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Weekend Reads

The 50th-anniversary edition of Diet for a Small Planet is hot off the press this week and author Frances Moore Lappé joined me on Inside Ideas to talk about the new and updated version of her book.

“Hunger is not caused by a scarcity of food, it’s caused by a scarcity of democracy,” she told me.

The book addresses this with new features on how plant-based eating can move the world towards real democracy, restore ecology, and address the climate crisis.

“The sense of urgency and the more rich and various reasons why – for health reasons, ecological reasons, economic reasons, and climate reasons that a plant-centred diet is one way to make a significant dent in this is because our food system contributes 37% of greenhouse gas emissions and among those is methane from cows – which packs a particularly strong climate punch so there is extra gain by limiting beef consumption.”

The new edition of this seminal book on the future of food is all about acceleration, and the how of harnessing the element of fear that often leads to inaction.

“We can reframe fear as pure energy, which we can either use to run in the wrong direction or to break through. This is a time when our fear energy has to be put to good use, not into fear for fear’s sake and making people feel trapped, but we need to use fear as energy to get us out of our comfort zones into doing that which we thought we could not do.”

Catch up with the full podcast for more from the pages of Diet for a Small Planet.

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Local is our Future: Steps to an Economics of Happiness

Described by author David Korten as a ‘must-read book for our time’, Helena Norberg-Hodge’s book Local is Our Future: Steps to an Economics of Happiness, shows how a systemic economic shift from global to local can address the world’s social, economic, ecological and spiritual crises.

On Inside Ideas this week Helena asked a simple question: ‘are we really saying that we want to have a handful of men owning the entire world?’

“At the moment the top-down corporate structure has almost infinite amounts of money, with which to put out a dominant narrative, and that narrative has always been to tell us that it’s good for us to keep moving away from nature, to keep handing over power, to centralise institutions, to move into bigger and bigger urban centres where we are completely removed from the land, from the resources and have almost no power over our lives, and are dependent on these centralised institutions.”

The leading authors of this narrative, Helena says, have reshaped reality to suit the interests of elites.

“There’s been a few hundred years of a trajectory of change where a few elites, starting in Europe, dominated the rest of the world and then used technology to subjugate both nature and people – and it’s a minority group of people.”

She added: “We have been told that human beings, the minute we started farming everything went wrong. No, it was when the top-down structures and essentially a globalised system started shaping agriculture, using force – slavery, genocide, and forcing people away from producing a range of things for their needs in their own region, to producing monocultures for export.”

In Local is our Future, Helena sets out the policy changes and actions that can shift the world towards the local and reacquaint people with the reality that everyone has skin in this beautiful game of life.

Catch up with the full podcast for more from the pages of Local is our Future.

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Written By

Marc is Editor-at-Large for Innovators Magazine and host of INSIDE IDEAS, his OnePoint5Media video podcast show. Marc is an official UN SDG Advocate, member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network, Resilient Futurist, and award-winning Global Food Reformist.

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