By Gordon Edgar
One of the oldest, most ubiquitous, and beloved cheeses in the world, the history of cheddar is a fascinating one. Over the years it has been transformed, from a painstakingly handmade wheel to a rindless, mass-produced block, to a liquefied and emulsified plastic mass untouched by human hands. The Henry Fordism of cheddar production in many ways anticipated the advent of industrial agriculture. They don’t call it “American Cheese” for nothing.
Cheddar is one man’s picaresque journey to find out what a familiar food can tell us about ourselves. Cheddar may be appreciated in almost all American homes, but the advocates of the traditional wheel versus the processed slice often have very different ideas about food. Since cheddar—with its diversity of manufacturing processes and tastes—is such a large umbrella, it is the perfect food through which to discuss many big food issues that face our society.
More than that, though, cheddar actually holds a key to understanding not only issues surrounding food politics, but also some of the ways we think of our cultural identity. Cheddar, and its offshoots, has something to tell us about this country: the way people rally to certain cheddars but not others; the way they extol or denounce the way others eat it; the role of the commodification of a once-artisan cheese and the effect that has on rural communities. The fact that cheddar is so common that it is often taken for granted means that examining it can lead us to the discovery of usually unspoken truths.
Author Gordon Edgar (Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge) is well equipped to take readers on a tour through the world of cheddar. For more than fifteen years he has worked as an iconoclastic cheesemonger in San Francisco, but his sharp talent for observation and social critique were honed long before then, in the world of ’zines, punk rock, and progressive politics. His fresh perspectives on such a seemingly common topic are as thought provoking as they are entertaining.
Available in: Hardcover, Paperback
Human Scale Revisited
By Kirkpatrick Sale
Big government, big business, big everything: Kirkpatrick Sale took giantism to task in his 1980 classic, Human Scale, and today takes a new look at how the crises that imperil modern America are the inevitable result of bigness grown out of control—and what can be done about it.
The result is a keenly updated, carefully argued case for bringing human endeavors back to scales we can comprehend and manage—whether in our built environments, our politics, our business endeavors, our energy plans, or our mobility.
Sale walks readers back through history to a time when buildings were scaled to the human figure (as was the Parthenon), democracies were scaled to the societies they served, and enterprise was scaled to communities. Against that backdrop, he dissects the bigger-is-better paradigm that has defined modern times and brought civilization to a crisis point. Says Sale, retreating from our calamity will take rebalancing our relationship to the environment; adopting more human-scale technologies; right-sizing our buildings, communities, and cities; and bringing our critical services—from energy, food, and garbage collection to transportation, health, and education—back to human scale as well.
Like Small is Beautiful by E. F. Schumacher, Human Scale has long been a classic of modern decentralist thought and communitarian values—a key tool in the kit of those trying to localize, create meaningful governance in bioregions, or rethink our reverence of and dependence on growth, financially and otherwise.
Rewritten to interpret the past few decades, Human Scale offers compelling new insights on how to turn away from the giantism that has caused escalating ecological distress and inequality, dysfunctional governments, and unending warfare and shines a light on many possible pathways that could allow us to scale down, survive, and thrive.
Available in: Paperback
By Natasha Campbell-McBride, M.D.
Another blockbuster from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, the creator and author of the GAPS Protocol—Gut And Psychology / Gut And Physiology Syndrome. Her GAPS Nutritional Protocol has been used successfully by hundreds of thousands of people around the world for treating a plethora of chronic health problems, from mental illness to physical disorders. Her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome has been translated into sixteen languages. She has now undertaken an intense study into the value of plant foods versus animal foods. Vegetarianism Explained: Making an Informed Decision is the result of this study. Dr Campbell-McBride gives a full scientific description of how animal and plant foods are digested and used by the human body. This information will give the reader a good understanding on how to feed their body to achieve optimal health and vitality.
This book is an essential read for those who are considering a plant-based lifestyle and those who are already following a vegetarian or a vegan diet. The subject of fasting is covered and will give the reader a good understanding on how to use this method for healing and health. This book will also answer questions on where our food comes from and how it is produced, how to eat in harmony with your body’s needs and how we should introduce small children to the world of food.
Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride is known for her ability to explain complex scientific concepts in a language easily understood by all. Vegetarianism Explained will be enjoyed by all ages of adults – from young teenagers to mature professionals. For those who are scientifically minded the book is fully referenced.
Forest Gardening in Practice
By Tomas Remiarz
A forest garden is a place where nature and people meet halfway--between the canopy of trees and the soil underfoot. It doesn’t have to look like a forest: what’s important is that natural processes are allowed to unfold, to the benefit of plants, people and other creatures. The result is an edible ecosystem. For three decades experimental forest gardens have been planted in temperate cities and rural sites, in households, neighborhoods, community gardens, parks, market gardens and plant nurseries. Forest Gardening In Practice offers an in-depth review of forest gardening with living, best practice examples. It highlights the four core skills of forest gardeners: ecology, horticulture, design, and cooperation. It is for hobby gardeners, smallholders, community gardeners and landscape professionals.
