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1/16/11

What I'm Reading

"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. Her and her family took a year off the food grid and bought/ate only local food for one year. They grew a lot of their own vegetables and did not eat anything if it was out of season.
The book's been out for about three and a half years, but it took me awhile to recover from "The Omnivore's Dilemma".
If you haven't read "The Omnivore's Dilemma" - it could cause you to become, at the very least, a vegetarian - if not a vegan, or it will put you off anything but grass fed beef (and truly free range chicken/eggs) for the rest of your life. And since I can't foresee my future without an occasional burger, I choose GF.
Yes, when I consume a burger in a restaurant (McDonald's is not a restaurant people), I am not getting GF beef. But when it comes to making purchases for home cooked meals, I buy local GF beef. All the meat, from hamburger to T-bones, comes from one animal at a time.

Barbara's book came out a little after The OD, and it has a similar message - we spend WAY too much money and fuel getting out of season food to us all year long.
When Fawn was here she noticed how much of the produce in Whole Foods was from California. And usually the stuff doesn't even taste good. (Tomatoes being a prime example.)

Some of the "big farm" (i.e. Monsanto) stuff will just curl your hair.

Listen to this - Peru used to grow over four thousand (!!) varieties of potatoes - now they only grow around twelve.

We are heavily dependent on two crops - corn and soybeans - they feed just about everything other thing we "grow" - especially protein sources. Not to be a doomsayer - but being too dependent on one food source is what caused the deaths of one million people in Ireland. (the potato didn't take a lot of effort to grow or a lot of space. It also served as food for animals. They did grow other crops, but they were "cash" crops for paying the rent, as the Irish were not allowed to own land. That's right - not allowed to own land in their own country.)

She mentions that (it is true in my case) - we have gotten away from farming in about two generations. Our school year is still a hang over from those times - when children were needed at home to help with agricultural chores. My father grew up on a farm; the chickens were really free range, until one got caught for supper. They raised one hog a year, slaughtered in the fall. Milk and butter came from cows in the barn, that grazed in a pasture all day (not on a feedlot being force fed corn and antibiotics). Vegetables came from the garden, fruit came from trees or bushes, not from a grocery store. Now I would no more know how to pluck a chicken than I would knit a sweater.

Anyway, I don't mean to sound preachy, sorry. These kind of books make you me think. I know I'm fortunate to live in an area where people value heirloom tomatoes and goats (yes even domestic animals are in danger of extinction) and raise pigs fed only organic vegetables and table scraps. And I'm also fortunate enough to be able to afford the choice.

I'm going to try to do better.
Sadly, only the pottery is local.

1 comment:

  1. You really make me think Kim and that can be dangerous. The big problem for me is that I can make changes for myself easily but I live with a wife that is not going to change. It was the same way in my previous marriage when I decided to be vegetarian for about 4 years. It was a tough go with my 3 girls. I will be eating a lot more salads this week and trying to do better. Keep preaching girl and I will listen.
    Odie

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