Monday, July 02, 2007

BOOK REVIEW: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

by Barbara Kingsolver, with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver.

This is another book about eating locally/growing your own food, much like the Joan Dye Gussow and Gary Nabhan books.
The idea behind all three, is a return to living on only local foods, many of which are grown by the authors themselves.
Barbara Kingsolver is no exception.
It was a fascinating glimpse into another world. Not because she was able to go on vacation to Italy (I'd LOVE to do that!), but rather because she threw herself wholeheartedly into the 'project' of living off of the Earth, and keeping it all local. Peppered throughout with recipes from her daughter Camille, and sidebars of information from her husband Stephen, the book takes you through a year of growing food. ALL kinds of food, including turkeys and chickens for butchering. One of the best arguments PRO-meat eating I have ever read, was in this book, and so was confirmation of the suspicions I had harboured about the possible cause of the rise in early-onset of puberty in girls. I realised that I, and a number of paediatricians are leery of the number of hormones in our dairy these days.
Most fascinating to me, were the instructions for making your own cheese. Apparently the soft cheeses (like Mozarella) are very easy to make yourself!
All in all, I rather enjoyed the book. It was refreshing to me to read a book actually set in my home state, so I could relate to the whens of planting a lot more.
The only issue I took with the book, was the intolerance of the author when it came to personal beliefs... she was very much anti-'whatever was not her own beliefs', which was quite a shame since the content of the book is very useful to people who wish to adopt the self sufficient/eating local lifestyle.
There are numerous references throughout the book, websites, books and ideas, that can really help anyone on a crusade to eat more locally.
All in all... a good 4 star **** read. Recommended for those who want to eat/live in a more self-sufficient life.

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