45. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year in Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver, Steven Hopp and Camille Kingsolver
As I have mentioned on my food blog, I am really interested in the environmental impacts of my diet. There are other reasons that I am cutting out meat, but a smaller environmental footprint is a big plus in my book. But the more I look into the environmental issues around food, it is easy to see that the biggest concern is the fuel that it takes to transport food here from all over the planet. So when I saw this book, I was intrigued.
One of the best parts of this book is the fact that it is about a family. I have read a lot online about single adults, or couples with no children who make the local pledge. I think that what they are doing is wonderful, and more power to them, but it is hard to translate their experiences into my hectic family lifestyle. It’s hard to translate Kingsolver’s experiences, too, since she has a huge garden to grow much of their own food, and I live in a third floor apartment in the city. She regularly points out the alternative for city dwellers, though—go to the farmer’s market. She also points out that making a few compromises to keep peace in the family (like continuing to drink coffee, and declaring grains local) does not invalidate the good in other local eating adventures.
She also makes some interesting points about meat-eating, and how meat that is pasture fed is healthier than meat that comes from a commercial feedlot. I am not planning on starting to eat meat any time soon, but I can see that if I do, I will definitely be searching out a local farm that treats its animals well.
This book gave me a lot to think about, even though I had already done some research into local eating. There were recipes, practical advice and some good ideas for how we can help spread a local food culture. This one is definitely a keeper.