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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Veröffentlicht von HarperAudio

Erzählt von Camille Kingsolver und Steven L. Hopp


Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Veröffentlicht von HarperAudio

Erzählt von Camille Kingsolver und Steven L. Hopp

Bewertungen:
4.5/5 (146 Bewertungen)
Länge:
14 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
1. Mai 2007
ISBN:
9780061449932
Format:
Hörbuch

Beschreibung

Hang on for the ride: with characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey 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 good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that's better for the neighborhood and also better on the table.

Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life, and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
1. Mai 2007
ISBN:
9780061449932
Format:
Hörbuch

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4.4
146 Bewertungen / 120 Rezensionen
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  • (3/5)
    Very informative. however, a bit of a chore to get through
  • (5/5)
    So educational and informative! A good mix of facts and storytelling fun. Parts read like a newspaper or textbook, but then it’s broken up by stories and anecdotes and recipes. A perfect mixture of learning and laughing. It was an amazing journey they took and it really makes you reassess your own relationship with food and groceries.
  • (3/5)
    So much of this book I loved, especially the day to day experiences around growing your own food and raising livestock. My favorite descriptions were about raising turkeys and what it takes to successfully breed them. Kingsolver as the narrator of this audiobook made me laugh out loud several times. I loved how she described all of thei work on their farm, but it would have been refreshing if her kids and husband had rebelled even a little bit! They were incredibly accommodating and helpful all the time.

    I wasn't a fan of the lecture feeling parts of the book. I wish I could buy all my food from local sources and in season- and I do for the most part, but this isnt realistic for a lot of individuals. Rather than hunkering down with her own family (who seem to have unlimited means) I would have loved to hear about her using her influence to help address the urban food deserts we have across the country.

    It is funny that she is described as one of the 100 most dangerous people in the US. Heck I think we need more dangerous people like her.

  • (4/5)
    Count me among the choir Kingsolver is preaching to, here. I found her writing clear and passionate. I learned some things about food and the way food gets to my kitchen. We have a vegetable garden every year, but this book made me want to have a farm. And can my own vegetables. I did find the interjections by Kingsolver's husband and daughter a little jarring but easy to forgive.
  • (5/5)
    Of several books on the subject that I read last year, this was the most reasonable and helpful. (Second place goes to Bill McKibben's section on local eating in Deep Economy.) Kingsolver's husband and daughters all have their parts to play in the book, and an engaging lot they are. Good-sounding recipes, too!
  • (2/5)
    She reeeeeeeally likes asparagus. Well all fresh vegetables actually! And she reaeeeeeelly wants the rest of us to do it her way. I couldn't finish this book.
  • (4/5)
    A good primer on local/organic food and the seasonal rhythms of food production. Makes you want to embark on your own food adventure!

    I agree with Kingsolver's suggestion that agriculture should be part of every child's primary education.
  • (4/5)
    I was inspired, dammit! Inspired by this book! I was really afraid at first that it would be all preachy ... and it is, a little ... but there are many more passages that are motivating than preachy.

    Ms. Kingsolver and her family decide to devote one year to eating - almost exclusively - foods grown in their region. The book is a diary of their efforts. They readily acknowledge they have time and resources the average American doesn't have, but what I was really inspired by was value they put on small changes. I didn't end the book feeling like I had to stop buying Con-Agra foods immediately, but I did start researching (and buying) locally produced alternatives.

    I was surprised to learn about how many different ways food is healthier when grown without pesticides and other chemicals. Just knowing I'm getting more nutrients per bite with naturally grown food is motivation enough to spend a little more time and money finding them.
  • (5/5)
    This was a powerful book for me. While reading the first two chapters, I think I drove my partner crazy reciting passages about the insanity of modern food production - there were just so many things that made sense or were so shocking to me.
    I bought this book for my father, because over the years he and my mother have grown a vegetable garden, and he's always been more inclined to 'buy the good stuff' when he's cooking or baking, and encouraged us to eat 'real' food, rather than frozen boxed choices.
    If you have the means (and room on your shelves, let's be honest about who we are), I recommend owning the book, as you can refer to the book's helpful ideas and links as well as look at the recipes.
  • (4/5)

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

    I enjoyed reading Kingsolver's family journey of eating locally. It amazed me that she had the buy-in of the whole family, but I finished the book impressed by what they learned. Sure, they had a farm, plus the money and the time to do this, but the lesson I'm taking away from it is that you do what you want to and are able. Just in the past couple of weeks, I've been making different eating choices, mostly getting fruit salad on the side when it's an option at restaurants (instead of fries or chips), since fruit's in season this summer. I'm not bothering to ask where it's from or if it had to be thawed out.

