Growing Stories from India: Religion and the Fate of Agriculture
The costs of industrial agriculture are astonishing in terms of damage to the environment, human health, animal suffering, and social equity, and the situation demands that we expand our ecological imagination to meet this crisis. In response to growing dissatisfaction with the existing food system, farmers and consumers are creating alternate models of production and consumption that are both sustainable and equitable. In Growing Stories from India: Religion and the Fate of Agriculture, author A. Whitney Sanford uses the story of the deity Balaram and the Yamuna River as a foundation for discussing the global food crisis and illustrating the Hindu origins of agrarian thought.
By employing narrative as a means of assessing modern agriculture, Sanford encourages us to reconsider our relationship with the earth. Merely creating new stories is not enough—she asserts that each story must lead to changed practices. Growing Stories from India demonstrates that conventional agribusiness is only one of many options and engages the work of modern agrarian luminaries to explore how alternative agricultural methods can be implemented.
A. Whitney Sanford, associate professor of religion at the University of Florida, is the author of Singing Krishna: Sound Becomes Sight in Paramānand’s Poetry. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.
“This book is highly significant for its stunning cross-cultural leaps that work. Sanford’s call to environmentalists to turn their minds from wilderness to agriculture is of enduring significance.”—Ann Grodzins Gold, author of In the Time of Trees and Sorrows: Nature, Power, and Memory in Rajasthan
"This important book will be an early benchmark for the study of food, culture, and religion. It will endure and be quoted in years to come.”—Christopher Key Chapple, author of Yoga and the Luminous: Patanjali's Spiritual Path to Freedom
“Informative and inspirational and will definitely play a role in the evolution of our new food future.” --Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
"The central effort of Growing stories from India is to identify a more mutually beneficial human-earth relationship. . . . Her idea of a more natural way for agriculture will certainly appeal strongly to India's farmers, most of whom are keen to rediscover their organic roots." --The Hindu