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Change Comes to Dinner: How Vertical Farmers, Urban Growers, and Other Innovators Are Revolutionizing How America Eats
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Change Comes to Dinner: How Vertical Farmers, Urban Growers, and Other Innovators Are Revolutionizing How America Eats

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  93 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
A fascinating exploration of America's food innovators, that gives us hopeful alternatives to the industrial food system described in works like Michael Pollan's bestselling Omnivore's Dilemma

Change Comes to Dinner takes readers into the farms, markets, organizations, businesses and institutions across America that are pushing for a more sustainable food system in America
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Mar 12, 2012 Blessedmomfxs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beans. It starts with beans. I was raised in the south with dried beans on the menu several times a week so I love them, but for many people the simple use of the word invokes visions of boredom and blandness (at best) and off-color jokes (at worst). Heirloom. That’s some dust-catcher your grandmother gave you, right? Beans + Heirloom = Heirloom beans called Good Mother Stallard from a company called Rancho Gordo New World Specialty Food, delivered by mail order. That is the improbable start of ...more
Christina Dudley
Feb 14, 2012 Christina Dudley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urbanfarmjunkie
For full review, please see

I'm into "hoperaking" lately, having greatly enjoyed Katherine Gustafson's Change Comes to Dinner: How Vertical Farmers, Urban Growers, and Other Innovators are Revolutionizing How America Eats. Gustafson coins the word to describe her mission of traveling around the country finding hopeful stories of where food is going right. She ranges far and wide, exploring small-farmer co-ops in Montana, inner-city rooftop greenhouses, sun
Jun 20, 2015 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bravo Katherine. I suppose that those who read my reviews of books will probably think that I only give good what?
I won this from the Goodreads firstreads giveaway and I had received another couple in the same month. This was the last for me to get into because I just was not sure how I would like it. Now I wish that I had started sooner. But, in the end it is finished and not too late to put its principles into action in my own life.
Katherine Gustafson has written a very (it seems
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

5 stars

This is a really interesting book, mainly because the author doesn't try to simplify matters of farming, production, and consumption. Instead, she points out the complexities and explores how people are addressing the problems they perceive. It was refreshing to read something that doesn't try to explain or defend -THE ANSWER- (e.g. vegetarianism, local eating, eating organic, etc). There is not one simple answer to the economica
Aspen Junge
Unlike most local-organic-sustainable farming books I've read, this one goes beyond, "It's good for the soil! It's good for the people! It's good for communities!" although there is a certain amount of that. She gets into the interconnected economic system that we need to rebuild in order to make small, sustainable farms prosperous. Farmers need markets, food buyers need a reliable product, there needs to be a middleman who can match these needs who is optimized for non-industrial farms. We need ...more
Naomi Ayala
Sep 21, 2015 Naomi Ayala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
While I already knew a bit about the subject (and I would recommend this book to folks who don't know so much) I really enjoyed the hopeful, yet realistic stories of enterprising farmers and co-ops everywhere, especially those close by in Virginia. Brava!
May 24, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway (thanks, Goodreads!).
This is a great book to read if you're already convinced of the necessity for change in America's food system. Gustafson isn't trying to galvanize anyone into action or rile up the masses, but instead she travels the United States "hope-raking." The entire book is a sort of survey of best-practices in the alternative food industry (including unique local foods programs, urban farming, and sustainable agriculture).
Don't read if:
This book could just as easily be titled "Projects I Think Are Cool." The projects are cool, but the book lacks any unifying narrative. After a few chapters, it felt formulatic:

- I was wondering x about the food system
- So I (insert odd synonym for driving) my rental car to y
- I met with Z, a (insert mildly insulting description that was probably intended to humanize but reads as a little mean). Z told me...
- All this made me wonder x about the food system...

That said, I still found the book wor
Jaime (Twisting the Lens)
I won this through GoodReads FirstReads.

This is a very helpful information and reference tool for anyone interested in sustainable living and food. Gustafson gives a lot of varying examples of how to bring the local food focus to your area, and ways to grow your own food as well. While there are some ideas that are not practical for everyone, this is a great starting point for those just embarking on the arena of locally grown food. It also offers much for those who are already familiar with th
**I received my copy from Goodreads First Reads.**

The United States has a lot of people to feed, that's for sure. But Industrialized Farms have decimated our food system, and also made "natural food" a luxury for the communities who can afford it.

