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Book Review: Hope’s Edge

Posted on the 02 November 2012 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Book Review: Hope’s EdgeI read Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe and Anna Lappe and it was an interesting read.  It was a good book for me since recently I have been having an internal debate about vegetarianism.  Lappe’s main argument in the book is that hunger is an issue, but it doesn’t have to be an issue.  We need to re-look at our food system and question giving mass amounts of grain to ethanol production and meat production when people are dying of hunger in the world.  Lappe argues that if we re-directed this grain to actually feed people, hunger would not be an problem.  This argument is not much of a surprise since massive amounts of grain go to feeding cattle, pigs, chicken and now fish each year. While Lappe argues this is one solution to hunger, she also states that hunger is a very complicated and complex issue and there is not a quick fix.
This book is a bit dated, since it was written in 2002.  So many of the facts she spouted off I already knew, but her argument was still fascinating to me since I was not familiar with this side vegetarianism.  It only made me feel more secure in my decision to get back into vegetarianism.

I also feel that this book could have been shortened, as it felt a bit long when she makes her argument and gives a solution in the very beginning of the book.  The rest of the book is dedicated to Lappe traveling around the world exploring many cultures’ food systems and how they are trying to make their system better and more reliable.

Even though this book was published ten years ago, it seem that the message is not getting across.  Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are still common, meat is still being consumed in large quantities and hunger is still a major issue for the planet.  Hunger is going to keep being an issue since the population of humans is not going to decrease anytime soon.  I feel that this message needs to get discussed in more detail, especially since food costs keep continuing to rise and more people are becoming food insecure.  Hopefully in the near future we will be able to solve hunger.   If hunger is an issue you are interested in, I would recommend reading this book, since Lappe does a very good job of writing about this subject.

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