FML Photo by Michael Piazza 12.16.2020.j

"A small number of people in every generation are forerunners, in thought, action, spirit, who swerve past the barriers of greed and power to hold a torch high for the rest of us. Lappé is one of those."

—Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States 

Teaching and Scholarly Positions


From 1984–1985 Frances was a visiting scholar at the Institute for the Study of Social Change, at the University of California, Berkeley.

From 2000–2001 Frances was a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In 2003, Frances taught with Dr. Vandana Shiva in Dehra Dun, India, about the roots of world hunger, sponsored by the Navdanya Research and Agricultural Demonstration Center.

In 2004, Frances taught a course on Living Democracy at Schumacher College in England.

In 2006 and 2008, Frances was a visiting professor at Suffolk University, Boston.

From 2013–2014, Frances was the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Fellow in Environmental Studies at Colby College in Maine.

Honorary Degrees


  1. Allegheny College, Pennsylvania

  2. Anna Maria College, Massachusetts

  3. California Lutheran University, California

  4. Earlham College, Indiana

  5. Grinnell College, Iowa

  6. Hamline University, Minnesota

  7. John F. Kennedy University, California

  8. Kenyon College, Ohio

  9. Lewis and Clark College, Oregon

  10. Macalester College, Minnesota

  11. Muhlenberg College, Pennsylvania

  12. New College, California

  13. Niagara University, New York

  14. Olivet College, Ohio

  15. Saint Mary’s College, Indiana

  16. Starr King School of Religious Leadership, California

  17. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Michigan

  18. Simmons College, Massachusetts

  19. University of San Francisco, California

Frances Moore Lappé is the author or co-author of 20 books about world hunger, living democracy, and the environment, beginning with the three-million copy Diet for a Small Planet in 1971, with a 50th-anniversary edition released in Fall 2021!   In Spring 2021, she released It's Not Too Late! Crisis, Opportunity, and the Power of Hope.  Frances was interviewed by The New York Times Magazine in an article titled, "Frances Moore Lappé changed how we eat.  She wants to do the same for our democracy."


In Fall 2017, she coauthored Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want with Adam Eichen. About Daring Democracy, Booklist (the American Library Association's book review magazine) writes,


“With specific plans of action and encouraging words of support, Lappé and Eichen extend concrete hope to those who feel politically helpless.” 

Other recent works include World Hunger: 10 Myths and EcoMind. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., describes Diet for a Small Planet as “one of the most influential political tracts of the times." In 2008, it was selected as one of 75 Books by Women Whose Words Have Changed the World, by members of the Women's National Book Association. Frances was also named by Gourmet Magazine as one of 25 people (including Thomas Jefferson, Upton Sinclair, and Julia Child) whose work has changed the way America eats. Her books have been translated into 15 languages and are used widely in university courses.


Frances makes frequent media appearances. Most notably she has been featured on the Today Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Fox News' Fox & Friends,, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's 'The National', Frost Over the World, NPR, and the BBC, among other news outlets.  Frances appears frequently as a public speaker and is a contributor to Medium and Common Dreams. She is also a contributing editor at Yes! Magazine and Solutions Journal. Articles featuring or written by Frances have also appeared in The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Harper's, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, People, Huffington Post,, and more.


In 2011, EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want won a silver award from the Independent Publishers Association. In 2008, Getting a Grip along with Diet for a Small Planet were designated as "must reads" for the next U.S. president (by Barbara Kingsolver and Michael Pollan, respectively) in The New York Times Sunday Review of Books. In 2007, Getting a Grip was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Seller and received the Nautilus Gold/ "Best in Small Press" award. Other recent books include Hope's Edge (written with Anna Lappé), and Democracy's Edge, and You Have the Power: Choosing Courage in a Culture of Fear


In 1987 Frances received the Right Livelihood Award (considered an "Alternative Nobel") "for revealing the political and economic causes of world hunger and how citizens can help to remedy them." Frances is also the recipient of 19 honorary doctorates from distinguished institutions, including The University of Michigan. In 1985, she was a visiting scholar at the Institute for the Study of Social Change, University of California, Berkeley and from 2000 to 2001, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2008 she received the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award for her lifelong impact on the way people all over the world think about food, nutrition, and agriculture.


Other notable awards include the International Studies Association's 2009 Outstanding Public Scholar Award, and in 2011, the Nonino Prize in Italy for her life's work. In 2007 Frances became a founding member of the World Future Council, based in Hamburg, Germany. Frances also serves on the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists, on the International Board of Advisors of Grassroots International and on the Value [the] Meal Advisory Board of Corporate Accountability International. She is also a member of the Sisters on the Planet network, part of Oxfam America.


Frances is the cofounder of three organizations, including Oakland based think tank Food First, and more recently, the Small Planet Institute, which she leads with her daughter, Anna Lappé. Frances and her daughter have also cofounded the Small Planet Fund, which channels resources to democratic social movements worldwide.  In the 1990s, she cofounded the American News Service covering bottom-up solutions arising across the country. Its stories were picked up by half the nation’s largest one hundred newspapers.


Frances joined the Tellus Institute as an Associate Fellow in 2020.


In 2006 Frances was chosen as a founding councilor of the 50-member, Hamburg-based World Future Council.

Frances is also on the board of David Korten’s People-Centered Development Forum and serves on the advisory boards of the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Chez Panisse Foundation, and Earth Corps.

In 2011, Frances joined the advisory board of the television series, Kiss the Cook and the Farmer Too. The 13-part series illustrates that

"We are what we eat and the ways in which we produce, prepare, and consume food not only affect our personal health and well being but also the health of our environment and our communities."

In 2013, Frances was invited by the King of Bhutan to serve on the International Working Group for a New Development Paradigm. She contributed to Bhutan’s Happiness: Towards a New Development Paradigm, submitted to the UN in December of 2013 laying out a pathway to a sustainable development paradigm to ensure planetary wellbeing.

"Some of the twentieth century’s most vibrant activist thinkers have been American women—Margaret Mead, Jeanette Rankin, Barbara Ward, Dorothy Day—who took it upon themselves to pump life into basic truths. Frances Moore Lappé is among them."

—Colman McCarthy, columnist 

   The Washington Post


Women Greening Food, Audubon Society, 2014.

2013 Humanist of the Year, Boston Ethical Society, 2013.

Feisty Woman Award, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, 2013.

Friend of the Earth, Salem State University, 2013.

Independent Publisher Book Awards/Silver Medal, for EcoMind, 2012.

Nonino Rist D’Aur Prize, for her life's work, Italy 2011.

Outstanding Public Scholar Award, International Political Economy section of the International Studies Association, 2009.

Open Center Award, New York Open Center for “shaping a new understanding of the interrelationships among local food, agricultural sustainability, and living democracy,” 2008.

Nautilus Gold/Best in Small Press, for Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity and Courage in a World Gone Mad, 2008.

James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award, 2008.

Lifetime Service Award to Increase Planetary Awareness, AltWheels Alternative Transportation Festival, 2006 (along with biologist and author, E.O. Wilson).

Rachel Carson Environmental Achievement Award, The National Nutritional Foods Association, 2003.

Nautilus Award/Best in Social Change, for Hope’s Edge, 2003.

Nutrition Hall of Fame, Natural Health Magazine, 2000.

The Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel, 1987.

The Harry Chapin Media Award (formerly the World Hunger Media Award), 1982.


Watch more videos of Frances here!