Blessing the Hands That Feed Us
What Eating Closer to Home Can Teach Us About Food, Community, and Our Place on Earth
By Vicki Robin
(Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670025725, 352pp.)
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
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The bestselling coauthor of Your Money or Your Life chronicles her quest to eat food produced within 10 miles of her home
Taking the locavore movement to heart, bestselling author and social innovator Vicki Robin pledged for one month to eat only food sourced within a 10-mile radius of her home on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, Washington. Her sustainable diet not only brings to light society’s unhealthy dependency on mass-produced, prepackaged foods but also helps her reconnect with her body and her environment.
Like Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and the bestselling books of Michael Pollan, Blessing the Hands That Feed Us is part personal narrative and part global manifesto. By challenging herself to eat and buy local, Robin exposes the cause and effect of the food business, from the processed goods laden with sugar, fat, and preservatives to the trucks burning through fuel to bring them to a shelf near you.
Robin’s journey is also one of community as she befriends all the neighboring farmers who epitomize the sustainable lifestyle. Among them are Tricia, the prolific market gardener who issued Robin’s 10-mile challenge; Britt and Eric, two
young, enthusiastic farmers living their dream of self-sufficiency; and Vicky, a former corporate executive turned milk producer.
Featuring recipes throughout, along with practical tips on adopting your own locally sourced diet, Blessing the Hands That Feed Us is an inspirational guide and testimonial to the locavore movement and a healthy food future.
VICKI ROBIN is a renowned innovator, writer, and speaker. In addition to coauthoring the bestselling Your Money or Your Life, Robin has been at the forefront of the sustainable living movement. She has received awards from Co-Op America and Sustainable Northwest and was profiled in Utne Magazine’s book Visionaries: People and Ideas to Change Your Life. She lives on Whidbey Island in Washington.
FRANCES MOORE LAPPE is the author of numerous books, including the multimillion copy bestseller Diet for a Small Planet. With her daughter, ANNA LAPPE, she cofounded the Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund to address issues of hunger and poverty.
“[A] call-to-action plan to buy local and live healthier and more responsibly.”—Kirkus Reviews
“[Vicki Robin] realizes that ‘local’ is as much a state of mind as a geographical location.”—Publishers Weekly
“[Blessing the Hands That Feed Us is] about discovering, with gusto, the other end of the industrial food scale and how eating closer to home can affect global issues of hunger, justice, and nutrition. This enjoyable and enlightening book includes practical tips for adopting a locally sourced diet, recipes, and stories about individuals who epitomize a sustainable lifestyle.”—Taste for Life magazine
“Vicki Robin has helped millions of Americans reshape their lives in sound and beautiful ways, but this may be her most important project yet—and a crucial one for our tired planet too!”—Bill McKibben, author Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist
“Vicki Robin is a national treasure—a source of wisdom and uncommon sense now directed at the most basic of basics: how and what we eat and how that connects to our health, prosperity, and prospects . . . The ten-mile diet should be national policy!”—David Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin
“Vicki Robin's Blessing the Hands that Feed Us is part how-to manual for eating ‘hyperlocal’ in an era where we can eat whatever we want at any time of day and part homage to the farmers around the globe who grow our food. I'm inspired not only by Robin's commitment to her own diet, but also her ability to tell the story meal-by-meal and farmer-by-farmer about why we should all be looking more closely at our own diets. Without preaching, Robin shows readers the nutritional, health, environmental, and social benefits of knowing exactly where our food comes from.”—Danielle Nierenberg, Co-Founder of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank
"Whether you're a vegan, vegetarian or eat some meat, this book can show you how and why to include ‘local’ on your list of important food values. Discovering the food of your bioregion, meeting your local farmers, sharing meals with friends, building community through food—all of this is part of personal and planetary health."—John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America and co-founder of The Food Revolution Network
“Vicki Robin is like a Mohandas Gandhi of the 21st Century, modeling a self-reliant lifestyle that can end the violence our industrial food system exacts again our health, our communities, our ecosystems, and our relationships. Her moving story of how she localized her eating habits accomplishes the impossible: It serves as a compelling manifesto of localization—including hundreds of practical tips about how we can become more self-reliant on local food—but also is an engaging, delightfully enjoyable read. The book is a blessing, to be shared with family, friends, neighbors, and anyone else you love.”—Michael H. Shuman, author of Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Move Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity
"Vicki Robin knows that honest, engaging food writing isn't really about food. It's about friends, family, community, spirit, and soil. It's about joy. This book gracefully contains all six in equal measure."—Ben Hewitt, author of The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food
"Want to find your way from the highway of overeating to the garden of relational eating? Of course you do. For decades, Vicki Robin has been out front, showing us a new path that is not dependent upon mindless consumption. She has kept right on going, all the way to her local food system. And what a hopeful, healthy destination she has found, for her and for everyone who wants to truly and beautifully take our country forward."—Woody Tasch, Chairman, Slow Money
“A deeply personal and fun read that manages to both playfully and honestly recount one woman’s journey into reconnection—with food, with community, and with the land itself that feeds us.”—Nina Simons, Co-Founder and President, Bioneers/Collective Heritage Institute
"Vicki Robin has made an illuminating experiment that could help lead us all closer to a sustainable world. I especially love the way she weaves global issues into very personal, intimate stories of her own experience."—Starhawk
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org