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“Shiva is a burst of creative energy, an intellectual power.”—The Progressive Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed is a short, pocket-sized collection that goes to the heart of our existence—what we eat and how we grow it. It covers the questions: How are seeds cultivated and saved? How far must food travel before reaching our plate? Who gets paid for the food we eat? W “Shiva is a burst of creative energy, an intellectual power.”—The Progressive Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed is a short, pocket-sized collection that goes to the heart of our existence—what we eat and how we grow it. It covers the questions: How are seeds cultivated and saved? How far must food travel before reaching our plate? Who gets paid for the food we eat? Why does our food taste like this? We live in a world where of the eighty thousand edible plants used for food, only about 150 are being cultivated, and just eight are traded globally. A world where we produce food for 12 billion people when there are only 6.3 billion people living, and still, 800 million suffer from malnutrition and 1.7 billion suffer from obesity. A world where food is modified to travel long distances rather than to be nutritious and flavorful. Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed lays out, in practical steps and far-reaching concepts, a program to ensure food and agriculture become more socially and ecologically sustainable. The book harvests the work and ideas produced by thousands of communities around the world. Emerging from the historic gatherings at Terra Madre, farmers, traders, and activists diagnose and offer prescriptions to reverse perhaps the worst food crisis faced in human history. There is a growing realization that food politics is vital to the health of our bodies, economies, and environment—in other words, a matter of life or death. Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, writes, “Reinstating food as a central, primary element in our lives seems an obvious thing to do, since without food, no living things would exist.” Thousands of communities around the world are working to do just this. A world-renowned environmental leader and thinker, Vandana Shiva is the author of many books, including Earth Democracy, Water Wars, and Staying Alive. Manifestos includes essays by Prince Charles and Carlo Petrini.


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“Shiva is a burst of creative energy, an intellectual power.”—The Progressive Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed is a short, pocket-sized collection that goes to the heart of our existence—what we eat and how we grow it. It covers the questions: How are seeds cultivated and saved? How far must food travel before reaching our plate? Who gets paid for the food we eat? W “Shiva is a burst of creative energy, an intellectual power.”—The Progressive Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed is a short, pocket-sized collection that goes to the heart of our existence—what we eat and how we grow it. It covers the questions: How are seeds cultivated and saved? How far must food travel before reaching our plate? Who gets paid for the food we eat? Why does our food taste like this? We live in a world where of the eighty thousand edible plants used for food, only about 150 are being cultivated, and just eight are traded globally. A world where we produce food for 12 billion people when there are only 6.3 billion people living, and still, 800 million suffer from malnutrition and 1.7 billion suffer from obesity. A world where food is modified to travel long distances rather than to be nutritious and flavorful. Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed lays out, in practical steps and far-reaching concepts, a program to ensure food and agriculture become more socially and ecologically sustainable. The book harvests the work and ideas produced by thousands of communities around the world. Emerging from the historic gatherings at Terra Madre, farmers, traders, and activists diagnose and offer prescriptions to reverse perhaps the worst food crisis faced in human history. There is a growing realization that food politics is vital to the health of our bodies, economies, and environment—in other words, a matter of life or death. Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food, writes, “Reinstating food as a central, primary element in our lives seems an obvious thing to do, since without food, no living things would exist.” Thousands of communities around the world are working to do just this. A world-renowned environmental leader and thinker, Vandana Shiva is the author of many books, including Earth Democracy, Water Wars, and Staying Alive. Manifestos includes essays by Prince Charles and Carlo Petrini.

