Food for Thought

128 pages,
ISBN: 0889104581

Post Your Opinion
Brief Reviews - Non-Fiction
by Maggie Helwig

JUST AS THE annual Thanksgiving food drive hit the headlines, Coach House Press released Marlene Webber's Food for Thought (128 pages, $12.50 paper), which is harshly critical of the food-bank system and the way private charity has been set up as a band-aid solution to the social injustices that create hunger in Canada.

Webber's diagnosis of the "hunger problem" is accurate, and her material -- Food for Thought is based largely on interviews with food-bank workers -- is interesting; the book is marred, however, by an awkward, speech-making style, and frequent generalizations about what "foodbankers say" or "foodbankers think" are not always backed up with concrete examples.

In addition, Webber is better at diagnosis than she is at suggesting solutions. Admittedly, coming up with a coherent program for reforming Canadian society (for she is right that nothing else will solve the "hunger problem") is no easy task. But Food for Thought tends to take refuge in vague and easy proclamations about "popular democracy" without any ideas about how such a thing can be created -- and apparently little sense that the grassroots anti-hunger projects now in place could, if properly understood, contain some of the seeds for such a change.

Food for Thought is a valuable and eyeopening book for anyone not already aware of the extent of hunger in Canada the Good. Those already informed about the problem, or active on the issue, will want considerably more than Webber offers.


Home First Novel Award Past Winners Subscription Back Issues Timescroll Advertizing Rates
Amazon.ca/Books in Canada Bestsellers List Books in Issue Books in Department About Us