Frances Moore Lappé

Author of Diet for a Small Planet and 18 other books, most recently with coauthor of Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want

Frances Moore Lappé is the author or coauthor of nineteen books, including the three-million copy Diet for a Small Planet. Her latest is Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want (2017, Beacon Press), coauthored with Adam Eichen, exposing the roots of the U.S. democracy crisis and the emerging Democracy Movement creatively responding to the challenge. Frances is co-founder of Oakland-based Food First and the Cambridge-based Small Planet Institute, which she now leads with her daughter Anna Lappé. The recipient of eighteen honorary degrees, Frances has been a visiting scholar at MIT and U.C. Berkeley and in 1987 received the Right Livelihood Award, often called the “Alternative Nobel.” She is the cofounder of three national organizations that explore the roots of hunger, poverty and environmental crises, as well as solutions now emerging worldwide through what she calls Living Democracy. With her daughter Anna Lappé, she co-directs the Small Planet Institute based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her book Getting a Grip 2: Clarity, Creativity and Courage for the World We Really Want (2010) was described by Barbara Kingsolver as a “new pair of glasses” through which “the world is more comprehensible, more manageable, even more beautiful.” Lappé is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and has appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball and Fox News’ Fox and Friends, the Today Show, PBS NOW, the Diane Rehm Show, BBC, CBC, NPR and other media. Her articles and opinion pieces have also appeared in publications as diverse as The New York Times, O Magazine, and Christian Century. In 2008 Diet for a Small Planet was selected as one of 75 Books by Women Whose Words Have Changed the World by members of the Women’s National Book Association in observance of its 75th anniversary and was named by Gourmet Magazine as one of 25 people (including Thomas Jefferson, Upton Sinclair, and Julia Child), whose work has changed the way America eats. In 2008, she was presented with the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award for her lifelong impact on the way people all over the world think about food, nutrition, and agriculture. She is a founding councilor of the 50-member World Future Council based in Hamburg, Germany. In 1975 with Joseph Collins, Lappé launched the California-based Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First), described by The New York Times as one of the nation’s “most respected food think tanks.” In 1990, Lappé co-founded the Center for Living Democracy, a ten-year initiative to help accelerate the spread of democratic innovations. Lappé served as founding editor of the Center’s American News Service, which placed solutions-oriented news stories in almost three hundred newspapers nationwide. With her daughter she also co-founded the Small Planet Fund, which gathers and channels resources to democratic social movements, especially those featured in Hope’s Edge. Other books include Hope’s Edge, which Jane Goodall called “Absolutely one of the most important books as we move further into the twenty-first century,” Democracy’s Edge, and You Have the Power: Choosing Courage in a Culture of Fear. Lappé’s books have been translated into 20 languages and are used widely in university courses.