Good Growing Bad Food

A review of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved by Sandor Ellix Katz

While we’ve grown comfortably accustomed to having whatever food we want, during any season and at any hour, Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved (Chelsea Green Publishing Company, $20), says that that convenience comes at a substantial cost. Katz questions whether food produced in grand scale by major corporations like Monsanto really is more efficient. He says that supporting local farmers could make small-time farming a viable occupation again. And while farmer’s markets and community-supported agriculture are both on the rise, Katz notes that transitioning to local, seasonal eating will mean we have to "reorient our tastes and our habits." But, he assures, "We can learn to love what grows abundantly and easily around us." This book delves deep into the ethical dilemmas surrounding current food production and consumption—the fact that corporate conglomerates control the seed supply, the dangers of factory farming, the nutritional loss caused by pasteurization and irradiation. It also spends equal time teaching a better way to grow and eat: creating land trusts and building urban gardens, eating raw and participating in the slaughter of animals if you plan to eat them. Each chapter ends with a list of "Action and Information Resources" and contains relevant recipes for treats like flax crackers and "savory vegetable strudel" (with or without cannabis). —Brita Belli