Jane Goodall’s Harvest for Hope

In recent years, Jane Goodall has written a lot about hope. Best known for the time she spent observing the relationships of the chimpanzees in the forests of Africa, Goodall has written three books since 1999 offering reasons for hope.

I recently finished her 2005 book, Harvest for Hope, a Guide to Mindful Eating. In the 19 chapter, 286 page book, Goodall offers her critique of how modern man has lost his way when it comes to food. She takes issue with the loss of commonsense farming, animal factories and ravaging the ocean.  She is critical of modern society’s obesity, fast food and waste.  She warns about coming battles over water.

Goodall, a vegetarian, discusses the benefits of eating local and eating seasonal. She calls for protection of family farms. She urges us to do a better job feeding our children healthy, nutritious food.

Like others, Goodall says better health and nutrition will be a result of the decisions made by individuals. She says the world will be changed one purchase, one meal, one bite at a time.

The book is readable with chapters broken into short segments and highlighted with sidebar articles. Many chapters end with advice for actions that can be taken to bring about change.

For example, in Chapter 11, Taking Back Our Food, Goodall has four sections outlining what she identifies as sensible farming, noting the difference between deep and shallow organic foods and the value in spending more for some organic items.

She writes: The real cost of industrial farming never shows up on the price sticker at the grocery store. The price never shows the money taxpayers pay for government subsidizing of agribusiness. The grocery store price also doesn’t reflect how much we pay for our damaged health and weakened immune systems. It’s almost impossible to measure how much we spend trying to clean up and cope with the environmental damage caused by chemical intensive farming….We just cannot afford this ‘cheap food’ much longer.

In her What You Can Do segment for this chapter, Goodall discuses the importance of calling for organic certification, warns against buying foods grown with pesticides and other chemicals, lists must-have organics and discusses the benefits of providing children organic food.

If you are concerned about what you eat, Goodall offers this guide to help navigate major issues and offers her take on steps you can take that will provide hope for an improved harvest for tomorrow.

In recent months, you may have seen or read about Goodall touting her latest book, Hope for Animals and their World.

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