"sustainable food" is a neat idea and really good if you can afford it, but IMO it's a pipe dream that this will eventually replace industrial food production. It's simply not possible! The way the population of this planet is exploding, and countries are moving into "modern age" (going from one phone in the village to a cellphone in each hand) and people wanting the same living standard what we just take for granted, it's simply impossible to have food for all these people that grows on that little farm down the road.
That aside, I'm sure there's plenty information in the books that can be used by the locavores out there, I really don't understand the silly hostility by some of these people. What are they afraid of? Alice Waters etc need to come off their freshly picked next door green throne, not everybody can afford to eat at her restaurant either, certainly not on a daily basis.
I'm lucky in that we don't have to use coupons and turn over every penny twice, but many many people don't have that luxury. I shop at the farmers market because I can afford it, but it's a good 2-3x as expensive as shopping at the cheaper supermarket chains, where most people have to shop. Is it silly that strawberries from somewhere in Mexico cost a third of those grown an hour from here? It's just the way it is, and there's really no realistic way to change these things back - just as we cant replace "made in China" with "made in USA" anymore.
Maybe this would be a good topic to discuss elsewhere, but this ignorant and arrogant stance of "I have no interest in this what so ever" is just stupid. They talk as if these books are meant to be the next Joy of Cooking for the masses, which they clearly are not, nor are intended to be.
Alice Water's comment that "it's not a kind of way of eating that we need to really live on this planet together." just makes me laugh out loud. So, modernist cooking is not, but $60-95 per person dinners are? Oh please, get a grip. That's just plain silly. Nobody "needs" Chez Panisse either.
Why people can't just say "not for me, looks nice, but thanks" instead of getting into this hostile attack mode I really don't understand at all.
Personally I actually see these books as art books with interesting information about food, I most likely would have bought them even if the only thing I could cook is water, just for the photography alone.
Anyway, just my 2ct, but ignorant comments like this just make me loose a lot of respect for those that utter them.