Whether or not Barbara Kingsolver meant for her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle to be a work of environmental, spiritual, and financial art all at once I am not sure - but this books delves into so many realms normally left purposely isolated by corporations and she ties them together perfectly. It's like unwinding the mystery of how our food really gets to the grocery, how to grow your own instead, and how to save tons of money while eating organic - a revelation which totally left me re-thinking the way I eat. And that is quite a big deal since I have celiac sprue, which leaves my food choices limited to special brands, particular foods, and the feeling I am a slave to grocery chain in order to literally survive. The challenge she and her family set out to meet was simply eating all local & home grown food for one whole year straight - which put the fear of starvation in them before embarking and left them with full tummies of the greatest food they ever tasted by the end. Farm life is not glamorized (although her description of a chicken slaughter was certainly more at poetic ease then what I experienced) - she does however convey the heavenly awesomeness of the miracle of life (without being religious in any way whatsoever & with the touch of a beautiful writer). The main game of the book is concentrated on the Appalachian mountain region she is from but she also travels on vacation up north & to Italy...mmmm Italy. What she has to share (and accidentally teaches us) applies to anywhere you live - it's not a how to book on gardening but an informative memoir of her food experience. What becomes undeniably apparent throughout the book is that our environmental probs are greatly tied to our shipping & growing of food the conventional 'cross the globe way. Changing our diet to include a few local meals a week or maybe just going solely local makes a huge positive environmental impact, something I am going to learn to incorporate into my medical diet.
In Summary: This book pretty well rocked - it was as laid back a read as the slow food movement being described. :)