Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ethical Living and Eating reading list


Did Not Finish:

Harvest of Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating by Jane Goodall. It's a good book, and she is a good writer, and I found her comments on the eating habits of primates to be interesting, but once she moved on from there and started to describe what is wrong with the way we humans eat now that we've industrialized our food systems, it was a repetition of the same material I've read so many times before. However, if you are new to the ideas, I expect you would like this book. And if you aren't new to them, the stuff about primate behavior around food is still new and interesting.

Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should be Good, Clean, and Fair by Carlo Petrini. I love the idea of the Slow Food movement, and it's quest to both preserve food diversity and traditional methods of food preparation. It's a foodie movement (they love to talk about "gastronomy"), so it can seem a bit elitist, but it's also an ethical movement that supports treating people, the environment, and the sources of our food (animal, vegetable, or mineral) fairly. However, once again the book was too much of a repeat of stuff I've heard before, so I didn't finish it.

Did Finish:
Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living by Doug Fine is a totally different species of book: the life "project" taken on with the purpose of writing a book about it. While this type of book is usually less obviously useful, I still enjoy them for their blend of humor, entertainment, and mild inspiration (if this guy can do it - I can do it). Fine moves out to a rural ranch in New Mexico and tries to set himself up to live locally: goats, chickens, garden, solar power, well water, biofuel, etc. He is a bit of a fish out of water, and there are comical mistakes, and this lifestyle obviously wouldn't work for us all (there isn't that much land available for us all to farm like this), but his style and writing are fun and I enjoyed this book a great deal.

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