The Omnivore's Dilemma
I just finished reading this book and, as with all great non-fiction, am champing at the bit to discuss it with people I know. Of my friends in real life, they're all on the waiting list at the library for the book (I was too, but got too impatient to wait). So I'm going to have to pass my copy around and have more patience while they read it before we can talk about it. The Crunchy Unschoolers list promises to discuss in a week or two after everyone's finished reading.
More than anything, reading this book has doubled my own personal conviction to make this a year in which to focus on developing local sources for as many of our foodstuffs as possible. The figures in the book describing how much of our nation's fuel consumption goes to transporting food around the country is definitely a big impetus to go even farther in changing our food buying habits. We already have eggs from the henhouse, and pork and beef from a local, very small, grass-pasturing farm. We can get goat's milk in season locally. I need to find a local source for raw cow's milk though, and make it a weekly commitment to get to the Farmer's market, as well as ordering a CSA box for next season. We're also hoping to expand our garden next year, adding a corn and cucumber plot up in the front of the house in addition to the raised beds in back. We can do more summer and fall gleaning as well. I found a good source for walnuts and hazelnuts this year, but we've already eaten most of the ones we got. Apples, blackberries, and pears are easy to find as well, so I need to get out my canning apron and go to town next fall.
If anyone else out there is wondering how much difference there is between big centralized organic and small local farms, this book is a must-read!