Frances Moore Lappé

Nobel Conference 46

Frances Moore Lappé, author and co-founder of the Small Planet Institute, Cambridge Massachusetts

Frances Moore Lappé is a democracy advocate and world food and hunger expert who is the author or co-author of 16 books. Her first book, Diet for a Small Planet, has sold three million copies and is considered “the blueprint for eating with a small carbon footprint since long before the term was coined.”

Lappé, who grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, attended Earlham College in Richmond, Ind. (B.A., 1966). She enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, for graduate studies in social work, but gained prominence in the early 1970s with the publication of her first book and turned her attention to writing and activism. In 1975 she helped to launch the Institute for Food and Development Policy (now known as Food First) to educate Americans about the causes of world hunger. In 1990 she co-founded the Center for Living Democracy, a 10-year initiative to accelerate the spread of democratic innovations. In 2002, she and her daughter, Anne Lappé, established the Small Planet Institute, a collaborative network for research and popular education to bring democracy to life.

Lappé and her daughter published Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet, the 30th-anniversary sequel to Diet for a Small Planet, in 2002. Among her other books are World Hunger: Twelve Myths (1986) and, most recently, Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage in a World Gone Mad (2007). In 1987 she received the Right Livelihood Award in Sweden, and in 2003 the Rachel Carson Award from the National Nutritional Foods Association, She was honored by the James Beard Foundation as Humanitarian of the Year in 2008 and in that same year was named by Gourmet magazine among 25 people “whose work has changed the way America eats.”