    That being said, I bought some squash at the Raleigh Farmer's Market last month, and threw it out this morning because of mold. Fail. But I am looking for healthy recipes to cook ahead, partly because I'm starting grad school later this month, and partly because of this book. So there.

    Many thanks to Lisa for giving this one to me.

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

  • (4/5)

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

    Barbara Kingsolver is one of those rare authors who can also audibly narrate well. Listening to this book may have been more enjoyable than if I had read it the conventional way.

    The book chronicles her family's move from Arizona to Appalachia to a farm on which they pledge to eat locally for one year. Most of the food they grow and can/preserve themselves (even turkeys, which becomes the motif for the book) or get from within an hour's travel. They meet many people with similar convictions throughout the book and share their struggles and triumphs. Throughout the book, there are sidebars from Kingsolver's husband on the science and technology side of sustainable agriculture, and vignettes from Camille, their 18 yr old daughter on meal preparation and the teen perspective.

    It's an informative book, but also entertaining. With a biology background and an established career as a novelist, Kingsolver is the perfect candidate to write out this story. Worth the read.

    My one puzzlement is the pity-party for tobacco farmers who are losing their livelihood as that industry shrinks. I get that Kingsolver regrets the loss of farmers, and that it's more personal for her because she grew up among them, but don't they fit into a category akin to that of the corporate factory farms that she goes on to condemn? I am unable to reconcile this apparent contradiction.

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

  • (5/5)
    This book contained a lot of useful information about eating locally and in season, including recipes (my family loves the eggs in a nest with chard and eggs from a local farmer), but it is written in a very engaging style that I thoroughly enjoyed. I feel inspired to try a few more ways to eat locally grown food. And I really appreciate that Kingsolver doesn't condemn those who don't go "all the way" in their dedication to local eating. She gives credit for changing any of our eating habits, and I find that very encouraging.

    The other thing I appreciated from this book was Kingsolver's focus on the miracle of the foods we eat and the way in which they come forth from the earth. The annual discussion of Santa Claus has begun again--we're not "doing" Santa with our daughter, and those who are typically say that the reason they do is to give their children a sense of magic and wonder. I, too, want to impart these things to my daughter, and I worry sometimes that, by denying her Santa, I'm also denying her that magic. Kingsolver helps put into words the type of magic and wonder I wish to bring to my children's lives in her description of the miracle of an asparagus bed, the magical coming together of homemade cheese, and the incomprehensible wonder at seeing a newborn chick peek out from under its mother's wing. If I can give my daughter that kind of magic and wonder, I think I'll feel OK about the Santa thing.
  • (4/5)
    I thought this would be a lot more elitist, and it really wasn't. Kingsolver definitely emphasizes the “whole-nine-yards” solution to the question of food security, but that was the nature of her project, right? It was a really enjoyable book. Favourite moment? When she reminisces about being a country kid and thinking that street addresses were really cool. I wasn't really much of a country kid, myself, but I remember that from my eleven years in a hamlet: “What's your address?” “General Delivery” “But, where do you live?” (confused look). Second red brick on the right, if you're coming from the East. Country directions.
  • (3/5)
    "How do you encourage people to keep their hope...but not their complacency?" This is a question that one of Kingsolver's film-making friends asks. It is a question that I found to be central to my reading of this book. A couple of chapters in, I feared this would be a book all about how we are raping and killing our planet, and destroying our own health, by our current consumer and eating habits. And it is a book about that - I came away with a great deal of guilt that I didn't want to deal with, which easily leads to complacency. As Kingsolver says, "The truth is so horrific: we are marching ourselves to the maw of our own extinction. An audience that doesn't really get that will amble out of the theater unmoved, go home and change nothing. But an audience that does get it may be so terrified they'll feel doomed already. They might walk out looking paler, but still do nothing. How is it possible to inspire an appropriately repentant stance toward a planet that is really, really upset?"

    I think the author does a pretty good job of finding that balance throughout this book. After the initial bout of "preachiness," which is really the family's explanation of why they decided to try this year of eating locally, the book resolves into a generally hopeful and upbeat story of their experiences. The clan eschews any food that is not grown on their own land or produced within 100 miles of their home for a year. Kingsolver relates fascinating information, funny and touching stories, and great joy as she works through the family's story of growing, harvesting, preserving, and preparing its own food. The tales of turkey husbandry are particularly entertaining.

