Friday, November 19, 2010
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver
So I've been reading. It started with an assignment in Environmental Science class. I chose Walden. It's funny how there are so many similarities between these two books.
Like who else but an elitist either supported or independently wealthy can even start to try to do this? And where are the NYC folks supposed to grow pumpkins? Farmer's Markets can't do it all either. The book is about Barbara Kingsolver and her family going on a 'factory farming' strike in essence. No CAFO meat, nothing trucked in from over X miles away. And only farmers market purchases from farmers marketers that practice organic or responsible sustainable farming practices. And growing as much as they can!! (perhaps they just had better green thumbs than I do, I had trouble with 4 tomato plants) They even learned to make their own soft cheeses and yogurt.
This does all seem like a step in the right direction, not, perhaps, the whole journey though. I CAN find farmers markets, for some stuff. I can try to grow some of my own stuff...again. I can look for simpler ingredients. From page 348 "Products with fewer ingredients have probably burned less gas. For example, the oatmeal box on our pantry shelf lists one ingredient: rolled oats...By contrast the ...75% organic cereal box lists seventeen ingredients all of which had to be transported to the processing plant." Now THAT I never thought of even though we buy ingredients at the mill from all over the world. Sometimes by the shipping container full. And I do think I'll think twice with what I choose to purchase...as much as I can.
There is an element of quaint fantasy here. But the reasoning is mostly valid (if a tad alarmist) and I'm all for simplification. Even if it means more work...oxymoron. Not really, it's just a rearrangement. I see a few delimma's flowing into the 'better food' stream. Health issues, land issues, food issues, economic issues.
With all that said, it may be surprising that I actually did very much enjoy reading this book!! And yes it DID make me want to try those 4 tomato plants again. And, since it's already mid November, I'll wait until February to start thinking about what I could put next to them. Peppers maybe? A salsa garden? hmmm?
If I kept them all alive and un-bunny munched, that would be a miracle :)