The Local Food Revolution: How Humanity Will Feed Itself in Uncertain Times (Paperback)

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Demonstrating that humanity faces an imminent and prolonged global food crisis, Michael Brownlee issues a clarion call and manifesto for a revolutionary movement to localize the global food supply. He lays out a practical guide for those who hope to navigate the challenging process of shaping the local or regional food system, providing a roadmap for embarking on the process of righting the profoundly unsustainable and already-failing global industrialized food system. Written to inform, inspire, and empower anyone—farmers or ranchers, community gardeners, aspiring food entrepreneurs, supply chain venturers, commercial food buyers, restaurateurs, investors, community food activists, non-profit agencies, policy makers, or local government leaders—who hopes to be a catalyst for change, this book provides a blueprint for economic action, with specific suggestions that make the process more conscious and deliberate.

Brownlee, cofounder of the nonprofit Local Food Shift Group, maps out the underlying process of food localization and outlines the route that communities, regions, and foodsheds often follow in their efforts to take control of food production and distribution. By sharing the strategies that have proven successful, he charts a practical path forward while indicating approaches that otherwise might be invisible and unexplored. Stories and interviews illustrate how food localization is happening on the ground and in the field. Essays and thought-pieces explore some of the challenging ethical, moral, economic, and social dilemmas and thresholds that might arise as the local food shift develops. For anyone who wants to understand, in concrete terms, the unique challenges and extraordinary opportunities that present themselves as we address one of the most urgent issues of our time, The Local Food Revolution is an indispensable resource.

About the Author

Michael Brownlee has long been a catalyst in the process of food localization in Colorado, working to ignite, inspire, guide, and empower those who are facing the challenges and opportunities of localizing our food supply. He is the cofounder of nonprofit Local Food Shift Group (formerly Transition Colorado, the first official Transition initiative in North America).

