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Our Favorite Food and Farming Books of 2017

If you’re shopping for holiday gifts for the food-obsessed readers in your life, then look no further.

Despite the frantic pace of life around the holidays, winter’s short days and cold weather bring a perfect time to both reflect on the past year, and to settle in for some serious reading. Whether you’re starting your holiday shopping or looking for your next favorite book, we’ve selected some of Civil Eats’ best book coverage from the past year, asked our contributors to weigh in on the books they have most enjoyed, and included some additional new and noteworthy books for your consideration.


Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups

By Andy Fisher

Since the 1980s, an entire industry has arisen around providing food to the needy, while chronic hunger has persisted and even increased across the U.S. Andy Fisher’s book makes a critically important argument, one that anti-hunger advocates often miss: Hunger is not an isolated problem, but the product of much larger economic inequality driven by low wages. And because anti-hunger organizations often rely on corporation donations to remain afloat, they fail to hold businesses accountable for offshoring jobs, cutting benefits, exploiting workers and rural communities, and resisting wage increases. Fisher offers a critical look at the business of hunger and offers a new vision for the anti-hunger movement.
– Mark Winne


This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm

By Ted Genoways

Ted Genoways wants to challenge your thinking about the people growing your food. Counter to popular wisdom, not all farmers are either 1) selling organic tomatoes at your local farmers’ market or 2) running massive corporate operations. In his latest book, Genoways chronicles a year in the life of the Hammond family in eastern Nebraska as they grow conventional corn and soy and raise cattle. This artful and moving book details the challenges and hardships facing family farms, while also illustrating the drive and motivation needed to sustain a farm for the next generation. While the Hammonds may not be your typical 2017 farm heroes, by profiling a third type of American farmer, Genoways helps readers to understand life on the farm and bridge our rural-urban divide.
– Twilight Greenaway



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