30 review for Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed

  1. 4 out of 5

    jess

    "[Grandma:] may not understand the complexities of the internet, but we are the fools who cannot even preserve our summer vegetables so we don't starve in the winter." I picked up this book because 1. I think Vandana Shiva is one of the greatest minds of our day 2. I care a lot about the future of food & seed 3. The cover art is by Nikki McClure & I like her papercuts. This book has roots in the Slow Food movement, and is shepherded along by the brilliant words of Vandana Shiva, Michael Pollan, C "[Grandma:] may not understand the complexities of the internet, but we are the fools who cannot even preserve our summer vegetables so we don't starve in the winter." I picked up this book because 1. I think Vandana Shiva is one of the greatest minds of our day 2. I care a lot about the future of food & seed 3. The cover art is by Nikki McClure & I like her papercuts. This book has roots in the Slow Food movement, and is shepherded along by the brilliant words of Vandana Shiva, Michael Pollan, Carlo Petrini, and Prince Charles. It starts with a few speeches from an Italian Slow Food meeting. As most speeches are, they seem most effective if you read them aloud. I recommend a long soak in the bathtub - good acoustics for that sort of thing. The speeches are followed by the manifestos. Do you know what a manifesto is? A series of complaints and demands. The manifestos are a little dense for casual reading. I can imagine they would be quite interesting in a classroom setting, but I don't live in a classroom. So mostly I muddled through them. The final portion of the book consists of two pieces from Jamey Lionette & Michael Pollan. This is, by far, the most accessible part of the book. There are clear explanations about the relationships between globalization of food, poverty, landlessness, corporate control of our food systems, and how very, very broken these systems are. This would be a good place to start if you are new to the concepts introduced here. Start with Michael Pollan & read backwards (a good philosophy for life, in general). I can see that some people might feel like this is one of those "heavy on problems, light on solutions" books that can get you mired down by hopelessness. I didn't feel that way. This book offers hope and action - here are solutions, we are farmers growing food already, we are people talking about food, we are eaters buying from farmers, we are social justice activists having these conversations, we are writing a manifesto addressed to the world's largest powers demanding food that's sustainable, just, clean, and responsible; we want food that reflects our heritage, where we have been, where we are going, and we don't want to buy it from a corporation. I am not hopeless, no, not when there are people with seeds & soil.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Andert

    A good read. A bit dry. I think I am done with the intellectualizing of local food movements and just want to start doing (growing, eaticng, etc...) it myself. Although, I do think the Terra Madre movement is very inmportant and the Manifestos on Food and Seed are essential to propagate. These are ideas that need to become more widespread. This is a quick simple read. I recommend it to anyone looking for a short read on the crisis that is our food industry and eating habits. The two articles at A good read. A bit dry. I think I am done with the intellectualizing of local food movements and just want to start doing (growing, eaticng, etc...) it myself. Although, I do think the Terra Madre movement is very inmportant and the Manifestos on Food and Seed are essential to propagate. These are ideas that need to become more widespread. This is a quick simple read. I recommend it to anyone looking for a short read on the crisis that is our food industry and eating habits. The two articles at the end about the US are particularly insightful.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hilal Kalkavan

    An excellent primer on the subject, very clearly written as well.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alper Goker

    Yerel olanı yiyin. Yediklerinizi toprağı ve bedenlerinizi mahvetmeyecek bir biçimde yetiştirin ve tüm bu faaliyetlerin hem tüketiciler hem de üretenler için adil olmasını sağlayın. Jamey lionette abd de gıdanın geleceği bölümünden

