The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved By Sandor Ellix Katz

A great follow-up book to Wild Fermentation (A Food Renegade Must Read), Sandor Ellix Katz’s The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved takes a look at the cutting edge of food activism.

While traveling the States leading workshops on the craft of making sauerkraut, Sandor met people participating in what he calls “underground food movements.”

In short, he met Food Renegades. And lots of them. These are the people struggling to keep food traditions alive, the people finding their way out of the corporate/industrial food maze and taking control of their own health and nutrition.

This book was born.

This book is NOT an expose on what’s WRONG with America’s food system. Rather, it’s an empowering look at the heroic efforts people are making to preserve traditional, real foods. With stories and anecdotes from around the globe and practical recipes for the truly adventurous, Sandor Katz documents the Real Food Revolution in a compelling and engaging way.

He begins with a chapter on local and seasonal food, contrasting it to what he calls “constant convenience consumerism.” He isn’t afraid to call it like he sees it, and he makes a great case for moving towards a more local food economy. Food miles, food security, food sovereignty, taste, and pleasure all enter into his equation.

In the following chapters, he covers:

  • Saving seeds as a political act and saying NO to GMOs
  • Land and labor struggles
  • An introduction to the concept of Slow Food
  • The growing raw milk underground
  • The relationship of food to healing
  • Plant prohibitions & laws against nature
  • Humane meat and vegetarian ethics
  • Foraging for food
  • Water rights

Really, the scope of the work is amazing when you think about it.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

The contrast is stark: community-based self-sufficiency and economic democracy is replaced by homogenized corporate consumerism, and in the name of hygiene and “free trade.” Free trade of locally produced goods among people at the community level is outlawed, in favor of a global free trade among huge corporations. (page 146)

Traditional foods can be saved not by preaching ideology, insists Petrini, but only by reviving pleasure….We have to rediscover the value of taste and understand that at its root, taste is connected to pleasure. Taste is pleasure that reasons, or knowledge that enjoys. Nice, eh? (page 132

For most people in most places throughout time, the food available has been organic and local. (page 29)

If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy. You can buy it online here for a mere $14 (truly a bargain, given the depth of his coverage and the pages of additional resources Katz lists at the end of every chapter), or you could see if your local library or a friend has a copy for you to borrow.

This post is part of today’s Fight Back Fridays blog carnival, hosted right here at Food Renegade. For more posts about the Real Food Revolution written by lovers of SOLE (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) food, recipes, anecdotes, etc, be sure to check it out!


  1. says

    Thanks for the book recommendation. Finished reading Nina Planck’s Real Food about two weeks ago (on your recommendation) and have been spreading the word to everyone I know. :)


  2. says

    this book looks fantastic! thanks for sharing about it, I’m in the mood for an empowering as opposed to doom and gloom book on this topic :)
    Thanks for hosting Fight Back Fridays! I have learned so much since I’ve stumbled across your blog and the posts you’ve been allowing everyone to share. You are truly making a difference!

    Many Blessings Kristen :)


  3. says

    I’m ordering some books today for my library and for clients, and I put this one on my list after your recommendation. Thanks much, Kristen! Another good one I came across is The Hundred Year Lie: How to Protect Yourself From Dangerous Chemicals That Are Destroying Your Health by Randall Fitzgerald. I hadn’t heard about it before and it came up on my “Amazon recommendations”. Hope everyone has a relaxing holiday weekend! :)

    Raine Saunders

  4. says

    I picked this book up last year while waiting for a flight. It might have been one of those situations where I read the “right” book at the “right time;” I finished the book by the time I was home from a long weekend trip. Your comments on his writing being empowering are right on. I remember feeling like there were things I could be doing to participate in some of the underground food movements going on. I think it’s time for me to reread it. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. says

    Hi Kristen,

    So cool to have happened across your site last night after coming home form a community meeting on a thriving local (Houston) Urban Project ( that is taking vacant lots around the city and turning them into local agriculture/gardens and encouraging people to come out and help (get dirty) and bring the kids as well, and in excjange for the help they pay you with fresh local, seasonable yummy produce…Will Work for Food eh! 😉 I am so looking forward to taking my lil girl down to the Garden next weekend to play in the dirt! 😉

    Anyways love your website, and am so jazzed about this whole Real Food Revolution, it just way cool and makes so much sense….unfortunately common sense is the LEAST common of the senses it seems, thus the treason for us Real Food Revolutionaries to lead the charge in waking people up to Real SOLE (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical, as you say) food not just becasue it is the right and kind thing to do for our health and the health of our families and the planet, the local economy and farmers, etc but if only for the fact that it is freshest, tastiest, yummiest food ever and that is sexy and sexy things like this are meant to be shared! 😉

    I am looking forwared to reading ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved’ (So true how ‘Constant Conveneince Consumerism’ has been the demise of our REAL food chain and the health of our country and the planet) and so agree with the quote from the book above, that…

    “Traditional foods can be saved not by preaching ideology, insists Petrini, but only by reviving pleasure

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