Harvest for Hope
A Guide to Mindful Eating
by Jane Goodall with Gary McAvoy and Gail Hudson
I have always admired Jane Goodall, especially for her strength and determination to go
to Africa as a young woman to study chimpanzees alone, and later with her husband and
colleagues. We have learned a lot about ourselves through her work. She also has set up a
foundation to protect endangered animals throughout the world. But in her latest book,
she not only advocates for animals but for human beings.
Harvest for Hope discusses not only how tool use, fire, and farming have shaped
our diets throughout human history, but how corporate farming and aquaculture (fish farming)
are impacting our world and our health. Goodall's depictions of the atrocities in battery
farms, large complexes that house cages of chickens packed on top of each other, or overcrowded
cattle feedlots are not exaggerations and are very much in keeping with research not only
by animal rights activists but also by health agencies. Animals suffer under these conditions
and are fed large quantities of antibiotics and growth hormones. These can be passed on
Goodall also discusses how megafarms add mercury and other chemicals to the soil that
eventually affect groundwater and the fish we eat from lakes and streams. And, her comments
about different ocean fishing techniques are also worth listening to.
But Goodall doesn't tell us we must all become vegans who eat only organic food. She
does suggest that organic may be the best choice and that limiting meat products is also
good, as many dieticians and doctors recommend. Like organizations such as Slow Foods and
From Field to Plate, she advocates eating seasonal foods from local producers, usually
at farmer's markets and food co-ops. It's good advice. Get to know your local farmers,
buy a share in a CSA (community sustainable agriculture farm), or join a food co-op.
All these things bring us closer to the land and the people and animals, who are bringing
us our food.
Harvest for Hope is a great guide to conscious eating.
NOTE: Reviewer Janie
Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: Itís a Business, Stupid!, Relaxation
Techniques for Children, Relaxation Techniques for Adults; Co-author of The
Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book. Coming
Soon: The Ultimate Wedding Workbook, Get Rich on Love, and Sacred Breath
(a sound recording of relaxation meditations).