Now as for my reading list, I failed horribly.
I managed to get through The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind (William Kamkwamba), The Bookseller of Kabul (Asne Seierstad), and several bits and pieces from the others, which were mostly compilations of essays. Also, I read Manifestos On The Future Of Food and Seed, which was edited by Vandana Shiva and includes several great speeches and essays by great people doing great work, including Michael Pollan. It's a great short and sweet book put out by South End Press that gets a major point across- we need to do something about our failed food system.
Here are some of my favorite lines:
"In India, we are creating food democracy through freedom farms, freedom villages, and freedom zones. Organic farms free of chemicals and toxins and zones free of corporate- that is, GMOs- And patented seeds are creating a bottom-up democracy of food to counter the top-down food dictatorship" -Vandana Shiva
"So here then is our common work- to speak for the species, who are saying, oddly enough, 'Eat me.'" -Michael Pollen
"All human beings on the planet have a fundamental human right to access and to produce sufficient food to sustain their lives and communities." -Manifesto on the Future of Food.
And here I was, thinking I was just taking American National Government for fun... turns out it will most likely be useful in the future. As I was putting up a picture of a tractor in my room here at school I wondered if it made me weird. But then I realized that that particular tractor is near and dear to my heart, it is the one on my local farm! It is as much a part of my life as the food I eat. Sometimes I question what I want to do with my life, but then I read a book like this one and remember just how crazy I get about this issue. I think that simple statement is powerful- food is a human right. Until we talk about food production in our country we can not begin to chastise other countries for human rights abuses.