There are certain books that come across my desk that give me a bittersweet feeling: they are so well-conceived and so beautifully crafted, and so relevant to the way I try to live my own life that I wish I had written it myself.
This is the case witih Anny Lappé and Bryant Terry's new book, Grub: Ideas for An Urban Organic Kitchen.
From Ms. Lappé's though-provoking essays on topics like how our perceptions of the safety of our food govern our eating habits to workable suggestions on how to change our current food system, the book leaves the reader feeling hopeful, and not browbeaten.
It's nice when a book like this includes recipes; not so that it may be considered a cookbook, but so that the reader can see that the message comes full circle. That the food argument isn't just an argument, it's a way of living. Thus, the book is peppered with seasonal recipes (Roasted Yam Puree with Coconut Milk, Fish Tacos with Cherry Tomato-Rosemary Salsa and Spicy All-Green Guacamole, Chocolate-Pecan Pudding Pie with Nut Crust are examples of the book's recipe style) and menus like the Straight-Edge Punk Brunch Buffet that include sometimes-humorous music suggestions.
Grub is a must-have for anyone trying to make a difference in the world with how they cook and eat. If you are a believer, like I am, that it is at all possible to change the world through food, you may even wish you'd written it yourself. However, the authors do such a great job of conveying both the facts and the spirit of their message, you might also be pretty happy to have read their version.