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Mission:Explore F(l)ood

June 27, 2012

Some bad news. A few weeks ago our printers were hit by flooding in Wales. As a result their printers were 4ft under water and the printing our next book, Mission:Explore Food, was delayed. Everything was on track for delivery this week, but we’ve recently discovered that they will not be arriving before our launch party at Hackney City Farm this Saturday. The good news is that they are getting 15 copies to us, so everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy the books and what’s to come.

We are sorry for the delay and hope that you don’t mind waiting a few more days.

The official date of publication of the printed book is not until the end of September, so we’re still on track for our formal and official date. That said, we’re going to be releasing digital versions of the book over coming weeks. This includes an online version later this week. Watch this space for a code to get this version of the book for a 50% discount.

We’ve been asking some people to take a look at the book. Here are some of the comments that we’ve been getting back.

“This is a brilliant book.” Rob Bushby, John Muir Award Manager, John Muir Trust.

“It’s not a book for the bookshelf; it’s one to have out, finger-marked and grubby from all the activities that lie within. Brilliant – I love it!” Bob Digby.

“A must have book for any adult wanting to grow their own well balanced child!” Huw James, Science Junkie.

“Bear Grylls meets Jamie with a hint of Guerrilla.” Bob Lang.

“Do you know a child that loves getting their hands dirty and playing with their food? Then this is the book for them! Packed with fun missions and guerrilla gardening, Mission:Explore Food will get children thinking more about where their food comes from. Right, I’m going to plant an ugly vegetable…” Ruth Hendry, Planet Science.

“This is an amazing book. It’s anarchic and chaotic (in a good way). It is also cleverly set out to entice all those who take eating for granted to think a little bit about things that sometimes don’t get thought about at all! Most important of these? Soil!” David Lambert.

“Reading this book is like climbing into another world: where guerrilla geographers live. They like stinky smells, bleugh tastes, behaving strangely, imagining things that couldn’t exist and then making them anyway, laughing inappropriately, and learning some serious geography in the process. Once you are in, you will never escape. Your eyes, ears, tongue, nose, feet, hair, brain, um … sandwiches are in the blender. A masterpiece of food geography. Probably the only book I will ever recommend to my undergrads, buy for my kids, and use as a plate.” Professor Ian Cook, food geography boffin, University of Exeter.

“This wacky and wonderful book engages the reader with challenging missions of exploration into one of our most fundamental needs – food. Accepting the missions sets the guerrilla explorer on a curious journey of discovery that is personal, quirky, geographical and ethical. Can you live on £1 a day? How many people in the world have to? Can you recognise endangered fish? How do we avoid eating them? Once basic training is complete the explorer investigates everything from growing, harvesting, cooking, eating, waste and soil accompanied by tips and warnings that any intrepid explorer would need to heed in a dangerous environment where even the world might just turn upside down. If you only buy one book on food this should be it. As it says in the introduction, ‘this book will change the way you see food forever’.” John Lyon.

“Geographers are fond of tracing where things come from, following connections between distant places and thinking about relationships and inter-dependencies. When we think about food, we often talk about closing the links along the supply chain from ‘farm to fork’ or ‘plough to plate’. But, all too often, these ideas are expressed in abstract terms like global food security and sustainable intensification. This exciting new book avoids these abstractions and takes a much more direct hands-on approach, providing us with a whole new set of resources for understanding the world of food. Using the language of exploration and discovery, readers encounter recipes for nettle pesto and elderflower pancakes and are invited to engage in culinary cartography, fantasy farming and guerrilla gardening. Mission: Explore Food provides a fresh way of understanding some fundamental things about the stuff of life through participatory research and action-orientated learning. Take the challenge: get down and dirty with the Geography Collective and City Farmers.” Professor Peter Jackson, University of Sheffield.

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