Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
I've only completed the first chapter and already I'm wanting to move. Not out of this city, or this state; more like out of this country. Kingsolver writes a "year of food life" in where her family moves from Arizona to Virginia where things like growing your own food and eating within your region are possible without such drastic measures as in the Southwest. She mentions something that really peaks my interest called the French Paradox (which funny enough I just read about in Julie and Julia, also a great read): the French can eat and eat rich and heavy foods and yet stay slim without 24hr gyms and detox diets. Why? Well the claim is, according to Kingsolver, the French "consume many courses in a meal...portions of the fatty ones tend to be tiny...and they draw out meals sociably." She also discusses the freshness of their ingredients and the skimping on quality they refuse to do. I've never been to France (sad face) but I have been to Greece, and I find the same theory applies there as well. When we ate "out" in Greece, it was always with friends, the main course being coffee and tobacco with a little food thrown in. When eating at home, there seemed to be just enough food for everyone, which didn't tempt us into overeating. Snacks consisted of fruit from the trees outside, a piece of bread (bought or baked daily) with feta, or olives. My favorite indulgence was fresh chocolate milk, which came in a very small container like a delicacy. Even the soda, one liter bottles only, came as carbonated orange juice. And as I read this book, I wonder, why did I ever leave?
It makes me sad to think that not only could my poor eating habits be making me unhealthy (chubby), but maybe my government, my country, are contributing as well. It is very unsettling; a feeling that you cannot escape it. I'm hoping this read has a happy ending because the last thing my husband needs to hear is: "I changed my mind about the east coast, let's just hop the ocean while we're at it!"