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Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  403 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Full Moon Feast invites us to a table brimming with locally grown foods, radical wisdom, and communal nourishment.

In Full Moon Feast, accomplished chef and passionate food activist Jessica Prentice champions locally grown, humanely raised, nutrient-rich foods and traditional cooking methods. The book follows the thirteen lunar cycles of an agrarian year, from the midwinter
Paperback, 344 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Chelsea Green Publishing Company (first published June 28th 1905)
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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara KingsolverThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanIn Defense of Food by Michael PollanThe Dirty Life by Kristin KimballFarm City by Novella Carpenter
Locavore Reading List
19th out of 58 books — 194 voters
Paleo Fitness by Darryl EdwardsPaleo from A to Z by Darryl EdwardsAncient Bodies, Modern Lives by Wenda TrevathanNourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon MorellReal Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck
Hunt Gather Love - Melissa McEwen
6th out of 23 books — 9 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,326)
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Feb 13, 2012 Meg rated it really liked it
Beautiful exploration of our relationship to food through looking at different eating practices across cultures. Reading this book really gave me a new perspective on a lot of food practices I take for granted, and has given me lots of ideas about what a healthy diet could look like.

I felt that, at times, the author romanticized indigenous cultures and "traditional" ways of making food. Although she gave a lot of specific examples of food practices from a wide variety of cultures, she also often
Jan 21, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people that eat food.
Recommended to Jennifer by: Caroline W. Casey
If Anthony Bourdain, Joesph Campbell, and Michael Pollan had a love child, it would be Jessica Prentice.

I loved this book. Loved. I want to drive to Richmond and find Jessica and talk to her, see her grain mill, and watch her cook. I know that sounds stalker. Not the goal. It's just that I read this book with so much nodding and "yes!".

This book is where I needed In Defense of Food to go. Eating food is a good start, but filling our selves and bellies with connection is the key. I loved the di
Dec 31, 2013 Amanda rated it it was amazing
This is not a cookbook, and it is not a diet book. If you are going in to it thinking it is either of these, you will be disappointed. It does give some recipes at the end of each chapter, which all deal with a certain lunar period.
The book is more about reconnecting with the natural cycles of nature, and instead of focusing on seasonal eating by "Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring" she uses lunar cycles. This isn't "New Age" as I have seen some other comments suggesting. She doesn't talk about ange
Jan 27, 2014 Laylah rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, food
Two stars feels a little unjust when there are things about this book that I will probably come back to, but apparently two stars is "okay" per GR's system, and that is about how I feel.

There are some good thoughts here about seasonal meals, and I like the conceit of organizing around the lunar calendar; some of the meditations on how that moon's food connects to the current growing and harvesting conditions are lovely. I want to try some of the recipes she suggests for the summer months in part
Apr 28, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing
This book is transforming the way I think about food.
Oct 06, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing
With compelling articles and comprehensive sources, Prentice writes evocatively about our Western shift in diet and the backlash with our health. This book does a good job of balancing the dietary warnings with celebrations of ancient food and the communal practice of collecting and cooking it. She takes examples from all over the world, and clearly spent a long time researching methods and practices of worldwide cultures with regard to certain foods. The recipes look great, and I can't wait to ...more
Jul 28, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
I admire the ideal that Jessica Prentice is aiming for: a world in which we are able to eat "locally grown, humanely raised foods" prepared via traditional methods. In thirteen chapters, each dealing with a specific kind of food and named after a Native American or other traditional month, Prentice discusses each food, contrasting how it was historically raised and prepared with how we deal with it in our world of large-scale agriculture and convenience foods. She adds bits of her personal histo ...more
Feb 05, 2013 Loraine rated it really liked it
I've erred on the side of generosity in rating Full Moon Feast . . . since there isn't the option of a half-star.

