Diet of Austerity, A

Diet of Austerity, A

Class, Food and Climate Change

How and why the working class are being blamed for climate change, and what we can do about it.


Received wisdom is increasingly that we all have to eat less to save the planet, but received wisdom is wrong. A Diet of Austerity argues that, just as the poor are blamed for the economic crisis, Malthusian conceptions about food and ecology are being used to hold the working class responsible for climate change and global hunger. Challenging existing dogmas about overconsumption and personal responsibility, it shows that what we need to stop climate change is system change.


Elaine has a produced a must-read book for all of us concerned with combatting climate change. We can't diet our way to a better world but we can and must change the system to sustain the future. This book is well written, fascinating, controversial and essential. ~ Derek Wall, Former Green Party of England and Wales Principal Speaker and author of The Rise of the Green Left

Who is to blame for climate change? Graham-Leigh says it's not fat people, cows or the working class. A challenging and interesting book, packed with new ideas to make you think again about what you thought you knew. ~ Jonathan Neale, Author of Stop Global Warming, Change the World

Food production and consumption is increasingly recognized as a major driver of global climate change, but where does the balance of blame lie? Elaine Graham-Leigh’s book makes an important and timely contribution to the debates swirling around food production systems, 'overconsumption' and climate change. The class-based ideological assault on working people as the culprits of our multi-faceted ecological crisis, are elucidated with great clarity by the author. For people who believe combining social justice with ecological sustainability is an essential part of the answer, Graham-Leigh’s book provides essential ammunition as to why it is our system of food production for commodity exchange, and the waste inherent in it, rather than individual behavior and food choices, that lies at the heart of the crisis. ~ Chris Williams, Author of Ecology and Socialism

An excellent, polemical book; enjoyable, interesting and very, very well-written. A really new contribution to theory and an incisive argument. ~ Chris Nineham, Author of The People v Tony Blair

Elaine Graham-Leigh
Elaine Graham-Leigh Elaine Graham-Leigh is a member of Counterfire and a former member of the steering committee of the Campaign against Climate Change. She has...
Combined and Uneven Apocalypse by Evan Calder Williams

Combined and Uneven Apocalypse

Luciferian Marxism

Evan Calder Williams

No Local by Greg Sharzer

No Local

Why Small-Scale Alternatives Won't Change The World

Greg Sharzer

Last Night, The by Federico Campagna

Last Night, The

Anti-Work, Atheism, Adventure

Federico Campagna

Negative Capitalism by J.D. Taylor

Negative Capitalism

Cynicism in the Neoliberal Era

J.D. Taylor

People v. Tony Blair, The by Chris Nineham

People v. Tony Blair, The

Politics, the media and the anti-war movement

Chris Nineham

Rules Without Rulers by Matthew Wilson

Rules Without Rulers

The Possibilities and Limits of Anarchism

Matthew Wilson

Can Architecture Be an Emancipatory Project? by Nadir Z. Lahiji

Can Architecture Be an Emancipatory Project?

Dialogues on Architecture and the Left

Nadir Z. Lahiji

Hungry Capital by Luigi Russi

Hungry Capital

The Financialization of Food

Luigi Russi