Frances Moore Lappé

Frances Moore  Lappé

Frances Moore Lappé is the author of 18 books including the three-million copy Diet for a Small Planet. She is the cofounder of three organizations, including Food First: The Institute for Food and Development Policy and, more recently, the Small Planet Institute, a collaborative network for research and popular education seeking to bring democracy to life, which she leads with her daughter Anna Lappé. Frances and her daughter have also cofounded the Small Planet Fund, which channels resources to democratic social movements worldwide. Frances appears frequently as a public speaker and on radio, and is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and Alternet.

In 1987 Frances received the Right Livelihood Award (considered an “Alternative Nobel”) “for revealing the political and economic causes of world hunger and how citizens can help to remedy them.” 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,” wrote J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press. In 2008 Diet for a Small Planet was selected as one of 75 Books by Women Whose Words Have Changed the World by members of the Women’s National Book Association in observance of its 75th anniversary and was named by Gourmet Magazine as one of 25 people (including Thomas Jefferson, Upton Sinclair, and Julia Child), whose work has changed the way America eats.

Her most recent book, Getting a Grip 2: Clarity, Creativity and Courage for the World We Really Want, was released in March 2010 after a thorough revision of the first edition. Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage in a World Gone Mad received the Nautilus Gold/“Best in Small Press” award. In 2008, Getting a Grip along with Diet for a Small Planet were designated as mustreads for the next U.S. president (by Barbara Kingsolver and Michael Pollan, respectively) in The New York Times Sunday Review of Books. Other recent books include Hope’s Edge, which Jane Goodall called “Absolutely one of the most important books as we move further into the twenty-first century,” Democracy’s Edge, and You Have the Power: Choosing Courage in a Culture of Fear.  Lappé’s books have been translated into 20 languages and are used widely in university courses.

Frances has received 17 honorary doctorates from distinguished institutions including The University of Michigan and was a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000-2001.  In 2008 she received the James Beard Foundation ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ Award for her lifelong impact on the way people all over the world think about food, nutrition, and agriculture.

Articles featuring or written by Frances have appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine, Harper’s, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, People, and more. She has most recently been featured in Yes! Magazine, The Boston Globe, AARP: The Magazine, Sojourners, The Progressive, and on, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘The National,’ NPR, and the BBC.

In 2006 Frances was chosen as a founding councilor of the 50-member, Hamburg-based World Future Council. She is a member of the International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture. Frances is also on the board of David Korten’s People-Centered Development Forum and serves on the advisory boards of the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Chez Panisse Foundation, and Earth Corps.

From 2000-2001 Frances was a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In 2003, Frances taught with Dr. Vandana Shiva in Dehra Dun, India, about the roots of world hunger, sponsored by the Navdanya researching and agricultural demonstration center. In 2004, Frances taught a course on Living Democracy at Schumacher College in England.  In 2006 and 2008, Frances was a visiting professor at Suffolk University, Boston.

Frances served as spokesperson for international World Food Day 2005. She is a contributing editor at Yes! Magazine and Solutions Magazine.


  • Outstanding Public Scholar Award, International Political Economy section of the International Studies Association, 2009.
  • Open Center Award, New York Open Center for “shaping a new understanding of the interrelationships among local food, agricultural sustainability, and living democracy,” 2008.
  • Nautilus Gold/Best in Small Press, for Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity and Courage in a World Gone Mad, 2008.
  • James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award, 2008.
  • Lifetime Service Award to Increase Planetary Awareness, AltWheels Alternative Transportation Festival, 2006 (along with biologist and author, E.O. Wilson).
  • Rachel Carson Environmental Achievement Award, The National Nutritional Foods Association, 2003.
  • Nautilus Award/Best in Social Change, for Hope’s Edge, 2003.
  • Nutrition Hall of Fame, Natural Health Magazine, 2000.
  • The Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel, 1987.
  • The Harry Chapin Media Award (formerly the World Hunger Media Award), 1982.