The book is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, A Year of Food Life - by Barbara Kingsolver.
It is really an interesting read. Not only does it tell of her families journey to eat foods that are produced locally for at least a full year, but it also gives a great deal of information and history (good, bad, & ugly) of our food production.
Could you survive with ONLY foods produced in say a 100 mile radius of your home?
Now there can be a few exceptions like - some flours (although there are many small mills), coffee, yeast, baking soda & powder, salt, and oils (could probably render lard).
If we started today - you have what you have in your pantries and freezers to use, but can buy no more food supplies that aren't local. You can grow your own - or buy from local vendors.
Local vendors - is not WalMart, Kroger, ethnic stores, Aldi, etc. Local means farmers and orchards.
For us in our area:
FRUIT - we could get or grow - apples, peaches, cherries, berries of all sorts, rhubarb, grapes, persimmons, pawpaw's
Cider would go in this area as well as home made grape juice.
Basically there would be no citrus, pineapple, mango, kiwi, etc. No tropical fruit at all.
VEGGIES - pretty much anything. There are tons of veggies that can be grown in our state. I don't think we would ever be wanting of much
MEAT - There are many vendors at our farm markets that sell meats - all cuts and types. They are all in state vendors. YES, the meat is more expensive by a long shot - but it is also better quality.
OTHER - we can buy eggs local, milk (at farm market), and various cheeses.
If need be, there are also artisanal breads that are made locally, as well herbal teas and things like soap.
We have some grain milling operations within 50 miles - where we could get various grains and flours.
We could use local honey in lieu of sugar.
We could gather black walnuts or hickory nuts - they produce well and are here for the taking in our area. There would be no pecans or cashews!
We could hunt mushrooms.
There are many herbs and plants to be gathered (many would call weeds) - such as clover, dandelion, plantain, thistle, wild garlic & onions, fiddle heads, etc.
It would mean making our own pasta - and there would be no rice us.
I love this idea as it is helping the local economy, the small farmer and businessman, and it would be much healthier.
Yes it is a lot more work and takes effort. It would cost more - BUT I think this may be how things will go in the future.
I love the idea of not helping major corporations and big farma - I love the idea of not filling our bodies full of preservatives and chemicals - I love the idea of getting back to God's food (natural) - I just love the idea of local.
Yes, it would mean giving up some things we eat now - but I think it would also encourage us to try new things and widen our foodie horizons.
What do you think?
COULD YOU DO IT?
This is how our ancestors lived!!!!!!!! Farm to table!
They grew and/or bartered, they hunted, they fished, they gleaned from the woods, fields, and surrounding lands - they preserved anything they could. They survived. We are testament to that - we are here!
In the book - they even followed this rule on the rare occasion they ate out - they found farm to table restaurants.
Here is another book I found at the library. I am anxious to read it as well. Should give a lot of ideas for finding the things that would fill our pantries and tables.
I am sure that I couldn't do this exclusively - but it sure would be neat. I love the idea.
I try to get as many local veggies and fruit as possible in the summer and fall months - perhaps I need to try harder.
If you have never read Barbara Kingsolver's book - you should. It is truly fascinating. You can skip the technical stuff if you must - but her families story is so interesting. I love the interaction with the locals and neighbors.
So what say you? Could you do this? Would you even try?
I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts on this.