Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups


In Big Hunger, Andrew Fisher takes a critical look at the business of hunger. Food charity is embedded in American civil society, and federal food programs have remained intact while other anti-poverty programs have been eliminated or slashed. But anti-hunger advocates are missing an essential element of the problem: economic inequality driven by low wages. Reliant on corporate donations of food and money, anti-hunger organizations have failed to hold business accountable for offshoring jobs, cutting benefits, exploiting workers and rural communities, and resisting wage increases. They have become part of a “hunger industrial complex” that seems as self-perpetuating as the more famous military-industrial complex.

Fisher lays out a vision that encompasses a broader definition of hunger characterized by a focus on public health, economic justice, and economic democracy. He points to the work of numerous grassroots organizations that are leading the way in these fields as models for the rest of the anti-hunger sector. It is only through approaches like these that we can hope to end hunger, not just manage it.


Big Hunger is arguably the most important book on the American food scene in a decade. A decade ago, the food scene was rocked by The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Now we must face a Charitable Dilemma.” —Wayne Roberts, author of The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food


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Get a 30% discount on Big Hunger online at MIT Press in July, August, and September using the promo code: MFISHER30


  1. 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  2. 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  3. 1 cup grated beets
  4. 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  5. 1 cup cooked red beans
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1/4 cup oat flour
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  9. 1/4 teaspoon garlic
  10. Pinch of salt
  11. 1/4 cup rolled oats
  1. Start by sautéing your chopped onions in coconut oil for 2-3 minutes
  2. Add in the beets, and cook over low heat for another 5 minutes
  3. Allow to cool, and add to a food processor along with the sunflower seeds, beans, egg, oat flour (just pulse rolled oats until a flour-like consistency is reached), and spices
  4. Pulse until everything is mixed well together, and you have a pasty, thick finish. We don’t want the blend super mushy either so don’t overdo it…a few pulses and that’s it.
  5. Add this to a bowl, and mix in the rolled oats. This will add more structure to the burgers
  6. Using your hands, form 4 patties
  7. Let them sit out for 20 minutes, so they can firm up a bit
  8. If you’re ready to enjoy now, pop these into the oven and bake @400 for 10-12 minutes or until the burger is crisp and browned
  9. Alternatively, you can also store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or freeze until ready to use
  10. Enjoy on a bun, topped with arugula, onions, avocado, and/or tahini!


Follow Andy on Twitter: @Fisherfood


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