Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

There’s valuable knowledge in this book. For instance, if every American citizen ate just one meal a week cooked from local organic meats and veggies, we could reduce our national oil consumption by 1.1 million barrels per week. Nearly everything you’ve eaten today traveled an average of 1,500 miles to make its way to your mouth. Getting that food to us all consumes nearly as much energy as we put in our cars. American farmers now produce twice the number of calories we need to thrive, growing more food than we need or can healthfully consume. Barbara Kingsolver, the novelist who gave us The Poisonwood Bible and other works of fiction, has cooked up a recipe for eating better while changing harmful lifestyles. The book is organized around seasonal growing and eating, but it is not one of those dreary tomes that advise us all to eat seaweed for the good of the planet. It’s a book that celebrates life, while giving us some pretty sound advice on how to live better—and the whole offering is served up with charming anecdotes and fascinating facts about food and our relationship to it. Read this book. It’s good for you, and it’s good, too.