Animal, Vegetable, Miracle


I confess that I fell off the juicing wagon. Perhaps I was pushed, maybe I jumped.
It doesn’t really matter. I walked along side the wagon and I’ve decided to jump back on again and enjoy the ride. I miss my juicing. I miss the instant feel good afterwards, and I notice a difference.Β  I feel happier having fruit and vegetables plain and simple. Back on the horse quickly if you fall off, so they say.

I have started reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. What a lovely book. The family’s journey for a year into the food they eat and grow. One of the daughter adds her thoughts and recipes that the family make, and the husband puts his two cents in as well. An inspiring story so far.

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11 thoughts on “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

  1. “Animal Vegetable Miracle” is one of my favorite reads and helped inspire a whole new perspective on our economies and food ethics. Kingsolver’s poultry examples showed me that it really was practical and fun to keep backyard chickens. I do hope you enjoy the book and your sauerkraut tastes amazing!

    • I would love to have my own chickens but unfortunately that’s not possible. Too urban, too close to neighbours. I even have a book on chickens. Lived rurally at one point and even considered getting geese instead of a dog. Should have gone for the geese but that’s a lifetime ago. Geese are better receptionists apparently.
      Such a lovely book. BK is inspiring. She makes you think about food not just as nutrition but as a life choice. In the “developed” countries we are privileged to be able to have choices in what we eat. We still have much to share and learn from the “undeveloped” world.
      I made coleslaw instead of sauerkraut! Still have over half a cabbage left so there is still a chance. πŸ™‚

  2. I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle last summer. It changed my life, and I’m not exaggerating at all. I loved it. I’ve read other books about eating locally and sustainably (Omnivore’s Dilemma, Food Rules, Plenty, etc.), but Kingsolver’s is my very favorite.

    • I loved the book. I didn’t want to put it down. I hadn’t heard the word locavore before. I like the idea. From a selfish point of view I want to eat locally and know where it comes from. I want quality and want to feel good about supporting local small farms and farmers. On the other hand I think about the coffee, chocolate and spices, these aren’t locally made, but as Kingsolver says she isn’t a purist. She was doing it the best she could. The idea is important not the perfectionism. Perfection kills. There will be exceptions to the rules always.
      I like how they decided as a family to become locavores. I enjoyed reading the consequences of going to market in all weathers. I like the idea of going back to seasonal food and enjoying the anticipation of certain foods at their prime time. I admire the effort of bottling and preserving food, it reminded me of my parents. The rewards in winter of the hard work done in summer.
      The land teaches us so much and I feel us city folk do need reminders about this. We need to listen more.

      • Yes to all of this. Micah and I have slowly been transitioning to more and more local foods, though like Kingsolver we have our coffee, chocolate, and spice vice. And every once in a while I just need some bananas. But I love being so much more aware of the seasons and of where my food comes from. Reading books like this one makes me want to spread the locavore gospel…but I don’t want to preach to people…so I just try to give little shout-outs as often as possible to the small, local farms and businesses that Micah and I support. πŸ™‚

        I’ve never done any canning/preserving, though Micah has done some pickling (quick pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi) and curing (home-cured hog jowl bacon, mostly). When we make stuff like this from scratch, I feel more in touch with the past. My Mammaw was an avid canner in her prime, and I wish she was still here to share her wisdom with me. But I will learn.

      • I want to do my own preserves. I want to start collecting the jars first. But I need to make a space for the goodies. Sauerkraut sounds good and kimchee, excellent. I would love to hear the recipes and the process. I have only ever bought them made. Our local Korean restaurant makes amazing kimchee so we buy from there.
        I want to be a locavore too, and we learn better if we lead by example so if we all do our part.
        I have just finished reading Wheat Belly and I have that running through that in my head at the moment too.

      • Kimchi is a little more complicated than sauerkraut. We usually just buy our kimchi at our awesome local Asian market. But I will post about the kraut soon as it’s lovely with grainy mustard and some local bratwurst.

        I think it’s all about taking tiny steps in the right direction. We eat mostly local now, but it’s been several years of transition for us. Some things aren’t grown locally around here, but we do try to shop at the little grocery down the block for most of those things. Kroger and Publix don’t get our business anymore. Earth Fare is a regional chain that gets some of our grocery dollars, but only when we need something we can’t find elsewhere.

        Saw your post about Wheat Belly, which I haven’t read. Might have to put it on my ever-growing summer reading list.

      • I look forward to the sauerkraut. I have heard it is easy to make. I remember when everyone was giving us cabbages by the mile and sauerkraut came to mind. Easy to make I think and it takes about two weeks to ferment. Haven’t tried it myself yet, need to add it to the list.
        I have noticed since we began juicing and eating more vegetables we don’t tend to go to big brand supermarkets anymore for the weekly shop. Our habits have changed dramatically in that sense. I am fussy about food and so much prefer the local fruit and vegetable shop. We are looking at weekend markets and are enjoying that aspect as well. Like you say it is a gradual shift.
        I am onto Silent Spring and Food Revolution now in my reading. I think though it is time for a juicy crime thriller to lighten the mood.

      • I read an article recently that compared diet to reading habits. Read too much of the same kind of thing all the time, and you’ll get unbalanced. So I think chowing down on a juicy crime thriller sounds like a great idea. πŸ™‚

      • I think we need a change of scenery every so often, with the change of seasons, our body gets out of sync and needs an adjustment. Whether that be a change in routine or trying something new, discovering an old “new” hobby or just wearing a new coloured scarf. We forget to treat ourselves well at times. All work and no play makes James and Jenny well dull. πŸ™‚

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