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Monday, June 21, 2010

Animal Vegetable Miracle

.....if every family in this country ate just one meal per week consisting of locally raised meat and produce we would reduce our oil consumption by 1.1 million BARRELS per week.
Let's do it! I had my nose in this book during our entire vacation and came back completely motivated to change the way I shop and prepare meals at home. Barbara Kinsolver and her family vowed to eat only food that they grew and harvested or food that came from their local community and county for one year. No processed foods and basically ate what was in season, in the winter ate what they froze or preserved. I went to the local farmers market while we were on vacation, spent $15 on peaches, squash, zucchini, carrots, chard, tomatoes, cucumbers and we ate meals from those vegetables along with some salad greens and pasta all week. It tasted so great and felt so good to have supported the local farmers. Twenty years ago, we grew our own vegetables and then we started moving around and living on heavily wooded lots with absolutuely no place to have a garden. We like our privacy and we like our woods, but we would also like to have a garden again. I don't have one sunny spot in our yard to grow vegetables although I am able to grow herbs, but there are several local farmers markets on different days of the week here, so I can support my local farmers and the community. As a country we are going to have to stand up to these corporations like Monsanto and say no to High Fructose Corn Syrup and processed crap!!!! This is a great book to get you thinking about what you are feeding your families and how it can be soooo much better. Get out there and buy some summer produce!

14 comments:

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Hurrah! I loved this book too.
No veg. garden on our plot either, but lots of farmer's markets too.
This summer (well I know its officially the first day) we are having lots of brown rice mixed with basil, and other green leaved things, then i add whatever is in season and olive oil and its so healthly and good. I sigh when my husband feels the necessity for a steak. But as long as I can get some veggies in him........

Tracey Broome said...

Julie that sounds really good! Being from South Carolina, I could eat rice with every meal. I just sauteed some chard with squash and mushrooms in olive oil and then some watermelon. That was dinner and it was great!

ang said...

hey trace sounds like a great holiday time to shop and cook the good stuff..

cookingwithgas said...

we had local squash with local onions and local beef tonight- oh and a local tomatoe with herbs from the garden!
I love summer-but this is harder to do in the winter!

Amy said...

thanks for this. How true it is what you and Kingsolver are saying.

Judy Shreve said...

I haven't read this Kingsolver book - yet, but I did read Michael Pollan - In Defense of Food & The Omnivore's Dilemma. We have been trying to eat this way for a couple of years. It's delicious & we definitely feel better. The only hassle is I have to go to so many different stores/markets to get our food & home stuff. It takes almost the entire Saturday.

Well worth it -- but good food should be easier to get than processed food! -- and cheaper & available to everyone!

We've lived in shade under trees in our last two houses too. We are now looking for property that has a garden space.

Kari Weaver Hopkins said...

This book, along with Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma and Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation completely changed my thinking about food. There's another book called Veggie Revolution where the author sets out with the intent of making a case for becoming vegetarian. She ends up discovering that the best thing you can do for the planet is to eat locally, even if the diet includes meat.

I've tried my hand at vegetable gardening with little success. We joined a CSA this year. Since our climate is slightly cooler, we're still just getting mostly greens. My daughter and I love the Farmer's market so much that we still go most Saturday mornings anyway.

Tracey Broome said...

Hi guys: Yes let's cook the good stuff. Wesley was a vegetarian before she was born, as soon as I got pregnant, meat started making me sick. She has never eaten a meal with meat and she never gets colds, no allergies, very healthy kid (except for Mono from an outbreak at school). Judy, I hear ya on the shopping. We are all over the place buying cleaning supplies at the Dollar Store, tortillas, chips and things at Trader Joes, non pasturized milk from another place, farmers market...... worth it though in the long run!

Laura said...

Right on!!

cindy shake said...

Good book tip. We've got a nice little garden though the lettuce mainly feeds our bunny :o) We've really been enjoying buying our veggies and seafood at the our Spenard Farmers Market each weekend -so much sweeter! We do the CSA thing in the winter where most of the produce comes up here to Alaska from Washington. I think the sweeter taste comes in part from doing the right thing!

astro said...

There are many issues to discuss here, but all I can say is that Barbara Kingsolver and her readers are out of touch with reality, the reality of the average, working human being.
"If" people just did this, "if" people just did that, "if" alot of things were different, this would be a much better world. That some of these "ifs" are not within everyone's capabilities is an issue that never seems to cross some people's minds.
Wakey, wakey, little sleepers.

Tracey Broome said...

Astro, that's bullshit! I work as a potter and make little to no money and my husband travels all over the world shooting news events for little money and I am raising a teenage daughter, but I still have time to go buy some fresh vegetables from the Farmers that work their asses off to grow them for us. I spent $15 at the last market and it fed us all week with just the addition of a $1 box of pasta and some olive oil! We don't have a lot of money but we spend it where it's important, like on good food that keeps us healthy. Most of the markets also take food stamps so those that choose to collect them can go to the market and eat something good for them instead of the dollar menu at Mickey D's. I didn't find anything in this book that was out of touch with reality. The reality is that we are all taking it up the ass from corporate America and I for one and sick to death of it!

Liz said...

I feel blessed where I am. Living on an Island, though I have a really short growing season, we manage our greens, onions, leeks and garlic, peas and beans and plums apples and several kinds of berries on our plot of land. We have fishermen a plenty, and can buy seafood from the boat-one of my students is a lobster fisherwoman. We raise laying hens, and have friends with goats, an another friend with meat chickens. There are a couple of small beef farms, and lambs can be had, should that be your wont. We try really hard to eat local as much as possible, and have vegetarian local food potlucks every Sunday. We haven't perfected it yet, but we do what we can, and feel a bit less guilt when we have to eat food from away in the winter from time to time.
The difficulty for us is that the government regulations make it really difficult for small producers to sell, cheese is so highly regulated that we can't sell it. Farming rules and permits are expensive, and geared toward factory farms.

madpotter1 said...

I love this book!
Working as a potter full time and an estate gardener part time my yard was out of perennial control! I read AVM and decided anything I had to touch this much, I better be able to eat! Ripped out my ornamental shrubs, gave them to the neighbor and put in blueberry bushes; they look grand!

I still have flowers but trying to live large on a half acre has been amazing! Also buying as much as we can locally.

and it's canning & freezing season here in Ohio!

Paris fed most of Europe with backyard gardens after WW2...... check it out! French intensive gardening!

I love eating off dishes made by friends and out of my studio and knowing the food came from my backyard. Amazing how much you can do with so little.
best!