Eat Less Water
Florencia Ramirez, Red Hen Press (NOVEMBER) Softcover $17.95 (264pp), 978-1-59709-039-1
Florencia Ramirez is a longtime water activist and educator with a profound appreciation for food and food production. In a quest to understand how farming can be less water-intensive, she interviewed a series of organic farmers and learned trade secrets, garnered recipes, and made friends along the way. Eat Less Water is the result; it is a book that will be of particular interest to consumers of organic food.
Though the book ranges afield to farms across the United States, much of it rests in California. Not only is it the author’s home state—no small role, in a book this personal—but California’s ongoing water crisis functions as a preview of other climate-change-induced water shortages.
This gives the book strong potential local interest, and California gardeners and farmers may find the production tips and aquifer concerns discussed here to be locally relevant. Personalitywise, the book is extremely engaging, including tidbits about Mexican food culture, pieces of the author’s family life, organic low-water recipes, and repeated calls to action for consumers.
Though its stated focus is on water, the book often migrates from its theme, so much so that it talks almost as much about organic farming practices in general as it does about water usage. Though this gives the book a bit of a mixed theme, it remains a charming work that gets its point across beautifully.
Expect a broad audience for this book, which would not be out of place on a shelf at an organic grocery. Conscious eaters will appreciate its primer on water-sensitive food purchasing, as well as its innovative recipes, and farmers eyeing their own shrinking aquifers may find it an interesting introduction to a different way of growing food.