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Book club: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Page 3

post #41 of 107
We don't get ribbed necessarily, but we've quit talking about organic stuff with my in-laws. They're pretty sure it is all one big marketing scam. : I don't get it--they're otherwise very liberally-minded and I would have thought they'd fall right in with organic food, but nooooo! They do seem to be a little more oriented toward eating locally anyway, so that helps.
post #42 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchie View Post
Um, oh yes! Your mother and mine would get along quite well...for the longest time, if, for example, I offered my mom a piece of fruit she would first ask "but is it real?" (and this comment was usually accompanied by rolling eyes, as well) By "real" what she meant was not organic! She is so suspicious of organic, it's the funniest thing. I had the damndest time explaining to her that organic is, in fact, a whole lot more "real" than any conventionally grown produce! : She's coming around, though. She even likes a lot of natural and/or organic processed food now(e.g., Amy's brand convenience foods). It's still processed food, but it's a start towards smarter eating.
Oh, yes. My mother loves to tell people, "We didn't raise her this way!" What, they didn't raise me to look for information, think about it, and make a decision? What in the world?!?! :

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchie View Post
Any other vegetarians read the book and find Kingsolver's argument against vegetarianism interesting? I'm veg (I do eat eggs and dairy) and found it thought-provoking...the argument is one I've heard before, and it doesn't make me want to start eating meat or anything, but at the same time I do see the value in, say, preserving heritage livestock breeds (I raise breeds of chickens found on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy's rare/endangered lists).
Yeah, I thought it was interesting. I'm vegan and DH is omnivore, and we peacefully and happily coexist and do not try to change one another. : However, it made me want to find local meats and stuff for him to eat--somehow, since meat is so not on my radar, and he doesn't eat a lot of it anyway, I hadn't paid much attention to where it came from. I'm so concerned about getting local fruits and vegetables in him! Time to change that.
post #43 of 107
I was surprized at how easily she was able to justify killing the turkeys and chickens...gross simplification, but they stopped being cute and she felt like it was time for them to go! I'm not veg, but I'm on the fence enough that I think if someone handed me a chicken or turkey and told me to kill it or just eat veggies, I'd probably just eat veggies.

That said, as a meat eater I am glad that there are places that raising livestock and poultry in better environments, and I try to buy organic meats even though they are : crazy expensive. It's worth it to me, and I only cook meat about once a week or less anyway.
post #44 of 107
Hi! Jumping on!

I bought this book for my mother's birthday and then I read it before I gave it to her. Wasn't that bratty?

I was already aware of most of the information in the book, but I think I read it at just the right moment in my life that it crystallized many of my abstract ideas and got me to put them into action.

Here are some of my local food activities this summer:
Using a CSA share.
Finding local sources for chicken, beef, milk and honey.
Making my own yogurt, ricotta and mozzarella cheese.
Volunteering at the farmer's market (I put up the market signs around the neighborhood).
Buying a chest freezer and freezing local produce.
Planning to expand my garden. (This year it just has tomatoes, zuccs, peas, and chard. Well, I also have two pepper plants. Apparently they're purely ornamental .)
And...best of all! My mom gave me two Bard Rock layers. They are really fun and provide 1-2 eggs a day. My dh built the cutest coop for them.

We live in town (though we have a pretty big yard), so there's a limit to what I can grow on my own...


Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
I was surprized at how easily she was able to justify killing the turkeys and chickens...gross simplification, but they stopped being cute and she felt like it was time for them to go! I'm not veg, but I'm on the fence enough that I think if someone handed me a chicken or turkey and told me to kill it or just eat veggies, I'd probably just eat veggies.
I see what you mean, but she bought the poultry to eat - it wasn't a spontaneous decision. I think that she was relieved to find that she could keep that psychic distance from the animals. My mom doesn't slaughter her own chickens, but she does take them to be slaughtered, and I think part of being a meat-eater is acknowledging our role in the death of the animal.


I have a lot more to say about this book, but I think this post is long enough!
post #45 of 107
Yes, it would make me a more conscious eater if I had to be the one who killed the chicken in order to eat it.

I won't be canning anything here, unfortunately, so I think this winter my main change will be not bothering with salad anymore and trying to eat more root vegetables and just be a little more conscious of what I'm choosing and where it came from.