    And, while I did still come away with that guilt - I am overwhelmed by all the change that would be necessary to stop the wheels of the mass food production machine, too spoiled with having a huge variety of food choices, and too lazy to grow my own food - I did come away with a resolution to take some baby steps to help solve some of the problems outlined in this book. I already find myself reading produce labels and trying to buy more locally grown fruits and vegetables.

    This book reminded me how far I (and we as a nation) have come from being in tune with nature and the seasons. I grew up on a farm similar to the one the Kingsolver-Hopp family has. It was not commercial, but we raised and preserved a great deal of our own vegetables and meat. As a child, I was far more connected to the land and its cycles than I am now. It would be nice to get some of that back, but I feel ill equipped for the magnitude of project that the book's family undertook.

    Kingsolver makes an interesting and eloquent argument for meat consumption as well, which is interesting in this age of vehement vegetarianism. Her discussion of heritage species of plants and animals is compelling. And her take on some of our holidays is touching and thought-provoking. Her comment on Thanksgiving:

    "Even feigning surprise, pretending it was unexpected and saying a ritual thanks, is surely wiser than just expecting everything so carelessly. Wake up now, look alive, for here is a day off work just to praise Creation: the turkey, the squash, and the corn, these things that ate and drank sunshine, grass, mud, and rain, and then in the shortening days laid down their lives for our welfare and onward resolve. There's the miracle for you, the absolute sacrifice that still holds back seeds: a germ of promise to do the whole thing again, another time...In my household credo, Thanksgiving is Creation's birthday party. Praise harvest, a pause and sign on the breath of immortality."

