Book Review: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Barbara Kingsolver
Harper Perennial (April 29, 2008)

I’ve long been a fan of Kingsolver’s fiction and was happy to see this memoir. The author and her family spent a year only eating food that was produced locally. Each family member was allowed one indulgence not found locally, so they did keep a bit of coffee, chocolate, and spices around, but other than that, they strictly adhered to their mission. If they didn’t grow or raise it, or their neighbors didn’t grow or raise it, then they didn’t eat it.

Reading the book, I realized how much I had taken for granted. If I needed a tomato in February, I could choose from fresh or canned at the grocery. Kingsolver denied herself this option. If she wanted tomatoes in February, she needed to can them in the summer herself or hope that a neighbor was industrious with their summer crop.

This book showed me that it is possible to truly live locally and spurred on my desire to grow a garden and learn to preserve produce. While you still might find a banana in my shopping cart, you will also find me canning tomatoes at summer’s end.