Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Product Image Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Well, it's not often I dog-ear a library book, but I must confess that I did this one-- and no less than 14 times! Barbara Kingsolver's journey to eat locally for one year was that intriguing to me. I have to confess that before I read this book, I thought, "OK, eating local/slow food is a good idea, but who has the money for all that local, organic food?" After reading this though, I've come to the conclusion that every time I don't buy local/organic, I'm voting with my wallet for that healthier option to disappear.

Besides, as Kingsolver points out, fresher tastes better. Granted I don't have her acreage for growing food, but we do have the berry bushes in and would love to get going on the vegetable garden. True, gardening is a lot of work, but her family ate organically and well for about 50 cents per meal per person. Now if I could just find the trifoliate orange, a small frost-hardy citrus she mentioned, I could have a little piece of home growing in my yard...

Besides all the reasons to shop local or garden, the recipes are a big plus to this book. A big part of the reason why I don't shop more at the farmer's market is the issue of how would I use all that produce. My cooking, limited as it is, isn't exactly creative and I don't have the faintest idea how to prepare most vegetables. All the recipes are on the book's website, which had I gone and bookmarked the first time I dog-eared a page, I could have avoided most of the injury I inflicted on this library copy.

Finally, one of my favorite quotes in the book has to be the following: "A lot of human hobbies, from knitting sweaters to building model airplanes, are probably rooted in the same human desire to control an entire process of manufacture." This explains so much about the metamorphosis I've been through since moving to Corvallis and why I can't stop bookmarking everything from recipes to "easy" sewing patterns even though I have absolutely no talents in the "domestic arts."

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