Sunday, July 20, 2014

Book Review: The Real Food Revival by Sherri Brooks Vinton and Ann Clark Espuelas

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The Real Food Revival by Sherri Brooks Vinton and Ann Clark Espuelas

This is a really excellent book.  You absolutely should get your hands on a copy right away. 

I picked this up at my first trip to the local library in my new city.  I got a lot of books on that particular trip, but this one really stood out.  While I just sort of flipped through the others for ideas, this one demanded that I sit down and read it cover-to-cover, which I did.  I even read portions of it aloud to David, who was curious what was capturing my attention so much (he then asked that I stop reading to him, because it was making him hungry). 

The Real Food Revival is a plea, from one food-lover to another, to make better eating choices.  It's very much in line with Michael Pollan's books; if you've read In Defense of Food (and you should), then the premise of this book should be pretty familiar.  Pollan is referenced a few times, and they share sources -- but this is more than a rehashing of Pollan's work. 

After a brief introduction to let you know what to expect, the book is broken off into sections, each one correlating to an aisle in the grocery store -- produce, meat, grains, etc.  Every chapter is organized in the same way: An introduction about the type of food, an "industrial agriculture snapshot" showing how those foods make their way to your table in the conventional system, and then tips for reviving real food -- such as ways to find organic produce, where to get grass-fed meat, etc. etc.  After that is a section highlighting a specific producer in-depth so that you can see how real people are working to combat the problems described early in the chapter. 

Interspersed among these sections are simple recipes that relate to the food being discussed, including a really delicious feta pie for the "ugly tomatoes" you end up with when you buy heirloom varieties.  Seriously, try that recipe, it's delicious. 

Moving on.  I really enjoyed this book.  It was packed with information, some of which I knew and some I really didn't (the entire section about seafood was mind-blowing for me), and the overall attitude of the book is very "can do" without speaking down to people or making them feel guilty for their choices.  The book's overarching message is very much in line with what I believe here at Lean Times -- someone might not be able to do everything, but everybody can do something to help make the world more sustainable. 

Have you read this book?  Share your opinion in the comments!  Also, I'm open to suggestions for what to read or watch next!

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