I’m on a food book binge. I’ve slipped into my eating pants, hunkered down and proceeded to tear through a pile of food-related non-fiction. I finally finished Michael Pollan’s lip-smacking Omnivore’s Dilemma, which depressed and angered the crap out of me, then promptly sank my teeth into Hungry for Change, fresh from Amazon. Here’s what I thought:
Playful. Tangy. Just vociferous enough if a touch redundant. I was so excited when I heard the people behind the ubiquitous Food Matters and Hungry for Change docs were releasing a book. Really, I was just tickled. What wealth of additional information would this book bring?
Turns out, not a whole lot more. I re-watched the Hungry for Change documentary a few days before the book arrived, and I’m fairly sure they just quote the movie’s interviews. This is an unexpectedly great thing. By reiterating the information in a concise, easy-to-read book, this is an approachable format for someone who’s interested in weaning themselves off the Standard American Diet.
The informational, “preachy” part makes up less than half the book, and has profiles of the Hungry for Change crew (the Change Gang perhaps…?) tucked in. Profiles for biggies like Kris Carr, Mike Adams, David Wolfe, Jon Gabriel offer just enough information to whet the appetite and provide additional resources should the reader want to pursue more information.
Now, don’t think just because you saw the movie, the book is useless. There are about 100 awesome, easy recipes to give a go, along with a 3-day guided detox complete with a shopping list. This is perfect for someone like me, who just wants to be told what to do and make. One of my fantasies is to hire a little elf, maybe a reformed Keebler, to cook healthy meals for me so I don’t even have to think about it. But he would also let me cook too, if I wanted. And give me helpful suggestions without being too critical. And we would listen to each other if we were angry or sad and needed to get something off our chests.
Last awesome thing about this book: Sample 7-day menus, one for vegetarians and one for omnivores. Fantastic!
I surprised myself and actually bought this book instead of waiting for the library to get it, which is out of the ordinary for me. I’m so glad I did. I can see myself using this as a resource for myself because of the recipes, and also handing it off to friends who will finally give it back after a few weeks saying they’ll finish it when they have more time.
I tried to come up with a clever rating system with grades or carrots instead of stars or something equally adorable. I found this instead:
Great book. Recommended, though not super highly if you want something more comprehensive or you already have access to tons of recipes and don’t need a sample meal plan. B+. 3 of 4 carrots/stars.