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Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  447 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
Rodale was founded on the belief that organic gardening is the key to better health both for us and for the planet, and never has this message been more urgent. Now, with Organic Manifesto, Maria Rodale, chairman of Rodale, sheds new light on the state of 21st century farming. She examines the unholy alliances that have formed between the chemical companies that produce fe ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 16th 2010 by Rodale Books (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 13, 2011 Britt rated it really liked it
The author is biased, but she let's you know that up front. An interesting read for anyone wondering about the pros and cons of eating organic. I did skim over a couple of sections, but overall it's thought provoking.
Mar 09, 2012 Jodi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health-books
This book is essential reading for anyone sitting on the fence about whether or not to buy organic food.

It is very simple to read, well written and only 180 pages.

In this book the author explains:

- We must demand organic food now
- Buying organic is more important than buying local
- Organically farmed soil stores carbon
- The chemical system of agriculture is killing us
- Cheap food means high health costs
- Using antibacterial hand washes is like washing your hands in pesticides
- Whether or not org
Jul 14, 2010 Jo rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, nature, history, health
Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale, Inc. and 3rd generation organic advocate, shares convincing arguments (scientific, financial, political, ethical) for going totally organic. Chemical agriculture is poisoning us, our children, our air, our water-- so it's not too hard to convince me. Especially fascinating as we seek a solution for dealing with carbon emissions is that there already is one: organically farmed soil stores carbon, on the mycorrhizal fungi that grow on the roots of plants-- fungi that a ...more
Mar 26, 2011 Cammie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homesteading
It was hard for me to chose a 'rating' for this book. Clearly, Maria Rodale had a mission. That being said, passionate arguments that go on for 187 pages don't necessarily make the most well-written books. However, despite knowing many of her points due to a environmental science major in college, it was interesting to see them all in one place. Her constant use of citations is also helpful in fact checking and understanding her message. I believe in her ideas whole-heartedly and I think reading ...more
Samantha Brown
Apr 14, 2013 Samantha Brown rated it liked it
This book provides an in-depth look at this history of farming, the industry & government's role in chemical farming practices, and the impact of this on our health & climate. Although the material isn't 'page-turning', it's both fascinating and frightening. Rodale does a good job of inserting her wry tone of voice, worthy of a few chuckles. She didn't come off preachy at all, openly admitting that she doesn't go organic all the time and believes that people should be allowed to eat what ...more
Jul 10, 2010 Hannah rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bleu Caldwell
Jan 16, 2013 Bleu Caldwell rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, food, 2013
While I agreed with the overall premise -- I love the organic industry and would like to see it continue to grow -- the science seemed a little too black and white. I'm not saying that it's wrong, because I don't know, but I doubt that organic farming is the solution to all the world's ills and conventional farming (and the chemical companies) are the root of all evil. I suspect the situation is a lot more complex than that and contains a lot more shades of gray. However, I'll continue to buy an ...more
Kewannah "Health Kick Chick"
After listening to this woman on Jillian Michael's last podcast, I had to read her book. I was floored when she said that many of the same companies that made poison for the Nazis make pesticides for our food. So far, she's spelling out what the big damn deal is about organic food and why we should buy/support it.

The book serves an important function but felt repetitive after a while. It surely could've been cut down by 75% and been an amazingly informative booklet. Pages 181-183 answer the most
Tonya Dean
Mar 08, 2010 Tonya Dean rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
This book scared the crap out of me, but in a good way. I really had never thought about our food sources in this way. The damage that we have done to our planet and still keep doing just blows me away. I live in a small rural community and am surrounded by fields. I wasn't even aware of all the pesticides that farmers use. I also live right next to an elevator so when they haul the crops in we are coated with another layer of crap. Tha
Jul 02, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! A very pleasant and informative read. While we try to eat organic, now we WILL eat organic as much as possible. I am somewhat disgusted by the American food industry and government controls. It is good to be an informed consumer. Highly recommend that ALL read this book.
Jan 02, 2015 Kristi rated it liked it
For someone who wants to know more about organic and the reasons for it, this would be an amazing book. Since I am already immersed in the organic farming world, much of the information here I've already been familiar with. Maria Rodale does a great job of arguing for the importance and necessity of organic, for the health of our air, our soil, our water, our economy, and ourselves.

