Because Slow Food propagates enjoyment, The movement in the sustainability scene finds less of an echo than it perhaps deserves – certainly also because people there tend to preach renunciation. Yet "slow food" by no means simply stands for "upscale, expensive restaurants," but for deliberately high-quality, regional food that expressly does not want to be fast food. The "Slow Food Genussfuhrer Deutschland 2015" discusses wine taverns and microbreweries as well as fishermen’s cottages and inns – what they have in common is that they focus on simple but good and regional food. The current issue features more than 400 restaurants in Germany’s federal states on one page each and also provides useful details such as address and opening hours. Some aspects of the guide are certainly in need of improvement, for example that vegetarian and vegan, but also organic cuisines are somewhat neglected and that the guide is not particularly critical in its individual descriptions.
Why read: Because you know afterwards, where you can go out times better, without becoming poor for it.
Read about it with us: Value instead of goods: 9 ways to better food
Info: "Slow Food Genussfuhrer Deutschland 2015"; oekom Verlag 2014; 448 pages, 19.95 euros; ISBN: 9783865816634; available from Buch7, Amazon and others.
Organic? The truth about our food
People like to keep it simple: buy organic, then you are on the safe side. True. But it is only half the truth. Discounters get the label on their shelves and organic goods from the farthest abroad may be organic, but no longer sustainable. The organic sector has become an industry. That’s good, because organic has to get out of the niche. But many problems arise from scaling up for a mass market, which the U.S. journalist addresses in his book "Bio? The truth about our food". He looked at what organic looks like in different countries and concludes that we are increasingly in danger of trusting too blindly in labels and forgetting the original ideas of organic farming. His organic travelogue is perhaps a bit fundamentalist in places, but always interesting to read and a debate piece that no serious organic fan should miss out on.
Why read: Because it’s important that we look closely at organic, too – and not just be fobbed off with mere compliance with benchmarks.
Read about it with us: Organic products you should take a closer look at
Info: Peter Laufer: "Bio? The truth about our food"; Residenz Verlag 2015; 288 pages, 19.90 euros; ISBN: 9783701733590; available at Buch7, Amazon and others.
The culture of repair
We consume more and more appliances – which eventually break down. However, this "someday" seems to have come much too early in recent times. Some industries – not just smartphones, but kitchen appliances, too – have approached product cycles that barely exceed warranty periods. Wolfgang Heckl, General Director of the Deutsches Museum in Munich, shows that things could be different. His plea for "the culture of repair" aims to help us customers once again attach more value to the things we deal with. For him, repair is not simply a useful process, but a way to deal with resources in a more sustainable way, while also exercising creativity, concentration and manual dexterity.
Why read: Because We Can Mend More Than We Think- and should look for the happiness that a successful repair rewards us with.
Read about it with us: Murk? No thanks!
Info: Wolfgang M. Heckl: "The Culture of Repair"; Hanser Verlag 2013; 208 pages, 17.90; ISBN: 978-3-446-43678-7; available at Buch7, Amazon and others.
Who consciously decides for brand fashion, is often willing to spend more money than the customers of textile discounters, who always advertise rock-bottom prices on posters. But regardless of whether it’s fine fashion or cheap clothing: in both cases, the textiles have been produced under mostly inhumane conditions. Gisela Burckhardt has been campaigning for years as an expert for the improvement of working conditions in the clothing industry, and with "Todschick" she presents a highly exciting book that does not simply press the lachrymal gland, but knowledgeably combines abstract investigations and true-to-life reports from those affected. It mentions bad incidents, reactions to them, attempts to do better where they fail – and also shows that the problems are by no means only with the cheap brands, but also with well-known brands in the textile industry, which take a lot of money from the customer, but give nothing (less than 3 percent) of it to their employees.
Why read: Because no one can do without clothing – and experience shows that the textile industry can certainly be changed by consumer pressure.
Read about it with us: Organic cotton at discount prices – more appearance than reality?
Info: Gisela Burckhardt: "Todschick"; Heyne, 2014; 240 pages, 12.99 euros; ISBN 978-3-453-60322-6; available at Buch7, Amazon and others.
111 reasons to be a vegetarian
The relationship between vegetarians and other eaters is divided, yet there are also commonalities: both tend to preach their nutritional doctrines to their counterparts. And that’s okay, as long as it’s as compact, undogmatic and entertaining as in "111 Reasons to be a Vegetarian". This is not about reading the book on the beach and returning home from vacation as a vegetarian. It is simply interesting how the two authors approach the subject and also back up the astonishingly high number of their justifications with facts that are pleasingly often different from the usual, too often heard cliche arguments.
Why read: Because it would already be enough if we consumed a little less animal products and thought a little more about our consumption.
Read about this with us: 10 simple tips for less animal products
Info: Anne Lehwald and Simone Ullmann: "111 reasons to be a vegetarian"; Schwarzkopf& Schwarzkopf Verlag; 320 pages, 9.95 euros; ISBN 978-3-86265-400-0; available at Buch7, Amazon and others.