Sunday, November 16, 2008

Read this book...

This book is amazing. I haven't quite finished it and I already know that it is something everyone should read. It is the story of a family that made the decision to eat locally for one year by growing their own food, buying from nearby sources and foregoing mainstream, industrialized, processed food.
Barbara Kingsolver writes:

"Woe is us, we overfed, undernourished U.S. citizens - we are eating poorly for so many reasons. A profit-driven, mechanized food industry has narrowed down our variety... But, we let other vegetables drop from the menu without putting up much of a fight. In our modern Cafe Dysfunctional, 'eat your vegetables' has become a battle cry of mothers against presumed unwilling subjects.
Mom is losing, no doubt, because our vegetables have come to lack two features of interest: nutrition and flavor. Storage and transport take predictable tolls on the volatile plant compounds that subtly add up to taste and value. Breeding to increase shelf life also has tended to decrease palatability. Bizarre as it seems, we've accepted a tradeoff that amounts to: 'Give me every vegetable in every season, even if it tastes like a cardboard picture of it's former self.'"

So very true. Why do I put up with poor food? Just because I can get a tomato in January doesn't mean I should buy and eat a tomato in January. Food grows in seasons, perhaps I should go back to eating on that schedule?
We are breeding out diversity in our diet and beginning to rely on far too few foods for our nourishment. It may not be possible for everyone to grow their own vegetables and raise their own chickens, but I want to try to help support the farmers and local food producers around me. I just feel that I need to add more back to my families diet. I want to grow an heirloom tomato or shop at a local farmer's market...buy local beef or chickens or hold of buying those raspberries in December. I am inspired to get back into canning and to take a bigger role in creating what goes into my families mouths...
Hmmmm, with all of these grand plans of sewing and crafting and now gardening and canning I'm not going to have time to go to work! :)
It's a good book...I highly recommend it.

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