  5. 4 out of 5

    sdw

    I was really excited to read this book. The table of contents appears as a who’s-who of food justice activism: Vandana Shiva, Michael Pollan, Carlo Petrini, Prince Charles (Prince Charles??). The book can be discussed in 3 different parts. The first is a collection of short essays, probably speeches. While they probably had the audience standing and cheering when read forcefully in public, as a published item, they are shockingly un-substantive. They are repetitive for anyone familiar with food I was really excited to read this book. The table of contents appears as a who’s-who of food justice activism: Vandana Shiva, Michael Pollan, Carlo Petrini, Prince Charles (Prince Charles??). The book can be discussed in 3 different parts. The first is a collection of short essays, probably speeches. While they probably had the audience standing and cheering when read forcefully in public, as a published item, they are shockingly un-substantive. They are repetitive for anyone familiar with food justice issues and a poor introduction for anyone new. The second part of the book is two manifestos: one on food and one on seed. They thoroughly lay out what is wrong with the global food supply and what we can do to fix it (down to the nitty gritty of what polices the WTO needs to revise). They must have taken forever to write up (one hopes they didn’t rely on consensus). I am so glad that such an important document exists. They should be made into pamphlets and distributed at tabling events. That said, they are not a good sit down and read them type of read. They are better as a reference material (See – this is what we want – this here!). The final section was the part of the book I actually enjoyed. So purchase this book and skip to page 109. This was the type of narrative storytelling I enjoy from the food justice movement. The first piece is an article by Jamey Lionette and the second by Michael Pollan. Both deal with the difficulties of eating locally in the United States. They reminded me that I need to shift my budget around and just spend more on food. They also made me wish they would go read some fat liberation theory. The characterization of obesity in these writings consistently makes me very uncomfortable. Anyway, this book is a gem. It’s a masterful document in the moment of the global food justice fight. It might be a tad boring to read straight through, but I’m glad it exists, and I bet it's good for footnotes. But if you don’t know what I’m talking about with food justice go read a book fully authored by Vandiva Shiva or Michael Pollan or really any of these folks first before jumping into this well-marketed nice looking little book (though you should all go out and purchase the book to support South End Press).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Just look at the list of authors Vandana Shiva, Michael Pollan, Prince Charles, Carlo Petrini. This book should be on every Slow Foodie's bookshelf. The two manifestos are the main focus of the book, but to provide some context there are stories from Terra Madre (Slow Food event in Italy) and by two people regarding the future of food in the US. While this book isn't convincing in and of itself, as seen by most of the other reviews, it is nice to have as an ancillary guide while reading other boo Just look at the list of authors Vandana Shiva, Michael Pollan, Prince Charles, Carlo Petrini. This book should be on every Slow Foodie's bookshelf. The two manifestos are the main focus of the book, but to provide some context there are stories from Terra Madre (Slow Food event in Italy) and by two people regarding the future of food in the US. While this book isn't convincing in and of itself, as seen by most of the other reviews, it is nice to have as an ancillary guide while reading other books (e.g. Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel) because it reaffirms some of the hard-to-digest information in them. Not to mention the amazingness that is Vandana Shiva. I love to read what she writes. I saw her speak at Slow Food Nation last year with Carlo Petrini, Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Wendel Berry and Alice Waters. The most convincing stories were not the popular authors from the US, but those not from the US. Sure, the three guys from the US were very strong and well researched...but they focused on the romanticism of food in the US, while Vandana Shiva focused on the failures around the world that also exist in the US but which are less pronounced because we're all so fat! Anyway. Check this book out for the manifestos if you're already convinced there is a problem. They will reaffirm and exceed what you know to be true. They will also give you food for thought as well as ammunition to help stay on track. If you've just read Omnivore's Dilemma or Fast Food Nation and wonder what to do so as not to be part of the things discussed in those books...read this for the answer.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Talia

    I really enjoyed this book. I'm new to the food sovereignty/sustainability movement,but it's something that I am very passionate about. I suspect that someone who was an expert in this area might be a little bored by this book and it doesn't quite provide enough background for someone brand-new to it. But for me, it was perfect. The book is divided into three sections. The first is most likely a collection of speeches from the Terra Madre gathering that took place in Turin, Italy in October 2004. I really enjoyed this book. I'm new to the food sovereignty/sustainability movement,but it's something that I am very passionate about. I suspect that someone who was an expert in this area might be a little bored by this book and it doesn't quite provide enough background for someone brand-new to it. But for me, it was perfect. The book is divided into three sections. The first is most likely a collection of speeches from the Terra Madre gathering that took place in Turin, Italy in October 2004. These seemed to be intent upon "rallying the troops", they were a bit light on content and a bit repetitive. But I found them to be inspirational. The second section of the book is comprised of the Manifesto on the Future of Food and the Manifesto on the Future of Seed. While these do not make for the most compelling reading, they are an excellent road map for the food and seed sovereignty movement and would make an excellent resource to be cited in future writings. This book will definitely be staying on my bookshelf for that purpose. The last section of the book is an essay from Jamey Lionette and one from Michael Polan. They serve as a wake-up call for consumers; we are living in a society where we have lost all touch with how our food is produced and as a result have lost control of it. Consequently, our access to food it bass-ackwards, we can buy foreign produce that has traveled halfway around the world far cheaper than we can get from our own backyards. This paradigm is unsustainable. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the future of our food system, which should in reality be everyone.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bart