    I enjoyed Camille Kingsolver's sidebars throughout the book, giving a teen's perspective on the family's project and providing a lot of recipes. Steven Hopp's sidebars are more informative but less entertaining.
  • (4/5)
    Oh Barbara Kingsolver, you are so amazing and brilliant… wait, I mean condescending. Sorry for the snarky comment, but after awhile her attitude was a bit much for me. Yes, the lifestyle she advocates is a wonderful idea, but having someone tell you over and over again that you really have to grow your own food because fast food is bad for you gets old fast. I just wanted to yell “WE KNOW!” It’s not a bad book, it’s just, most of what she says feels like common knowledge and she just comes across as so self-congratulatory. I also don’t think it’s feasible for many people to pack up and move from Arizona to the Appalachian mountains in order to grow a garden, which is what she and her family do. Most people in America (at least most of the people who are reading books like her’s) already understand that buying local is better for the environment, economy and our personal health. We know that working in a garden can be hard, but it’s also rewarding. We know that it’s not impossible to eat all local foods, but it can be difficult. My parents are living a very similar life. They raise their own chickens for eggs and meat. They grow all their own veggies, do their own canning and make their own jams. So maybe I’ve just heard all of this before. I really loved learning more about the process, I just would have enjoyed it more without the patronizing style of the book. There are certainly things I liked about the book. I think Kingsolver is right when she says that having a family dinner together is important. I also love how she teaches her kids the importance of these things. I love that she reminds us good things are worth waiting for. I think it’s also interesting that she emphasizes the value of cooking from scratch and notes that it has become a negative thing because it makes women seem “domestic” which is “bad” in America. I definitely learned some new things from the book and I appreciate that, I just wish it had been written in a slightly different way. BOTTOM LINE: If you’re interested in growing and raising your own food and curious about the ins and outs of the process then this is a must. If you already have a good base of knowledge and understand that a farmer’s marker is a good place to shop, skip it.  
  • (5/5)
    This is the story lovingly told of a family who decided to spend a year being conscious about where there food came from. They would grow or raise what they could, and they would buy local and get to know the farmers who sold them everything else.I thought this would be preachy; it was not. Kingsolver doesn't say that everyone needs to do this--in fact, she quite distinctly says that it's a luxury she knows most people don't have. Instead, she's trying to raise the level of awareness. Our food comes from all over the world. It's WEIRD that we don't know where it comes from or even that our meals typically consist of food out of season. (And does anyone know what's in season anymore? I sure couldn't have told you before.) We eat what we want when we want it regardless of when it's naturally available. And there are moral and practical implications.I learned so much in this book and got a few laughs along the way. I wasn't expecting it to be funny at all. I read part of this while sitting in an airport bar and needed to stifle more than one giggle so that my fellow patrons wouldn't think they were sitting next to a crazy person. I can't remember the last time I took this much pure pleasure from a book.This was just a joy to read. And you know what? I'm going to try to go to the farmers market more often.
  • (5/5)
    A terrific read (poetic, informative and important) that follows Barbara Kingsolver's family as they try to eat only locally-grown food from family farms (including their own) over the course of a year. Woven into the narrative is an amazing amount of information making the case that we MUST change our system of food production and consumption in the US if we want to create a sustainable future, and improve our health. Kingsolver shows it can be done and how to do it. Highly recommended--I couldn't put this one down.
  • (5/5)
    Not too many books really make me change my choices, but this one has. I'm swearing off Chef Boy'ar Dee and spending more for organic.
  • (3/5)
    Barbara Kingsolver recounts her family's experience with eating local for a year. The family grew most of its own foods during this period and tried to buy other food needs from other farmers whenever possible. This book had been on my wish list for awhile and then I've actually owned it for about a year. I finally got around to reading it. I was a little disappointed. I think I expected a lighter narrative. Instead I got one filled with some minutiae that made this a book that I could only read a chapter or two at a time. I loved the concept of eating locally, and Mrs. Kingsolver is an excellent writer. It just went further into global economics than I really desired to read in this sort of book. Many persons interested in growing their own food will gain much from reading it. There are some excellent recipes included that I intend to try.
  • (5/5)
    I must admit I didn't "read" it, I listened to it on CD. It was like sitting at your kitchen table listening to Barbara Kingsolver relate her experiences. I then had to purchase the book because there was so much I wanted to reference.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book! So much useful information, but at the same time it felt like a long comfortable talk with an old friend. I might have to buy this one so I can read it over again - and try out some of the recipes.
  • (3/5)
    I agree with the concepts and ideas but the book itself, the writing, were dull, dull, dull. I expected a more enjoyable read from Barbara Kingsolver. Four stars for subject matter, two stars for readability. Thus, three stars.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. I was so impressed that this family was able to feed themselves and eat locally for an entire year. I already knew and agreed with many of the things they talked about, but sometimes you need a little reminder to make changes in your life. Some of the recipes are so simple and there is no reason I cannot make more things from scratch and can some stuff when it is in season. Reading this has inspired me to plant a bigger garden, cook more, and buy what is available at the farmers market instead of what I want.
  • (5/5)
    A book of our time. If you can get through the polemic of the introduction, the family's year long journey is beautifully told.
  • (4/5)
    Love this. Lots of good stuff.
  • (5/5)
    i loved this book! it's a beautiful reflection on a family growing their own food and eating local for a year. kingsolver's prose and wordplay are so wonderful; her descriptions are rich and vivid. the recipes included in the book look really yummy and i appreciated hearing the perspective of both her husband and her daughter. it's a book that packs in a lot of information in the midst of moving memoir. lovely and highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    I didn't devour this book (ha!), but I did like it. Food for thought.
  • (5/5)
