Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver

This book is about eating locally.  In the case of Barbara Kingsolver, very locally.  In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Kingsolver journals her first year of farm living.  Together, the Kingsolver family sustains themselves by living off of what they can grow and raise on their farm. 

I was skeptical about this book when I plucked it from my friend's book shelf.  I thought it would be another judgemental book attempting to guilt its readers into becoming vegetarian farmers.  Now, I have absolutely nothing against vegetarian farmers, I just am not one of them.  I am a city girl, I eat meat, and I rarely ate locally (note the past tense).  So I picked up this book, read the title, rolled my eyes and was about to shove it right back on the shelf, when my friend started to go on and on about how good it was.  I was interested, but not interested enough to actually read it.

Then one day I was at Costco, and they had NOTHING that I wanted to read or hadn't read already.  And there was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, staring at me.  Taunting me.  So I picked it up.  And I was pleasantly surprised.  It was an honest book journaling one family's experience.  The stories were wonderful, and it was a much easier read than I expected.  There was no judgement.  There were a lot of facts, many that I ddn't know.  For example, did you know that eggs from free range chickens who are allowed to forrage for their own food are not the cholesterol bombs that you get at the supermarket?  There are also some delicious recipes.

The bottom line message I got from this book is that we should eat locally.  Local ensures freshness (and hence better nutritional contents), supports the local farming community, and is fantastic for the environment.  Now does that mean that I'm going to be moving to a farm and living off the land?  Not likely - though my dogs would love it.  However, I do try to buy my produce locally as much as possible.  The first thing I did was find a family close to my aunt's house (about 1 hour away) who raises chickens and sells AMAZING eggs.  The yolks are orange and not yellow!  Right now it's winter here in Canada, and there is not much growing out there, but when things pick up, I'll be out there checking out the farms. 

Overall, a good book that's worth reading, and maybe even thinking about next time you're at the grocery store.

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