In the changing agricultural landscape of the 21st century, Americans are rediscovering their connection to food and how it’s produced. In the process, they are also discovering a desire to hear the stories of the visionaries, farmers and ordinary people guiding how food is produced so that it better reflects our values and ideals. The stories are out there—books and films that chronicle the people and events vital to ensuring safe, humane, nutritious food reaches every table. Animal Welfare Approved is pleased to be launching a new section of its website dedicated to finding and reviewing the books and films that inform, educate and inspire. We're kicking off our reviews with a look at Nicolette Hahn Niman’s Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms. Published last year, it’s already a classic in the field.
Ninny Nu’s Organic Farm by Tanya Sousa with illustrations by Amber Alexander (Radiant Hen Publishing) is a classic tale of farm animals competing to produce the best crop ever for the Mayor. Ninny Nu, a house cat, runs an organic farm, treats her animals well, and refuses to use a tractor. Farmer Jack, a jack rabbit, is an intensive farmer with a loud tractor. He confines his animals in the barn and overproduces on his land.
In this story Ninny Nu teaches the important lesson that high quality food comes from a healthy, happy farm. After the Mayor’s competition, she teaches other farmers about her way of raising livestock and vegetables compassionately. With short paragraphs on each page, this book is a good introductory look at farming for older children. The illustrations by Amber Alexander are expressive and full of farming landscapes and animals.