An engaged Alaskan democracy

Food Systems


Alaska Common Ground Food Systems Webinar Presentation Slides


Podcasts and Films

  • On the Land Media podcast. Voices of Indigenous People in this time of political and climate insecurity.
    • Kotre’lenayh: When Grandmother Speaks; a visit with Naomi Michalsen.
    • SuperSápmi -they discuss fishing rights and the impacts of climate change on northern fisheries in the Arctic.
  • How to Save A Planet – Podcast asking what do we need to do to solve the climate crisis, and how do we get it done? 
  • The Drawdown Agenda – podcast series exploring the research behind the book Drawdown
    • Marine Permaculture – We can regenerate the oceans by creating the planet’s most productive ecosystem; the kelp forest.
  • Down to Earth: The Planet to Plate Podcast: Farmers, ranchers, scientists, land managers, writers, and many others on a mission to create a world in which the food we eat is healthy.
  • Eat for the Planet with Nil Zacharias: Conversations with food industry leaders, health and sustainability experts, as well as entrepreneurs and creative minds who are redefining the future of food.
  • Farms. Food. Future looks at the big issues facing farmers in the developing world and what needs to be done to wipe out global hunger while dealing with the climate crisis.
  • Farm to Table Talk: Is it best that our food is Local and Organic or Big and Conventional? Our view is “Both, and..” We don’t come to the table with a bias, except that good farming like good food comes in all shapes and sizes.
  • Food Systems – FFA: Interviews of politicians, civil society representatives, thought leaders, scientists, activists, farmers, business leaders and many others. Ideas and action on how we can deliver a safe, plentiful, and above all sustainable food system that works for everyone.
  • Out Here Season 2: Alaska and agriculture have more in common than you might think. On this season, we meet Alaska farmers using all the persistence and optimism they can muster to get growing operations off the ground.
  • The Sustainable Food Trust Podcast: This podcast questions current food production methods and sheds light on the future of farming.
  • Target Zero Hunger is a podcast that delves into the core issues of the UN Sustainable Develop Goals from eradicating poverty and hunger, to mitigating and adapting to climate change, rethinking food and agriculture production.
  • The Urban Farm: The Urban Farm is your go-to resource for online food-growing education. Through our courses, classes, and podcasts, we can help you gain the understanding, the confidence, and the inspiration to grow your own food.
  • What Doesn’t Kill You: Food Industry Insights endeavors to identify and explain some of the key issues in our food system through interviews with journalists, authors, scientists, activists, and industry experts. 

Resources available from Anchorage Public Library


Eat for the Planet: Saving the World, One Bite at a Time by Nil Zacharias and Gene Stone. Do you consider yourself an environmental ally? Maybe you recycle your household goods, ride a bike, and avoid too much air travel. But did you know that the primary driver of climate change isn’t plastics, or cars, or airplanes? Did you know that it’s our industrialized food system? By making even minimal dietary changes, anyone can have a positive, lasting impact on our planet.

American Advertising Cookbooks: How Corporations Taught Us to Love Spam, Bananas, and Jell-o by Christina Ward. Connecting cultural, social, and geopolitical aspects, Christina Ward (Preservation: The Art & Science of Canning , Fermentation, and Dehydration, Process 2017) uses her expertise to tell the fascinating and often infuriating story of American culinary culture.

Animal, Vegetable, Junk by Mark Bittman. A panoramic view of how the frenzy for food has driven human history to some of its most catastrophic moments, from slavery and colonialism to famine and genocide—and to our current moment, wherein Big Food exacerbates climate change, plunders our planet, and sickens its people.

The Community Food Forest Handbook: How to Plan, Organize, and Nurture Edible Gathering Places by Catherine Bukowski and John Munsell. Along with community gardens and farmers markets, community food forests are an avenue toward creating access to nutritious food and promoting environmental sustainability where we live. 

Do-It-Yourself Projects to Get You Off the Grid: Rain Barrels, Chicken Coops, Solar Panels, and More edited by Noah Weinstein. Instructables is back with this inspiring book focused on a series of projects designed to get you thinking creatively about going green. Twenty Instructable illustrate just how simple it can be to make your own backyard chicken coop or turn a wine barrel into a rainwater collector. 

Eating for Pleasure, People, & Planet: Plant Rich, Zero Waste, Climate Cuisine by Tom Hunt. Cooking and eating more consciously every day to help fight food waste and climate change Tom Hunt is on a mission to have us all sourcing, cooking, and eating more consciously every day to help fight food waste and climate change. 

The Essential Book of Homesteading: The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Living by Ashley English. Whether it’s turning a lawn into a vegetable garden, getting a flock of chickens, or transforming cucumbers into pickles, people everywhere are taking charge of their own food supply. Ashley English, a major figure in the return to homesteading, gives newcomers her time-honored tips for successfully overseeing food production in their own homes.

Farm the City: A Toolkit for Setting Up a Successful Urban Farm by Michael Ableman. Farm the City is an introduction to the principles, methods, and realities of starting an urban farm. Covers navigating regulations and finding land, to crop planning, fundraising, marketing, and more.

Food Fix: How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities, and Our Planet – One Bite at a Time by Mark Hyman. Pairing the latest developments in nutritional and environmental science with an unflinching look at the dark realities of the global food system and the policies that make it possible.