Praise For…

“This is the local food book that needed to be written. As Brownlee so chillingly details, our globalized food system is in crisis. Food scarcity looms in the all-too-near future. If we’re to continue getting square meals three times a day, we too need to join this quest to localize our food supply.” —Tim Rinne, state coordinator, Nebraskans for Peace; cofounder, Hawley Hamlet Community Garden; and charter member, Lincoln-Lancaster Food Policy Council
The Local Food Revolution is a must-read for anyone who is concerned about the current state of the industrial, global food system and who asks, ‘What can I do to help awaken my foodshed?’” —Veronica House, PhD, associate faculty director for service-learning and outreach, University of Colorado, Boulder
“What begins as Michael Brownlee’s own journey from concerned activist to community catalyst becomes a handbook for ‘deep revolution,’ with local and regional food systems at the center of it all. For those concerned that change is not enough, he offers not just a revolutionary call to action, but also a new path forward.” —Philip Ackerman-Leist, professor of sustainable agriculture and food systems, Green Mountain College, Vermont, and author of Rebuilding the Foodshed
“Mixing history and philosophy with a hopeful yet realistic call to action, Michael Brownlee’s profound work demands immediate attention. One of the single most important elements of our fate as a species is the state of our global food system grid as it exists in small local equations. Brownlee gives us the perfect opportunity and the tools to once and for all solve for x. The Local Food Revolution is the blueprint for the future wellness of our planetary community.”
—Daniel Asher, executive chef, River and Woods and co-chair, Chefs Collaborative/Colorado
“Michael Brownlee’s book is a wide-ranging discussion from his early recognition of the changes affecting our planet and his important, ongoing identification of and engagement with ideas and models from influential leaders, thinkers, and movers (of which he is one). Rather than just observe and report, he is a leader who participates, implements, tests, and catalyzes emerging ideas and concepts. This book is an inspiration to anyone who feels our problems are too big to address and that we can't do anything; they aren’t, and we can.”
—Jack Round, Transition Omaha, Let’s Eat Investment Group
“The multi-layered global crisis, and in particular, abrupt climate change, demand nothing less than a local food revolution that reaches far beyond farmers markets and buying local. Every human life going forward depends on a radical transformation of our relationship with food and how we provide it for our communities. Michael Brownlee maps this revolution with laser clarity. If you eat, you must read this book.”
—Carolyn Baker, PhD, author of Love In The Age of Ecological Apocalypse and Collapsing Consciously
“Few evolutionary catalysts see the nexus between local food systems and deep cultural transformation with the clarity of Michael Brownlee. Want to find the connections between Thomas Paine, Christopher Alexander, and the organic farmer down the street? They are here for you in this book.”
—Woody Tasch, founder of Slow Money and author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money
 “As humankind moves towards an uncertain future facing issues related to climate change, water quantity/quality, healthy soil for food production, and more food-resilient communities, The Local Food Revolution provides a road map for those brave enough to embark on its bold manifesto. An early food system pioneer who catalyzed evolutionary change and helped revolutionize the future of local food for Colorado, Michael Brownlee provides a direct and biting reflection on what it will take to revolutionize our local food system while meeting the difficult food demands forecast for our future. His insights and recommendations are well-researched, thoughtful, and brutally honest.”
—Rusty Collins, Denver County Director, Colorado State University Extension
“Michael Brownlee raises this ‘call to farms’ (local of course) to inspire an urgently needed revolution in our food system. The urgency is born of declining resources and increasingly disruptive climate change. He gives this call an evolutionary context: every collapse is followed by an emergence of something completely new. He envisions foodsheds that are regional, regenerative and restorative, in stark contrast to the rapacious industrial food system. He invites us to ‘bring food home again’ as ‘a choice for life itself.’ Stories of pioneers revolutionizing all facets of emerging foodsheds are a real treasure. Learn from Michael’s decade of experience cultivating a ‘local food shift’ in Colorado to empower food localization wherever you are.” 
—Janaia Donaldson, Peak Moment Television
“This book needs to be widely read by those in the local food movement. Michael Brownlee explains the local food revolution as emerging from an evolutionary shift in ethical and cultural values occurring at the deepest levels of human consciousness, a ‘deep revolution.’ He provides a wealth of philosophical insights and practical information about how to be an effective ‘evolutionary catalyst’ but stresses that deep revolutions arise from within and must be nurtured rather than developed. The local food revolution can only be sustained by a spiritual reawakening to the inherent sacredness of food and farming.”
—John Ikerd, professor emeritus of agricultural economics, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO and author of The Essentials of Economic Sustainability, Sustainable Capitalism, and Crisis and Opportunity
“For those of us weighed down with concern for our children’s prospects for a safe and abundant life, The Local Food Revolution provides a high-minded but thoroughly practical primer on how to get started, now, to change that doubt into hope. This book will be recognized as a classic reference that every food activist will keep near at hand for centuries to come.”
—Alan Lewis, Government Affairs and Food and Agriculture Policy, Natural Grocers
“Telling a personal journey of transitioning to local food as calling—intense, deep, and transforming—this book holds an important place for those currently involved in localizing foodsheds, and helps us all understand the urgency of saving and re-vitalizing our food systems locally.”
—Nanna Meyer, PhD, associate professor of health sciences, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
“Few people in the world have thought longer and deeper about the local food revolution than Michael Brownlee. In a journey reminiscent of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Brownlee traces the evolution of his work in Colorado and the evolution of his thinking about the movement’s global importance. He reveals himself to be as much a philosopher as a practitioner, with provocative, invaluable, and entertaining insights for anyone who wants to reshape his or her own community.”
—Michael H. Shuman, community economist and author of The Local Economy Solution
“Buckminster Fuller could have written the preface to The Local Food Revolution: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” A deep bow to Michael Brownlee, who is serving as a lead catalyst and synthesizer of this new model. Join the emerging global awakening to beat the clock of mass extinction.”  
—John Steiner and Margo King, transpartisan/sacred activists
Product Details
ISBN: 9781623170004
ISBN-10: 1623170001
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication Date: October 18th, 2016
Pages: 456
Language: English

How to read more
( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


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