A. Whitney Sanford
About 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.
"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
About the Author:
A. Whitney Sanford is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Florida, focusing on sustainable agriculture, religion, and social justice, particularly in the global South. She has over fifteen years of fieldwork experience in South Asia, Latin America, and the United States. She analyzes how food and agriculture fits into different religious and cultural traditions and how religious and spiritual values shape food practices, both in production and consumption.
Her courses at the University of Florida include Religion and the Environmental Crisis, Environmental Movements of the Global South, and Gender and Nature. Her books include /Growing Stories from India: Religion and the Fate of Agriculture /(University of Kentucky Press, 2011) and /Singing Krishna: Sound Becomes Sight in Paramanand's Poetry/ (SUNY, 2006), and her articles have been published in journals including the /Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, International Journal of Hindu Studies, /and the/Journal of the American Academy of Religion/.
Her new project "Gandhi's Environmental Legacy: What Gandhi Can Teach Us about Sustainability, Self-Sufficiency, and Social Justice" explores Gandhi's influence on contemporary intentional communities in the United States. She is conducting fieldwork in communities in California, Missouri, Iowa, and Florida to see how these communities are translating aspects of Gandhian social thought, e.g. non-violence, voluntary simplicity, and appropriate technologies, into practice.