#5. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – Barbara Kingsolver
If you’re one of the two individuals who haven’t heard anything about Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, let me explain the premise to you. Basically Kingsolver and her family – husband and two daughters – decided to spend an entire year eating only food they either grew (or raised, in the case of eggs and poultry) themselves or bought locally (within 80 miles or so). This book is partly Kingsolver’s memoir of that experience, partly nonfiction regarding lots of different issues about food and where it comes from, how it’s grown/raised, etc., and partly recipes and ideas for how you as an individual can adopt SOME of what they did in your own life.
I found this book very interesting. Kingsolver goes into a lot of detail about how important it is to get food from local sources whenever possible, and gives many, many reasons why going local may not be as difficult an idea as some may think – but never, ever comes across as preachy. In other food books I have come across, the author always seems to be trying to convince the reader of something, but I really didn’t find that to be the case in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – which was so refreshing. The book came across as the family honestly wanting to share their experiences with the reader, not convert everyone into locavores overnight or scare everybody away from “Big Food”.
I loved that Kingsolver’s husband Steven and oldest daughter Camille were both involved in the book – Steven put together some educational pieces and Camille shared recipes, food tips, and some of her own experiences being a college student and trying to eat as healthfully and locally as possible. Both Steven and Camille added an extra something to the book that made it that more readable and relatable.
Also, I listened to this book in the car and I have to say I highly recommend this as an audiobook. It paces very well for long drives, and the best part is that Kingsolver actually narrated the entire thing herself. I loved that! It made me feel like the experience was so personal, like she was actually telling me herself about it isntead of someone else reading it to me. Also, Steven and Camille narrated their parts themselves which helped the listener really get to know them too.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle really inspired me. I am not going to start gardening anytime soon (for starters, I don’t have anything resembling a yard) but I am thinking much more about what exactly goes into my food and where it came from. I am trying to be more concious of where I spend my money – but I realized that it’s a lot more important to think about what organizations the money I spend is supporting, and I’d rather support a smaller, organic company than a huge one that cramms their fruits and veggies full of pesticides to get them through a several days long journey to my grocery store. The book also inspired me to look into farm-raised or free-range meat products whenever possible. I don’t have the best grocery stores around me (think Super Wal-Mart) but I am willing to drive a little further if possible to support companies that treat their animals humanely. Last, I am absolutely going to search for farmer’s markets this spring and summer when they come around again. I know they exist around me, I just don’t know where and when. But I definitely plan to find out.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracleis fantastic and it really taught me a lot. If you care at all about where your food comes from, or just like memoirs, or just like Kingsolver, it’s definitely the book for you. 🙂
- Andi at AndiLit
- Jeane at Dog Ear Diary
- Becca at The Inside Cover
- Laura at Musings
- Bethany at B&b ex libris