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

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  579 ratings  ·  90 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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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  579 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Mar 09, 2012 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
Feb 13, 2011 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.
Jul 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, history, health, food
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 24, 2011 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
May 07, 2013 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
Samantha Brown
Sep 25, 2012 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
Bleu Caldwell
Dec 28, 2012 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
Jul 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tonya Dean
Mar 08, 2010 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
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
Jun 29, 2012 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.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rodale breaks the science down into plain words that are easy for everyone to understand. She spends a good portion of the book explaining the practices of companies that produce chemicals for agriculture, and how those chemicals have caused an increase in health problems, as well as destroys the soil. She also explains how organic agriculture reverses the damage done by chemicals on a large scale. Rodale shows that the choice between chemical and organic agriculture is based on lobbying and pol ...more
mary jane
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
the other side of this equation - and one equally explored and documented - is the damage done by the chemical companies, their insidious monetary presence in our legislation and in the way farms are ablet to function. the history is laid out and the current impact is made clear. just as derrick jensen's 'a language older than words' and frances moore lappe's 'diet for a small planet' provide documentation and research on the dangers posed by our current actions, so too do they all pose positive ...more
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Given that this is non fiction and addresses some deeply serious issues, I assumed that it was going to be heavy and I wouldn't be able to get through a lot in one sitting. I was wrong. The Organic Manifesto is a fast paced read that strikes an impressive balance between grappling with the negative consequences of our global actions and presenting solutions. In what could have easily become an angry rant about how brutally we have damaged our planet, Rodale chooses to look toward the future with ...more
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Could the answer to all that ails us really be organic farming? Rodale makes a pretty good case for that with many references to research studies and statistics. Her arguments are logical and although her proposal is daunting, it gives me hope for the future.
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 - The book largely focused on things happening in the United States so it may not be relatable to some readers.
Mari Turner
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly simple and interesting read for a more comprehensive understanding of agriculture and the food decisions we need to be making now.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
It felt a little bit one-sided but lays out some good reasons why eating and using organic products is important.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: growing-plants
a bit of a rant, but great information in an easily digestible format. go organic!
Kate  Maxwell
Jan 18, 2012 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
Jun 26, 2011 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 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
Mark Nambo
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rodale seemed biased in this book. The Organic manifesto is packed with information. At some points I felt like someone was trying to sell me something rather than solely inform me. But this manifesto is a good read for anyone that wants to learn a good amount of knowledge on organic and the insanely sounding world of pesticides on the other side.
Mar 15, 2010 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
Jul 27, 2010 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
Karen Jett
Jul 15, 2011 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.
Jun 28, 2013 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
Jun 18, 2010 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
Jun 13, 2013 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
Jennifer Hunter
Mar 10, 2010 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
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Maria Rodale is the CEO and Chairman of Rodale, Inc., the world's largest independent publisher of health, wellness, and environmental content and the largest independent book publisher in the United States. She is the third generation of the Rodale family to lead the company, which was founded by her grandfather J.I. Rodale in 1930 and later led by both her father, Robert Rodale, and mother, Arda ...more
“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
“If you do just one thing—make one conscious choice—that can change the world, go organic. Buy organic food. Stop using chemicals and start supporting organic farmers. No other single choice you can make to improve the health of your family and the planet will have greater positive repercussions for our future.” 5 likes
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