I have found the time to read about half of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. The book is a recounting of Kingsolver's family's experiment of living off the land for one year. It's more than that though. It discusses the politics of food and the impact of those politics on our health, our environment, and our quality of life (which, I suppose is included in both our health and our environment).
The book, more than anything, has made me realize how far I've strayed from my ideals when it comes to food. As my profile indicates, I was once a vegetarian. I didn't eat meat for many reasons. But one of the most important reasons was that I don't agree with how many animals are raised. As a vegetarian, I learned more about how all food is produced. I tried, as much as possible, to buy local. This summer Nate and I tried to grow some of our food ourselves.
However, now that I have a full-time job and I'm a mom, my schedule has slowly shoved me into thinking about ease of use of food as opposed to quality and sustainability of food. For example, here's an average weekly menu for the Struckman/Brown household.
- Sunday - grill
- Monday - burritoes, tacos, or nachos
- Tuesday - mac cheese (we have started to make our homemade recipe again, but still)
- Wednesday - out to dinner
- Thursday - leftovers
- Friday - sandwiches
- Saturday - soup
Throw in spaghetti or frozen pizza and you've got our weekly menu for an entire year. It's not fresh, it's not all that healthy, and it's boring.
I'm hoping that reading the remainder of the book will get me motivated to return to my ideals about food. It has reminded me that I do like to cook. I like to eat yummy, fresh fruits and veggies. I like to buy local. It makes me feel good and it makes me eat better.
I'll post the real review once I'm finished. Perhaps finishing the kitchen will help me return to my roots!