Occasionally she overlooks some things -- like the fact that organic farming still requires spraying that is not 1
Kate  Maxwell
Feb 20, 2012 Kate Maxwell rated it liked it
The premise of the book is very good; work to stop Monsanto, GMO crops, and pesticides and stop poisoning ourselves and our nation, and start demanding organic foods. However, the delivery left something to be desired. It was almost too preachy and redundant. It got to a point that I started skimming, looking for pertinent information. This is also a book that would most likely be picked up by those who are already looking towards eating organic. It does help those sitting on the fence on whethe ...more
Jul 23, 2011 Fran rated it really liked it
this book was pretty good. the only thing i would say that i have against it would be that i wish she would have offered more ways to mobilize local leaders and farmers to go organic. fighting against the chemical companies and the government's tax cuts for big businesses that bully farmers is not going to just go away buy us buying organic. the reality is that until organic food becomes more affordable, we'll be stuck in the same cycle. this book offered a lot of information that changed how i ...more
Jan 03, 2011 Tom rated it it was ok
Someone got me this book for Christmas, knowing that I tend to like good food and non-poisonous food, and so I approached it very much as a receptive, willing audience. The problem I ran into-- aside from the sometimes choppy prose and organization-- is the kind of Michael Moore problem that a lot of people face: fundamentally, I agree with this woman, and yet I find her argument to be riddled with flaws, at best, and totally disingenuous at worst.

What I mean is, this book-- even in its formatt
May 07, 2013 Joe rated it really liked it
This book was a catalyst for me personally, a rallying cry to push my life to be more organic. It might be a little one sided and pretty biased towards the act of organic agriculture but thats only because for some unexplainable reason we have been conditioned to think that bias is wrong! Some where along the line doing things the right way has become taboo!! I found Maria Rodale's unrelenting push for sustainable organic agriculture to be refreshing and it may be just what the casual reader nee ...more
Karen Jett
Nov 23, 2011 Karen Jett rated it it was amazing
As someone married to an organic farmer, I was interested to see what Maria Rodale had to offer. I'll be honest, I expected a great deal of propaganda and rhetoric. I was happily surprised to see that it was minimal.

One of the most interesting points in the book is obvious. Following are 2 statements that are frequently in the news:
1 - We need chemicals to feed people or we will starve. (ie we will not be able to produce enough)
2 - The Farm Bill pays farmers to NOT farm because we grow too much.
Aug 20, 2010 Erin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
Maria Rodale is VERY passionate when it comes to organic food & farming. I wish everyone on this planet would read her book and change the status quo. I had no idea how complicated and detrimental the Farm Bill has become! I did know, however, how powerful and insidious the chemical companies are, but I didn't realize the full extent of their greed and control. YIKES. Thank goodness for "Part 3: The Age of Healing," or I might never sleep again.

I HIGHLY recommend this book. The only reason I
Michael Graber
Feb 08, 2014 Michael Graber rated it it was amazing
Manifestos are a lost art form. This one could have been more potent, but it was the author's even assessment and calm call-to-action that made it believable. A must read if you care about life. Demand organic as a way to cure the plant and food supply.
Aug 29, 2013 Andi rated it it was ok
Shelves: put-aside
The information in this book is solid and interesting, but the tone of Rodale's language struck me as arrogant. I don't disagree with any of her arguments or points, but I couldn't read past the condescension and lack of sophisticated understanding that her text showed in terms of the choices that farmers and others have to make when it comes to food and crops. It's sometimes not as easy as simply choosing organic, although I wish more people would. Cost is not an incidental factor.

