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First Year Read 2013-14: The Good Food Revolution

Growing healthy food, people, and communities . . .

2013 NAACP Image Awards nominee for autobiography/biography.

Goodreads Choice finalist for best food book of the year.


The Good Food Revolution is the story of Will Allen's personal journey, the lives he has touched, and a grassroots movement that is changing the way our nation eats. The son of a sharecropper, Allen had no intention of ever becoming a farmer. But after years in professional basketball and as an executive for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Procter & Gamble, he cashed in his retirement fund for a two-acre plot just outside Milwaukee's largest public housing project.

Despite financial challenges and daunting odds, Allen built an urban farm, a food and educational center that now produces enough produce and fish year-round to feed thousands. Employing young people from the community, Allen's organization, 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. Today Growing Power helps develop community food systems across the country.


"What Allen does with a small plot of land and a lot of determination is nothing short of inspiring... A moving story of one man's success in producing healthy food for those who need it most." --Kirkus Reviews

"Allen gives readers the personal, moving account of a man whose family became part of the last century's great migration of African Americans out of the South. Of a man who traded a successful life in the corporate world for the economic uncertainties of a small farmer... The Good Food Revolution is inspiring." -- Los Angeles Times

“From the plots of his Milwaukee urban farm to low-income communities across America, Will Allen has shown us a new type of heroism. Through The Good Food Revolution, Allen recounts his effort to reclaim his family’s heritage and, in doing so, confront lingering disparities in racial and economic justice. As the champion of a new and promising movement, Allen is skillfully leading Americans to face one of our greatest domestic issues – our health.” – Former President Bill Clinton

DU Common Read Goals:

Enhance the academic climate for first year students

Provide a common intellectual experience

Foster a sense of shared experience among DU students, faculty, staff, and external communities

Other Resources:

Calendar of Events:

-Thursday, Sep 5, 2013: Book Discussion at Caledonia Branch Library

-Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013: NorthWest Initiative at the Lansing Campus (A non profit organization working to solve food system issues in the Lansing area)

-Monday, Oct 14, 2013: Book Discussion at Kentwood Branch Library

-Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013: Book Discussion at the Lansing Campus

-Friday, Nov 1, 2013: Book Discussion at the Lettinga Campus

Books on This Topic from DU libraries:

Albritton, R. (2009). Let them eat junk : how capitalism creates hunger and obesity. New York: Pluto Press.

Bittman, M. (2010). Food matters : a guide to conscious eating with more than 75 recipes. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Carolan, M. (2011). The real cost of cheap food. New York: Earthscan.

Desrochers, P., & Shimizu, H. (2012). The locavore's dilemma : in praise of the 10,000-mile diet. New York: Public Affairs.

Gibney, M. (2012). Something to chew on : challenging controversies in food and health. Dublin: University College Dublin Press.

Hauter, W. (2012). Foodopoly : the battle over the future of food and farming in America. New York: New Press.

Hewitt, B. (2009). The town that food saved : how one community found vitality in local food. Emmaus, Pa: Rodale.

Keith, L. (2009). The vegetarian myth : food, justice and sustainability. Crescent City, Ca: Flashpoint Press.

Roberts, P. (2008). The end of food. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Robin, M. (2010). The world according to Monsanto : pollution, corruption, and the control of the world's food supply (G. Holoch, Trans.). New York: New Press : Distributed by Perseus Distribution.

Books On This Topic Available at Other, Non-DU Libraries:

Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace by Vandana Shiva (Jul 1, 2005)
Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All by Oran B. Hesterman (May 31, 2011)
Feeding the Planet: Environmental Protection through Sustainable Agriculture (The Sustainability Project) by Klaus Hahlbrock (Feb 1, 2010)
Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating by Jane Goodall, Gary McAvoy and Gail Hudson (Sep 14, 2006)
It's Only Slow Food Until You Try to Eat It: Misadventures of a Suburban Hunter-Gatherer by Bill Heavey (May 7, 2013)
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham (Apr 1, 2010)
Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems (Community Resilience Guides... by Philip Ackerman-Leist and Deborah Madison (Jan 31, 2013)
Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should Be Good, Clean, And Fair by Carlo Petrini, Clara Furlan, Jonathan Hunt and Alice Waters (May 8, 2007)
Subsistence Farming: A No-Fluff Guide To Feeding Your Family With Sustainable Crops And Animals by James Rockwell and Simple Self-Sufficiency (May 5, 2012)
Sustainable Agriculture: A Christian Ethic of Gratitude by Mark E. Graham (Jul 1, 2009)
Terra Madre: Forging a New Global Network of Sustainable Food Communities by Carlo Petrini and Alice Waters (Feb 22, 2010)
The Mustard Seed by David Tracey (Jul 1, 2012)
The Rules That Shape Urban Form by Donald L. Elliott, Matthew Goebel and Chad Meadows (Nov 16, 2012)
Urban Agriculture: Growing Healthy, Sustainable Communities by Kimberly Hodgson, Marcia Caton Campbell and Martin Bailkey (Apr 1, 2010)
Urban Agriculture: Ideas and Designs for the New Food Revolution by David Tracey (Apr 26, 2011)