Each passing year, I find myself more and more inspired to eat locally, cook simply, and to be smart about our food and our meals. This change in me really started once I met my husband, and it really went into overdrive once we got married. All of a sudden, we were a family! A family that we have to keep healthy and happy! I wasn't my single self anymore, when a handful of cooked edamame and a grilled cheese sandwich was enough (although, to be honest, that's still one of my favorite snacks). I found myself beginning to cook and bake more, and before I knew it, I'd become a cooking crusader.
So, my to-do list this summer involved reading more about this subject. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was at the top of my list, and a few weeks ago I drove to our local library to pick it up.
Not quite a documentary, not quite a recipe book, her story tells of how their family moved to a farm and pledged to eat only local foods; either what they produced from their own hard work, or food that was produced by neighboring farmers. At times the book gets somewhat political, criticizing meat-processing methods and huge mega-corporations. She touches on Monsanto's frightening seed monopoly and how they are crippling the local farmers across the country with their lawsuits. Very similar to the documentary Food, Inc., she covers a wide range of food-related topics.
I find myself so incredibly passionate about this, but at the same time somewhat helpless. I would love to say that we're going to pack up our home tomorrow and move to a farm to live a sustainable life style, but I can't. So I try to do what is right for my family, and what I believe is right for our world. Eat local when possible, cook at home, don't waste, and support all of the wonderful farmers and growers in Memphis.
For more great links, check out Animal Vegetable Miracle's website.
And if you're interested in keeping a green and efficient kitchen, here is another great post by Clotilde Dusoulier of Chocolate and Zucchini.
Update: I've finished the book. And, honestly, the more I got into it, the more I became perturbed at her underlying tone of righteousness, especially towards the end. Countless times, I found myself scoffing; Kingsolver tends to lump all of America into one giant heap of unknowing and unthinking beings who will eat anything prepackaged and fast. She also flirts with hypocrisy, patting herself on the back for having an entire Thanksgiving meal comprised of things from their farm, only to indulge by buying a bag of cranberries from the store to "keep with holiday tradition." Give me a break.
I was also fairly annoyed with her obvious use of a thesaurus. At one point, she uses the word "comestible". Seriously? For those of you who aren't sure of what that means (because I didn't, although I could figure it out from the context), it means "articles of food; edibles". So...food.
So, I give this book 3 stars, for any one who cares. I at least enjoyed her facts that she had gathered about food production in the United States, and the short blurbs by her husband about various farming issues.