UATR Book Club | In Defense of Food Introduction
Hey there! Last week we finished up our first book club suggested reading, The Princess Bride, and discussed on the blog. Today, I am introducing the new book we will be starting! I am a huge fan of Michael Pollan. The first I heard of him was after watching his special on Netflix called Cooked, which is titled after his book of the same name. It was fascinating, and I immediately felt this deep connection to what he was saying! I decided that I needed to read his work and immediately set out to find his novels. His books are actually not that easy to find in our selective Iowa City book shops or even Barnes + Noble. Truthfully, the mall that we have here is so small and behind on the times that I am pretty sure the clothing they carry is from at least 2014. Not joking! Which means I went to the Amazon Prime... my saving grace. We had a neighbor pop over last week and they asked what the hardest adjustment would be for us. Our answer has definitely been learning how to stock up even more than we already do on groceries and household necessities like toilet paper and garbage bags. We now understand why everyone around here has a subscription to Costco! They told us, "Amazon Prime is also very nice to have..." Good thing I have that under my belt! Ha!
I decided to grab a copy of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food waaaaay back in July, through Amazon, used!* I love that. My sad attempts to actually read it fizzled out quickly. I don't think during autumn planting was a great time to pick up a book. But here we are! Approaching the holidays and January; it's closer than you think. It's the perfect time to get settled in with a book by the fire and learn about our food. I am SO ready to get inspired to clean out our pantry even further, to love the food we grow ourselves even more. In fact, I've already read the first 50 or so pages and am writing so many thoughts and questions down. It seems like a lot of you are excited for this one, so I do hope that you choose to read it alongside me!
*The reason I even bring up the Amazon story is because if you do want to grab this book (if your library doesn't carry it - I always go to the library first!) then you can purchase it used for a really great price!
The truth of our food is something that I have been writing and processing for almost one year now. It began back in January, as we started planning our garden. I was lying in bed the other night, Tad snoring gently beside me, and thinking about how our journey into gardening even began. These, of course, are important mind grapes at 3 AM to be mulling over. Why did we start growing our own food? For some reason, my mind follows the path to moving of when we moved to Iowa and watched all of the beautiful gardens grown by Amish families in the country. But I don't know if that is the reason why it began. Perhaps it was the pots and pots of succulents filling up our home, sitting on top of my dresser, in the kitchen window, and on the dining room table that made my dad say, "These are going outside!" Or maybe it was the burning to desire to be outside, to try it ourselves, to be more connected to the earth by working with it rather than staring from a distance. That reason is much more poetic. In truth, I think I always begin a new project because I want to prove disbelievers wrong. When we first started talking about gardening, there were so many people that told us we couldn't do it. It would be too hard, too time consuming, your food won't grow. And when it did, I think I just wanted to keep going. Now here we are, one week into living on a parcel of acreage, and I am already watching the mind testing words roll in. You won't get certified organic, it's too much work, why would you do this?
My answer? In defense of food. I am falling in love with it. There is a hard and deep passion for growing food somewhere inside of me that I find difficult to explain. We all deserve real, whole food. Can I feed the world with one garden? No. But I can talk about it, and feed others who also have a desire to grow something spectacular for themselves, their family, their friends, and their neighbors. I think this book will really inspire you to think differently about what you eat and how you access that food. You might not be a gardener/grower at heart, but you still eat, and that food should be whole and enjoyable.
That got deep really quickly! I hope you join me this month. We start reading today and will discuss during the first week of January. Eek! That's about time to start purchasing seeds. To say I am excited is an understatement! Go grab a copy of In Defense of Food, your notebook, highlighter, and favorite pen. Take notes, mark your favorite quotes, and jot down some questions. I think we will have a lot to talk about after reading this one! (: