Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Review: Good Food Revolution

Will Allen's Good Food Revolution tells the story of a man descended from sharecroppers who becomes a professional basketball player turned fast food regional manager turned regional sales manager for Proctor and Gamble, later leaving behind a high-paying salary to grow vegetables on a two-acre urban farm in a blighted area of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That farm, started with in 1993 on a foreclosed lot, now uses aquaponics and compost-as-soil to feed 40,000 city dwellers. Allen has received the MacArthur Genius Grant, met with Michelle Obama, and advocated for land-intensive urban farming nationwide. His farm could not exist without charitable grants, programs, classes, and tours to help fund it, but the amazing thing about Allen is his inexhaustible drive.  Despite personal and business setbacks, his desire to grow vegetables organically, sustainably, and at unprecedented scale has resulted in an inspiring retort to urban food insecurity and a dearth of healthy food choices for the poor.  Allen's approach is akin to a dynamo spinning and spinning and eventually clearing and transforming raw energy into directed, productive power.  Also of note in his book, Allen name-drops Durham's own food waste expert and Berenbaum's patron Jonathan Bloom.

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