The Diversified Farming Systems Center at UC Berkeley is a new initiative gathering students and faculty from across campus to study agriculture and food systems. How can the way we grow, process, transport, and distribute our food be made more equitable and more sustainable? In a time when ‘feeding the world’ is often pitted against ‘saving nature,’ can an agriculture based on biodiversity, coupled with a restructured food economy create synergies between farming, food justice and the environment? These are the kinds of research questions that we, as members of the DFS Center, think about, talk about — and, of course, read about.

The year 2012 kept us plenty busy with a reams of new titles about food and agriculture, both sustainable and non-. To help us whittle down the list, I recently asked the DFS community to tell me what their favorite titles of 2012 were and why. The following list compiles our recommendations, in addition to picks from the likes of Marion Nestle, Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein and others. Enjoy! Read more