Beet Read: The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry

TheSharperYourKnife
Written by Rachel Clark
In the best tradition of cozy, armchair cooking memoir, The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn taps culinary gold. Part diary, part travelogue, part love story—all marinating in the thick, heady fumes of the Cordon Bleu cooking school — this book might send you off to Paris. Or at least off to pour another cup of steaming hot cider as you nestle down under your blanket, all cozied up with this wonderful memoir.
Now that the gardens are put to bed, and the days are shortening, it’s the perfect time for the kind of book that tempts you with dreams. Flinn was a corporate workhouse for many years…she was, that is, until she lost her job. When a new friend asked her, “What do you really want to do with your life?” her answer was almost immediate: “Move to Paris and attend the Cordon Bleu cooking school.” Except she knew almost no French, and she’d hardly cooked in her life. But she allowed the possibility of the dream, inquired into how one applies to the school, and before she knew it, she was slaving under a fierce French chef — “The Gray Chef” she nicknamed him, for his  tempestuous moods — attempting to endure his anger when he shouts her down after tasting her overly sweet sauce: “You’re wasting your time!”
A popular and delightful memoir that some have compared to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love — but more mature, wise, and well-crafted — The Sharper Your Knife is the perfect book to cozy up with this November. Please join us to discuss The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry (Viking Books 2006) by Kathleen Flinn on Sunday, November 30 from 6:00-7:30 pm. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. The Sharper Your Knife by Kathleen Flinn is available through your local library.  If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the MFC website at www.moscowfood.coop.

Beet Read: Food and the City

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Written By Rachel Caudill, Co-op Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator

 Join us in reading the October Co-op Good Food Book Club book, Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution by Jennifer Cockrall-King. The Book Club will meet Sunday, October 26, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at a member’s private residence to discuss Food and the City. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

With this month’s newsletter theme being “The Cooperative Issue” what book could be better than one spotlighting urban centers around the world working cooperatively to create thriving and secure local food systems? That’s just what Cockrall-King does with her book Food and the City by taking us from the dismal industrial grocery store situation—and all of its problems—to the local farmers and cooperatives working together to create something truly vibrant, healthy, and secure.

Bill McKibben says, “All over the world I’ve watched urban dwellers begin to figure out that they can start growing food, too. It’s one of the loveliest trends on earth, and Jennifer Cockrall-King does a fine job of capturing its tremendous growth.”

As a food writer and avid gardener, Cockrall-King was poised to notice—then document—a massive revolution in our food system that is now well underway. She began seeing more and more food-centric gardens in her neighborhood and community, and then she saw the same thing happening in towns and cities much further afield. It was not an isolated phenomenon.


From the book’s introduction: “Clearly the urban-agriculture movement wasn’t happening in a vacuum. The more I learned about the desperate situation we were in as industrial consumers, the more I grew to appreciate how revolutionary, subversive, and necessary the open-source, chaotic, decentralized nature of the urban-agriculture revolution seemed. If the pundits’ predictions of a catastrophic failure of a century-long experiment in an industrialized, and more recently, globalized food system ever came to pass, community gardens, urban chickens, public orchards, urban beekeeping, commercial urban farms, open sharing of knowledge, and even the science fiction-like promise of vertical farms were poised to coalesce into a new urban food revolution. A shorter food chain…was the future.”

Cooperation, and in this case food cooperatives, are and will be instrumental in this thrilling and epic shift. As Barry Estabrook, author of Tomatoland, writes, “Cockrall-King makes a compelling and inspiring case that small-scale, urban farming may be the key to fixing our broken industrialized food system.” Come find out how!

Please join us to discuss Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution (Prometheus Books, 2012) by Jennifer Cockrall-King on Sunday, October 26, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Food and the City by Jennifer Cockrall-King is available through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used bookstores or visit BookPeople of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the Co-op website at www.moscowfood.coop.

