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A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement Contributor(s): Ackerman-Leist, Philip (Author) , Shiva, Vandana (Foreword by)

A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement Contributor(s): Ackerman-Leist, Philip (Author) , Shiva, Vandana (Foreword by)

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A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement
Contributor(s): Ackerman-Leist, Philip (Author) , Shiva, Vandana (Foreword by)

ISBN: 1603587055    EAN: 9781603587051
US SRP: $19.95 US
Binding: Paperback
Pub Date: November 09, 2017
Physical Info: 0.6" H x 8.9" L x 6.0" W (0.8 lbs) 240 pages
Mals, Italy, has long been known as the breadbasket of the Tyrol. But recently the tiny town became known for something else entirely. A Precautionary Tale tells us why, introducing readers to an unlikely group of activists and a forward-thinking mayor who came together to ban pesticides in Mals by a referendum vote--making it the first place on Earth to accomplish such a feat, and a model for other towns and regions to follow.

For hundreds of years, the people of Mals had cherished their traditional foodways and kept their local agriculture organic. Their town had become a mecca for tourists drawn by the alpine landscape, the rural and historic character of the villages, and the fine breads, wines, cheeses, herbs, vegetables, and the other traditional foods they produced. Yet Mals is located high up in the eastern Alps, and the valley below was being steadily overtaken by big apple producers, heavily dependent on pesticides. As Big Apple crept further and further up the region's mountainsides, their toxic spray drifted with the valley's ever-present winds and began to fall on the farms and fields of Mals--threatening their organic certifications, as well as their health and that of their livestock.

The advancing threats gradually motivated a diverse cast of characters to take action--each in their own unique way, and then in concert in an iconic display of direct democracy in action. As Ackerman-Leist recounts their uprising, we meet an organic dairy farmer who decides to speak up when his hay is poisoned by drift; a pediatrician who engaged other medical professionals to protect the soil, water, and air that the health of her patients depends upon; a hairdresser whose salon conversations mobilized the town's women in an extraordinarily conceived campaign; and others who together orchestrated one of the rare revolutionary successes of our time and inspired a movement now snaking its way through Europe and the United States.
Philip Ackerman-Leist is the author of Rebuilding the FoodshedUp Tunket Road, and A Precautionary Tale. He and his wife, Erin, farmed in the South Tyrol region of the Alps and North Carolina before beginning their nineteen-year homesteading and farming venture in Pawlet, Vermont. With more than two decades of field experience working on farms, in the classroom, and with regional food systems collaborators, Philip's work is focused on examining and reshaping local and regional food systems from the ground up.

Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental thinker and activist, a leader in the International Forum on Globalisation, and of the Slow Food Movement. Director of Navdanya and of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, and a tireless crusader for farmers', peasants', and women's rights, she is the author and editor of a score of influential books, among them Oneness vs. the 1%; Making Peace with the Earth; Soil Not Oil; Globalization's New Wars; Seed Sovereignty, Food Security: Women in the Vanguard; and Who Really Feeds the World?

Shiva is the recipient of over twenty international awards, including the Right Livelihood Award (1993); the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic (1998); the Horizon 3000 Award (Austria, 2001); the John Lennon-Yoko Ono Grant for Peace (2008); the Save the World Award (2009); the Sydney Peace Prize (2010); the Calgary Peace Prize (2011); and the Thomas Merton Award (2011). She was the Fukuoka Grand Prize Laureate in 2012.

"Many, many thanks to Philip Ackerman-Leist for telling us the wonderful story of Mals, the town in Italy that decided to ban the use of pesticides! This story is extremely inspiring for us all. It shows that there is a way out of the actual dependency of our agriculture on pesticides, and that a group of informed and active citizens, together with brave local politicians, can change the world for the better. May this excellent book inspire communities all around the world--and our politicians, too!"--François Veillerette, chair, Pesticide Action Network Europe

"A Precautionary Tale is the hopeful message we all need! Philip Ackerman-Leist shows us that we still have the power, as citizens, to gather and change the reality of our daily lives. The people from Mals could be you and me. They have proven that working for empowerment is not in vain. Indeed, they have managed to defeat giant corporations. And they remind us that we can't let despair or sadness paralyze us, that we can trust the strength of community, and that we must do our part and act."--Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer, authors of Miraculous Abundance

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