    Barbara Kingsolver and her family packed up and moved from Tucson to their farm in Appalachia where they became ‘locavores’, eating only what they could grow on their farm or obtain locally for an entire year. This beautifully written book is part memoir and part commentary on the American food industry. I listened to the audio version which was read by the author with her husband, Steven Hopp, reading the sidebars and her daughter, Camille, reading the menus and recipes.The book chronicled the family’s journey though one year of eating only foods that could be obtained regionally. They planted and harvested their own crops, canned and stored food for the winter and raised poultry on their farm. I had to laugh when the author discussed what to do with too many zucchini, which is a common garden problem. Zucchini are prolific. Neighbors would hide when she tried to bring them a basketful. And the chapter on the turkeys attempting to reproduce was both fascinating and funny. Who knew turkeys didn’t know how? Not me. Recipes are included in the book and can be found on the web site, so even audio book readers can have a copy of them. One was for Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies. They were getting desperate to use them up! I’ll stick with the zucchini bread myself.We learn that many American no longer know where their food comes from before it arrives at the grocery store. Today, food is imported year-round traveling great distances to reach the store, consuming oil and resources. Each generation is becoming farther removed from food production. In spending the year eating local the author’s goal was “to establish that a normal-ish American family could be content on the fruits of our local foodshed”.I loved this book. Barbara Kingsolver did a great job with the reading for the audio version. It was informative, well-research and told in an engaging and often humorous style. I did not find it preachy as some have suggested, but that may be because I agree with most of what she is saying. There are a lot of dangers in modern-day industrial farming, the way animals are treated, the health of the animals and the antibiotics they routinely ingest. Organic farming is undoubtably better for people and the environment as are farm raised rather than factory raised animals.Small confession here: I am a gardener. I love to dig in the dirt and grow things. I grow flowers, vegetables, herbs and houseplants. I would grow more food if I had the time and the space. I have done this all my life and not because I was worried about local farming; I did it because homegrown veggies taste so good and are chemical free. My grandmother taught me the joy of a backyard garden when I was very young. I would even have chickens if my town allowed them. I’m helping the environment, plus family and friends enjoy my organic veggies; a win-win.The author acknowledges several times that this lifestyle is not for everyone for a variety of reasons, nor is the purpose of the book to convert people to locavores, but rather to raise awareness. However, the material is so well presented, and her enthusiasm for what her family is attempting is so infectious, that unless you are totally uninterested in the subject, you might be motivated to run out and buy a tomato plant or two. (And some varieties of tomato grow nicely in a pot on a patio or balcony.)One of the overriding themes in the book is that small changes result in huge differences. You can do a little or a lot and every bit will benefit. Early in the book we are treated to this fact: “If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week.”You don’t need a farm or even a garden to do that. A farmer’s market will suffice.Highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. Just like Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma it made me think about my eating habits and the politics surrounding it. Also like Pollan's book it was fun, informative and included a lot of resources for further reading.The author and her family move to a farm that has been in her husbands family for generations. For a year they take on the project of eating what they can grow, raise or barter from their neighbors. This means that they will eat seasonally, raise animals and also butcher said animals. Kingsolver reiterates throughout her book that eating well and healthy can be done cheaply. It just takes planning ahead in order to do so. She writes that eating seasonally and freezing items in the winter are good ways to do this. Seasonality is a huge theme in this book. She makes an interesting analogy between seasonality and teenage abstinence "we're raising our children on the definition of promiscuity if we feed them a casual, indiscriminate mingling of foods from every season plucked from the supermarket, ignoring how our susteance is cheapened by wholesale desires" (31). Damn, she is a wordsmith. She also later equates summer veggies and fruits to bikinis. You gotta put them away sometime.Along with Kingsolver, her husband and eldest daughter also add recipes, nutritional facts, break down food issues and include websites for further explorations. Their writings further supplement Kingsolver's book.
  • (5/5)
    The Short of It:This is a life-changing book for anyone who has ever stopped to think about where food comes from. Not preachy, just wonderful. The Rest of It:Barbara Kingsolver is known for the many books she’s written. Many of which, I have grown to love. What I didn’t know is that she is an advocate for buying local. Local produce, local meats, dairy, etc. There is a huge advantage to the planet when a purchase is made locally. When you think of fuel costs and what it costs to transport food half-way across the country, it just makes more sense to buy things locally. In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Kingsolver and her family move from Tucson to their farm in the southern Appalachians for a year of growing their own food, raising their own livestock and testing out their ability to survive on what’s available to them locally. What struck me with this book is that it is truly a book of discovery. No lectures. No pointing fingers telling you what you must do, etc. It’s just a beautifully written “year in the life” memoir that happens to be about my favorite thing, food.I’m not exaggerating when I say that this book is life-changing. It is. It really makes you question where your food comes from. As a nation, we are used to walking into a grocery store and having everything available to us at all times. Take watermelon for example. It’s available to us year-round but just because it’s available, doesn’t mean it’s good.Think about where that melon came from for it to be available in the off-season. Then think about how much it costs to transport that fruit. If you’re so inclined, go one step further and think about taste. How fresh could it be if it was driven half-way across the country for it to end up in our shopping cart?In addition to buying wisely, Kingsolver also touches on sustaining your family on what you can grow or raise at home. This isn’t a “how-to” book by any means but it’s gotten my wheels turning and it’s made me look at gardening in a different way. Even someone without a lot of property can grow some herbs or tomatoes to add to salads and other home cooked meals. The gesture need not be big. It could be as simple as buying produce at your local farmer’s market.I know with my time constraints I will never have the vegetable garden that I’ve always dreamed of, but I have the land so this spring I am going to grow something. Not sure what quite yet but something good. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle has inspired me to at least try. If you’ve ever been interested in the food chain, I encourage you to read this book.