Beet Read: The Soil Will Save Us

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By Rachel Caudill, Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator

“Even the broken letters of the heart spell earth.” ~ Daniel Thompson

 Join us in reading the September Co-op Good Food Book Club book, The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet (2014) by Kristin Ohlson. The Book Club will meetSunday, September 28, from 7:00-8:30 at a member’s private residence to discuss The Soil Will Save Us. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

 What is the most singular and unique thing about the Palouse Region? One could rightfully argue….it is our soil. The Palouse fields and hills hide a remarkable substratum; Palouse soils are deeper than Olympic diving pools. And they’re among the richest, most generative soils in the world. Our deep dirt derives from a violent history of massive ice dam breaches, repeated over thousands of years during the last ice age. Known as The Missoula Floods, these herculean deluges dumped immense masses of soil right here beneath us as the waters from behind the colossal ice age dams crashed out across the landscape in unimaginably huge torrents.

 These soils quite literally make the Palouse the Palouse. They make our region unique and special from its very core. There could be no better choice, then, for this month’s “Unique to the Palouse” theme, than the brand-new book The Soil Will Save Us. Here best-selling author and award-winning science writer Kristin Ohslon threads together the best of what our book club has pondered so far this year. Linking ideas from books like Cows Save the PlanetWhole, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, her thesis is at once familiar but also breakthrough: She takes us to the heart of the matter. Next to the sun, soil is the core, the root, the generative well-spring of all life on Earth. It has the capacity to heal what ails our planet. And for thousands of years, humans knew it. Today, Ohlson reminds us, it’s time to remember.

 From Rodale: “Thousands of years of poor farming and ranching practices—and, especially, modern industrial agriculture—have led to the loss of up to 80 percent of carbon from the world’s soils. That carbon is now floating in the atmosphere, and even if we stopped using fossil fuels today, it would continue warming the planet. In The Soil Will Save Us, journalist and bestselling author Kristin Ohlson makes an elegantly argued, passionate case for ‘our great green hope’—a way in which we can not only heal the land but also turn atmospheric carbon into beneficial soil carbon—and potentially reverse global warming.”

 Her book “…will inspire everyone to rethink the potential of the ground beneath their feet, as well as the landscapes around them, and to figure out how they can make a difference.”

 Please join us to discuss The Soil Will Save Us: How Scientists, Farmers, and Foodies are Healing the Soil to Save the Planet (Rodale 2014) by Kristin Ohlson on Sunday, September 28 from 7:00-8:30 pm. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. The Soil Will Save Us by Kristin Ohlson is available through your local library.  If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club click here.

Beet Read | Turn Here Sweet Corn: A memoir on growing local, organic food

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By Rachel Clark, Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator

Join us in reading the August Co-op Good Food Book Club selection, Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works by Atina Diffley. The Book Club will meet Sunday, August 31, from 7:00-8:30 at a member’s private residence to discuss Turn Here Sweet Corn. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

With all of the support for farmers’ markets and local farming movements in our area, we couldn’t pick a better book. Atina Diffley’s courageous and vivid account of her journey to successful organic farming offers an inside view of the nitty-gritty challenges and extraordinary satisfactions that come with local, organic farming. Publisher’s Weekly says, “”In addition to being a charming memoir of love and living off the land, Diffley’s debut is a timely tale of modern farming, the growing organic movement, and the problems that arise when urban development runs up against fertile fields. Equal parts anecdote and practical organic farming guide, this book is a powerful testament to the Diffleys’ passion for their work and a terrific guide to the trials and tribulations of sticking to the land…and going organic.”

If you’re itching for the pleasures and inspirations of armchair farming—the kind that just might nudge you to growing and selling your own food—this book’s for you. Plus, it’s more than just another farming tome. This book’s a page-turner, complete with a gripping opening scene:

“An explosion of light rips me out of a deep sleep. Behind the flash is a deafening boom. The sky sparks again, a fused web of tearing lines…Damn.  I look at the date on the clock. June 8, 2005. Not now.” It’s a hail storm; hitting her farm with the fury of “cold, hard water.” And she’s got to deal with it.  Right then. Right there.

Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets, writes, “What strikes me most about this amazing memoir is that for those of us who aren’t farmers but who are versant in such issues as organics, soil building, diversity, GMOs, certification and more—it is utterly different to hear how the farmer herself grapples with them in her daily life. Unlike reading about the same issues in an article, it’s immediate, powerful, tender, heartbreaking and above all, encouraging.

