food Program

Book Review - The Real Food Revival

publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher

What is Real Food and why does it need to be revived? Sherri Brooks Vinton and Ann Clark Espuelas, authors of The Real Food Revival, explain that Real Food is produced as locally as possible, is sustainable, affordable, and accessible -- and above all, is delicious! We couldn't agree more. The authors organize the book, chapter by chapter, by grocery store aisle -- from meat to produce to fish (and more), and include recipes highlighting seasonal ingredients. Each chapter includes a section, "Reviving Real Food", that gives the reader practical solutions to become a part of the Real Food Revival.

At the meat counter, The Real Food Revival explains the problems with factory farming, antibiotics, animal slaughter and processing, and other issues with industrialized farming. The authors explain confusing meat and poultry labeling (i.e., "natural" and "fresh") in easy-to-understand terms. The book gives tips to help readers buy better meat, including:

  • Buy less luxurious cuts of meat (to offset the cost of grass-fed or organic meat)
  • Have your hamburger ground for you by your butcher (to lessen your chance of contracting E.coli or another food-borne illness)
  • Eat the whole bird (to save money and to make your own chicken stock)

In the dairy and eggs chapter of the book, Vinton and Espuelas discuss artificial hormones, animal feed, pasteurization, and other problems associated with industrialized dairy and egg production. And we are proud to report that the Eat Well Guide is listed as a resource to help find ranchers, butchers, farms, stores, and other suppliers of sustainable meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy.

In the produce aisle, the book highlights problems including produce storage and transport, pesticides, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). What are the solutions? Buy locally, seasonally, and directly from the producer either straight from the farm or through farmers' markets, CSAs, and farmstands. The book also gives practical tips for buying seafood, grains, oils, sweeteners, and beverages.

The Real Food Revival is a practical resource for anyone interested in learning more about the sustainable food movement. Those of us who believe in the notion of Real Food are driving the revival by choosing flavorful, locally-produced meat, produce, and other food and drink over tasteless, over-processed, and unsustainable products.