Book Review: The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved
Did you know that hemp was once in wide-spread use but was made illegal by powerful lobbyists because of its threat to the paper industry as a better resource and threatened the synthetic drugs newly introduced to the market? Or that raw food (such as milk and homemade products) is better for you than pasteurized or irradiated foods, but its sale is illegal so these items are sold underground? Or that as of 2002, less than 2% of the US population is involved in food production? This isn’t your typical food book, and includes such far out things as eating weeds, eating road-kill, eating insects and everyone’s favorite - dumpster-diving for food and swag. Have I got your attention yet?
The book to read is The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved by Sandor Ellix Katz. For those who were around this summer to hear the Mackey/Pollan debate, this book adds more fuel to the fire of just how Americans get their food, and whether local, organic or something else is best. The author takes a fascinating look at food production today, and how it has changed dramatically from just a few decades ago. For instance, organic food was all that was offered prior to World War I &II;, which lead to the introduction of pesticides. Many of our food regulations today are made to benefit industry and are no longer helping the public but harming it.While the issues Katz brings up are nothing new in the local/organic food debate, there is intensity and honesty that makes the reader want to take action, whether it be growing food as a way to counter a consumer lifestyle or purchase raw foods from an underground farmer to counter the mega-factory. The author passionately describes the care that goes into local, community gardens and the many benefits of community development beyond just food production. The chapters do inspire the reader to action on a variety of fronts and I found myself thinking about whether I could grow a pot of vegetables in my tiny apartment patio, and what I might want to try my luck with. Maybe I’ll try something to go with the many recipes the author provides.