Employing young people from the neighboring housing project and community, Growing Power shows how local food systems can help troubled youths, dismantle racism, create jobs, bring urban and rural communities closer together, and improve public health. An eco-classic in the making, The Good Food Revolution is the story of Will’s personal journey, the lives he has touched, and a grassroots movement that is changing the way our nation eats.
A pioneering urban farmer and MacArthur "Genius Award" winner points the way to building a new food system that can feed-and heal-broken communities.
The son of a sharecropper, Will Allen had no intention of ever becoming a farmer himself. But after years in professional basketball and as an executive for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Procter & Gamble, Allen cashed in his retirement fund for a two-acre plot a half mile away from Milwaukee's largest public housing project. The area was a food desert with only convenience stores and fast-food restaurants to serve the needs of local residents.
In the face of financial challenges and daunting odds, Allen built the country's preeminent urban farm-a food and educational center that now produces enough vegetables and fish year-round to feed thousands of people. Employing young people from the neighboring housing project and community, Growing Power has sought to prove that local food systems can help troubled youths, dismantle racism, create jobs, bring urban and rural communities closer together, and improve public health. Today, Allen's organization helps develop community food systems across the country.
An eco-classic in the making, The Good Food Revolution is the story of Will's personal journey, the lives he has touched, and a grassroots movement that is changing the way our nation eats.
Will Allen is an organic farming visionary. A true activist, entrepreneur and expert, he understands the complexities of farming firsthand and the impact that commercialization has had. In the early 19th century, as the American population grew rapidly, demands on crop output increased. Seeing an opportunity to play upon fears from market demand, chemical companies declared war on the vile, profit-sucking, output-wrecking, archnemesis of the average American farmer: bugs. With precision, pesticide manufacturers delivered a "shock and awe" media campaign that can only be compared to the current blitzkrieg from today's pharmaceutical companies. Bugs were the threat to the American dream - and there was a cure available to every farmer available in spray, granule, dust or systemic form that could be applied to your crops. Will Allen's War on Bugs reveals how advertisers, editors, scientists, large-scale farmers, government agencies and even Dr. Seuss colluded to convince farmers to use deadly chemicals, hormones and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to pad their wallets and control the American farm enterprise. Utilizing dozens of original advertisements and promotions to illustrate the story, Allen details how consumers and activists have struggled against toxic food. Echoing the warnings of seminal works on the topic such as The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, 100,000,000 Guinea Pigs by Arthur Kallet and F.J. Schlink, and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, The War on Bugs shouts that the time to stop poisoning our food, water, air and ourselves is now!