Frances Moore Lappé is an American original. New York Magazine dubbed her “Movement Mother” while the Smithsonian described this book as “one of the most influential political tracts of the times.” Gourmet Magazine named Lappé as one of 25 people—from Thomas Jefferson to Julia Child—whose work has changed the way America eats. Writing, either by or about Lappé, has appeared in Harper’s, New York Times Magazine, O Magazine, among others. Her media appearances range from the Today Show to Hardball with Chris Matthews, from Fox and Friends to the BBC and PBS Retro Report.
The recipient of 20 honorary degrees, Lappé has authored 20 books, most recently Daring Democracy, coauthored with Adam Eichen, and It’s Not Too Late.
Her first book, Diet for a Small Planet published in 1971, has now sold three-million copies . Its 50th-anniversary edition was released in 2021 with features in The New York Times, Boston Globe, and other major outlets. In 2019, The New York Times Magazine interview with Frances began: “Frances Moore Lappé changed how we eat. She wants to do the same for our democracy.”
A sought-after public speaker, Lappé has been a visiting scholar at MIT and U.C. Berkeley. In 1987, Lappé received the Right Livelihood Award, often called the “Alternative Nobel.” She is a founding member of the World Future Council and serves on the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Lappé is co-founder of three national organizations—Oakland-based Food First, the Center for Living Democracy (1991-2000), and her current home, the Cambridge-based Small Planet Institute, cofounded with her daughter Anna Lappé.
Photo by Michael Piazza