Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat (video)

For sustainable food activist Temra Costa, women rarely get their proper due in agriculture. As Costa notes in the introduction in her book, Farmer Jane: Woman Changing the Way We Eat:

“They are our heroes of today through their everyday acts of living, by becoming the fastest growing number of diversified farmers in the country, controlling the majority of household spending, dominating nonprofits dedicated to shifting the balance from conventional to sustainable foods, and through the creation of menus and businesses that reflect their socio-environmental values”.

And so, her book shines light on woman farmers, sustainable food activists, and other women whose important efforts helped shape our modern food system.

Farmer Jane Images

Profiled in Farmer Jane: (from top left) Anna Lappé, Claire Hope Cummings, Marion Kalb, and Severine Von Tscharner Fleming

The 30 women whose stories are profiled in this book, though their individual stories and backgrounds vary, share a common vision for what constitutes a sustainable food system. That our food should be largely fresh, nutritious, and taste delicious; that it be grown and distributed in ways that strengthen the economies of local communities; affords farm workers proper living wages; and works in harmony with nature, in stark contrast to the dominant industrial agriculture model that currently prevails.

Temra Costa is not timid about expressing her views on the failures and shortcomings of the industrial food system, but she is also careful to note that she is respectful of all farmers, and their efforts to do good—it’s the system itself that Costa feels needs change.

As Costa explains,

“…we have become disconnected from the very people and the land that we are dependent on to provide our very sustenance. We have lost sight of the fact that the fertility of the soil determines our vitality. But this, too, is starting to change”.

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