The 10 best sustainable food books you must-read
Updated: Apr 4
Wondering how to include more sustainable food in your diet? Maybe you want to understand the complexities of food and climate change? Our ten must-read books about sustainable food make it simple.
We've carefully chosen these ten books that tackle different aspects of sustainable food; from recipe books and economic guides to carbon footprint encyclopaedias and practical blueprints.
We've included links to buy these must-read books from our sustainable food book shop powered by Bookshop.org. The site delivers all orders with carbon-neutral shipping and supports indie bookshops in your local area.
Our must-read books about sustainable food:
Eating for Pleasure, People and Planet by Tom Hunt
Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet is a holistic guide to sustainable food in the UK. Eco-chef, Tom Hunt, has written a book brimming with low carbon recipes to showcase local ingredients. His creative meals can inspire everyone to try more climate-friendly food.
But this isn't just a cookbook. Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet also provides advice for zero waste 'root-to-tip' cooking, tips for choosing sustainable produce, and a guide to seasonal eating. Get the book.
Eat Green by Melissa Hemsley
Eat Green is a bible for anyone looking to reduce the carbon footprint of food. Meat-lovers, veggies and vegans will find dozens of flexitarian recipes to drool over.
Hemsley includes 'flexi swaps' to demonstrate how to veganise your recipes. This sustainable cookbook is brimming with meal prep ideas, quick dinners, sustainable feasts and wholesome desserts that draw inspiration from all around the world.
You'll also find tips for sustainable shopping and stopping food waste in your kitchen. Get the book.
One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones
Sustainable food books don't get more complete than One: Pot, Pan, Planet. Anna Jones provides an insightful overview of some of the significant sustainability issues facing our food systems and planet.
Jones pairs this with how to take action through the food we choose and how we cook. On top of this, the recipes included in this book are inspired and delicious. One: Pot, Pan, Planet is an absolute must-read for learning about making your diet more sustainable. Get the book.
The Vegan Butcher by Zacchary Bird
The Vegan Butcher sounds like an odd concept. But it's a genius way to reduce your food's carbon footprint by eating less meat while fooling your brain into enjoying a 'steak'.
Zac Bird loves to create plant-based meats that look like the real deal. Now, the creator of CFC (cruelty-free chicken) Drumsticks and Vegan Roast Turkey shares how to make mock meats from vegetables. And, of course, all of this helps you reduce your climate impact. Get the book.
Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal by Tristram Stuart
Tristram Stuart is a leading voice in the fight against food waste. His book Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal uncovers the truth about global food waste. This starts right from the kitchens and supermarkets here in the UK, through to unused harvests in low-income countries where people go hungry.
Although Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal is over a decade old now, it's never been more relevant. Rather than just highlighting some uncomfortable truths, this book also offers solutions for a more sustainable future of food. This book is an essential read to understand why we need to act now on food waste. Get the book.
How Bad Are Bananas?: The Carbon Footprint of Everything by Mike Berners-Lee
How Bad Are Bananas? is an encyclopaedia on the climate impact of daily living. You'll find the carbon dioxide equivalents (CO₂e) for everything from a Google search to having a medical operation all in this book.
When it comes to sustainable food, How Bad Are Bananas offers some carbon footprint insight for ingredients and meals like bananas, milk, pizza, and takeaway curry.
Mike Berners-Lee also goes a step further, breaking down the carbon footprint of food-related issues like deforestation, nitrogen fertilisers... and washing up. Get the book.
Author, journalist, & policy advisor, Mark Bittman, has had a prolific career writing about food and its impact on health and climate change. In his latest book, Animal, Vegetable, Junk, he explores the history of our food systems.
This fascinating book investigates how food has changed from hunter-gatherer communities to ancient civilisations, to the advent of modern ultra-processed food. Doing so gives us a better understanding of the decisions that shaped our, frankly, destructive food systems.
Silo: The Zero Waste Blueprint by Douglas McMaster
The future of food includes sustainable restaurants. Silo is the world's first zero-waste restaurant and a leader in paving the way to a greener restaurant industry. Silo's owner, head chef and visionary, Douglas McMaster, has laid out the foundations for a sustainable food future in The Zero Waste Blueprint.
This passionate and inspiring book weaves McMaster's experiences, seasonal menus, ingredients and supply considerations... and everything else that goes into a kitchen without a bin. This book truly is your blueprint for a zero-waste kitchen: professionally or at home. Get the book.
The Economics of Sustainable Food: Smart Policies for Health and the Planet by Nicoletta Batini
Creating a sustainable food future isn't black and white; there are many interdependencies and consequences from sectors across the globe. Nicoletta Batini outlines the complexities that influence the cost of food in The Economics of Sustainable Food.
This expertly researched book explores the climate, health, and financial threats to our current food systems. Batini's team also examine case studies and propose policies to better food supply and demand, along with waste and conservation practices that improve food security. A must-read for voters, economists, and policymakers. Get the book.
BOSH! Simple Recipes. Amazing Food. All Plants by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby
Whilst technically not a book about sustainable food, BOSH! Simple Recipes. Amazing Food. All Plants is an invaluable resource for any climate-conscious individual adopting a more plant-based diet. Firth and Theasby make up the BOSH! duo who want to show the world that vegan food doesn't have to be boring. This recipe book is a fantastic intro to plant-based eating that can reduce your diet's carbon footprint. You'll find familiar favourites like creamy carbonara, 'fish' and chips, and buffalo wings, creatively made from vegetables and plant protein substitutes. This book opens your mind to more sustainable, yet still delicious, eating. Get the book.