Food from the Radical Center
6 x 9
America has never felt more divided. But in the midst of all the acrimony comes one of the most promising movements in our country’s history. People of all races, faiths, and political persuasions are coming together to restore America's natural wealth: its ability to produce healthy foods.
In Food from the Radical Center, Gary Nabhan tells the stories of diverse communities who are getting their hands dirty and bringing back North America's unique fare: bison, sturgeon, camas lilies, ancient grains, turkeys, and more. These efforts have united people from the left and right, rural and urban, faith-based and science-based, in game-changing collaborations. Their successes are extraordinary by any measure, whether economic, ecological, or social. In fact, the restoration of land and rare species has provided—dollar for dollar—one of the best returns on investment of any conservation initiative.
As a leading thinker and seasoned practitioner in biocultural conservation, Nabhan offers a truly unique perspective on the movement. He draws on fifty years of work with community-based projects around the nation, from the desert Southwest to the low country of the Southeast. Yet Nabhan’s most enduring legacy may be his message of hope: a vision of a new environmentalism that is just and inclusive, allowing former adversaries to commune over delicious foods.
"Both informational and inspirational, this [book] will be of interest to foodies, conservationists, and environmentalists alike."
"Food from the Radical Center connects how we eat with how we live through stories of true collaboration, of people coming together across borders to repair soils, habitats, and the health of species. This important book calls on each of us to help restore and re-story the nation's capacity to feed and nourish—it also honors the geography of home."
Lauret Savoy, author of "Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape"
"Using remarkable insights and examples, Gary Nabhan brings together collaborative conservation and food in a way that will challenge, inspire, and motivate all of us to become better stewards, harvesters, and consumers."
Bill McDonald, rancher and cofounder of the Malpai Borderlands Group
"Gary Paul Nabhan's newest work is a jewel in the crown of understanding the unique opportunities embedded in our local food systems. He is a master at showing us a holistic vision that leaves no stone unturned."
Michael Twitty, author of "The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South"
"In this moving, essential collection of stories, Gary Paul Nabhan introduces us to the unsung heroes of biocultural restoration. Rallying to the fundamental human work of feeding their neighbors, these inspiring leaders demonstrate that we can restore our environment and our communities at the same time—and in the process, we might just restore our collective faith in the promise of democracy."
Liz Carlisle, author of "Lentil Underground" and lecturer, Stanford University
Introduction: Conservation You Can Taste
Chapter 1. A Land Divided
Chapter 2. Farming in the Radical Center
Chapter 3. Will Work for Dirt
Chapter 4. Replenishing Water and Wealth
Chapter 5. Bringing Back the Bison
Chapter 6. Teach a Community to Fish
Chapter 7. Plant Midwives
Chapter 8. Strange Birds Flock Together
Chapter 9. Herders of Many Cultures
Chapter 10. Immigrant Grains
Chapter 11. Urban Growers and Rare Fruit
Chapter 12. Return of the Pollinators
Chapter 13. You Can Go Home Again
Appendix. The Conservation Couplets