Saying Yes to the Precautionary Principle
In A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement, Philip Ackerman-Leist tells the story of Mals, in Northern Italy. He does it in a way that makes the reader feel as if they have visited a very special place and an equally singular moment in time. Just as notably, this biography of place holds a steady eye to turns in elegant language. The title explains what happens in the book. The combination of the humanistic details and how the story is told, however, makes for a contemporary socio-agricultural fairy-tale (if such a genre can exist), complete with a supplemental chapter at the end of the book called “An Activist’s Primer: How To Push Back on Pesticides At Home” (pp. 195–199)...
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