Food and Poverty: Food Insecurity and Food Sovereignty Among America’s Poor edited by Leslie H. Hossfeld, E. Brooke Kelly, and Julia. F. Waity. Food insecurity rates, which skyrocketed with the Great Recession, have yet to fall to pre-recession levels. The poor face a daily choice between paying bills and paying for food.

Getting What We Need Ourselves: How Food has Shaped African American Life by Jennifer Jensen Wallach. In her latest culinary history, Wallach focuses on African Americans, from exchanges with Native Americans and Europeans prior to and during the transatlantic slave trade through Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the civil rights era, and the Obama White House. 

The Grand Food Bargain and the Mindless Drive for More by Kevin D. Walker. Americans enjoy some of the cheapest, most convenient food on the planet. But like most bargains that are too good to be true, the modern food system is a fraud. Through stories from around the globe, Kevin Walker reveals the true costs of our grand food bargain. 

Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat by Jonathan Kauffman. Food writer Jonathan Kauffman journeys back more than half a century—to the 1960s and 1970s—to tell the story of how a coterie of unusual men and women embraced an alternative lifestyle that would ultimately change how modern Americans eat. 

Growing Good Food: A Citizen’s Guide to Backyard Carbon Farming by Acadia Tucker. This is a handbook for growing a Climate Victory Garden when the enemy is global warming. Acadia Tucker, a carbon farmer and gardener, invites us to think of gardening as civic action. By building carbon-rich soil, even in a backyard-sized patch, we can capture greenhouse gases and mitigate climate change, all while growing nutritious food.

Letters to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming, and Our Future by Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. Letters to a Young Farmer is for everyone who appreciates good food grown with respect for the earth, people, animals, and community. Three dozen writers, farmers, chefs, activists, and visionaries address the highs and lows of farming life, as well as larger questions of how our food is produced and consumed, in vivid and personal detail.

A Matter of Taste: A Farmers’ Market Devotee’s Semi-Reluctant Argument for Inviting Scientific Innovation to the Dinner Table by Rebecca Tucker. Tucker argues that arriving at that future will require a broad cognitive shift away from the idea that farmer’s markets, community gardens, and organic food production is the only sustainable way forward; more than that, it will require the commitment of research firms, governments, corporations, and postsecondary institutions to develop and implement agri-science innovations that do more than improve the bottom line. A Matter of Taste asks us to rethink what good food really is.

Protest Kitchen: Fight Injustice, Save the Planet, and Fuel Your Resistance One Meal at a Time by Carol J. Adams and Virginia Messina. Protest Kitchen is an empowering guide to the food and lifestyle choices anyone can make for positive change in the face of the profound challenges of our time. Our food choices have much more of an impact than most people imagine. They not only affect our personal health and the environment, but are also tied to issues of justice, misogyny, national security, and human rights.

A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression by Jane Ziegelman and Andrew Coe. Before 1929, America’s relationship with food was defined by abundance. But the collapse of the economy left a quarter of all Americans out of work and undernourished. In 1933, for the first time in American history, the federal government assumed some of the responsibility for feeding its citizens. ‘Home economists’ brought science into the kitchen and imposed their vision of a sturdy, utilitarian cuisine on the American dinner table. Ziegelman and Coe provide an in-depth exploration of the greatest food crisis the nation has ever faced and how it transformed America’s culinary culture.

Start Your Farm: The Authoritative Guide to Becoming a Sustainable 21st-Century Farmer by Forrest Pritchard & Ellen Polishuk. Do you dream of starting your own farm but wonder where to begin? Or do you already have a farm but wish to become more sustainable to compete in today’s market? Start Your Farm, the first comprehensive business guide of its kind, covers these essential questions and more. 

Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal by Abigail Carrol. Our eating habits reveal as much about our society as the food on our plates, and our national identity is written in the eating schedules we follow and the customs we observe at the table and on the go. In this book the author, a food historian upends the popular understanding of our most cherished mealtime traditions, revealing that our eating habits have never been stable, far from it, in fact. 

We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer. Our planet is warming because of human activity. Foer believes the task of saving the planet will involve a great reckoning with ourselves– with our all-too-human reluctance to sacrifice immediate comfort for the sake of the future. We have, he reveals, turned our planet into a farm for growing animal products, and the consequences are catastrophic. Saving our home and way of life starts with what we eat– and don’t eat– for breakfast.

Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism, and the Fight to Feed the World by Trina Moyles. Beautifully written with spectacular photos, it examines gender roles, access to land, domestic violence, maternal health, political and economic marginalization, and a rapidly changing climate. It also shows the power of collective action. With women from Guatemala, Nicaragua, the United States, Canada, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, and Cuba included, this book explores the ways women are responding, both individually and collectively, to the barriers they face in providing the world a healthy diet.


The Biggest Little Farm – John Chester chronicles the eight-year quest he and Molly Chester went on when they traded city living for 200 acres of barren farmland in the foothills of Ventura County and a dream to harvest in harmony with nature. 

Journey to Planet Earth – The programs in the Journey to Planet Earth series explore the fragile relationship between people and the world they inhabit. Topics covered in the series include the loss of farmland to urban development, the pollution of the Earth’s rivers, and inadequate housing and water resources for those living in the world’s mega-cities.

Sustainable – There is no hiding from the facts, rising temperatures, drought, soil loss, chemicals in our food, antibiotic resistance, declining bee populations, obesity, diabetes, shorter life expectancy, America needs help. Sustainable reveals the crisis facing America’s food system, and the community of leaders who are determined to fix it.