Rebuilding the Foodshed

Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to create local, sustainable, and secure food systems by Philip Ackerman-Leist (Chelsea Green, 2012).

The author of this book has an unusual combination of perspectives: he is both a college professor and a farmer. That means that his approach to creating locally-based food systems comes from a great deal of practical experience, not just idealistic theory. Ackerman-Leist understands the economics of farming, and the chemicals and energy requirements involved. He devotes a whole chapter to the possibilities of using human excrement as a fertilizer (yes, he went there). He explores the connections between people who lack food security and the organizations that try to help them, such as food banks and soup kitchens. Several times in the book he relates stories about people whose job it is to feed large groups of people (school, hospital and prison food service staff). These organizations, often ignored in sustainability literature, are actually good places to start going local with food supply. This is not the book I was expecting, but it made a lot of excellent points that got me thinking in new ways about our “foodsheds.”

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Filed under Environment, Urban planning

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