    The manifestos are substanceless. There is nothing really new to the rest of the book either. Prince Charles provides classist analysis, and the last two essays are particularly terrible in the authors' fixations on obesity, and the "poor"/ignorant who just don't have the financial means/knowledge about food to be able to get good local food. Audience? Jamey Lionette writes, "[L]et's understand what Grandma was doing and realize that she was a lot smarter than we are today. She may not understan The manifestos are substanceless. There is nothing really new to the rest of the book either. Prince Charles provides classist analysis, and the last two essays are particularly terrible in the authors' fixations on obesity, and the "poor"/ignorant who just don't have the financial means/knowledge about food to be able to get good local food. Audience? Jamey Lionette writes, "[L]et's understand what Grandma was doing and realize that she was a lot smarter than we are today. She may not understand the complexities of the internet, but we are the fools who cannot even preserve our summer vegetables so we don't starve in the winter" (127). Do people ___ years old not know how to can? Does Grandma really not understand complexities of the internet (or did Grandma die before the internet hit mainstream culture in the 90s)?

  9. 4 out of 5

    cory

    this book came out of a slow food conference held in italy. the manifestos (one on food & one on seed) are pretty boring to read, but they represent a consensus of sustainable food activists from a bunch of western countries & a couple of global south countries. there are 2 essays near the end that i really appreciated, one about sustainable food in the US & what we're going to have to give up to get it (e.g. the convenience of shopping at whole foods), and the other by michael pollen about why this book came out of a slow food conference held in italy. the manifestos (one on food & one on seed) are pretty boring to read, but they represent a consensus of sustainable food activists from a bunch of western countries & a couple of global south countries. there are 2 essays near the end that i really appreciated, one about sustainable food in the US & what we're going to have to give up to get it (e.g. the convenience of shopping at whole foods), and the other by michael pollen about why poor folks are hit hardest by malnutrition by overfeeding (i.e. "obesity"). i'm going to send both of them to my mother.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marta

    If you're already familiar with agribusiness, Monsanto and other ridiculous facts of food in our world, this book will not enlighten you too much. For those just becoming aware of these issues, it can serve as a good introduction. The two manifestos contained mostly common sense recommendations, making me realize again what a screwed up world we live in (that these are considered revolutionary ideas). The chapter on food in the US was also quite useful for it's well-rounded discussion of cheap f If you're already familiar with agribusiness, Monsanto and other ridiculous facts of food in our world, this book will not enlighten you too much. For those just becoming aware of these issues, it can serve as a good introduction. The two manifestos contained mostly common sense recommendations, making me realize again what a screwed up world we live in (that these are considered revolutionary ideas). The chapter on food in the US was also quite useful for it's well-rounded discussion of cheap food and supermarkets. There is a nice recommended reading list at the end for those who want to delve further.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    So the ideas aren't exacty new but it is always good to read people who appreciate the value and true cost of real food and talk about topics like seed saving/collectives, etc. I liked jamey lionette's focus on local (low food miles) and eating seasonally (which is something that i always say i am going to do but then i see bananas and think about how much i love them). What is nice is that it takes a complex international issue and talks about it simply. Would like to read more about agricultur So the ideas aren't exacty new but it is always good to read people who appreciate the value and true cost of real food and talk about topics like seed saving/collectives, etc. I liked jamey lionette's focus on local (low food miles) and eating seasonally (which is something that i always say i am going to do but then i see bananas and think about how much i love them). What is nice is that it takes a complex international issue and talks about it simply. Would like to read more about agricultural policy and farm subsidies (if anyone could recommend a book)...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Buffy

    "From food, all creatures are produced... Beings are born from food, when born they live by food, on being deceased, they enter into food." --Taitreya Upanishad, as quoted by Vandana Shiva. This quote seems to be the springboard for this short collection of essays on the hypocrisies of food production, which, one could argue, form the roots of most of the world's ills. An interesting group of people write -- Michael Pollan, Carlo Petrini (of the Slow Food movement), and even Prince Charles (!!?) "From food, all creatures are produced... Beings are born from food, when born they live by food, on being deceased, they enter into food." --Taitreya Upanishad, as quoted by Vandana Shiva. This quote seems to be the springboard for this short collection of essays on the hypocrisies of food production, which, one could argue, form the roots of most of the world's ills. An interesting group of people write -- Michael Pollan, Carlo Petrini (of the Slow Food movement), and even Prince Charles (!!?) The Manifestos part is a little hard to read, but the essays are well-written.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kaan Akşit

