Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Eating

Since I already covered environmental-type books in the Monday post, I got to thinking, as I often do, about food. Our lovely planet has so far provided enough food to support us, though we humans have some difficulties with distribution, but that provision wasn't without lots of human intervention and wrangling and general "sweat of the brow."

Hunter-Gatherers: Food Just Lying Around, Almost
It's been a long while since hunting-and-gathering supported any huge portion of the population, and Michael Pollan's description of his hunted-and-gathered meal in THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA illustrates why pre-agricultural folks had to spend just about all their time searching for food.
* Also good, anything by Mark Kurlansky, including SALT, COD: A BIOGRAPHY, and THE BIG OYSTER: HISTORY ON THE HALF SHELL.

Farming is a Rough Way to Make a Living
Willa Cather's MY ANTONIA or O, PIONEERS
* Pearl Buck's THE GOOD EARTH
* Steinbeck's THE GRAPES OF WRATH (all those dumped oranges!)
* the LITTLE HOUSE books ("Pa, there's some kind of funny cloud in the sky that's moving too fast!" Those would be locusts, Half-Pint, come to eat all the crops.)

And, Are You Really Going to Eat That?
* Anything by Michael Pollan
* Nina Planck's REAL FOOD
* Of course, Eric Schlosser's FAST FOOD NATION ("Would you like SUPERSIZE ME with that?")
* Samuel Fromartz's ORGANIC, INC.
* Steve Ettlinger's TWINKIE, DECONSTRUCTED (it made me fear baking powder)

Happy Earth Day!

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