Monday, April 4, 2011

Small Planet Institute

Were you able to see Anna Lappé speak yesterday in Westport?  Even if you missed out, read on!

What is the Small Planet Institute? Let’s take a step back first.  It all began in 1971 when Frances Moore Lappé wrote Diet for a Small Planet, a now bestseller with over 3 million sold.  It was the first book to expose the problems with grain-fed meat production in the United States.  Frances argued, rightfully so, that world hunger is not a problem of a lack of food, but rather ineffective “food democracy”.
 Since then, Frances has authored almost 20 books.  She was honored by the James Beard Foundation in 2008 as the Humanitarian as the Year.  And with her daughter, Anna Lappé (author of Diet for a Hot Planet), they are making great strides on global food justice issues.
One important way is through the Small Planet Institute, which they co-founded almost ten years ago.  Their mission is to “identify the core, often unspoken, assumptions and forces — economic, political, and psychological — now taking our planet in a direction that as individuals none of us would choose. We disseminate this deeper understanding of root causes.”
The Small Planet Institute has some great resources for anyone interested in global food justice issues.  One of these resources is a Surprising Facts page, which includes the following: “In three decades agricultural output per person has climbed by one fifth worldwide, but in just the last three years over 100 million more people suffer from hunger—reaching a total of nearly a billion.”
For more information, please visit

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