Book Review: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
A year of food life by Barbara Kingsolver and with contributions by her husband Steven L.Hoff and older daughter Camille Kingsolver. Her younger daughter also plays a big part in the story. This as you can see is a family adventure into living courageously. Together they pledge to eat only food that they either grow themselves or if they knew who did (with exceptions, such as coffee, purchasing only fair trade).
Growing and eating their own produce includes animals too, with excellent chapters on the history of breeding eating turkeys, a restaurant that uses only local produce and the changes in small independent farming. Explorations in food includes making cheese, organising a party for over a hundred people using only produce from neighbouring farms, the romance of the first asparagus of the season and the practicalities of raising chickens.
The everyday life on the farm is intermingled with Barbara's intense, passionate and well researched history and knowledge of food production and fuel consumption in America, Camille's teenage viewpoint and recipes, and Steven's deeper investigations of certain subjects. It is the whole package that makes this story work; a families life adventure turned into a family project of writing the book.
Full of irony, wit and love this book is a must read for anyone interested in growing their own food and everyone else interested in how the food they eat arrives at their table and the consequences of our indulgences for the planet.