Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Change the World: Support a New Kind of Capitalism

The way the U.S. economy works is not very down to earth. Indeed, this country was founded on the backs of slaves, but that doesn’t mean our future must be that of enslavement. The economy has been based on a top-down model that favors fat cats, but this does not mean it will be top-down forever. Woody Tasch, author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered, puts forth a different vision—a meta-economic vision—that looks above the top line and below the bottom line, a new way of seeing what is going on in the soil of the economy. So this 4th of July, let’s declare our freedom from our fixation on money, money, money, and seek a different route to feeling human.

From The Green Fork’s review of the book:

In fact, our fixation on making a killing, as opposed to making a living, is what’s brought our economy to the brink of collapse, as venture capitalist/eco-preneur Woody Tasch argues brilliantly in his new book. The title, Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered may be a mouthful, but it’s one I’d love to see on everyone’s lips, because this book gets right to the heart of everything that’s ailing our economy and corroding our culture.

Tasch’s book is, in part, about how bad business decisions keep us from having good food. But it’s not your (organic) garden variety indictment of industrial agriculture. Yes, his “Slow Money” concept borrows freely from Italy’s Slow Food movement—which famously began as a revolt against a McDonalds in Rome—and Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini wrote the forward to Tasch’s book. But Slow Money is not some kind of simplistic, anti-corporate, socialist rant.

Rather, Tasch offers a formula for a new kind of capitalism in which farmers’ markets and stock markets both flourish. Tasch’s economic agenda is founded on the heretical notion that we need to think about the long term consequences of how we invest our natural resources and our human capital, instead of dwelling on quarterly profits and worshipping the false gods of convenience and consumption.

If we weren’t so shortsighted, and so enamored of easy money, we’d be less vulnerable to scummy scammers like Bernie Madoff, the sleazy money lenders, and all the other charlatans who helped create this recession. We might learn to think of our housing as shelter, first and foremost, and long-term investment—not an asset to be flipped, or an ATM. We might also be more willing to confront the serious problems that plague our industrialized food system, as documented in Food, Inc.

Read the entire review here.


Recipe: How to Make the Perfect Pancake

When most people think pancakes, they think breakfast. But for Amy Halloran, breakfast is only the start. Halloran, author of The New Bread Basket, is a self-described pancake connoisseur. From a young age, she was entranced by the magic of bubbly batter rising to fluffy cakes on the griddle. Over time, her love of pancakes […] Read More..

Inside the Rise of the Local Grains Movement

Our daily bread. Breaking bread together. Bread and butter. These are all common phrases that reflect bread’s foundational role in our diet and in the building of our civilization. The stored energy of grain first allowed our ancestors to shift from nomadic hunting and gathering to building settled communities—even great cities. So why in an […] Read More..

The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..