Come join us to discuss Turn Here Sweet Corn (University of Minnesota Press, 2012) by Atina Diffley, Sunday August 31 from 7:00-8:30 pm. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Turn Here Sweet Corn is also available through your local library.  Check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount.

 

Beet Read: Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition

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Join us in reading the July Co-op Good Food Book Club selection, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell. The Book Club will meet Sunday, July 27, from 7-8:30 p.m. at a member’s private residence to discuss Whole. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

“Dr. Colin Campbell opened our eyes with The China Study. In Whole, Dr. Campbell boldly shows exactly how our understanding of nutrition and health has gone off track and how to get it right. Beautifully and clearly written, this empowering book will forever change the way you think about health, food and science.” So says Neal Barnard, Founder and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine about this month’s book. The landmark book, The China Study, spearheaded by Campbell, is now known as the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. With Whole, Colin offers up the next course: a fierce reminder of the interlocked nature of human nutrition, human and global health, and society. He continues to advocate that “the ideal human diet looks like this: Consumer plant-based foods in forms as close to their natural state as possible…eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and whole grains.”

But he goes on to charge our society, and the healthcare system in particular, with “reductionist thinking” when it comes to human health. Dr. Dean Ornish says he “uncovers how and why there is so much confusion about food and health and what can be done about it. His explanation is elegant, sincere, provocative, and far-reaching, including how we can solve our health care crisis. Read and enjoy; there’s something here to inspire and offend just about everyone (sometimes the truth hurts).”

Campbell is a powerful voice with a respected and important legacy. He’s the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. He has more than 70 grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding and authored more than 300 research papers and is coauthor of the bestselling the book, The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health.

Come join us to discuss Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition (BenBella Books, 2013) by T. Colin Campbell, on Sunday, July 27 from 7-8:30 p.m. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Whole is also available through your local library. Check out the area’s local used bookstores or visit BookPeople of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, click here.

Beet Read: The Omnivore’s Dilemma

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Written By Rachel Clark, Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator
Join us in reading the June Co-op Good Food Book Club book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan. The Book Club will meet Sunday, June 29, from 7-8:30 p.m. at a member’s private residence to discuss The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions. Already a signature, key contribution not just to food writing, but to the now central platform of sustainable resilience, Michael Pollan’s groundbreaking The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2006) is as important today as it was almost a decade ago when it was released.

At the time it went to print, Publishers Weekly said, “Pollan examines what he calls ‘our national eating disorder’ (the Atkins craze, the precipitous rise in obesity) in this remarkably clearheaded book. It’s a fascinating journey up and down the food chain, one that might change the way you read the label on a frozen dinner, dig into a steak or decide whether to buy organic eggs. You’ll certainly never look at a Chicken McNugget the same way again. Pollan approaches his mission not as an activist but as a naturalist: ‘The way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world.’” These days, it’s easy to imagine that Pollan’s work, particularly with The Omnivore’s Dilemma, has profoundly shifted (and continues to shift) many Americans’ relationship with food. And with food justice. Because as his writings spotlighted in The Omnivore’s Dilemma and beyond, the way we grow, choose, and eat our food is profoundly, inextricably linked to human, non-human, and environmental justice across all facets of the system: from loss or growth of soil, to pollution or healing of waterways, to unspeakable animal brutalities or thriving, healthy, animals, to dire climate change or halting carbon pollution. They all hinge on our food. And each is a choice.

Come join us to discuss what’s happened since the book first came out, and how it remains relevant today. We’ll meet to talk about The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Penguin, 2006) by Michael Pollan Sunday, June 29 from 7-8:30 p.m. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club.
GOOD NEWS! A generous donor, who knows the importance of Pollan’s book, bestowed us with free copies of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Please email bookclub@moscowfood.coop to reserve your copy. Limited copies available: first come, first served. The Omnivore’s Dilemma is also available through your local library. If you need to buy the book, check out the area’s local used bookstores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Community section of the Co-op website at www.moscowfood.coop.

