I learned so much from this book, and it certainly changed my perspective of the food that I eat. There is plenty of literature out there concerning our food choices and exposing where our food actually comes from, but in my experience I often read those books with a feeling of hopelessness and guilt for the food choices that I make on a daily basis. In this, Kingsolver drew me into daily life on her family's farm. They make their own bread, cheese, and pasta, preserve and freeze their own produce for the long winter months, and endeavor to raise their own turkeys and chickens. Though I do feel that the farm was romanticized, Kingsolver made a conscious effort to describe the careful planning and grueling labor of her every day during that year, which only served to make me appreciate small farms that much more. While I didn't always appreciate the outright preaching of political views in the book, the most important lesson that I took away from it is that while dropping everything to follow in their footsteps is not a realistic dream for most people, I can make simple choices (like buying from farmer's markets and shopping the local produce in larger grocery stores) that have a very small impact on the environment and a significant impact in my own health. In reading this book, I enjoyed celebrating the small victories (like the first asparagus of the year) and came to see farming (and on a smaller scale, gardening) as something that's important to teach children, so that future generations are not so disconnected with the origins of their own food. Recommended for foodies and aspiring gardeners!
Bottom-Line Rating: 4/5
Title: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2007
Price: I paid $3.98 from this website
Source: Better World Books
Book #36 of 2014