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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Barbara Kingsolver

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,551None774 (4.18)322
Member:theolojen
Title:Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Authors:Barbara Kingsolver
Info:HarperCollins (2007), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:sociology, gardening, agriculture, sustainability, cooking

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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver (2007)

2007 (34) 2008 (35) agriculture (117) cooking (89) ecology (40) environment (110) family (44) farming (177) food (710) food writing (38) gardening (223) health (60) Kingsolver (33) local (30) local food (100) locavore (104) memoir (302) non-fiction (645) nutrition (36) organic (79) own (27) read (50) recipes (68) slow food (34) sustainability (156) sustainable agriculture (31) sustainable living (52) to-read (97) unread (29) Virginia (44)
  1. 70
    The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan (SqueakyChu, heidialice, booklove2)
    SqueakyChu: Both books address a way of working with our current food culture.
  2. 20
    The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith (owen1218)
  3. 10
    The Seasons on Henry's Farm: A Year of Food and Life on a Sustainable Farm by Terra Brockman (JanesList)
    JanesList: Both are delightful to read and tell the story of sustainable growing and eating throughout the year, with recipes and family contributions to the books. You might not want to read them both in the same month, but if you liked one, I bet you'll like the other.… (more)
  4. 10
    Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich (sonyagreen)
  5. 00
    Fifty Acres and a Poodle: A Story of Love, Livestock, and Finding Myself on a Farm by Jeanne Marie Laskas (hipdeep)
    hipdeep: Not a book about slow food, but for my money a far more interesting memoir of an urbanite's move to a farm.
  6. 22
    Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell (sturlington)
  7. 00
    The New English Kitchen: Changing the Way You Shop, Cook and Eat by Rose Prince (hipdeep)
  8. 00
    Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese by Brad Kessler (Muriel743)
    Muriel743: Covers similar topics - i.e. mainly urban people pursuing food self-sufficiency, forming relationships with rural community and neighbours and learning the skills needed to feed themselves.
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» See also 322 mentions

English (200)  French (1)  All languages (201)
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
This was a life changing read. Parts of this book will remain with me for a very long time. I will not look at food the same way again. ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
Insightful and interesting read about the author and her family's 1 year experiment to try and only eat food they've grown or raised or buy food within a 100 mile radius of their home. The passion with which the author writes about food, both the growing and preparation, inspired me to try and eat more seasonably and locally. There's a lot of great information about gardening, canning, freezing, preparation and heirloom varieties of produce and animals. I highly recommend this book to everyone. ( )
  debbie.menzel | Feb 6, 2014 |
Well written and human, if a bit preachy at times. I could've done without the sections of Deep Thoughts written by her teenage daughter. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Novelist Barbara Kingsolver has a background in science and she knows how to tell a story so when she writes about the year her family only ate foods, plant and animal, that were grown and produced locally it’s fascinating, informative, inspiring, and surprisingly gripping, right down to the last few suspenseful sentences of the book when we learn the outcome of her turkey breeding project. Told month to month, from March to March, Kingsolver explains the kinds of planning and preparation that were needed for her family’s experiment, and which foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, were available for their meals as the year progressed.

Because everything is eaten when it is in season, or prepared for storage when it is at its peak of flavor, reading about their meals can be a mouthwatering experience. Plus, since some of their food supply came from their own gardens, Kingsolver and her family were able to choose plant and even livestock varieties for taste rather than portability, rapid growth, or shelf life.

Though I’m a 35+ year vegetarian and long interested in food issues I learned a lot while reading this book, from fascinating facts, like asparagus left to its own devices grows into feathery bushes and domestic turkeys bred for food have largely lost the ability to reproduce on their own, to a deeper understanding of how the natural world works. There are a lot of good reasons to eat locally produced food, including vastly reducing your carbon footprint, supporting smaller scale farming practices that don’t poison the environment, rejecting the cruelty of the industrial meat industry, and improving the quality of the food on your table. In this book Kingsolver and her family show how it can be done. ( )
  Jaylia3 | Jan 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara Kingsolverprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hopp, Steven L.Authorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kingsolver, CamilleAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Picture a single imaginary plant, bearing throughout one season all the different vegetables we harvest...we'll call it a vegetannual.
Dedication
In memory of Jo Ellen
First words
This story about good food begins in a quick-stop convenience market.
Quotations
If everything my heart desired was handed to me on a plate, I’d probably just want something else. (Camille Kingsolver)
We all cultivate illusions of safety that could fall away in the knife edge of one second.”
People who are grieving walk with death every waking moment. When the rest of us dread that we’ll somehow remind them of death’s existence, we are missing their reality.
Wake up now, look alive, for here is a day off work just to praise Creation: the turkey, the squash, and the corn, these things that ate and drank sunshine, grass, mud, and rain, and then in the shortening days laid down their lives for our welfare and onward resolve. There’s the miracle for you, the absolute sacrifice that still holds back seeds: a germ of promise to do the whole thing again, another time.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060852569, Paperback)

Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:18 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Follows the author's family's efforts to live on locally- and home-grown foods, an endeavor through which they learned lighthearted truths about food production and the connection between health and diet.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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