The Cost of Food: A Review of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Have you ever thought of where your food comes from? What it costs? Barbara Kingsolver, author of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle would have you believe that food, in nearly every way in America, is being forced down your gullet in an unpalatable assembly line meant to minimize the price tag at the grocer while increasing the costs spent fixing the damage done by cutting those market prices. Within her book, Kingsolver sets a goal of living for an entire year from the fruits of her family’s labors on their farm only supplemented by the local produce that other nearby farms could produce. Throughout this journey she discusses the effects of the farming community in comparison to the large corporate farms. I agree with her ideal that there are much healthier alternatives closer to home that can sustain us.

Let us think of how those massive farming operations, with their chemicals and cut-corners attitude, are changing our environment. Kingsolver asks the reader at one point to consider this: “Those changes [the changes in the environment] can be mapped on worry lines: as the years have gone by, as farms have gone out of business, America has given an ever-smaller cut of each food dollar (now less than 19 percent) to its farmers.” [1] Those farmers receiving nineteen cents for every dollar spent at the chain grocery store are the ones trying to avoid dangerous chemicals and grow healthy crops. They are also the ones you can find down the street in town trying to make up the extra eighty-one cents in a food stall at the farmer’s market.

Overall, I would argue that this book could change the average mind from stopping at the supermarket, and instead attempt to bring their business closer to home. Kingsolver believes, “Most of that [the price we pay] is not measured in money, but in untallied debts that will be paid by our children in the currency of extinctions, economic unravelings, and global climate change.” [2] The real question though; Why pay that price when there is a perfectly viable option present just around the corner in your local farmer’s market?

Works Cited

Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. New York: Harper Collins, 2007. 208. Print

Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. New York: Harper Collins, 2007. 66. Print.
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