Kathy Brozek’s new book, The Transformation of American Agriculture, might just turn out to be the “carry-around bible” for social entrepreneurs working in food systems. While my bookshelf is loaded down with an exotic and meaningful array of food books, the movement is evolving; alternative food systems are maturing and the tools we all need to better navigate these changes are scarce. For newcomers to food, Brozek’s book provides macro-historical context. For old hands (no longer able to quickly recite the plethora of facts, figures, and case studies), this book will likely be an often-tapped resource with important pages earmarked for reference. Brozek’s background in Fortune 100 finance, marketing, and communications serves her well. Her writing is easy to read, clear, emotionally restrained, and well documented. For those in philanthropy making investments in food, consider this a useful, detached guide to scan this new universe of food as wealth-creating work. For Slow Food members in the USA, this helps to put our place at the table within an historical context. For students in this forming academic field—be it business school, public health, or sociology—Brozek’s The Transformation of American Agriculture may become your new best friend.
Executive Director, Slow Food USA
R. Paul Herman
CEO, Founder & Chief Investment Officer, HIP Investor Inc.
The Transformation of American Agriculture does two things superbly, two things many books do well, but rarely in the same volume: it sounds an alarm, in this case about the negative effects of giant agribusiness, and it then chronicles the many hopeful responses, you might say antidotes, to these toxic effects. Author Kathy Brozek writes with great lucidity and economy. Kathy exposes the vast, shadowy agribusiness world to the light of investigation, and also introduces the Slow Food movement, explains alternative investment strategies, and gives examples of creative entrepreneurship in sustainable agriculture. The Transformation of American Agriculture is a book for those actively involved in any aspect of the environmental movement, but perhaps even more for the majority of us who are just waking up to a world changed by human consumerism and materialism and who wish for a sensible guide to not only what has happened but how to move forward with a positive spirit and practical strategies.
The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus
Episcopal Bishop of California
President & CEO, RSF Social Finance
Chairman & CEO, TriLinc Global