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Last Updated on August 5, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 567

The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities is a 2012 book written by American urban farmer Will Allen with American journalist and author Charles Wilson. The story is written in the form of a memoir and follows Will Allen's life; however, Allen goes against the classical literary...

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The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities is a 2012 book written by American urban farmer Will Allen with American journalist and author Charles Wilson. The story is written in the form of a memoir and follows Will Allen's life; however, Allen goes against the classical literary structure of a biography and reflects on the lives of many of his ancestors and co-farmers as well. The memoir is, basically, a lengthy informative text on urban farming, health and environmental issues and development, and the American food industry—the cultivation, production, and consumption of food. It is also a social commentary on race, social justice, and civil rights.

Allen begins by sharing some personal information about his past. He was born in 1949 in Maryland and grew up in a farming family of sharecroppers from South Africa. As a child, he was especially close with his mother, Willie Mae Kenner, who wanted to become a teacher. Allen admired her resilience and her determination, and he believes that he has inherited these characteristics from her. Even though he didn't enjoy it, he sometimes helped his family and worked on their land, which proved useful when he took up urban farming and agriculture later in his life. Allen attended segregated schools until he started high school, which is where he began playing basketball. He wanted to become a professional basketball player and decided that he should make a career out of the sport he loved playing so much. Thus, Allen became the first black player on the basketball team of the University of Miami, Florida, and played basketball professionally in Belgium.

Allen married young, at the age of twenty, and he moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with his family. Allen expresses his deep disappointment in basketball, as he realized that there was much more politics involved in the sport than he thought. He indirectly explains how he felt pressure instead of enjoyment and how he almost lost his motivation and ambition and even his independence. Once in Milwaukee, Allen began working full-time as a salesman and executive for Kentucky Fried Chicken and Procter & Gamble, and he took up farming as a hobby. In 1993 he made enough money to buy a farm; soon, he transformed it into a market, Roadside Farm Market, and sold his organic, homegrown vegetables. Nearly ten years later, Roadside Farm Market grew into a major company for food production and delivery, equipped with the latest technologies, and provided numerous employment opportunities.

Today, Allen is the CEO of Growing Power, a nonprofit organization for urban farming and agriculture which produces and delivers clean, fresh, and healthy food for poor and underprivileged neighborhoods and communities in urban areas. The company offers various training and educational programs as well, in order to bring awareness to the importance of healthy eating in the fight against various diseases, such as diabetes.

Allen titled his book The Good Food Revolution because he was pleasantly surprised at the amount of people who grew their own food in their gardens and backyards and used waste as soil to plant their fruits and vegetables. He believes that if everyone worked together, they could completely reform and revolutionize the food system and the food industry in general; thus, all companies, organizations, and individual sellers would be able to provide equal access to fresh and organic food for all people, no matter their race or socioeconomic position.

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