Eat Less Wa­ter

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews Climate Change -

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.

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