‘Diet for a Small Planet’ helped spark a food revolution. 50 years later, it’s evolving.
At its heart, “Diet for a Small Planet” holds that universal access to a healthy and sustainable diet provides a global springboard to a better environment, functional democracies, stronger economies and increased social justice. While the concept might seem commonplace today, it was revolutionary at the time. For Lappé, now 77, focusing her research on the merits of a plant-centered diet was inevitable, even though she was not herself a vegetarian at that time, because it was clear that growing legumes for consumption was more cost-effective and eco-conscious than raising animals for food. What she didn’t expect was that her research would catch the eye of Betty Ballantine, co-owner of Ballantine Books, a popular paperback publisher.