“Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver

This book scared me. It’s like “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore which I never read, because of my friend Dick’s reaction, which was simply “I’m scared”. If Dick, a PhD and a clear thinker in the areas of science and public policy, is scared, so am I. And I know a great deal about global warming, so why read the book?

I knew less about the vulnerability of our food supply.

Kingsolver and her family decided to try for one year to eat from within their own county in Virginia. They didn’t go for 100%. Each chose a favorite food to “keep”, and they bought some things like rice, flour and oatmeal that just weren’t locally available.

They took a vacation in Italy. Without these human touches, the book would have been insufferable! Kingsolver certainly has a serious agenda.

Another saving grace is that she emphasized the local Farmers Market as the place where change can start. And I live among a plethora of roadside stands and farmer’s markets! I can buy fresh produce and flowers daily in summer. We argue over whose corn is better, the family around the corner or the farmer I pass on the way to work. I grow my own herbs and sometimes eat my neighbors eggs. What a blessing! Within this county, I can get fish, shellfish, venison and locally made wine. And possibly the best of all onions, something called a “candy onion”.

Will I made some changes in how I eat? Maybe… I hate to give up the distant fruits, like bananas and avocados. 

I originally read this book in July of 2009. Farm stands come and go – the feast continues!


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