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Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection
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Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  489 Ratings  ·  58 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
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Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
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
Dec 19, 2013 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
Nov 17, 2008 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
Sep 03, 2011 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
Nov 24, 2013 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
Nov 16, 2010 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
Aug 14, 2008 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
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
Aug 27, 2012 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
Jul 23, 2009 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
Oct 01, 2008 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
Apr 14, 2010 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 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.
Aug 04, 2014 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.
Apr 24, 2015 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.
Jan 01, 2012 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!
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.
Oct 07, 2007 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.
May 24, 2008 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!
Mika Kafourou
Aug 01, 2015 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.
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is transforming the way I think about food.
Sasha Boersma
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
Interesting read that got on my radar via a nutritionist. While a bit of a fluffy title, the content is interesting - rethinking types of foods, food seasons.

The recipes are great for anyone looking to really go out of their way to try different types of vegetables, herbs, etc.

That said, as some who eats gluten-free, wade carefully through the recipes. Eating healthy doesn't always mean being free of allergens ;) (not the fault of the author! Just a note for potential future readers).
Jan 20, 2013 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
Jan 10, 2014 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
Jun 30, 2009 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
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: farming, food, society
This is my favorite book. There is so much fascinating, applicable knowledge about food and culture, history and tradition.

The book itself is about the seasonality of food, our relationship to food and how it has changed over time. Stories about sugar in Sap Moon, or lard in Fat Moon are intertwined with scientific and traditional indigenous knowledge from the world around. Organized into 13 full moon chapters we walk through the seasons via food and community. Good food knowledge is shared, wi
Militant Asian
Jun 25, 2007 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
May 10, 2010 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
Marjorie Elwood
Nov 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: locavores
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
Apr 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I didn't finish this book. I found the first couple of chapters interesting, but it seemed like the author has found a diet that works for her, and then finds ways to justify it. It's not necessarily that this diet is best for everyone, or is even heavily researched; just that she believes in it and has a few anecdotes to support it. Meh.
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Jessica Prentice is a professional chef, author, local foods activist, social entrepreneur, and sought-after speaker on issues related to healing our broken food system. Her book Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection (Chelsea Green, 2006) mythopoetically explores the connections between the environment, human communities, and traditional cycles through food. She is a co-founder of Th ...more
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