Forest Gardening In Practice features:
The Metabolic Approach to Cancer
By Nasha Winters and Jess Higgins Kelley
The Optimal Terrain Ten Protocol to Reboot Cellular Health
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, cancer rates have increased exponentially—now affecting almost 50 percent of the American population. Conventional treatment continues to rely on chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation to attack cancer cells. Yet research has repeatedly shown that 95 percent of cancer cases are directly linked to diet and lifestyle. The Metabolic Approach to Cancer is the book we have been waiting for—it offers an innovative, metabolic-focused nutrition protocol that actually works. Naturopathic, integrative oncologist and cancer survivor Dr. Nasha Winters and nutrition therapist Jess Higgins Kelley have identified the ten key elements of a person’s “terrain” (think of it as a topographical map of our body) that are crucial to preventing and managing cancer. Each of the terrain ten elements—including epigenetics, the microbiome, the immune system, toxin exposures, and blood sugar balance—is illuminated as it relates to the cancer process, then given a heavily researched and tested, non-toxic and metabolic, focused nutrition prescription.
The metabolic theory of cancer—that cancer is fueled by high carbohydrate diets, not “bad” genetics—was introduced by Nobel Prize-laureate and scientist Otto Warburg in 1931. It has been largely disregarded by conventional oncology ever since. But this theory is resurging as a result of research showing incredible clinical outcomes when cancer cells are deprived of their primary fuel source (glucose). The ketogenic diet—which relies on the body’s production of ketones as fuel—is the centerpiece of The Metabolic Approach to Cancer. Further, Winters and Kelley explain how to harness the anticancer potential of phytonutrients abundant in low-glycemic plant and animal foods to address the 10 hallmarks of cancer—an approach Western medicine does with drug based therapies.
Their optimized, genetically-tuned diet shuns grains, legumes, sugar, genetically modified foods, pesticides, and synthetic ingredients while emphasizing whole, wild, local, organic, fermented, heirloom, and low-glycemic foods and herbs. Other components of their approach include harm-reductive herbal therapies like mistletoe (considered the original immunotherapy and common in European cancer care centers) and cannabinoids (which shrink tumors and increase quality of life, yet are illegal in more than half of the United States). Through addressing the ten root causes of cancer and approaching the disease from a nutrition-focused standpoint, we can slow cancer’s endemic spread and live optimized lives.
Available in: Hardcover
Fasting and Feasting (UK Edition)
By Adam Federman
For more than thirty years, Patience Gray—author of the celebrated cookbook Honey from a Weed—lived in a remote area of Puglia in southernmost Italy. She lived without electricity, modern plumbing, or a telephone, grew much of her own food, and gathered and ate wild plants alongside her neighbors in this economically impoverished region. She was fond of saying that she wrote only for herself and her friends, yet her growing reputation brought a steady stream of international visitors to her door. This simple and isolated life she chose for herself may help explain her relative obscurity when compared to the other great food writers of her time: M. F. K. Fisher, Elizabeth David, and Julia Child.
So it is not surprising that when Gray died in 2005, the BBC described her as an “almost forgotten culinary star.” Yet her influence, particularly among chefs and other food writers, has had a lasting and profound effect on the way we view and celebrate good food and regional cuisines. Gray’s prescience was unrivaled: She wrote about what today we would call the Slow Food movement—from foraging to eating locally—long before it became part of the cultural mainstream. Imagine if Michael Pollan or Barbara Kingsolver had spent several decades living among Italian, Greek, and Catalan peasants, recording their recipes and the significance of food and food gathering to their way of life.
In Fasting and Feasting, biographer Adam Federman tells the remarkable—and until now untold—life story of Patience Gray: from her privileged and intellectual upbringing in England, to her trials as a single mother during World War II, to her career working as a designer, editor, translator, and author, and describing her travels and culinary adventures in later years. A fascinating and spirited woman, Patience Gray was very much a part of her times but very clearly ahead of them.
Holistic Goat Care
By Gianaclis Caldwell
Goats have provided humankind with essential products for centuries; indeed, they bear the noble distinction of being the first domesticated farm animal. From providing milk and meat for sustenance and fiber and hides for clothing and shelter to carrying packs and clearing brush, there isn’t much that goats cannot do. Managing goats successfully requires an understanding of how nature designed them to thrive, including nutritional and psychological needs, as well as how to identify a problem and intercede before it’s too late.
