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What Inspired My Crunchiness?

11/02/2011

There have been a couple books and movies that have been a huge part of my perspective change from a “normal” consumer (processed foods, body products loaded with unpronounceable chemicals, etc) to a greener and more health conscience consumer. These  mainly talk about food and our food system, but I found once I started really thinking about that, it naturally starting influencing other areas of my life besides my food choices.  I’d like to share some of those with you today. Be careful though! They may rock your little world like they did mine! :)

Books

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan– Hands down this is the book that really catapulted me into crunchiness. I was already starting down that path before reading this, but after that, there was no looking back! Pollan follows corn from its beginnings in the field to what it ultimately ends up as—most of our processed food in different forms. (High fructose corn syrup, anyone?) He looks at why this is (overproduction) and how its affected us (obesity). He talk about farming (and CAFOs).  He visits Polyface Farms and looks at how an organic farm is runthat actually works with the animals and the land and not against them. (One of my goals is to visit Polyface Farms someday after reading the book.) If you haven’t already read this book, you need to. It’ll get you thinking about our food system in a whole new way. Here’s a short summary of the book.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver—This was the first book I’d ever read by Barbara Kingsolver and I loved it. My husband finds her a bit verbose, but I like her writing style. In this book, she chronicles the year that her family only ate  from local sources—mainly their back yard. They go through things like eating seasonally (which for some reason had never really occurred to me before), planning for the winter, and lots of other interesting information about our American food system and about homesteading. She does rant about the industrial food system in the first few chapters (I agree with most of what she says, and even I was tired of reading that part by the end), but if you can get through that little section (or skip it some of it!), the rest is an enjoyable and eye-opening read.

Movies

Food, Inc.— This movie also looks at the American industrial food system. It covers the rise of industrialized food—the reason for it and the effects of it. I found a great synopsis of the movie here. If you don’t have time to read the above books (and don’t want to listen to them on audiobook like I do!), then you should watch this movie. Its on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, if you belong to either one of those. If you’ve read the above books and liked them, then you’ll like this too.

Audio

Can Faith be Green by Tim Keller – I listened to this sermon as I cleaned last week and it gives a great account about why Christians should be green. We’ve been called to be good stewards of the Earth and our resources and our choices should reflect that. He even quotes Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms in his sermon, so you know it has to be good. :) I really enjoyed listening to it and am planning on a second listen sometime soon. You should listen to it if you are even remotely interested in your role as a steward of the Earth. Besides, Tim Keller is a really good speaker–he has a very conversational style and its an easy listen.

Have you ever read/seen/heard  of any of these?  What things have inspired you to a greener lifestyle? Please share in the comments!

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Disclaimer: The Amazon links above are affiliate links. If you use those links to buy something, I’ll get a small compensation. However, I highly recommend NOT buying the books/movie and just checking it out from your local library. Much more frugal that way. :) Thanks!

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8 Comments
  1. 11/02/2011 4:40 pm

    I’ve read both books and seen the movie but hadn’t heard of Can Faith be Green. Will need to investigate it! I like Food Matters too.

    • Kate permalink*
      11/03/2011 9:46 am

      Andrea, I think my husband and I have seen almost every food related movie on Netflix. :) We liked Food Matters, too! Although we started taking some niacin after watching it and didn’t realize you can’t take it in big doses like you can with Vit C. Evidently large doses of niacin makes you all flushed and feel horrible. Who knew? (We do now!)

  2. 11/03/2011 3:11 am

    Cool post. I’m currently reading animal, vegetable, miracle. I’ve just finished reading a really fantastic book by a New Zealand author called A home companion by Wendyl Nissen. I think you’ll like this book .I did a review which you can check out my review on: http://www.nzecochick.com/2011/11/home-companion.html

    • Kate permalink*
      11/03/2011 8:19 am

      I’ll have to see if I can get that book in the States. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. 11/03/2011 9:33 am

    Great thoughts, Kate. I may ask for some of this for Xmas. I am definitely interested, even just from a health/avoiding obesity and eating seasonally standpoint. I have not listened to that Keller sermon yet- excited!!

    • Kate permalink*
      11/03/2011 9:48 am

      I know you can get the Michael Pollan book at the Aberdeen library (because that’s where I checked the book out from!). Not sure about the Kingsolver book. And I’m guessing Food, Inc. is probably only in America, although you could check Love Film. I thought of you and Josh when I posted the Keller sermon. Its a good one. :)

  4. 11/09/2011 11:31 pm

    Thanks for the book suggestions! I’m making a list if the healthy eating books I want for Christmas. I just watched Food, Inc two days ago. My eyes have really been opened and I’m even more ready to make a change to the food my family eats.

  5. Christa permalink
    12/21/2011 2:07 pm

    I am nearly through reading Joel Sallatin’s new book “Folks This Ain’t Normal.” He is the owner of Polyface Farms, as I’m sure you knows. It’s a feisty but incredibly “this-makes-so-much-sense; why-isn’t-this-the-norm?” read. I recommend it! Thanks for the link to the Keller sermon – I’ll definitely be listening to that soon.

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