Take fresh look at food we eat

7/3/2007

Review Bb Bishop Hope Morgan Ward

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver

 

Loving Barbara Kingsolver's novels, I was delighted to see the publication of her first nonfiction narrative. It opens our eyes in a myriad of ways to the truth: We are what we eat, and we have been led stray into diets of artificial, unhealthy, processed, transported food. 


As the U.S. population made an unprecedented mad dash for the Sun Belt, one carload of us paddled against the tide, heading for the Promised Land where water falls from the sky and green stuff grows all around. We were about to begin the adventure of realigning our lives with our food chain. . .Naturally, our first stop was to buy junk food and fossil fuel. . . .

 

 Kingsolver and her husband and two daughters invite readers away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves or learn to live without it. Their journey is an adventure of good humor and serendipity. The food culture they discover is better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Their witness in this book is a passionate invitation to us to put the kitchen back in the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.

 

“This is the story of a year in which we made every attempt to feed ourselves animals and vegetables whose provenance we really knew . . . and of how our family was changed by our first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where we worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air.”

 

The people of the Bible are shaped by stories of planting, harvesting, eating, feasting.  Profound things happen as God's people gather at table. This is a great summer read, as true and good as sweet corn and fresh tomatoes. 

 

Cokesbury Bookstore in Ridgeland offers a 25-percent discount on the monthly Bishop¹s Bookshelf selections. This is a limited-time offer.