Excerpt from Hope's Edge by Frances Moore Lappé, Anna Lappé, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Hope's Edge

The Next Diet For A Small Planet

By Frances Moore Lappé, Anna Lappé

Hope's Edge
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Jan 2002,
    400 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2003,
    400 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt



Chapter 1
MAPS OF THE MIND

Clear...your mind of old perspectives,
and new perceptions will rush in.
Yet, there is nothing we fear more.

-- DEE HOCK, Birth of the Chaordic Age

You can still buy tie-dyed T-shirts on Telegraph Avenue, and "Question Authority" bumper stickers may forever be in vogue here, but I discovered that something about my old Berkeley haunts had changed.

It's late afternoon before Anna and I can steal some time from our packed research trip to the San Francisco Bay Area to try to find the Giannini Foundation agricultural library, where I spent so many late nights sorting through facts and figures thirty years ago. For an hour we wander rolling green lawns and dimly lit hallways of the U.C. Berkeley campus trying to find the library.

"I guess they moved things," I finally conclude, disappointed that I can't show my daughter exactly where I'd sat. As we head toward the door, the headline of a single newspaper clipping pinned to a bulletin board catches Anna's eye.

"Look, Mom," she says, "'World Demand for Food Expected to Outstrip Production.'" For a second I think she's joking, ad-libbing a headline from the 1970s. Then I spot the dateline: San Francisco Chronicle, November 7, 1999.

Anna and I laugh in horror that even with all we know now, the same myths that spurred me on thirty years ago are being perpetuated. People are still being made to believe that hunger is simply the result of too little food. But that headline served a purpose. It felt like a lightning bolt sent from the heavens with one message: You have to write this book!

In that instant I was brought home again, home to the intuition that launched my adult life-that food is a powerful teacher, an unparalleled motivator. What's scarier, after all, than not knowing if what you feed your family is hurting them? And what's scarier than not knowing whether you can feed your family at all?

Nothing is more personal than food. Yet, in this increasingly globalized world, food is becoming frighteningly impersonal, further and further removed from something we feel we control. I think of the first big consumer scare with genetically modified foods, in the year 2000: the nationwide recall on taco shells with accidental traces of genetically modified Starlink corn not approved for human consumption. Just to pinpoint the error required private-detective-level sleuthing, tracking a chain of multinational companies across states and international borders!

Thirty years ago, my hunch was that food could be a great awakener-holding power like nothing else to open our eyes to what is amiss. But over three decades I'd also come to believe that food opens a path like no other to new possibilities, and I don't mean just new possibilities for feeding ourselves. I mean the whole enchilada-I mean that if we look at food, really look, our world can shift: We might just not only grasp for the first time the biggest ideas limiting our lives, but also discover for the first time whole new ways of seeing the world that release us from our march toward planetary destruction. That intuition sent me on this journey with Anna.


CREATING SCARCITY FROM PLENTY

I've said I wrote Diet for a Small Planet because I felt I had no choice. What I was learning was so shocking I had to share it.

It was 1969. I had dropped out of graduate school, opening the way for what became Diet, because I was scared. I was scared that I would arrive at the end of my life never knowing whether I had devoted my years on the planet to what mattered. Graduate school didn't appear to offer me the chance to find out. So, with my youthful passion in full bloom, I determined to dig to the roots of widespread suffering.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Take This Man
    Take This Man
    by Brando Skyhorse
    "A chorus of six men calling me Son might sound ludicrous to you, but to me it's the sound of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.