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Diet for a Hot Planet: The climate crisis at the end of your fork and what you can do about it

By Anna Blythe Lappé 

From best-selling authors Frances Moore Lappé and
Joseph Collins comes the 21st century’s definitive book on world hunger.

In 1971, Frances Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet sparked a revolution in how we think about hunger, alerting millions to the hidden environmental and social impacts of our food choices. Now, nearly four decades later, her daughter, Anna Lappé, picks up the conversation. In her new book, the younger Lappé exposes another hidden cost of our food system: the climate crisis.

While you may not think “global warming” when you sit down to dinner, our tangled web of global food—from Pop-Tarts packaged in Tennessee and eaten in Texas to pork chops raised in Poland, with feed from Brazil, then shipped to South Korea—is connected to as much as one third of total greenhouse-gas emissions. Livestock alone is associated with more emissions than all of the world’s transportation combined. Move over, Hummer. Say hello to the hamburger.

If we’re serious about the climate crisis, says Lappé, we have to talk about food.

In this groundbreaking book, Lappé exposes the interests resisting this conversation and the spin tactics companies are employing to deflect the heat. With seven principles for a climate-friendly diet and success stories from sustainable food advocates around the globe, she offers a vision of a food system that can be part of healing the planet. An engaging call to action, Diet for a Hot Planet delivers a hopeful message during troubling times.

ISBN 1596916591

Table of Contents

Foreword by Bill McKibben
Introduction: Why This Book?

Chapter 1: The Climate Crisis at the End of Our Fork
Chapter 2: The Shape of Things to Come

Chapter 3: Blinded by the Bite
Chapter 4: Playing with Our Food
Chapter 5: Capitalizing on Climate Change

Chapter 6: Regeneration Nation
Chapter 7: Myth-Informed: Responding to the Critics
Chapter 8: The Hunger Scare
Chapter 9: Busting the Biotech Promise

Chapter 10: Eat the Sky: Seven Principles of a Climate-Friendly Diet
Chapter 11: Beyond the Fork


Use Your Words: A Glossary and Re-Glossary Acknowledgments Resources


Anna Lappé’s message is timely and empowering. Instead of waiting for politicians to do the right thing, we can make simple changes to our diet, enjoy it, and help change the world."

—Eric Schlosser, Author of Fast Food Nation

Nothing is more important than connecting the way we eat to global warming. After all, food is an everyday need for everyone. Anna Lappé shows us that eating with intention is our responsibility and our pleasure."

—Alice Waters, Chef, Author, and the Proprietor of Chez Panisse

Anna Lappé’s Diet for a Hot Planet does for the present generation what her mother’s Diet for a Small Planet did for the last: empower us to think in a new way about how food affects our own health as well as that of the planet. Her inspiring book makes it clear that food choices matter to climate change and that each of us, voting with our forks, can make a real difference in ensuring a more sustainable food system. I want all my students to read this powerful book."

—Marion Nestle, Author of Food Politics

In this tour-de-force, Anna Lappé provides readable, lively, and much-needed answers to question that all too few of us understand: how does our food affect the planet?"

—Raj Patel, Author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System

Diet for a Hot Planet should revolutionize our debate – and our diet – just as much as Diet for a Small Planet did back in 1971."

—Jill Richardson, Founder of, Author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System is Broken and What We Can Do To Fix It

[This book] is a wake-up call to happy, complacent eaters, not unlike Rachel Carson's iconic Silent Spring. Lappé shows how modern agriculture contributes to global warming and how we can and should work to adapt it but also eat around it. Like her mother, food activist and writer Frances Moore Lappé, Anna Lappé's scope is global. This is not a book about where to get the best goat cheese. It's about how to keep people around the world from starving while we in the Western world die of diabetes."

—Los Angeles Times

Diet for a Hot Planet exposes the myths of industrial agriculture and focuses attention on the greenhouse gas emissions embedded in our current food system. It should be required reading for all environmental activists looking for practical steps to address climate change by reforming food production, processing, and distribution."

—Nevin Cohen, Assistant Professor, The New School

This book has the power to lift us out of our despair and propel us toward a sustainable future. With the dexterity of a true story-teller, Anna Lappé clearly outlines the complexity in the connections between our food system, our health, and the health of our planet."

—Ana Joanesl, Director, FRESH

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