Saturday, July 23, 2011

Moving Towards Earth Friendly Living

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.)When my first child was born ten years ago, I started to pay more attention to environmental issues because I wondered what kind of world my child would be living in as she grew. And once she started eating solid food, I paid a lot more attention to the ingredients in the food that I bought for her then I had to food ingredients when I was shopping simply for myself. While I'd always enjoyed cooking, I began to cook even more from scratch, and I cut way back on the amount of processed foods that I bought. As I read more about eating naturally, I was pleased that doing so also could have a positive effect on the environment.

While having a child spurred me on to these decisions about food, I think having a mother who loved to cook, and who insisted on family dinners most every night of the week ingrained this sense of healthy eating in me from an early age. Despite working outside of the house for much of my childhood, my mother cooked healthy meals from scratch nearly every night of the week. And frequently in large amounts: My friends often wanted to eat at my house, since their parents didn't do much cooking.

For years I enjoyed making health meals, and I tried to keep my home low on chemicals by buying eco friendly cleaning products. However, my quest for natural living became more intense after I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver, a few years ago. This book is mainly about Kingsolver's decision to eat only local food and food her family produced themselves for one year. I learned so much from this book about nutrition, growing your own food, eating locally, and sustainable living. Kingsolver's experiment has inspired me to slowly but surely add more sustainable living practices into my life. Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to blog about different sustainable living practices I've added into the way I live, as well as some I'd still like to strive for. In the meantime, here are some more books on the topic that I've enjoyed:

Off the Grid, Nick Rosen
Farm Together Now, Amy Franceschini, Daniel Tucker
Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, Novella Carpenter
Simple Country Wisdom, Susan Waggoner
A Homemade Life, Molly Wizenberg
Real Food, Nina Planck
Made from Scratch, Jenna Woginrich


  1. I love Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I listen to the audiobook over and over again in my car for inspiration. Last year I worked on an organic farm as a workshare. This year, I'm trying to make sure we eat all the good food from our CSA and tending our plants, but more important: I'm working on GMO labeling issues. I don't know your level of activism, but you might be interested in at least signing the petitions to get GMO labeling on ballot. California, Michigan, and Eugene, Oregon currently have such movements going on, with varying success and commitment. You might want to check it out.

  2. Thanks, I'll look into those petitions. I am on some email lists that notify me about things like that.

  3. They are also on FB, of course.

    And thanks for the list of books on this post. One day, I AM going to move away from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and now I have a good list to read!