Sunday, November 29, 2009

Book Recommendation: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life for my book club -- though we never did get around to having an official meeting. [Fail!]

If you have any interest in eating foods grown locally, this book is a must-read.

Barbara Kingsolver details how her family not only got by, but thrived only eating food from neighboring farms and their own backyard for an entire year.

While I don’t have the will power to survive off only locally grown foods – the book did influence my eating habits and inspired me to pay more attention to what I ingest.

I was already trying to eat organically whenever possible, but I learned from the book that all organically grown food isn’t necessarily labeled as such. Many small farmers meet and exceed organic standards, but simply can’t afford to get the organic certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Already a supporter of small, family businesses, I decided to buy as much produce as possible from farmers markets and local stores, as opposed to buying organic at the grocery store (or worse - processed, packaged food). As winter rapidly approaches, it’s getting harder, but not impossible. Just do a little Internet searching to find local farms in your area.

Another option is trying to grow your own vegetables. For the last two years, the fiancĂ© and I grew as many crops as possible in any corner of a yard our parents would loan us. But now that we have our own house, we’re already planning to clear out some space for our own garden next spring.

For more information, recipes and stories of Kingsolver’s high and low points throughout the 356 days, definitely read the book!


  1. Great book, I also read for book club! I think you should also keep chickens in your new yard. Just a thought.... ;)

  2. Those interested in turning their front yard into an "Edible Estate" will be interested in the project/book by Fritz Haeg, who was profiled in the Jan 09 issue of Carnegie Mellon Today

  3. I absolutely LOVE barbara kingsolver, but haven't read that book yet. I will have to add it to my list! Are there some good farmers markets near you? It's tough in the winter sometimes to find good local/organic food, but at least in DC the regular grocery stores are pretty good with it. In class last night, my professor mentioned a documentary called Food Inc., which I haven't seen, but it apparently talks about farming and raising animals and politics and how they're all intertwined.

    Having a garden will be so great - do you know what all you want to plant yet??

  4. I need to read this, it sounds great!!