Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; Barbara Kingsolver

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One Response to “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; Barbara Kingsolver”

  1. Ella D.C. Says:

    Summary: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle follows author Barbara Kingsolver and her family – a six-year-old, 18-year-old, and Barbara Kingsolver and her husband Steven – on a year-long journey of eating only what they can grow on their organic farm or acquire from their neighbors. They move from Tucson, Arizona to a large farm property in rural Virginia that has been in the family for many years. Barbara Kingsolver, her husband, and her two daughters spend a summer fixing up the old farmhouse on the property, transforming it into a gorgeous cottage, and preparing the fields for planting all kinds of food. Throughout the year, they encounter a number of struggles, from having excess tomatoes to raising lovesick turkeys, but by the end of the year the family’s outlook on food has drastically changed, and they continue to obtain the majority of their food locally, from their own organic farm.

    Evaluation: I enjoyed this book immensely. Although it was nonfiction –part memoir, part journalistic investigation– The intriguing storyline of the family’s quest to eat local for a year, growing almost all of their own food, made the book enthralling to read. My family attempts to eat as locally and healthfully as possible, and it was really influential to read about how this family did it for a year. The way Barbara Kingsolver’s family views food is how everyone should view food; it is important because it nourishes us, and food and meals should be centered around socializing. One of the main points made in the book was that food is nourishment, and should be grown and prepared close to home, then enjoyed and savored, not grown someplace thousands of miles away, sprayed with chemicals, thrown on a plane, train, or ship, processed and packaged and devoured without a care by clueless American consumers. I fully agree with this. Transporting food burns fossil fuels and is a major cause of pollution. Non-organic food practices, such as producing non-organic meat from animals squeezed into slaughterhouses until they are gorged to death is animal cruelty. Genetically modifying organisms, and the processing and packaging of food is unhealthy and is a major cause of obesity. There is nothing good about big agri-business. Barbara Kingsolver’s husband, Steven Hopp, came from an Italian background and the Kingsolver-Hopp family was influenced by Italian values surrounding food and agriculture. Although at a glance it may seem like Italians eat a lot of calorie-rich foods such as cheesy pastas and pizza, they eat it in very small portions while using meals as a time to appreciate their food that was grown and prepared on a close-by farm, and to socialize, rather than hastily shoveling it in, as Americans are known to do. Cooking, gardening, and enjoying healthy meals prepared with care are all enjoyable endeavors, and should be an important part of everyday life. All these facts that Kingsolver presented caused me to reflect on my own family’s eating habits and made me want to improve America and the world by eating more local, organic foods, and also by enjoying more meals together as a family. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their way of life, the environment in America, and the well-being of the world.

    Rating: 5 stars

    Recommendations: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver,

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