Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

My bookclub is meeting to discuss this book tonight. It was a life changer for me. You've read my blog as I talked about going local and this book just spurred me on.

Barbara Kingsolver wrote this book as her family attempted live for one year from local products. They made a few exceptions; coffee, olive oil, pasta and flour but other than that all their meals were made from food raised on their small farm, local farmers markets and local purveyors.

I loved everything about this book and what it taught me. Above all I appreciated that it was not preachy. This family is like any other family. They aren't hippies living in hemp made clothing and casting disparaging remarks about other people. Before the book was written they tried to do things 'green' and ate mostly organic food and did not eat meat from CAFO's (concentrated animal feeding operations). We had a lot in common and honestly, we still have about the same things in common.

This book changed the way I think about how and where our food comes from did not make run out and dig up my yard for a big old garden. It just isn't practical for us. I did however get all my produce with few exceptions from local farm stands and farm markets. I didn't go out and buy a hybrid car, we still have payments left on my Pilot (which I love) but I did think about how far I was driving to get my food and making sure I was being efficient with my gas consumption. I didn't buy chickens and turkeys and build a hen house but I did seek out local farms that could provide poultry and eggs. I already bought organic milk but again, I tried to look for more local brands.

So far I have found that what I am consuming is so much better than what I was eating before. All the summer produce has been delicious. The local meats, pasture raised, have been far and above the quality that I was getting just picking them up at the grocery store. I am excited about seasonal eating. I'll miss the tomatoes when they are all gone but I am looking forward to making soups and stews with the fall and early winter veggies. Also, I have a stash of frozen green beans, corn, pesto and tomato sauce in case I have a craving.

Tonight, in the spirit of the book, we are having a potluck dinner at my home. I am making roast chicken, green beans and potatoes...all local. I am also providing cheese from local dairies and apples as an HDO. My fellow bookclub members are bringing the rest.

I highly encourage you to check out this book.


L.R. M-J said...

Uh, can I just come to the potluck?

I totally appreciate the sheer yumminess of the stuff that is coming out of people's potagers here--the greek salad we ate yesterday to use up the tomatoes our dairy farmer neighbours gave us b/c they just had too many--it was out of this world!

Rock on local eating girl :) Wait til you come here...

Mrs Parks said...

I may have to purchase the book.

Have you heard of some diet (way of eating) where you only eat the foods that are in season?
Sounds crazy I know, but my Mom was doing it for a while and really liked it. Only eating fresh and local.

I wonder if ice cream is considered seasonal...
What about 3 Muskateers, hmmmmmm.

Have fun tonight : )

Suburbia said...

That sounds great. We have been buying local veg sacks each week for years now but local meat is harder to come by. If only we lived in the country!

Hope you have a good book club night :)

Los said...

You'll have to let me know how things go with the local produce in the winter months ... this has got to be the toughest time to do this, I'm guessing.

Sue said...

Dinner sounds delish! Hope you had fun!

Anonymous said...

I've heard of the book and I think the concept of buying local is great. It's likely easier to do in some climates than others.
Like you, I'm implementing parts of this but not changing everything in my life at this time.
Dinner sounds great!

-Bridget said...

That's awesome and inspirational. One question for you, how much more time would you say you invest each week to live this way?