselor who advocates eating meals made from varied, local, seasonal, and organic ingredients for health, balance, and responsibility.

Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly (by James E. McWilliams, $26, Little, Brown, Aug. 2009): McWilliams, a professor at Texas State, questions typical environmentalist views of food, bemoaning that “To be a centrist when it comes to food is, unfortunately, to be a radical.” He warns against simplifying the food-environment problem, and touches on issues – like food miles, eating organic, GMOs, and eating meat – with a more skeptical hand than Sierra Clubbers might be used to.

--Avital Binshtock

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