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Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet
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Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  619 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
Thirty years ago, Frances Moore Lappé started a revolution in the way Americans think about food and hunger. Now Frances and her daughter, Anna, pick up where Diet for a Small Planet left off. Together they set out on an around-the-world journey to explore the greatest challenges we face in the new millennium. Traveling to Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe, they disc ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published April 28th 2003 by TarcherPerigee (first published 2002)
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Sara Jaye
Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fooood
Honestly, I was pretty relieved to finish this book. I kept on pushing through because some of the people and organizations that the Lappes talk to are fascinating and it was genuinely informative to learn about them - but the whole thing is couched in a kind of weird personal narrative that was very annoying to me and at times distressingly ethnocentric. The main author, Frances Moore Lappe, seems to wander somewhat cluelessly across the globe having her preexisting perceptions confirmed - even ...more
Molly Hanlon
Dec 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Falling into the category of "don't eat that" books is this Lappe family effort. What I like about this, even more so than Pollan's masterpieces, is the story-like quality and the intervening into personal lives. I like to think that this is because it's written by women (ahem, ahem). Good for anyone who is thinking about the locavore movement or altering their diet in any way. Couple it with any Kingslover book and you have yourself a group of diet-changing adventures.
Deanna Lack
Feb 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, politics, food
Ten years ago when I was a vegetarian, I read Diet for a Small Planet. After reading this book, I think I may have sort of missed the point of it. I was looking for diet recommendations, but I missed its political and humanitarian message.

So here, after reading a lot of Michael Polan recently, I was looking for a treatise on the food choices we make, maybe a case for vegetarianism. Not exactly.

This book is about change. It's about Gandhi's "being the change you wish to see in the world." The Lap
Ben Williams
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A more up-to-date book that Diet for a Small Planet, this book is a touching account of Frances and Anna's travels around the world in an effort to better understand the role that food plays in our lives. These books seem to contain some sort of good omen for me. i was cooking one of the meals out of this book--Frisian Oat Curry--one night in the dorm, met a friend who also liked to cook, and seven years later we still cook. Since reading her books, i have seen Frances speak several times and wa ...more
Apr 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I have been moved by this book. Not only does Lappe give tangible suggestions for how to eat in a more health conscious way, she goes deeper to explain how the actions we take at the dinner table and beyond impact people around the world. Lappe, while clearly an expert in her field, makes clear and understandable connections between the economics and politics of poverty to our own lives. I would be shocked if those who agree with her aren't moved to change their eating and buying decisions after ...more
Jun 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: political, essays
If you're feeling despairing about the state of things in the world, this is a good antidote! There are people all over the world doing inspiring, meaningful, social change work. This book highlights some of those efforts. There's a woman in Brazil, for example, who determined that no one in her city would be hungry anymore, and she set about (pretty successfully) to do that. The Grameen Bank, which just won the Nobel Peace Prize, is also covered, as well as food to school programs. There are wh ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Frances Moore Lappe and her daughter Anna don't seem to shy away from any challenge during their travels across several continents in this spectacular book. Described as the 'next Diet for a Small Planet', it is fun to meet the daughter who was just a tot when Frances published her first book. Now, as a team, mother and daughter pick up where "Diet..." left off.

Most of the book is written by Frances as she describes many of the social visionaries she and Anna met during their trip. Each chapter
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books ever. It's sad and depressing in some ways, but it will then make you feel strong and hopeful.
Adam Eichen
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely stunning. Beautiful prose. Wonderfully crafted. Must read.
Jun 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Very well written and both authors make an excellent case for a locally grown, worker respecting food system.
Only criticism: the last chapter is very redundant of the rest of the book and doesn't give a lot of new info, so the end is mildly unexciting. Luckily, she finishes the book with a spread of FANTASTIC recipes, so that is an excellent read for any cook or food lover.