I do realize
Rosanna Tropp
Jan 27, 2014 Rosanna Tropp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend reading this if you are on the fence or considering purchasing organic food for you and your family. This book nicely outlines the inter connectivity of nature and makes you realize that when it comes to food we have come full circle and need to return to our roots...literally.
Apr 02, 2011 Brian rated it it was amazing
Manifestos are tricky things. It is not enough to identify the problem, but also to advocate a solution. Rodale and Schlosser do both in a concise and compelling way. As a long-standing partisan of the organic method, there was some 'preaching to the converted' and not much in the way of any new understandings of the subject. The two 'problem' sections could have been edited down and the 'solution' or healing section could have been expanded, but on the whole the Organic Manifesto makes a valuab ...more
Sep 11, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing
This was a great book! It spelled things out very well. Organic gardening and eating can take care of many of our problems.
Nov 15, 2014 AJ rated it liked it
3.5 stars

A very well thought out, eloquent summary of conventional vs. organic farming, and why organic is better. The only thing I don't like about it is how Rodale loves big corporations, even Wal-Mart, as long as they sell organic produce. I realize that big corporations love taking divisive issues such as this and taking advantage of them to their benefit, but in my opinion, the world will be a better place without big corporations. I also have some problems with the Rodale corporat
Jul 05, 2014 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Should be required reading for everyone ! Buy organic!
Sep 10, 2013 Heidi rated it really liked it
A little dry in the middle, but everyone should at least attempt to read this book. I purloined this from 100 books every woman should read from and I am pleasantly surprised, it was both a sobering look at the state of agriculture in our country and subsequently, the state of food, and our health. It got me fired up and motivated to make some changes, however small to the way I live, eat, and purchase foods. I am always disheartened at how mired in legislation even our food i ...more
Jennifer Hunter
Nov 12, 2010 Jennifer Hunter rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I truly believe that the way our foods are processed has changed the well-being of our society. As a person with a chronic illness, I know the importance of keeping your body free of foreign substances and chemicals.

Rodale's writing is thorough, and it serves as great educational tool for those who do not understand the importance of organic farming. She really chronicles the problems of consuming chemicals or mass produced foods. A real eye opener.

I received this boo
Aug 28, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
Great book on the pro's of eating organic. You will find yourself infuriated by our food system to the point that you will never look at food the same again....unless its organic. This book is biased but the arguments are backed up with references. She is honest about being biased though which gives her more credibility in my opinion. This definitely convinced me that organic is best, however, it's still not affordable for everyday people. She believes that it is, which I disagree with. Other th ...more
Sep 05, 2012 Christine rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
I went into this book already a firm believer in organic agriculture and the benefits that come with it. Rodale expanded on those benefits for me and confirmed what I already believe in. As a manifesto, it's obviously preachy, but I hold onto these truths and scientific fact! I'll continue to do what I can to support organic agriculture and hope the larger society sees the multiple benefits the process holds.
It just seems "duh" to me - why would anyone want in ingest chemicals? I'd rather pay t
Jun 30, 2010 Steph rated it liked it
This was a fascinating, although sometimes disheartening and vaguely frightening, read. Maria Rodale covers all the reasons why the current chemical farming methods the majority of our farms use are killing us and the planet and makes the argument for an organic revolution. There are copious endnotes and sources provided for each chapter so you know where the information and statistics are coming from. I would recommend this friends and anyone who is unsure exactly WHY organic really is the bett ...more
Sep 22, 2011 Nathalie rated it it was amazing
I know I say this a lot but, READ THIS! She delves into the history of modern farming, the many benefits of organic farming and why we need to demand organic. She also makes a good, if obvious, argument about the local vs. organic question. If you have any doubts about the nutritional benefits of organic foods (including non-GMO foods) then read this for other arguments on why going organic is essential...and book a workshop with me to get the lowdown on the nutritional aspects of organic foods!
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Maya Rodale is the author of the Regency-set Negligent Chaperone Series featuring the titles The Heir And The Spare and The Rogue And The Rival.

Her first book, a self-help guide for women entitled Its My Pleasure: A Revolutionary Plan to Free Yourself from Guilt and Create the Life You Want, was co-written with her mother, Maria Rodale. Maya is a graduate of NYUs Gallatin School of Individualized
More about Maria Rodale...

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“Organic is something we can all partake of and benefit from. When we demand organic, we are demanding poison-free food. We are demanding clean air. We are demanding pure, fresh water. We are demanding soil that is free to do its job and seeds that are free of toxins. We are demanding that our children be protected from harm. We all need to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done—buy organic whenever we can, insist on organic, fight for organic and work to make it the norm. We must make organic the conventional choice and not the exception available only to the rich and educated.” 8 likes
“Switching to all organic food production is the single most critical (and most doable) action we can take right now to stop our climate crisis.” 4 likes
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