Author Bill Tara provides a powerful blueprint for a lifestyle that supports healing Mother Earth in this 312-page book from Square One Publishers (www.squareonepublishers.com). As a long-time health counselor/teacher/author/entrepreneur who has created health centers in Europe and North America, Tara has knowledge and experience that he demonstrates in his no-nonsense, practical guide for anyone concerned about personal as well as planetary health.
Here are titles of some of the chapters in the book that I hope will entice you to read it, and inspire you to look more closely at the link between how and what we eat and the impact that our eating behavior has on the health and survival of the planet. Look at these chapter topics: “The Healing Kitchen,” “Ancient Wisdom,” “Diet and Human Ecology,” “Collateral Damage,” and “Creating a Food Ethic.” With the climate crisis chomping at our heels, this book could not have come at a better time for me to read and to digest.
In the chapter titled “Diet and Human Ecology,” he writes about Naomi Klein, author of several books—but in this case, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal, is the book by Klein that links best Tara’s philosophy. After offering a quote from Klein (“What the climate needs to avoid collapse is a contraction in humanity’s use of resources . . .”), Tara goes on to extrapolate that “we are literally eating the planet and gorging on its resources, many of which are not renewable. It is a fatal feast.” [I put the last sentence in bold for emphasis.]
In Chapter 13, the author lists the basic foods in what he calls the “Human Ecology Diet,” recommending that we buy and use organic, seasonal and local products when possible—and that we choose non-gluten products, if necessary. The list of foods is: Whole cereal grains, beans or tempeh (made from soy beans), cooked vegetables, raw vegetables or sprouts, fermented miso or soy soup stock, fermented bread or noodles, sea vegetables, seeds and nuts, seasonal fruit, water. (This can be modified for special diets, if necessary, but keep it plant-based. Author Tara follows a macrobiotic diet, which is a philosophy as well as a food plan.)
Because Bill Tara has been active in the food industry for many years, he is able to go back to when macrobiotics first became known in the US in the early 1950s — and which has, like most well-rounded diets, a philosophy attached to it that you think may sound familiar, such as eliminating highly processed foods and refined flour products; eating seasonally; and eating a diverse diet of the above-mentioned foods.
What impressed me most about this book, in addition to the wealth of nutritional and ecological information, is Bill Tara’s passion for healing the planet with whole foods. His knowledge is broad, his attitude positively contagious, and his warnings chilling. With almost 20 pages of References, Tara has done his homework. More importantly, he has presented this information in a common sense, practical way that makes the relationship between climate changes and our diet plausible—and the solution, doable.
The book’s Conclusion is also powerful. Here are a few quotes from it, which I hope will inspire you to read and adapt as many of the book’s suggestions as possible:
“Only a transformation of the heart and mind can transform this impending tragedy—the threat to the planet because of humankind’s need to dominate the landscape at all costs —into the greatest revolution in human cultural history. It is up to us.”
“Changing our food choices is an act of Deep Ecology.”
“One of the clear lessons we can learn from our present dilemma is that nutrition, health, ecological concerns, and compassion for non-human life are all intimately linked.”
And finally, the last sentence in the book: “After all, if we don’t take care of our body and the planet, where are we going to live?”
How to Eat Right & Save the Planet costs $16.95 and is available as a paperback book, published by SQUARE ONE PUBLISHERS: http://squareonepublishers.com/Title/9780757004865.