Beet Read: Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All

FairFoodBookCoverWritten by Rachel Caudill, Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator

Join us in reading the May Co-op Good Food Book Club book, Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All (2011) by Oran B. Hesterman. The Book Club will meet Sunday, June 1, from 7:00-8:30 at a member’s private residence to discuss Fair Food. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

With May’s newsletter theme being “Fair Trade” we could hardly pick a better book to read for this month’s Book Club. Publisher’s Weekly says, “Intended as a practical guide for community food activists who want to take the locavore movement across race, class, and city lines, this book illuminate ways in which consumers can become ‘engaged citizens.’ Especially important (and rare) is Hesterman’s willingness to work constructively with corporate giants like Costco and the Kellogg Foundation….The dedication to social justice is clear, genuine, and logically argued as a food issue. A helpful and hefty final chapter of ‘Resources’ provides readers with a comprehensive national listing of organizations to join, support, or replicate.”

Written by the President and CEO of Fair Food Network Oran B. Hesterman, Fair Food reminds us that, as consumers, making conscious food choices is not enough anymore.  His aim is nothing less than to galvanize eaters to action: action to solve and heal a widespread crisis in food justice that impacts poverty, hunger, race, and class, as well as countless animals and the land we all depend on. As is becoming clear in areas such as the climate crisis, his overarching point is that individual change is not enough, we need systemic policy change. And he shows us how to do it.

The New York Times says Hesterman “displays a wide-ranging knowledge of production, consumption, natural resources and public policy. He also writes about reform efforts with contagious energy and palpable authority…this is an important, accessible book on a crucial subject. Food for thought and action.”

Please join us to discuss Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All (2011) by Oran B. Hesterman, June 1 (in respect of Memorial Day Weekend on the previous Sunday) from 7:00-8:30 pm. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Fair Food by Oran B. Hesterman is available through your local library.  If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the Co-op website at www.moscowfood.coop.

Beet Read: Cows Save The Planet

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Can Cows Save the Planet?
By Rachel Caudill, Good Food Book Club Volunteer Coordinator

 Join us in reading the April Co-op Good Food Book Club book, Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth (2013) by Judith D. Schwartz. The Book Club will meet Sunday, April 27, from6:00-7:30 at a member’s private residence to discuss Cows Save the Planet. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

 “You might ask what dirt has to do with global warming. In reading this astounding book we will learn how to unmake deserts, rethink the causes of climate change, bring back biodiversity, and restore nutrients to our food. In other words, how to staunch and heal the great wound we have inflicted on our planet.”  So says renowned ecologist and writer Gretel Ehrlich in the Foreword to this month’s remarkable book, chosen in honor of Earth Day and this month’s theme.

 As we’ve seen with many of the books in our Good Food Book Club, our food choices are now profoundly intertwined with global planetary health. From industrial farming, to GMOs, to soil erosion, to colossal food waste and landfill excesses, to mass extinction and wholesale destruction of fisheries and ocean health, to climate chaos itself, our global human population and the way we eat has impacted every facet of the Earth’s resilience. What if there was a silver bullet… What if there already exists an overall approach with a suite of strategies that could quickly, cheaply, and massively restore Earth’s food systems (and climate!) to a thriving, healthy stable state?  Would you believe such a thing possible? Even better, could it be as simple as grazing happy cows?

 Come find out as we read this month’s ground-breaking book and learn for ourselves the pivotal role that soil health has in supporting not only healthy food for our global population, but also to curbing—and even solving—the climate crisis.  You can get a taste of the astonishing paradigm reported in this book by watching Alan Savory’s pivotal TED talk, “How to Fight Desertification and Reverse Global Warming.” Savory, of course, is featured in Schwartz’s book.

 As Ehrlich writes, “Widen your mind with a holistic approach to the extinction cliff… Judith Schwartz’s book gives us not just hope but also a sense that we humans—serial destroyers that we are—can actually turn the climate crisis around. This amazing book, wide-reaching in its research, offers nothing less than solutions for healing the planet.”

 Please join us to discuss Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth (2013) by Judith D. Schwartz Sunday, April 27 from 6:00-7:30 pm. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Cows Save the Planet by Judith D. Schwartz is available through your local library.  If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the Co-op website at www.moscowfood.coop.

