Cambodia, Cape Verde, Haiti, Mali, Niger, and Sudan may not seem to have much in common. But these six countries occupy the spotlight of a new cookbook, “Adaptive Farms, Resilient Tables,” featuring recipes gathered during a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) climate change adaption project in a diverse set of communities across the Equator. Though the communities are, geographically speaking, far from our own, the book has a strong local link, not to mention a socially minded message that transcends borders.
Andrea Egan, who is based in Somerville, and Jennifer Baumwoll, who is from Newton, have each spent eight years with UNDP. After years of working on projects that culminated in lengthy research papers and presentations, the two were ready to try something new.
Though UN projects are not often presented as cookbooks, Egan and Baumwoll saw a clear link between climate change adaption and cooking — the ways in which climate change affects traditional diets, and how UNDP’s initiatives are helping communities cope with those changes. “The UN can be full of lots of jargon, abstract concepts, and faraway places,” says Baumwoll. “I feel like with climate, you need to make it visceral,” adds Egan. “A cookbook lets you understand that . . . what people are eating is changing,” she says.