Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Holiday Gift Guide 2021: Some Serious Reading to Do as You Begin to Transform Your Diet From Bad to Good (and Help the Planet in the Process)

The 50th anniversary of edition of “Diet for a Small Planet” contains scores of updated plant-centered recipes.

HEADS UP: Dear Reader, we’re back with a Holiday Gift Guide after a two-year hiatus! Until 24 Dec., the elves at The Wright Wreport will introduce at least one or a series of products, items, services and/or brands that we believe are worthy of consideration as holiday gift(s).


time you are serious; committed. You want to eat far better than you do now. REAL talk. You are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

If you're really on the real, real, first do some serious reading about what this might look like. Share these reads with the foodies in your network. By the way, loosen your belts, because you are going to be taken to the heart of the matters.

These titles break down – no mincing words here – how we became a nation and increasingly a world that is fat and sick because of the food we eat. The major culprits are various forms of colonialism, human rights abuses and capitalism on steroids (like much of the meat we consume). All are debilitating us and the planet.

The bottomline message in all of these books is that if we are going to heal, trim our bottoms and save the planet, we must take the necessary steps – on a personal and policy level – to become and remain bullish on fruits, vegetable and grains and far less reliant on animals for food. Further, to stop business practices that harm organisms and the planet.

In short as it regards food, a "Pword"-based diet (don't fret, recipes are provided) and I don't mean pudding or primerib.

Without further adieu …


Author(s): Frances Moore Lappé
Synopsis: In the 50th anniversary edition of this classic tome, food expert Frances Moore Lappe doubles down on the benefits of a plant-centered diet.
In chapters like “One Less Hamburger” and “Who Asked for Fruit Loops?,” she reminds the average Jane and Joe that they have the power to make change through what foods they choose to purchase. These choices, she asserts, can not only improve their personal health, but that of the environment and climate, plus promote democracy. The anniversary edition features 85 updated recipes with contributions from celebrity chefs, including José Andrés, Mark Bittman, Padma Lakshmi and Alice Waters.
Publisher: Ballantine Books
LINK to title:

INFLAMED: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice

Author(s): Rupa Marya and Raj Patel
Synopsis: According to the authors, our planet, societies and bodies are inflamed, hence the main title. They explain, for instance, why you who live in the “global south” may have a perfectly goodlooking apple that may not be good for you while that one of your neighbor in the “global north” is probably good for her/him. It boils down to some type of inflammation.
This inflammation, they posit, is caused by all manner of global injustices, from pogroms to prejudice to pollution to poor health care. To connect dots, the book is divided into sections that use the language of the body, e.g., “Digestive System.”

“Salmon are to rivers what the heart is to blood vessels,” says co-author Rupa Marya, in the writers’ notes in reference to the section, “Circulatory System: Salmon Are the Pump.” Marya is also the co-founder of the Do No Harm Coalition. The authors cleverly and persuasively make the argument that societal ills from poor health to pollution to persistent forest fires and beyond are inexorably linked and perpetuated by the same forces.
Publisher: Farrar Straus and Giroux
LINK to title:

VEGETABLE KINGDOM: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes

Author(s): Bryant Terry
Synopsis: “Big Beans, Buns, and Broccoli Rabe” (page 95). Once you try this baby, you may not go back to meat, which would be just fine with James Beard award-winning chef Bryant Terry (“Afro-Vegan”).
In all of his books, Chef asserts that the vegetable kingdom provides enough bounty to more than meet our nutritional needs. In “Vegetable Kingdom,” he does not pander to carnivores by including recipes made with meat substitutes. Here, it’s straight, no chaser. Recipes are separated by plant types – bulbs, fruits, roots – making the cookbook uber user-friendly.

One chapter is dedicated to tools, ranging from the familiar like the knife and food processor to the uncustomary “mortar and nestle” (Terry uses them to “pound spices, crumble nuts, and make pastes.”). Of course, there is a “soundtrack” (a Terry staple) as varied as the recipes: Stevie Wonder, OutKast, Mongo Santamaria
The father of two believes that food should be kid-friendly as are the recipes in “Vegetable Kingdom,” most of which were tasted and greenlit by his daughters, Zenzi and Mila, his inspiration for the book. He writes in the introduction: “I wrote this book to make a diversity of foods of the plant kingdom irresistible to them, to inspire their curiosity, and to show them the pleasure of a lifelong adventure with good, nourishing food.”

To wit, “Pan-seared Summer Squash Sandwiches” (p. 121), “Jerk Tofu Wrapped in Collard Leaves” (p. 143), “Barbecue Sunchoke Chips” (P. 186).
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
LINK to title:

More titles to come shortly.

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