BOOK CORNER: Author shares changing self  and the world through food

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By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

“Diet for a Small Planet,” by Frances Moore Lappe, is a groundbreaking book that was first released in 1971. In it, she shares her journey toward learning food choices and how food choices impact the world we live in.

“Diet for a Small Planet” revealed the power a people hold in creating health for themselves and the planet. Lappe’s favorite parts of her book are the storytelling sections. 

“In the 50th anniversary edition, I tell stories of women in India, for example, who moved from feeling disempowerment and hopelessness to take on great roles of leadership,” Lappe said.

She said she was encouraged by her friends to complete her book. 

“They said my message was so important that I should write a book about it,” said the author. “I didn’t think of myself as a writer, as I had made a “C” on my first English paper in college, but I knew my message was so important that I had to overcome my insecurities and go forth.”

In addition to stories, Lappe includes various recipes inside her book ranging from appetizers and soups to main courses and baked goods. The 50th anniversary edition features 85 updated plant-centered recipes.  

“Diet for a Small Planet” will appeal to a broad audience, including professionals focused on nutrition.

“I hope that everyone seeking greater power, meaning and connection in their lives will be drawn to this message,” Lappe said.

The book is intended to empower readers of all ages and encourage them to be courageous. 

“I want each of us to feel that every choice we make ripples out to change the whole; no one is utterly powerless…,” Lappe said. “I often say that the only choice we don’t have is whether to change the world because every choice we make ripples out in ways that we all never fully know.”

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lappe has written 19 other books on a range of topics, but the core message of each centers around empowerment and democracy as a living practice. For more information about the author and her work, visit 

“Diet for a Small Planet” is available for $18 at all major bookstores and is translated into Spanish, French and other languages.

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