Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's newest book right now -- really more skimming it because it's my contribution to my book club's post-holidays celebratory book exchange. It provides an interesting context to her marvelous "Prodigal Summer."

The premise: Kingsolver's family moved from Tucson to an old family farm her husband owns in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia. The family will spend a year living on either food they grow and raise themselves or buy from only local farmers. Kingsolver includes essays by her eldest daughter and husband and a lot of detail about the locally grown movement.

When you buy produce from supermarkets, as well as processed food, you're contributing to global warming because of all the petrol burned to get the food to your plate. Not only that but corporate farms churn out more calories than anyone needs and they fill our food with corn syrup and other processed stuff so they have a market for it.

But as I read I have some questions. I cannot see removing citrus or avocados from my diet. Do you have to reject all exotic food? What about wine? The nuts and shade-grown coffee help encourage preservation of the Amazon rain forests, don't they? What about olive oil from Italy? Or cheese from Spain?

I might just have to make the Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan my next serious read.

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