Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver; Harper Collins, 2007; Cloth, $26.95
A third of the world’s fossil fuel habit goes to supporting agriculture. Though that’s not the reason for the rise in organically grown food, it’s a good one. (The main reason is concern for the health of body, soul and soil.) A third of the world’s oil goes to growing and trucking food around the planet—and, in the U.S. at least, food transportation is tax deductible.
No wonder the industrial food chain is so addictive. Not only can we get what we want when we want it (apples in late winter and spring from New Zealand, to give just one example), but we can get it cheap, too.
Barbara Kingsolver, the noted novelist, and her family broke the habit. They did a geographical, moving from water-hog Tucson to a small farm in the Shenandoah Valley. There they got off the food grid and determined that they’d try to live for a year on only what they could grow or obtain within a certain, limited radius. They weren’t self-sufficient, by any means. To the contrary, one of Kingsolver’s driving themes is eating locally and doing business directly with local agriculturists. Continue reading