I loved the organizational principle of the lunar cycles, with each of the 13 chapters for one of the moon months. Prentice chose these traditional names for each of the moons: Hunger, Sap, Egg, Milk, Moon of Making Fat, Mead, Wort, Corn, Moon When Salmon Return to Earth, Blood, Snow, Moon of Long Nights, and Wolf Moon. (I especially enjoyed reading her thoughts about worts--more com
Nov 24, 2013 Carla rated it it was amazing
Jessica Prentice is a chef and food activist in the San Francisco Bay area who is an avid proponent for locally grown foods. In other words, she urges us toward tradition. Full Moon Feast is a book about food and more with stories from Indigenous cultures of appreciation for what nourishes. It also tells of challenges and confusion related to relationship with food. Jessica advocates for small farmers who choose to uphold commitment and passion toward their way of life. At the same time, she doc ...more
Aug 04, 2014 Chrissie rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant book! I love her philosophy on food and eating, this is so much more than a cookbook. It is really a wonderful read on this cultural history of food and eating. Her research into the indigenous traditions was just wonderful. It motivates you to really take a deeper look into what we eat and why we eat it. As well as brings to light in a beautiful way the problems with today's eating habits and almost forever lost food traditions.
Jul 17, 2009 jen rated it did not like it
Shelves: cooking
This book looked like it might have some interesting recipes for fermented foods and new takes on traditional foods. Unfortunately the book was so off-putting that I don't want to revisit it to find out. First of all, the tone of the writing is way too new-agey for my tastes (and I am sure many others, as I will put up with a bit of this is the content is good). Second, the author makes the assumption that because she did not feel well eating a vegetarian diet that everyone should eat a heavily ...more
Mar 06, 2010 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
One of my top 10 favorite books of all times. I have just reread this book (although I read it originally back in 2005 or so). For some reason, the second time around is even more powerful. Her words are like getting a full-body massage (deeply nourishing, connecting, and loving).

Her book draws on all of our ancestral cultures which followed the cycles of the moon. Each chapter focuses on a particular moon (harvest moon, sap moon, egg moon, etc) with stories, poetry, nutritional advice from acr
Mika Kafourou
Aug 01, 2015 Mika Kafourou rated it it was amazing
Extraordinarily beautiful and informative book. Full of wonderful recipes for eating seasonally, locally, and healthily. Learn about the history of the pasteurization of milk. Learn and meditate upon the ways we can eat in balance with our body's needs.
Jul 26, 2012 Sita rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who is looking for more nourishment than what modern day processed foods offer
Recommended to Sita by: Weston A. Price Foundation
This is a lovely book that tells us that food is about a lot more than just some ingredients put together. Food is also about relationships and community, two things that are very much missing from our modern ways. I think Jessica captured this beautifully in her exploration of the 13 moons she chose to focus on. Reading this book leaves you with a feeling of hope for the future and a connection to the past - to your ancestors. I would have given this book a 5 stars because I found it very inspi ...more
Oct 06, 2014 Maureen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anybody
So this is kind of hippy dippy, and sometimes Prentice is the annoying white woman who's discovered indigenous cultures and can't stop talking about them BUT . . . it's a lovely combination of political food history, autobiography, recipes, tips for shopping and cooking local and organic, and a bit of spirituality. I was really compelled by Prentice's story about her relationship to her body, and her account of how denying her body certain foods as a young woman was also about denying herself a ...more
If this is someone's first book on traditional foods and the evils of modern foodstuffs, then this might be a 4-5 star book. She is Christian, but I still don't appreciate her views on evolution, global warming, petroleum it's a myth that we are running out and sexuality. If it weren't for those, I probably would have given it 4 stars.

Food topics are organized and discussed under the season or more specifically the moon, when it has traditionally been harvested.

Not a whole lot of new info in th
Nov 23, 2012 Haliation rated it really liked it
So I'm not 100% finished this book, but I do know that I quite like it so far. It is not solely a cookbook, in fact, I'd say that the bulk of the book is dedicated to explanation.
There a lot of things I like about this book, such as NOT lumping Native cultures under "Native Americans", but finding sources and the proper names of bands/tribes, using their languages where she can.
Also, there is really good commentary on veganism and Indigenous reality, which might upset some not-so-critically-thin
Nov 20, 2010 Colleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm so glad Shawna recommended this book! It was enjoyable to read and is one of those books that has affected how I view my relationship to food. It has many interesting things for me to consider, why buy local food, does it matter what animals are fed or how they are treated, am I connected to the cycles of the seasons. It has challenged some assumptions that I have about my food - that it is nourishing because of what it is. Now I wonder and am more concerned about how it is grown, transporte ...more
Sep 08, 2009 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-books
This is a beautifully written book, and a wonderful follow-up to Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions. Jessica Prentice truly honors food in its natural state and supports the reader/eater in making the connections between what we eat and how we feel on many levels. This book is not preachy because the author writes honestly about her own transition from being vegetarian/vegan/sugar-free/dairy-free/etc. to an omnivorous existence, and how that transition has allowed her to become more honest wit ...more
Aug 08, 2009 Carlie rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting. The author is some stripe of Christian but, obviously playing with lots of ideas, working to form a synergy of meaning from multiple cultures and traditions and stepping outside of the box. I enjoyed her focus on community, and the social nature of food and eating. I feel the same way and thought many of her philosophical ideas were charming. There were lots of recipes I want to try at the ends of the chapters and I am looking forward to flipping through the seaso ...more
PRI Cold
Dec 13, 2015 PRI Cold added it
Shelves: cooking-prep
TDF one copy
Jun 08, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
Recommended by Eve.

