Grub, as defined in the book of the same name by Anna Lappé and Bryant Terry:

grub* (grəb), n.

1. Grub is organic and sustainably raised whole and locally grown foods;
2. Grub is produced with fairness from seed to table;
3. Grub is good for our bodies, our communities, and our environment.

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*Grub should be universal … and it’s delicious.

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Last night, I went with a cadre of social Gristers to a book reading and signing by Lappé and Terry at the Elliott Bay bookstore. Their book, Grub: ideas for an urban organic kitchen, is half scary facts and figures about our food system and the chemicals therein, half earth- and people-healthy menu plans (complete with soundtrack suggestions and short poems and essays to compliment the meal), and 10 percent resource guide. (And apparently I suck at math.)

Much like the book, the reading was a good mix of factual bits and personal stories about the authors’ relationship with food, spiced with bits of humor. Lappé, coauthor (along with her mother, Frances Moore Lappé) of Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet and cofounder of the Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund, joked about a book she reads when she needs a laugh, Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastics. Terry, a chef and founding director of b-healthy!, chuckled about his past forays into fruitarianism and even breatharianism before realizing he was a “grubarian,” adding that “to embrace grub, you don’t have to give up anything — except maybe a mouthful of pesticides.” The real fun, however, began after the bookstore event.

After signing books for eager Grubbies, Lappé and Terry headed to a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hole-in-the-wall bar for an afterparty — and I use the term loosely — co-hosted by Grist and fellow greenbloggers WorldChanging. It was a cozy, mellow gathering, attended by a good half of the audience. Good drinks, good laughs, good-looking people. Jealous? Uh-huh, thought so.

But don’t despair, the duo is still on their book tour and may soon be in a town near you. Check out their upcoming events, many of which include meals and cooking demos.

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And in the meantime, check out Grub or one of these other books that look so good you could eat ’em right up: