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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 to humans.

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.

The Book

Warner Books
November 2005
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The Reviewer

Janie Franz
Reviewed 2006
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).
© 2006