Tuesday 29 May 2007

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPublished by Harper Collins Publishers

Barbara Kingsolver brings the reader an inside look at a year with her family as they commit to buy food that is raised locally, grow their own foods and learn to adjust to living without items that don't fall into those categories.

We are introduced to many experiences along the way which are not solely limited to personal anecdotes but also eye opening facts and even topics such as turkey mating and keeping your door locked during zucchini season. (Just a couple of the many parts within this book which will make you chuckle!)

The book, while mostly written by Barbara Kingsolver, includes end of chapter essays written by Camille (daughter) and tasty recipes to try. There are also occasional words from Steven (husband) and many wonderfully awe inspiring moments involving Lily (younger daughter).

Although much of the book takes part where Barbara Kingsolver and family are located, they do travel at points in the year and then we get a glimpse of other wonders. An Amish family, a tour of Italy and more.

I can't express how much I was moved by this book. Before I had even reached a quarter of the way through, I was already hitting google and doing searches for farms in my area and tracking down the local farming association to request details on farmers' markets and more. I don't think anyone could read this book and not find themselves affected in some way by it. I constantly found myself sitting down next to my husband and starting conversations with "In this book I am reading" or "Did you know?" and found he was as enthusiastic as myself to make changes, which was exciting.

Having finished the whole book, I know it will be a book I will return to often and as for making better food choices, even today while grocery shopping, I found myself setting aside apples that were grown and imported from the USA, in favour of buying Canadian grown. I also spent a great deal of time scouring local stores and inspecting their produce, ruling out anything that didn't have Produce of Quebec or Local Produce on the label. It may take a few more moments of shopping time, and it will make choices more limited at first but now that I know what a difference it can make to the local economy and so on (especially when I use the famers' market and skip the supermarket chains) , I am confident in taking those steps.

I hope many people will buy this book and let it inspire them too. A fantastic read that belongs on any bookcase!

Author's website: http://www.kingsolver.com

1 comment:

Lotus Reads said...

I just finished reading this book and,like you, I have been scouring all the farmers markets in my area. There's just one problem, I grew up in India and much of our diet is Indian food and having to give up all those vegetables because they aren't grown locally is a little sad.