Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What We're Reading: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

If I had the power to make any book required reading, I think this current bestseller would be the one. In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Barbara Kingsolver and family take us on a journey from Tucson, AZ to their farm in Virginia for a year long mission - to live off the land and eat locally. (I think this would definitely take resolve...I'd be more apt to remain in Tucson and eat at Magpie's Gourmet Pizza once a week.)

I can't really think of a way to describe this memoir other than to call it a love letter to food. It's so inspiring and seductive, it makes me want to take up gardening and make mozzarella from scratch. Of course, there are also some hard lessons to learn. While a ride on the bus or train will surely help to curb our nation's dependence on oil, think about the amount of energy it takes to ship produce thousands of miles so it's available out of season at a grocery store near you. You'll never look at bananas the same way again; of this I can assure you.

Kingsolver has done us all a wonderful service in writing this book. It's good for the environmentally conscious or the reader of armchair travel (you'll love their culinary adventures in Italy). You'll laugh, you'll cry...you'll learn about the awkward and improbable act of turkey "love". Visit the official website at http://animalvegetablemiracle.com for some lovely recipes and links that will help you find local food near you.

This is already a popular book, so you'll need to get yourself on the waiting list. In the meantime, there are many other books that will make you feel guilty about eating (I kid...I kid.) New to our shelves is The Gospel of Food : Everything You Think You Know About Food is Wrong. There's also The Omnivore's Dilemma : A Natural History of Four Meals.

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