For more than a decade, Gianaclis Caldwell and her family have operated Pholia Farm Creamery, an off-grid, raw milk goat cheese dairy. In Holistic Goat Care, Caldwell offers readers a comprehensive guide to maintaining a healthy herd of goats, whether they are dairy goats, meat goats, fiber goats, or pet goats.
Holistic Goat Care will empower even novice goat owners to confidently diagnose and treat most of the ailments that goats might experience. For the experienced goat farmer, the book offers a depth of insight and approaches to treatment not found in any other book. Caldwell places special emphasis throughout on holistic, natural, and alternative approaches to caring for goats, including information on:
Whether your herd is two or two hundred, this first-of-its-kind, comprehensive book will help you keep your goats healthy, safe, and productive and give you a deep and enjoyable insight into the wondrous creature that is the goat.
Resilience, Community Action & Societal Transformation
Resilience, Community Action and Societal Transformation is a unique collection bridging research, theory and practical action to create more resilient societies. It includes accounts from people and organizations on the front line of efforts to build community resilience; cutting-edge theory and analysis from engaged scholar-activists; and commentary from sympathetic researchers. Its content ranges from first-hand accounts of the Transition Movement in the UK, Canada and Spain, to theoretical reflections on resilience theory and the shifts in mindsets and perspectives required for transitions to sustainability.
The book contains substantive contributions from activists and activist-scholars such as Lorenzo Chelleri (Gran Sasso Science Institute, Italy), Juan del Rio (Transition Spain), Naresh Giangrande (Transition Network), Maja Göpel (Wuppertal Institute), Thomas Henfrey (Transition Research Network), Justin Kenrick (Forest People’s Programme), Glen Kuecker (University of Indiana), Cheryl Lyon (Transition Peterborough Ontario) and Gesa Maschowski (Transition Bonn), along with briefing notes from noted experts in resilience. The result is a compelling cocktail of insights, ideas and action points likely to define the scientific and practical fields of community resilience for years to come.
No Dig Organic Home & Garden
By Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty
No dig organic gardening saves time and work. It requires an annual dressing of compost to help accelerate the improvement in soil structure and leads to higher fertility and less weeds. No dig experts Charles Dowding and Stephanie Hafferty, explain how to set up a no dig garden, including how to:
• Make compost and enrich soil
• Learn skills you need to sow and grow annual and perennial veg
• Harvest and prepare food year round
• Make natural cosmetics, cleaning products, and garden preparations
The no dig approach works as well in small spaces as in large gardens. The authors’ combined experience covers methods of growing, preparing and storing the plants you grow for many uses, and includes recipes and ideas for increasing self-reliance, saving money, living sustainably, and enjoying the pleasure of growing your own food, year round. An acknowledged expert in no dig and author of a half-dozen books on the subject, Charles’ advice is distilled from 35 years of growing vegetables intensively and efficiently. Stephanie, a kitchen gardener, grows in her small, productive home garden and allotment, and creates no dig gardens for restaurants and private estates. She creates delicious seasonal recipes made from the vegetables anyone can grow. She also explains how to use common plants you can grow and forage for to make handmade preparations for the home and garden.
Mastering Stocks and Broths
By Rachael Mamane
Stocks and broths are the foundation of good cooking, yet information on their use is often relegated to the introductions or appendices of cookbooks. Until now there has not been a comprehensive culinary guide to stocks in the canon, save for snippets here and there. Hard to believe, since most passionate home cooks and professional chefs know that using stocks and broths—both on their own and as the base for a recipe—can turn a moderately flavorful dish into a masterpiece. Mastering Stocks and Broths is the comprehensive guide to culinary stocks and broths that passionate home cooks and innovative chefs have all been waiting for.
Rachael Mamane, a self-taught cook and owner of small-scale broth company Brooklyn Bouillon, is reminiscent of M. F. K. Fisher, Patience Gray, and Julia Child. She takes us on a culinary journey into the science behind fundamental stocks and the truth about well-crafted bone broths, and offers over 100 complex and unique recipes incorporating stocks as foundational ingredients. Mastering Stocks and Broths includes a historical culinary narrative about stocks in the classic French technique as well as through the lens of other cultures around the world. Readers will learn about the importance of quality sourcing, the practical and health benefits of stocks and broths, and detailed methodology on how to develop, store, and use them in a home kitchen.
The recipes place a playful emphasis on the value of zero waste, turning spent bones, produce seconds, and leftover animal fats into practical products to use around the home. Readers will turn to this book when they find themselves wondering what to do with the carcass of a store-bought roast chicken and they want to learn how to make every inch of their vegetables go further.
Perhaps most important to remember: a good stock takes time. This is part of the pleasure—making stocks is meditative and meaningful, if you allow yourself the occasion. Building a stock often happens in the background of most kitchens—a smell that permeates a residence, a gentle warmth that radiates from the kitchen. Readers will be inspired by Mamane’s approach to truly slow cookery and her effervescent love for food itself.