And then, I am hoping to get a CSA next summer. They don't really offer it in my county, as far as I can figure out. But I found a town that has a drop off so I can sign up and drive up there once a week. Though, I must say, I'm kind of torn because I've really enjoyed my trips to the farmers market this summer.
post #46 of 107
It is hard to eat totally local if you're a vegetarian - at least for me. There are no local sources for dried beans, soy, and grains - so it's hard to get protein. We do have our own hens so we get eggs.
post #47 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
And then, I am hoping to get a CSA next summer. They don't really offer it in my county, as far as I can figure out. But I found a town that has a drop off so I can sign up and drive up there once a week. Though, I must say, I'm kind of torn because I've really enjoyed my trips to the farmers market this summer.
You may or may not have to give up your farmer's market trips. We belong to a CSA but we still go to the farmer's market every week to fill in the gaps of our CSA. It all depends on what type of farm you belong to - our CSA doesn't really provide much in the way of fruit other than melons, so we go to the farmer's market for berries, apples/pears, mushrooms, eggs, etc. Some CSAs are more all-encompassing, but I think we get the best of both worlds.
post #48 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe View Post
It is hard to eat totally local if you're a vegetarian - at least for me. There are no local sources for dried beans, soy, and grains - so it's hard to get protein. We do have our own hens so we get eggs.
My dh is a vegetarian, so we almost always eat veg meals, and I don't have any local sources for these, either. I justify buying dried beans and grains with my "hundred year diet" theory: since dried foods could just as easily be transported a hundred years ago as now, I'm not as concerned with sourcing them locally. Probably a cop out, but it works for me!
post #49 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe View Post
It is hard to eat totally local if you're a vegetarian - at least for me. There are no local sources for dried beans, soy, and grains - so it's hard to get protein. We do have our own hens so we get eggs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by esylvia View Post
My dh is a vegetarian, so we almost always eat veg meals, and I don't have any local sources for these, either. I justify buying dried beans and grains with my "hundred year diet" theory: since dried foods could just as easily be transported a hundred years ago as now, I'm not as concerned with sourcing them locally. Probably a cop out, but it works for me!
Even the Hoppsolver family (I love when she calls them that) didn't eat TOTALLY locally. They got things like coffee and spices and flour from areas far away, but grown in conditions that were fair to workers and sustainable to the environment. She also mentions none of those things need to be refrigerated during transport, and that's what takes much of the fuel energy used in transporting food from far away. So do what you can, get as much as you can locally, see if you can make your own soy milk at home (a friend did it for about the same cost per quart as store-bought using beans he bought in bulk from the Asian market), see if you can find a local source for nut butters or nuts and make your own nut butters, and know that you're still doing more than most by getting as much as you can from your neighbors.
post #50 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
Though, I must say, I'm kind of torn because I've really enjoyed my trips to the farmers market this summer.
I do both! The CSA box is great, but I love my local farmer's market, too. When I need more of something that I only got a few of in the CSA box, I go to the farmer's market. There's also a family farm with a farm stand not very far from us, so I go there, too. All three choices offer great local, usually organic, produce.
post #51 of 107
Good point Jennk - I do get local nuts and the rice I buy is grown in California. Also good point about my dried beans not needing refrigeration - and I do make my own soymilk. Thanks. I'm not feeling so bad anymore
post #52 of 107
Oh yeah - and we're eating more potatoes and corn to cut down on grains.
post #53 of 107
I'm thrilled to see this thread! I just got this book for my birthday and have not started it yet, but I'm so excited about it and ramped up.

I live in Kansas, for crying out loud... there should be very little in the way of our staple foods that I can't find locally, I would think. Tons of locally grown meat, grains, vegetables... I'm really excited to start eating more stuff locally!

One of the hard things for me has been FINDING where all of the local stuff is being sold, and who is selling it. Like getting in touch with local farmers, KWIM? So whoever posted the link to that site (I think it was called foodroute or localroute or something), thank you! I found several individuals on there that I can find out more about and buy stuff from.
post #54 of 107
As I was eating a quesadilla for dinner last night, I was thinking how delicious the guacamole was. I seriously don't know that I could give up avocados all together. Bananas, possibly. But avocados? Hrm. That may be one of my infrequent treats.

What are some of the things you guys just couldn't manage without?
post #55 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowMom View Post

One of the hard things for me has been FINDING where all of the local stuff is being sold, and who is selling it. Like getting in touch with local farmers, KWIM? So whoever posted the link to that site (I think it was called foodroute or localroute or something), thank you! I found several individuals on there that I can find out more about and buy stuff from.
Yay! Glad it helped. There are lots of resources listed at the back of the book. I've found lots at localharvest.org, too. Also, by posting in the FYT section here at MDC as well as talking to the farmers at the farmers markets.
post #56 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
What are some of the things you guys just couldn't manage without?
orange juice, bananas & plantains, shrimp (usually only eat that when we go to this GREAT Puerto Rican restaurant in Ballard). And as much as it sucks, we do eat "fresh" veggies through the winter because I don't like canned and the frozen selection is sparse. Usually only eat apples and bananas for fruit in the winter, though.
post #57 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkyrie9 View Post
What are some of the things you guys just couldn't manage without?
Almonds, almond butter, almond milk
Cocoa powder
post #58 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valkyrie9 View Post
As I was eating a quesadilla for dinner last night, I was thinking how delicious the guacamole was. I seriously don't know that I could give up avocados all together. Bananas, possibly. But avocados? Hrm. That may be one of my infrequent treats.

What are some of the things you guys just couldn't manage without?
Avocados are one of the great things about living in California!

Things it would be hard to live without . . . chocolate definitely, brown rice, bread, fresh veggies
post #59 of 107
Today I went to the little family farm down the street from our house and bought all the red peppers they had--they were big and beautiful! I have visions of roasted red pepper sauce. They're roasting right now, and the house smells heavenly! I plan to go back and get more ASAP, because I want to fill my freezer with 'em.

I also got another 20 lb box of Roma tomatoes. Tomato sauce and salsa, here I come!

The whole experience made me think of how Barbara Kingsolver exhorts us to go to the farmers market, see what they have, and say, "I'll take it all!"

I'm also reading Deep Economy by Bill McKibben right now, and it's encouraging me to buy local, too. Anyone else read/reading/want to read that one?
post #60 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeganCupcake View Post
I'm also reading Deep Economy by Bill McKibben right now, and it's encouraging me to buy local, too. Anyone else read/reading/want to read that one?
I read it and LOVED it. Crazy, wildly, loved it. It was so inspiring and hopeful! When I finished reading it, I felt both educated about the current state of the economic system, but more importantly, like I had a vision of how things could be if we planned and executed them a bit more deliberately. Very similar to AVM, in some ways. McKibben and Kingsolver are both great writers; with both I feel like I'm learning a ton without realizing it - they're good at making technical things read like just a good story.

Fans of A,V, M should definitely check it out, it extends the notion of local to things beyond food. Great stuff!
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