Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

A Year of Food LIfe
by Barbara Kingsolver

Much is being written these days about the state of our food economy, plight of farmers and the many benefits of eating local, sustainable food. Good thing too as awareness is the key to change. Honestly though, the whole discussion can be a bit daunting, more than a little wearying and dare I say too much like homework. For a more uplifting and enlightening take on the topic turn to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Popular novelist Barbara Kinsolver tells the true story of her family’s move from Tucson, Arizona to the heartland of farming country in rural Virginia. An environmentalist and ethical consumer from way back, Kingsolver and her family decide to spend a year, all four seasons, eating only food that is raised in their neighbourhood or own backyard. Rather than subjecting the reader to a litany of complaining and whining about what they are missing out on, the family helps us to rediscover the true pleasures of enjoying food that you or your neighbors had a hand in growing and more importantly the sharing of that food with your family and friends.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is both memoir and journalistic investigation so throughout her personal and engaging narrative Kingsolver gives us snippets of facts, figures and trends to reinforce her point. Rather than drag us down it brings a dose of real world to the story. The true joy of the book is not just the message of the book but in the writing itself. It’s not enough just to be passionate about something; one needs to be able to convey that passion in a convincing voice. Kingsolver’s style is so personal and approachable you are most certain she is one of your closest friends letting you in on a little secret. Her first-hand insight into farming life and the future of farming in the United States make this book more than just a back to the land story of one family. Kingsolver’s eldest daughter, Camille, provides another voice to the families experience and also give us some of her favorite recipes for making due with what’s on hand, particularly when there is a bounty crop of tomatoes or zucchini.

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“This book will change your life…Perhaps never before has food been written about so passionately.” –Boston Sunday Globe

Posted by Food Junkie on September 18, 2008
Categories - Food & Cooking Magazines, Gardening, Wild Food, Our Favorite Cookbooks

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