    Gerçek anlamda sürdürülebilir tarım üzerine okunması gereken çok güzel bir kitap. İnsan ve besin ilişkisinin ne kadar önemli olduğu çok iyi açıklanmış. Tohumların açık ürünler olması gerektiği ve fikri mülkiyete boyun eğmemesi gerektiği çıkarılması gereken önemli derslerden. Toplumun bir parçasıyım ve canlılık kutsaldır diyen herkesin okumasını tavsiye ederim. Öte yandan kitabın çevirisi gerçekten çok doğru yapılmış. Çevirmeni de başarısından ötürü kutlamak isterim. Sayesinde Türkçe güzel bir ka Gerçek anlamda sürdürülebilir tarım üzerine okunması gereken çok güzel bir kitap. İnsan ve besin ilişkisinin ne kadar önemli olduğu çok iyi açıklanmış. Tohumların açık ürünler olması gerektiği ve fikri mülkiyete boyun eğmemesi gerektiği çıkarılması gereken önemli derslerden. Toplumun bir parçasıyım ve canlılık kutsaldır diyen herkesin okumasını tavsiye ederim. Öte yandan kitabın çevirisi gerçekten çok doğru yapılmış. Çevirmeni de başarısından ötürü kutlamak isterim. Sayesinde Türkçe güzel bir kaynak kazanmıştır.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    Most of the content was already familiar, so it didn't blow me away, but it is nice to know that these people are getting together and writing these manifestos. Also, the book is a convenient pocket-size, good for when you're traveling. Someday maybe they will get some notice from the people in charge, especially the parts about the rights of farmers to save & exchange their own seeds. Most of the content was already familiar, so it didn't blow me away, but it is nice to know that these people are getting together and writing these manifestos. Also, the book is a convenient pocket-size, good for when you're traveling. Someday maybe they will get some notice from the people in charge, especially the parts about the rights of farmers to save & exchange their own seeds.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shannan

    Once again, a book heavy on what is wrong with the world but light on what we can do about it. I enjoyed the perspective of the Terra Madre group and their desires for food and seed diversity and freedom. It was definitely thought provoking, but I didn't really glean anything about what I can do about the problem.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    great little livre to read articles from. love the compilation timeless and looking forward to sharing my copy with others. So happy I was able to pick the copy up at a live talk in the maritimes. The energy/enthusiam/criticism & messages there were amazing. great little livre to read articles from. love the compilation timeless and looking forward to sharing my copy with others. So happy I was able to pick the copy up at a live talk in the maritimes. The energy/enthusiam/criticism & messages there were amazing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Arwen Downs

    Although I tend to be wary of manifestos in general, the essays in this book were delightfully informative and well-written. For any Boston-area readers, the piece by Jamey Lionette is fun to read because he addresses specifically the problem of local eating in Boston.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Franklin

    Too much rhetoric, not enough substance, and it falls back on the old substitution of "democracy" instead of revolution that abolishes capitalism. (The necessity of the latter is shown in http://newsandletters.org/issues/2008....) Too much rhetoric, not enough substance, and it falls back on the old substitution of "democracy" instead of revolution that abolishes capitalism. (The necessity of the latter is shown in http://newsandletters.org/issues/2008....)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    About the state of Genetically Modified foods and the consequences behind the transitioning of power from the citizens to corporations. Very interesting. Shiva and her contributors write from the heart, and bring a global perspective to food issues.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    I really like the idea of "living democracy." It's what I'm all about, but I never had a way to name it. Having her definition at hand helps me talk to other people about my beliefs.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dr. K Reads

    This book was used as the basis for a foods class at UC Berkeley (lectures can be found on the UCB tube page).

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Vandana Shiva kicks ass, and Prince Charles, and Italy.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    A mindful read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jack Ochs

    rhetoric is often a bit over-the-top, but an interesting intro to the "slow-food" movement.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maja Giannoccaro

    Everybody should know about this Manifesto. These points should be tought at school and above all put in action in the society.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen

    Maybe I'm too cynical for manifestos?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Little

  29. 4 out of 5

    Deepthy

    Incredibly bold! true - and a must read for all citizens of the world.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mousy Brown

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