Tuesday, October 9, 2007

vacation reading

I'm just back from a vacation which was probably too short to be called a vacation, but a day too long for a long weekend. As a treat, I saved the copy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which I'd purchased to read while knitting and seeing friends and sights in Seattle.

I can't recommend it highly enough.

I'm not sure that I'm learning anything major from it, but it seems more than worth the read for the turns of phrase Barbara Kingsolver uses. The boxed notes by Steven Hopp sum up some good science and always point to a web site where one can find more information, and Camille Kingsolver's recipes and menu ideas are fun and sensible.

What I like most, though, is the humor and affirmative tone in this book. The apocalyptic, tsking and blaming, purity seeking tone of so many books on eco-gastronomy take all the joy out. Not so here. As someone who uses appreciative approaches in consulting, I appreciate the joy in eating well, seasonally and sufficiently in this book. Kingsolver is right - the problem with diets is the negative apodictic framing. (Did she use that phrase? I don't think so... Call it "thou shalt nots" or taboos or unclean, that's the usual approach.)

Why shouldn't we start with where we are, what is good and wholesome, and figure out how to build on that, rather than creating lists of what to take away?

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