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Food Town, USA

Seven Unlikely Cities That are Changing the Way We Eat

Mark Winne


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Look at any list of America’s top foodie cities and you probably won’t find Boise, Idaho or Sitka, Alaska. Yet they are the new face of the food movement. Healthy, sustainable fare is changing communities across this country, revitalizing towns that have been ravaged by disappearing industries and decades of inequity.

What sparked this revolution? To find out, Mark Winne traveled to seven cities not usually considered revolutionary. He broke bread with brew masters and city council members, farmers and philanthropists, toured start-up incubators and homeless shelters. What he discovered was remarkable, even inspiring.

In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, once a company steel town, investment in the arts has created a robust new market for local restaurateurs. In Alexandria, Louisiana, “one-stop shopping” food banks help clients apply for health insurance along with SNAP benefits. In Jacksonville, Florida, aeroponics are bringing fresh produce to a food desert.

Over the course of his travels, Winne experienced the power of individuals to transform food and the power of food to transform communities. The cities of Food Town, USA remind us that innovation is ripening all across the country, especially in the most unlikely places.

Praise For Food Town, USA: Seven Unlikely Cities That are Changing the Way We Eat

"An inherently fascinating and impressively informative read throughout, Food Town, USA: Seven Unlikely Cities That are Changing the Way We Eat is an original and seminal work of exhaustive research and insightful relevance. An exceptionally well written, organized and presented study that is highly recommended."
— Midwest Book Review

"Whether it’s a racially diverse farmers’ market thriving and building bridges in historically segregated and racially oppressive Alexandria, or a longshot brewpub in Bethlehem that became the epicenter of a food-centered revival of the city’s Main Street, Winne details the cascading impacts that farmers, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, governments, and individuals have on the cities that make up Food Town USA."
— Civil Eats

Island Press, 9781610919449, 208pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2019

About the Author

Mark Winne has held leadership positions with several nonprofit food organizations and food policy councils. He currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and writes, trains, and speaks about the food system. He is the author of Closing the Food Gap, Food Rebels, and Stand Together or Starve Alone.