Frances Moore Lappe
- Category : 1944-births
- Type : GE
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Explanation 1
American social activist and prolific writer, whose first book “Diet for a Small Planet” (1971) gave rise to increased consciousness about food choices and their effects on a global scale.
Although she was born in Oregon, Lappé was brought up primarily in Fort Worth TX. Her parents, liberal thinkers in the conservative Bible belt of the 1950s, established a liberal racially integrated church. Discussion of social and political issues abounded in the home. Even as a young child she wanted to make a difference but didn’t know how. She describes her teen-age-self as a compulsive eater.
A year after earning her bachelor’s degree, on November 12, 1967, she married Marc Alan Lappé and enrolled in graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. Following her interests, she found herself surrounded by reading material, charts and graphs of grain production, agricultural issues and famine around the world.
Her research led to her first book, which sold over three million copies. The premise of the book is that human behavior, not forces of nature, cause world hunger and therefore people could make better choices to end food shortages. “Diet for a Small Planet” brought home to its readers and advocates the global consequences of food and farming choices.
She developed her ideas further and in 1977 published her second book, “Food First; Beyond the Myth of Scarcity” which she co-wrote with Joseph Collins. With the publication of each book, she delved more deeply into the ramifications of agricultural options, food choices, use of the land, and distribution of food. Her investigation into causes of food shortages and famine led her to explore the meaning and root values of democracy and citizen participation. As she thought about her own journey, she began actively encouraging others to follow their hearts and instincts, to participate actively in democracy, to have courage and to effect positive change in the world. Her latest three books bear titles like “You Have the Power: Choosing Courage in a Culture of Fear, co-written with Jeffrey Perkins (2004), “Democracy's Edge: Choosing to Save Our Country by Bringing Democracy to Life,” (2005) and “Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity and Courage in a World Gone Mad” (2007).
Lappé has been married three times. After ten years of marriage and two children, she divorced her first husband in 1977. She and her daughter Anna, also an activist and writer, co-wrote a book in 2002 entitled “Hope’s Edge; The Next Diet for a Small Planet.” Lappé remarried in 1985, divorced her second husband in 1991 and married for the third time the same year.
To further disseminate the results of her research and to inspire others to action, Lappé co-founded two national organizations: the Institute for Food and Development Policy based in California and the Center for Living Democracy. The latter initiative encourages “regular citizens to contribute to problem-solving in all dimensions of public life.” The recipient of many awards and 17 honorary doctorates, Lappé was given the prestigious Right Livelihood Award in 1987 for her “vision and work healing our planet and uplifting humanity.”