Beet Read: This is Hope: Vegans and the New Human Ecology

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“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” – John Muir

Join us in reading the March Co-op Good Food Book Club book, This Is Hope: Green Vegans and the New Human Ecology (2013) by Will Anderson. The Book Club will meet Sunday, March 30, from 6:00-7:30 at a member’s private residence to discuss This Is Hope. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

“Our current human ecology is characterized by a worldview that asserts we have dominion over all the Earth. It believes that Earth is here for our purposes and that all other species are below and inferior to us,” writes Will Anderson in his paradigm-shifting new book. But he goes on to explain that:

“The new human ecology … incorporates and expands upon deep ecology (which) recognizes that all species, individuals of these species, and their ecosystems have intrinsic value. This is the biocentric perspective. Deep ecology is explicitly present throughout the new human ecology and missing from the current human ecology.”

In fact, the “new human ecology” is far more aligned with the “true” human ecology than our current paradigm of dominion. Humans, quite simply, are intertwined with the rest of life on Earth. Both definitions (the “current” versus the “new”) are human, cultural constructs.  To construct a culture of dominion, and then fail to respond to our own, acquired scientific understanding of our profound interconnection with all life, is perilous at best. If we want a thriving, healthy future, it’s high time we adopt a truer model of what works for the long-term sustainability and health of humanity and the rest of life on Earth.  To that end, this book explains the immense power and benefits of adopting a vegan diet.

It is a pivotal reference for anyone wanting to “Spring Into Action” (as per the March theme). As Toni Frohoff, wildlife management scientist writes, “Finally! A MUST READ for anyone seeking a practical planetary path from the current trajectory of death and desperation to one that truly engages and embraces hope for all species. This book provides a pioneering path for those who truly want to be the change we want – and need – to see in this world. As we collectively experience this never-before era of one species empowered to make it or break it for all, we now have HOPE to survive together. “

Please join us to discuss This Is Hope: Green Vegans and the New Human Ecology (2013) by Will Anderson Sunday, March 30 from 6:00-7:30 pm. Remember to email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. This is Hope by Will Anderson is available through your local library.  If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the MFC website at www.moscowfood.coop.

Beet Read: Blessing the Hands That Feeds Us

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Join us in reading the February Co-op Good Food Book Club Blessing the Hands That Feed Us: What Eating Closer to Home Can Teach Us About Food, Community, and Our Place on Earth by Vicki Robin. The Book Club will meet Sunday, February 23, from6:00-7:30 at a member’s private residence to discuss Blessing. Email bookclub@moscowfood.coop for more information and directions.

One day in 2010, Vicki Robin—the best-selling and beloved author of Your Money or Your Life—became a guinea pig for her local farmer. Her farming friend, “wanted to test whether she could feed another human being for a full month from what she could grow on her half acre.” Robin, a committed test subject, “wanted to test, from a sustainability perspective, if we here on Whidbey Island could survive without to that cornucopia we call the grocery-store. We called the experiment a 10-mile diet.” Robin says that experiment turned out to be “one of the greatest experiences of her life.”

Hyper aware that the grocery stores on Whidbey Island are at the tail end of a long, fossil-fuel-supported supply train…and that if the ferries to the island were to stop running, those same grocery stores would run out of food in three short days, Robin wanted to know if the island itself, could support her, and by extension, others. She laments that so many of us have lost touch “with the hands that feed us, to our detriment, and this story is meant to show you what lies at the other end of the industrial food scale, to help you see that there are reasonable and heartening alternatives.”

Robin says, “The 10-mile diet changed me…Best of all, I finally landed somewhere on earth, in a real place with real soil and forest, a real community where I belong the way my skin belongs to me. I am a part of life; not at a remove in self-sufficiency but connected in reciprocity, mutuality, and care.”

Because in the end, Blessing the Hands That Feed Us is really about this month’s theme: Love. It is a book about loving our farmers, the food they grow, the community they support, the earth which sustains us, and the blessings that come from eating locally grown food. And, through all this, it is about loving ourselves.

Please join us to discuss Blessing the Hands That Feed Us Sunday, February 23 from 6:00-7:30 pm. Remember to emailbookclub@moscowfood.coop for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club.Blessing (Viking, 2014) by Vicki Robin is available through your local library.  If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the Moscow Food Co-op website at www.moscowfood.coop.