Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Barbara Kingsolver

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle



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It is commonly believed that The United States does not have a particularly deeply rooted food culture, if we don’t count fizzy drinks and hamburgers made from intensively farmed meat. So, is it possible to live in America without relying on the food industry? This is what the Kingsolver family, made up of Barbara, Steven, and their two daughters, teenager Camille and little Lily, attempt to find out. They conduct an experiment, and for one year, try to eat only locally grown, seasonal food. Most of their meat and vegetables are grown or raised on their farm in the Appalachians, or come from nearby farms. Will the family be able to complete the experiment, and maybe even turn it into a lifestyle? Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a lively account of the family’s experience, and as well as providing interesting insights into the food industry and some tasty seasonal recipes.

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Analysis and key concepts


The Kingsolver family is committed to eating locally grown food


Getting back to the land, in order to build a healthy food culture


We choose to eat whatever we want at the expense of taste and nutrition


Following the plant cycle helps develop seasonality


We can all do our part to rediscover the importance of the earth


Cooking is sharing, awareness, knowledge, and an act of love


It is not about refraining from killing, but about making conscious choices


Planning allows us to choose what to eat




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Think about what we eat every day and where it comes from.
  • Discover how the food industry is bad for our health and destroys the planet.
  • Learn to eat local, seasonal food and develop conscious eating habits.

Barbara Kingsolver is an American writer and poet, who grew up in Kentucky. She and her family lived for a short time in the Congo, and the experience inspired her book, The Poisonwood Bible. She has also written several other novels, essays, and poetry collections. Her work has been translated into twenty languages and has won several awards, including the National Humanities Medal, America’s highest honour in the arts. Kingsolver graduated in Biology at the University of Arizona and lives on her family farm in the Appalachians.

Publishing house:

Harper Perennial