But hope is not lost, according to Katherine Gustafson. I like this book because it not only describes the iniquities faced in hungry communities, but it also describes sustainable solutions that can be copied in other places. It surprised me how affor
Apr 03, 2013 Mari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The series of projects and people Gustafson chose to profile are inspiring, but the book itself reads like a series of blog posts strung together with a transitionary paragraph or two. There isn't a discernable thesis beyond, "look! there are people out there doing cool stuff!" I want to see more books on this topic, which is why I'm giving it 3 stars, but there are other books with similar subjects that are more cohesive and pay more mind towards where they fit in the larger food movement.
Feb 04, 2013 Rhea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an in-depth, well-reported, and wide-reaching "hoperaking" romp through America's sustainable food scene. This covers an almost overwhelming array of campus sustainable food efforts, prison gardens, immigrant farming empowerment programs, aquaculture, farms in sunless storage containers, mobile slaughterhouses, and more. Gustafson douses her hopeful news with healthy skepticism (farms in a box without soil or sunlight ARE kinda freaky), which helps me trust her.
Apr 22, 2012 Donald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great opening line - "It all started with beans." Loved it! And I loved that the author's mother's culinary preparation mirrored my own mother's so closely! AND I loved that the author has a weakness for Cheetos! Me too! The book is super informative and we follow the author on her hoperaking journey across 15 states and D.C. to find alternatives to the problems in today's food system. A good read that is good for you!
Scott Schneider
Aug 16, 2012 Scott Schneider rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book contains over two dozen examples of small (and some not so small) local projects to change the way we grow food and eat. Some are surprising, like vertical farming. All are intended to give hope for the change which is so necessary. Each example is inspiring (and relatively short). It made me thing it would be a good subject for the NY Times Fixes column. It was interesting and not too preachy. Just peachy.
Oct 30, 2012 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gustafson paints a visual picture of her travels to find the heart of what is happening to US agriculture. An inspirational look at where our food comes from and how we as consumers should assess our buying and eating habits. I wished there was more and truly hope there will be, until then I am getting involved at my local farm stand and bringing agriculture to the Preschool children I teach.
An interesting collection of profiles and ideas focusing on the human aspects of our food system, but a bit too unfocused and meandering to be an easy read. Probably better suited to readers relatively new to discovering the myriad issues of American food politics, many topics and proposed solutions are touched upon but none are explored in much detail or depth.
Lily Raff
Jul 03, 2012 Lily Raff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delight! A fast read with a fun, conversational tone. The author is clear from the beginning that she's seeking stories of hope, but that doesn't mean she's not realistic about how these small-scale innovators fit into the bigger picture, at least for now. Highly recommended!
Interesting snap shots of what lots of innovators are doing to change the landscape of modern agriculture and address food accessibility and sustainability issues. Could have done with a little less of the author's self-questioning and flowery descriptions of 'bucolic' scenes.
Although I was ready for it to end before I got halfway through, this book made me want to start farming. A little redundant with all the examples given, but well written and encouraging. There is hope for our food system.
Feb 16, 2013 Kathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Not quite what I thought this book would be about.
It is an okay read, with some interesting tidbits, but not enough for me to finish it when I have so many other books begging for my attention.
Apr 06, 2013 Amuse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic-food
Very good investigation of how food practices are changing to improve health, local economy and the environment. Hopeful and uplifting. Can't wait to get my raised beds installed!
Aug 14, 2013 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent review of the various movements happening around local food, highlighting major organizations. Hopeful message!
Oct 29, 2012 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking and interesting. Focused more on finding solutions than pointing out problems, which I like.
Gretchen Buechler
Nov 03, 2013 Gretchen Buechler rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I do not think that semi-professional journalists should necessarily write books.
Aug 07, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Uplifting views on developing a sustainable and sane food system. Loved it.
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Katherine Gustafson is an award-winning writer, journalist, and editor whose articles, essays, and stories have been published in numerous print and online media, including The Christian Science Monitor, Johns Hopkins Magazine, Slate, and The Best Women’s Travel Writing. She lives with her husband and daughter in the Washington, DC, area.

Her first book, about sustainable food, was published by St.
More about Katherine Gustafson...

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