I intended to just skim through this book so I could talk to Eve about it, after she posted that it was "life changing." But it sucked me in, and I ended up actually reading large sections of it. A fascinating and fun collection of the author's personal food journey, including an eating disorder, cultural myths, legends and stories, essays on the environment and how we can still have hope and find positive actions.

A fun journey.
Marjorie Elwood
Once I got past my prejudices towards 'airy-fairy, goddess-inspired books', I enjoyed this a great deal. Yes, the author talks about various indigenous traditions in a somewhat reverential way, but she then is careful to bring the topic into relevance by discussing how to incorporate the positive aspects into your everyday life, while identifying that these traditions aren't perfect. Her discussions about the scientific basis of food traditions is fascinating and I've starred several recipes to ...more
Jan 01, 2012 Red rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
this book blew my mind. I can't wait to read it again and start to understand some more of it in a deeper way; it totally changed my thinking about how to eat, what to eat, why to eat, and how to make food. I don't pretend that I'm going to be as dedicated and comprehensive in my cooking and eating practices as Jessica Prentice, but this book certainly gets me thinking about how to move in her direction, and it makes me feel excited and connected in doing it. no guilt here!
May 05, 2010 Stacy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
This is a beautiful book, and it came to me at the perfect time - when I wad ready to give up vegetarianism.
It may not jive with others, but this way of eating made complete sense to me and started me on, what to me is, a healthier path. I found the writing to be earnest, but in a heartfelt way. I couldn't say enough good things about this book. Nutrition and diets -they're always personal, touchy subjects, but I'd recommend this book to anyone
Jul 15, 2010 Jennie rated it really liked it
Read this with a gnarly winter virus and now remember it through the lens of a slightly high fever. A book about the healing power of food seemed like the perfect choice at the time, and I vowed to make several of the inspired recipes included in each chapter-- like egg drop soup. Until now, mostly forgot about adding them to my repertoire. Hm, maybe i should stick this on my 'to do' list of infinity... OR maybe not.
Dec 15, 2007 Steve rated it liked it
Recommends it for: locavores, food activists
Shelves: food-and-drink
Emphasizes connecting with place through a seasonally-appropriate locally-grown diet. I've tended to read it in the winter months and so haven't tried any of the recipes for other times of year. The bulk of the book (chapter divisions are the various moons of the year) consists of thematic musings with a handful of recipes at the end of each chapter. So not a cookbook per se.
Ethicurean Reads
Chef and passionate food activist Jessica Prentice champions locally grown, humanely raised, nutrient-rich foods and traditional cooking methods. She decries our modern food culture and the suffering—physical, emotional, cultural, communal, and spiritual—born of a disconnect from our food sources. Includes recipes for foods following the 13 lunar cycles of an agrarian year.
May 24, 2008 Kate rated it it was amazing
this book really brought home to me the importance of enjoying and appreciating your food. As a culture we are so obsessed with health and trying to correct our body flaws that we look at food as a means to control our bodies, when it is really so much more.
This was a refreshing read and really changed the way I look at eating. I'll definitely be reading it again!
Oct 21, 2007 Lisalis rated it it was amazing
I met Jessica Prentice while organizing on a conference. (She was promoting her book at the conference) She gave an amazing talk with David Crow and I decided to buy her book. It's fablous. You really begin to appreciate more and more where our food comes from, who has grown it, picked it and shipped it to you. But also I appreciate our connections to the earth.
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Jessica Prentice is both a professional chef and a passionate home cook. In her cooking, Jessica brings together creativity and imagination with a deep respect for traditional cuisine and time-honored culinary practices. Through her work, she seeks to provide a model for how communities can feed themselves in a way that is satisfying and health-supportive on all levels: delicious, environmentally ...more
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