Quote: "Today, consumers don't realize we pay for our food not just once, but many times. We pay at the st
May 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. I liked how you were taken around the world to see examples of real people taking action to overcome hunger, poverty, violence, etc. to demonstrate that there are plenty of resources (especially food) to go around. It has an optimistic outlook about how changing the way we think can lead to the realization that overproduction and overconsumption is not the way to go. Gave me a getter understanding of why its better to eat organic, seasonal, local foods, and support fair-trad ...more
The five stars are for importance. As much as I agree with a lot of what the authors have to say, I can't say I enjoyed reading it. It's filled with the stories of passionate people committing themselves to changing the world, and indeed effecting some change. Enough to stop or even significantly slow the world's rush toward disaster? I don't think so. Still, that doesn't absolve each of us from doing what we can to preserve the environment so that as many of the human race as possible can survi ...more
Jun 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Who Eat
This is a fascinating read that discusses where our food comes from and the impact it has on all of our lives. In this book, I read for the first time about Monsanto's (large agricultural product company) practice of selling terminator seeds that can't be saved year to year, therefore, insuring that poor farmers in developing countries have to buy their product each year and can never get ahead financially, the pesticide industry's bad impact on farmers in developing countries, the denigration o ...more
Oct 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
I didn't know what to expect from this book but was pleased by what I got. The two authors (one of which wrote the original Diet for a Small Planet) traveled the world to see what changes had occurred (if any) since the publication of the original book 30 years ago. I have to say it was very interesting reading - micro-finance, landless Brazilians, organic farming in the U.S. and France, fair trade - all was discussed. A side squick for me was hearing how woman are still being treated as... real ...more
Feb 21, 2010 rated it liked it
In Hope's Edge, Frances Moore Lappe revisits the themes in Diet for a Small Planet 30 years later by traveling the world and meeting with ecological and culinary pioneers who are working to change the way we live, farm and eat. Accompanied by her daughter Anna Lappe, Frances visits 5 continents and introduces us to remarkable people from each one who are trying to move away from dependence on chemical pesticides, fertilizers and commercially available seeds to find other ways to feed the hungry ...more
May 25, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: food
I did not finish reading this book. Based on the first 150 pages or so I knew I would only grow more irritated if I continued. It is clear that there is plenty to learn from this book. Unfortunately, Lappe is an overly dramatic, doomsday, activist type and I just can't enjoy reading stuff like that. Fear mongering is no good no matter what side of the fence you're on. If you're going to be for (or against) something make your statement solution-based with a positive impact (eg, Alice Walker, her ...more
Mar 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Thirty years or so after Frances Lappe wrote Diet for a Small Planet, she questions why the myths about food supply that she debunked in the original (i.e. the reason for poverty is that we're running out of food, that our capitalist system is the best/only way to do things, etc) are still so prevalent. She co-wrote the book with her daughter after travelling the world and seeing where food comes from and goes. It's inspiring without being preachy and reaffirms my resolution to eat close to the ...more
Jan 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Currently reading and enjoying this book. I heard Frances Moore Lappe speak last winter and at the time bought and read "Getting A Grip." This is a previous book, focusing on positive examples of democracy and participation to relieve poverty and hunger. As the title says, a hopeful perspective. I like that she and her daughter (who co-authors) lend a critical eye to the projects they observe, examining to see if the projects seem effective. And of course I like the hopeful tone of the book, sim ...more
Michael Norwitz
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is a mixed bag for me. A lot of it is inspiring, tracking different methods people are using to unite with others in their local communities to work against globalisation and environmental degradation. And yet I found the chatty, meandering writing style difficult to get through. The summary end of the book offered no new information and I ended up skimming through it; to counterbalance that the book also has a listing of contacts and organisations who are working for social change, an ...more
Brookelyn Mengel
Jul 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: vegetarians!
A follow up to Diet for a Small Planet, This is an amazing book that incorporates vegetarina recipes with true accounts of comunities arouond the world who live sustainably. This is an inspiring book for vegetarians and activists alike. The recipes are taken from restaurants who practice sustanable/ethical food purchasing and labor practices.
I love this book - again, its another one I got from my mom, Loralee.
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Immensely inspiring book! France Moore Lappe tells it straight from her heart. She and her daughter visited five continents and learned that we're all dealing with ecological and environmental issues, each in our own different ways. From Wangari Mathaii to farmers in Wisconsin people are creatively finding ways to make the best of what they have better inspite of the challenges they face. As the title conveys -- there's hope.
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A DEFINITE MUST READ for all interested in food politics, how governments allow their people to starve, and the amazing (and extremely underreported) actions taken by groups and some countries to help people regain both food security, healthier eating, and political power in terms of livelihood and agriculture. A knowledgeable book for all interested in how we are feeding ourselves, as well as our planet.
interesting info for sure- cool stories about food and community and globalization. something about her style sorta grates on me after a while, unfortunately.... but there's cool stuff in here. she references 'diet for a small planet' a whole heck of a lot, so it's sorta like reading 2 books in one! i skipped around in the chapters a bit, but all in all, there's neat info if you're into food/community/farm politics.
Dec 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
I love Frances Moore Lappe. I had a chance to hang out with her for awhile when she came to speak on campus and she is a really great person. I liked this book because she profiles people who are doing interesting work around the world including a few noble laureates. It is a cool book - I felt inspired!
Feb 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-books
A glimpse at the definition of democracy and where it stands in our country and in others around the world... in relation to food. Lappe and her daughter visit people and organizations that are promoting access to nutrient-dense foods around the world, and at the same time, protecting the rights of people all over!
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone and everyone who lives on Planet Earth!
One of those all-too-rare books that takes an honest look at the world as we live in it and yet offers hope. Everyone's heard that our planet doesn't have enough food to go around....this book challenges that assumption by showing how, if we eat in different ways and take power out of the hands of corporate interests, and take back power as the people, we have plenty for everyone.
I would love to be part of one of these courageous groups, who fight for the health and quality of life and a fair economy. Since it is now almost 18 years since this book was written, if feel the need to "catch up" on these group in Francis Moore Lappe's later books. So I have still a lot to read. However, I think that activism should come first. Sitting at home reading doesn't get much done.
Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
A little dry at times, and slightly repetitive, but if you are interested in our global food supply, this is an eye-opening book. It took me a while to get through it, but at times the stories were so compelling that it was hard to put down. Good for a serious summer read when you will have plenty of time to think.
Jun 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone should read this
This book should be on everyone's reading list! An excellent book that will educate you on 1. the importance of eradicating the world of big agriculture/pesticides/herbicides and 2. how America is playing/has played a huge role in the destruction of traditional agricultural societies all over the world.
Laura Pippen
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is one of my favorite books. I wanted to give it 5 stars so badly, but the writing was just a little to dry to give it a full 5. I do consider it a must-read for anyone who would like to know about good things that are happening and how to offer your support.
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Frances Moore Lappe--author of fifteen books, including three-million-copy bestseller Diet for a Small Planet --distills her world-spanning experience and wisdom in a conversational yet hard-hitting style to create a rare "aha" book. In nine short chapters, Lappe leaves readers feeling liberated and courageous. She flouts conventional right-versus-left divisions and affirms readers' basic sanity - ...more