I just picked up Barbara Kingslover’s new book – Animal, Vegetable Miracle, a year of food life, HarperCollinsPublishers, 2007.It is very different from her fictional work if you have read her before. This is about a year in the life of her family as they decide to grow and eat only what is available in their southern Appalachia community.
Not only does she write about their experiences, but she also has fact and figures about subjects such as “Oily Food”, which starts off with “Americans put almost as much fossil fuel into our refrigerators as our cars.” She has another essay about “How to Find a Farmer”. Her daughter Camille includes meal plans and recipes.
I’ve only just started the book and I especially like the rule where each of the 4 family members allowed themselves to pick one luxury items on the condition that they would learn how to purchase it in a way most beneficial to the grower and the environment where it is grown. The choices were for the father, coffee, for Camille, dried fruit, the youngest child, Lily picked hot chocolate, and Barbara selected spices.
I think this would be a great reading group book choice. I’m finding it very informative and inspirational as I stumble along my own path of living in a more sustainable, local, and intentional manner.