Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won't Work

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Hillcrest Publishing Group, 2013 - Business & Economics - 470 pages
What we choose to eat is killing our planet and us, yet use of the word 'sustainable' is ubiquitous. Explanation of this incongruity lies in the fact that sustainability efforts are rarely positioned to include food choice in an accurate manner. This is due to a number of influencing cultural, social, and political factors that disable our food production systems and limit our base of knowledge--falsely guiding us on a path of pseudo sustainability, while we devastate the ecosystems that support us, cause mass extinctions, and generate narrowing time lines that will ultimately jeopardize our very survival as a civilization. Food Choice and Sustainability is a groundbreaking new book that anyone who cares about our future and that of other species should read--individuals, academic institutions, businesses, organizations, and policy makers. Categories of global depletion are detailed, widely held myths are debunked, critical disconnects are exposed, and profound solutions are offered.

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Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite
Food Choice and Sustainability, by Dr. Richard Oppenlander, is a non-fiction tome with the proactive subtitle: Why buying local, eating less meat
, and taking baby steps won't work. As Dr. Richard Oppenlander states in the preface, Food Choice and Sustainability is “not about what to eat, it's about accurately defining 'sustainability' as it relates to food choices and making a fundamental change in our lives to better achieve it.”
While the modern movement to reverse global warming is mostly focused on things like changing out light bulbs or using ethanol to power more energy efficient cars, Dr. Richard Oppenlander points out that our largely animal-based diet does more to strip the Earth of finite resources and expand our carbon footprint that any gas-guzzler currently on the market. He encourages us to stop using the term 'sustainability' in a short-sighted manner and to encompass a larger range of issues that include both plants and animals. Dr. Oppenlander doesn't settle for any easy answers or pat solutions but, while I could sense that he was passionate about his subject and found myself agreeing with many of his points, Food Choice and Sustainability makes for rather dry reading. It lacked the punch of other social-conscious works such as Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth, or Fast-Food Nation, which is unfortunate because the information is very good and is one that needs to be spread.


Climate Change and the Easiest Way to Mitigate It
Depletion ofLand and Fresh Water
Our Oceans and Aquaculture
The World of Food Choice Disconnects and Becoming Connected
Why Should I Pay for What Everyone Else Decides to Eat?
Perspectives on Another Dimension
Agricultural Systems and Accountability
Animals and Biodiversity
Closing Thoughts

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About the author (2013)

Dr. Oppenlander is a consultant, researcher, and author whose award-winning book Comfortably Unaware has been endorsed as a must-read by Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Jane Goodall and Neal Barnard, among many others. Dr. Oppenlander is a much sought after lecturer on the topic of food choice and how it relates to sustainability, all within the framework of fresh perspectives and critical insights. He has been a key note speaker for several conferences and festivals and has presented lectures and workshops at numerous universities and corporations. Dr. Oppenlander also serves as an advisor to municipalities in the U.S. and to a number of world hunger projects that are designing programs from his multidimensional model of sustainability. Dr. Oppenlander has spent 40 years studying the effects food choices have on our planter and on us. He started an organic, vegan food production company, operates an animal rescue sanctuary, and is the founder and president of the non-profit organization, Inspire Awareness Now.Author's Home: Portage, MI

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