Anna Blythe Lappé

Anna Lappé is a widely respected author and educator, known for her work as an expert on food systems and as a sustainable food advocate. The co-author or author of three books and the contributing author to ten others, Anna’s work has been widely translated internationally and featured in The New York Times,Gourmet,Oprah Magazine, among many other outlets. Named one of Time magazine’s “eco” Who’s-Who, Anna is a founding principal of the Small Planet Institute and the Small Planet Fund. She is currently the head of the Real Food Media Project, a new initiative to spread the story of the power of sustainable food using creative movies, an online action center, and grassroots events.

Her latest book, Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It (Bloomsbury), was named by Booklist and Kirkus as one of the best environmental book’s of the year. Anna is also the co-author of Hope’s Edge (Tarcher/Penguin 2002), which chronicles social movements fighting hunger around the world, and Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen (Tarcher/Penguin 2006), showcasing the ecological and social benefits of sustainable food with seasonal menus from chef Bryant Terry.

Anna can be seen as the co-host of the public television series, The Endless Feast and as a featured expert on PBS’s Need to Know, the Sundance Channel’s Big Ideas for a Small Planet and the PBS documentary, Nourish. Anna is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio shows and has been on hundreds of radio programs, including National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition, The Diane Rehm Show, and WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show and Leonard Lopate Show. Anna’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Gourmet, O: The Oprah Magazine, Domino, Food & Wine, Body + Soul, Natural Health, and Vibe, among many other publications.

With her mother Frances Moore Lappé, Anna co-founded the Cambridge-based Small Planet Institute, an international network for research and popular education about the root causes of hunger and poverty. The Lappés are also co-founders of the Small Planet Fund, which has raised nearly $1 million for democratic social movements worldwide, two of which have won the Nobel Peace Prize since the Fund’s founding in 2002.

Anna’s writing and advocacy have earned her numerous accolades. In 2009, The New York Times magazine featured Anna among a handful of “food fighters.” In 2007, she was chosen by the Missing Peace Project for the Compassion in Action Award and in 2006 Anna was selected for Contribute magazine’s “21 Under 40 Making a Difference.”

A frequent public speaker, in the past decade Anna has participated in more than 500 events, from community food festivals to university lectures to emceeing a food-focused fundraiser at Sotheby’s She has been a keynote speaker and guest lecturer at dozens of colleges and universities, including Boston College, Brown University, Columbia University, Dominican University, New York University, Northwestern University, Wesleyan, Vassar, and Yale.

Anna holds an M.A. in Economic and Political Development from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and graduated with honors from Brown University. From 2004 to 2006, she was a Food and Society Fellow, a national program of the WK Kellogg Foundation. In 2010, she was the first "Innovator" with the Glynwood Institute for Sustainable Food and Farming. Among other consulting and advisory roles, Anna is an active board member of Rainforest Action Network and an advisor to the International Fund to Amplify Agro-Ecological Solutions. Born in Yonkers, she lives in the Bay Area with her husband and daughters.


Anna offers consulting services on fundraising, strategic planning, and media and outreach and has worked with foundations, non-profits, and community groups. She has been an editorial consultant for publications including The Nation and World Ark magazine. Specific work includes:

Advisory Posts and Boards

Anna is an active board member of Rainforest Action Network and serves informally in an advisory capacity to a number of grassroots organizations, including Real Food Challenge. Anna is a former board member of the Center for Media and Democracy, the Community Food Security Coalition (2005-2006) and b-healthy (Build Healthy Eating and Lifestyles to Help Youth), a New York City-based non-profit organization (2004-2006).

Teaching and Scholarly Positions

- Anna has guest lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities, including the University of Colorado, Boulder, University of California, Santa Cruz, Dominican University, Brown University, Dickinson College, University of Montana at Missoula, University of Texas at El Paso, Columbia University, Gallatin School at NYU, Yale University, Eckerd College in Florida, and many more.
- Anna has also participated in many workshops in the United States and Canada. She offers a range of workshops about food systems and social change for laypeople and educators alike.

Advocacy & Partnerships

The Institute has given its support to many critical pro-democracy and food justice campaigns from policies for improving food access in low-income communities to policies banning trans fats in New York City. Partners in this work include Corporate Accountability International, Food & Water Watch, Food Democracy Now!, among many others.