Diet for a Small Planet is the1971 bestselling book by Frances Moore Lappé that first awakened readers to the waste and destruction built into a grain-fed, meat-centered eating. At the time, books such as The Population Bomb warned of scarcity; but Lappé showed that humans are creating the experience of scarcity for many even as we produce plenty of food per person. She argued that hunger is not therefore caused by a scarcity of food but a scarcity of power among those who go hungry—in other words, a scarcity of democracy. She made the case for plant-centered eating because it best for our bodies, the earth, animals, and for those who produce our food. She welcomed readers to see our everyday choices are a form of power to create health for ourselves and our planet. This extraordinary book has sold over three million copies worldwide in multiple languages. It features simple guidelines for a healthy diet and hundreds of meat-free recipes.
In the fall of 2021, world-renowned food expert Frances Moore Lappé will release a special 50th anniversary edition of the book in which she dives even deeper, showing us how plant-centered eating can help restore our damaged ecology, address the climate crisis, and move us toward real democracy. Its many recipes are spruced up for today’s palate and include special offerings from renowned chefs. Sharing her personal journey and how this revolutionary book shaped her own life, Lappé offers a fascinating philosophy on changing yourself—and the world—that can start with changing the way we eat.
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“Frances Moore Lappé’s book [Diet for a Small Planet] about high-protein meatless cooking really contains recipes for revolution.”
Boston Globe reporter
“I've always loved Diet for a Small Planet for being a revolutionary manifesto about ecology and food justice with recipes. I don't think it has a precedent in that. Thank you Frances Moore Lappé, for that and half a century of related vision and action.”
—Rebecca Solnit, author of
Men Explain Things to Me
and Hope in the Dark
"When Lappé wrote Diet for a Small Planet, she changed the lives of an entire generation. Long before anyone was talking about sustainability or climate change, Lappé was doing the math and showing us that the American way of eating was unsustainable. . . . Diet has influenced my food choices ever since then."
—Ruth Reichl, Food and Wine writer
and PBS host of Gourmet’s
Dairy of a Foodie
Diet for a Small Planet Editions
Original First Edition (1971)
A book with a unique point of view and with unique information…
why you must have protein, and how much
cost comparisons of non-meat protein
recipes, charts that demonstrate a whole new world of plant-centered protein eating.
“A plan for eating less meat (or none!) and actually improving our over-all nutrition… how to blend vegetarian foods to obtain protein that is far better in quality and quantity than most people get when they eat standard fare… it makes all other cooking obsolete.”
10th Anniversary Edition (1982)
Ten years and two million copies after its initial 1971 publication, the extraordinary book that taught America the social and personal significance of a new way of eating remained a powerful food guide well into the ‘80s. Sharing her personal evolution and how this groundbreaking book changed her own life, Frances Moore Lappé returned with a second, completely revamped version of Diet for a Small Planet for the 10th anniversary edition in 1982.
20th Anniversary Edition (1991)
Lappé returned with a 20-years-later version of her bestselling book in 1991. Expanding upon the rules for a healthy diet, guides to plant-based meals, and featuring a new introductory chapter “Diet for a Small Planet Twenty Years Later—An Extraordinary Time to Be Alive,” this edition launches Lappé’s original ideas for a food revolution into the changing mentalities, sustainable methods, and inspiring opportunities of the world as it approaches the dawn of the 21st Century.
Read Diet for a Small Planet Articles
Eric Adam's Story
"...as of fall 2021, NYC Democratic mayoral candidate, Eric Adams, the author of Healthy at Last, reached out to thank me for my work. He told me that he had been diabetic and losing sight in one eye. 'Then I switched to a whole-food, plant-based diet,' he said, 'and my sight soon returned to normal, and my diabetes was gone in three months.'
I choke up as I think of this one life transformed and its implications for so many of us. I also understand that it might sound too good to be true, but research confirms the possibility of such recovery."
—Frances Moore Lappé, DSP50th xxxi