Food from the Radical Center (Hardcover)

Healing Our Land and Communities

By Gary Paul Nabhan

Island Press, 9781610919197, 200pp.

Publication Date: September 27, 2018

List Price: 28.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

"Informational and inspirational." Booklist

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. 
 


About the Author

Gary Paul Nabhan is an internationally celebrated nature writer, food and farming activist, and proponent of conserving the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity. He has been been honored as a pioneer and creative force in the “local food movement” and seed saving community by Utne Reader, Mother Earth News, New York Times, Bioneers, and Time magazine.

As the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Arizona Southwest Center, he works with students, faculty and non-profits to build a more just, nutritious, sustainable, and climate-resilient foodshed spanning the U.S./Mexico border. He was among the earliest researchers to promote the use of native foods in preventing diabetes, especially in his role as a co-founder and researcher with Native Seeds/SEARCH. Gary is also personally engaged as an orchard-keeper, wild foods forager, and pollinator habitat restorationist working from his small farm in Patagonia, Arizona near the Mexican border. He has helped forge “the radical center” for collaborative conservation among farmers, ranchers, indigenous peoples and environmentalists in the West. He played key roles in establishing the Ironwood Forest National Monument, community-based seed banks, land reserves for conserving wild crop relatives, and restored habitats for migratory pollinators throughout the West.

Agricultural historian Peter Hatch of Monticello has called Nabhan “the lyrical scholar of genetic diversity.” As an Arab-American essayist and poet, he is author or editor of twenty-four books, some of which have been translated into Arabic, Spanish, Italian, French, Croation, Korean, Chinese and Japanese. For his creative writing and its influence on community-based conservation, he has been honored with a MacArthur “genius” award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Southwest Book Award, the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing, the Vavilov Medal, and several honorary degrees and lifetime achievement awards.

He works most of the year as a research scientist at Tumamoc Hill and the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona, but he is also engaged with several food justice and farming alliances, including Sabores Sin Fronteras, Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, Wild Farm Alliance, Renewing America’s Food Traditions, and the Borderlands Habitat Restoration Initiative. Nabhan is humbled and honored to serve as a professed Ecumenical Franciscan brother, helping the Franciscan Action Network in shaping ethical responses to environmental injustice, to immigration issues, and to climate change.

 


Praise For Food from the Radical Center: Healing Our Land and Communities

"Both informational and inspirational, this [book] will be of interest to foodies, conservationists, and environmentalists alike."

— Booklist

"A thought-provoking collection."

— Library Journal

"At its heart, Food from the Radical Center is neither about the numbers nor the studies that report them; instead, it is an up close and personal look at the local people who have defined what 'collaborative conservation looks like on the ground.' Written in the first person and often directly addressing the reader, it is also something of a life review of the work to which Nabhan has been passionately dedicated for the past 50 years."

— Santa Fe New Mexican

"In Food from the Radical Center, Gary Paul Nabhan provides a number of rich and detailed accounts from across the country illustrating that, in a world of ecological and social crisis, ideological differences can be put aside to work together for the common good around basic human needs—clean air and water, biodiversity, food security and community."

— Bioneers

"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