What We’re Reading – Our 7 Essential Books on Hunger and Food Waste

August 26, 2021

Food waste and hunger are immense problems rooted in a complex web of issues. How can anyone begin to understand the problem enough to make an impact? A good book is a pretty good place to start!

We have compiled a list of 7 essential reads about sustainability, food waste, and hunger that will help you feel like an expert. With one or two of these in your belt, you will soon be better equipped to be an agent of change in your community.

After reading up and getting inspired, check out ways to get involved!

An Almost Zero Waste Life: Learning How to Embrace Less to Live More 

If you have been looking for ways to waste less at home, Megean Weldon put together a gorgeous how-to novel for ways to make your habits more sustainable. Tips, strategies, recipes, and DIYs guide you through realistically attainable habits that produce real results. Oftentimes the zero-waste movement can seem overwhelming to anyone interested in making the lifestyle shift, so Weldon organized these ideas in a way that is digestible to anyone.

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

Naomi Klein is on a mission to debunk the myth that carbon is the biggest environmental problem. If we want to impact climate change, we as a society need to look at the real root of the issues: capitalism. Klein takes an optimistic approach as to how quickly circumstances can change by acknowledging the broken relationship between the economy and ecology. Greed and growth is what lead to the damages done by corporations, but in the examples of where change has been made the success stories are surprising and encouraging. 

Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back To Life

For centuries, our agricultural practices have eroded topsoil and stripped it of its nutrients. Geologist David R. Montgomery travels the world in an attempt to regenerate the uppermost layer of the planet. Ditching the plow, planting cover crops, and growing a diversity of crops is how he plans to help local farmers feed their community, guard the planet, and bring profitability back to non-industrial farms. 

Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, and Stems into Delicious Meals

We talk often about ways to reduce waste in your own home, but it can be difficult to know where to start. This cookbook is an all-encompassing reference guide for what to do with all of the little bits of food you tend to throw away when you cook. You might not make a whole meal out of kale stems, but there are some amazing dips and garnishes you can try! With some guidance from Lindsay-Jean Hard, your kitchen can be more efficient, and more creative!

Growing Up Empty: How Federal Policies Are Starving America’s Children

With 20 years of impressive investigative journalism and a truly empathetic approach, Loretta Schwartz-Nobel uncovers how hunger still exists in the US as a result of repeated abandonment by local and federal governments. For years the problem of hunger has only gotten worse, and the issue remains a silent epidemic unacknowledged by even the most respected seats in office. Scwartz-Nobel dives into how hunger impacts every demographic, regardless of race, age, location, or religion, and the endless cycles of impoverishment and hunger that trap countless Americans each year.

Braiding Sweetgrass 

As a botanist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Robin Wall Kimmerer writes about environmentalism with an entirely unique perspective. She respects plants and animals as our oldest teachers of the scientific world and as guides for how to solve current issues. By understanding the interconnectedness of nature we can learn how our actions as humans have an impact on the natural systems of the entire world. Kimmerer writes with a scientific reverence that encourages ecological consciousness in an enchanting way. 

Legacies of Dust: Land Use and Labor on the Colorado Plains

This novel by Douglas Sheflin of Colorado State University is for our history buffs. In the 1930s, when the rain stopped and the fields dried out, Southern Coloradan farmers faced one of the worst ecological disasters in American history. The inability to farm coupled with the Great Depression forced agriculturalists to completely reinvent how they operated. With local initiative, federal support, and a passionate team of conservationists, Southern Colorado’s agricultural economy was rebuilt and transformed. We can look back on these events for renewed perspective on what we face today if we can’t solve mass desertification.