I just finished reading one of my favorite books of all time: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver. It completes my personal trilogy of far left, liberal, commie-socialist-pinko, environmentally wacko books I started reading last year about food and life style choices that propose these radical ideas: eat real food, eat food that has been grown locally as best you can, minimize chemicals/preservatives/additives in your food, and eat meats that are responsibly and humanely raised.
I know, I know: it's CRAZY talk.
But this book and the others have changed my ideas and goals of how to feed not only myself, but the three little people in my house whom I am responsible to nourish. (Dan has to go along, too, or buy/cook/cleanup after his own meals.) It makes wonderful sense, is incredibly healthy and non-restrictive, and encourages kids to get into the process of choosing and preparing meals. And, yeah, it''s good for the environment.
I could go on and on about how it's changed me, but I won't. What I will tell you is that the book is about a family's goal to grow as much of their own food as possible for the year and how it all worked out. It contains great recipes, inspirational explanations of why they chose to do this, and tells hilarious stories of being totally overwhelmed by zucchini and tomatoes in August and how they dealt with it as well as answering the question: if you grow your own food, what do you eat in February? It is funny, touching, real, and makes you really think about what you feed yourself and your children.
It does not propose that you plant a huge garden, become vegetarian, or give up sweets. But... you can frequent farmer's markets, buy meat from local family farms, and make your own goodies.
I am planning to incorporate some of these ideas into our daily eating life and will update you throughout the summer on my attempts. In the meantime, get the book from your library and enjoy a great read.
Seriously, get it out. Like, today. It's AWESOME.