Every once in a while you read a book that could change your life for the better. It could give you hope, provide you with an idea or simply open your eyes to possibilities heretofore unseen. I would consider myself fairly well educated with respect to the food I eat, where it comes from and what the environmental implications are for purchasing and eating the food I do. We do our best to shop in season and as locally as we can, but during the dreary winter months, I don’t want look at yet *another* root vegetable. The pineapples and avocados are often simply too enticing to pass up.

After reading Locavore by Sarah Elton, I feel like hope has been rekindled. A new generation of farmers across Canada have taken up the mantle that was necessarily abandoned by their predecessors due to lack of land, ever-escalating costs and a changing food consumption landscape. They are coming up with creative, innovative, environmentally-sound ways of producing exceptional products year-round. Elton writes passionately, but fairly, about farmers from New Brunswick to Vancouver Island and everywhere in between, relating stories of artisanal breads and cheese, of state of the art (and somewhat more ramshackle) greenhouses providing tomatoes in December, of people thinking outside the generally-accepted tenets of farming. She also discusses carbon footprints and how figures can be interpreted by various factions, distorting the true impact felt by the planet.

Locavore never feels preachy or finger-wagging, though Elton makes her personal position very clear. Eating locally, conscientiously and knowledgeably is not the easiest thing to do and  the major food companies like Monsanto do their very best to keep you from doing so. Locavore is an excellent resource for those who want to change. Rooftop gardens, public gardening spaces and various co-operative opportunities are mentioned as well as little tidbits here and there that the interested reader could incorporate into their lives. I have heard of people quite disliking books by Michael Pollan because they feel he is making judgement calls or is patronizing. I would advise those who feel  that way, but are interested in local, sustainable food pick up Locavore as Elton does shy away from Pollan’s writing style. In fact, I would recommend Locavore to anyone with a passing interest in food in Canada and abroad.

Well written, thoroughly researched, Locavore is an excellent Canadian take on the food and farming industries. I wholeheartedly applaud Sarah Elton for writing an important book that speaks to everyone. It made me want to travel across Canada sampling unpasteurized cheese in Quebec, Red Fife wheat in Saskatchewan and freshly grown tomatoes from rural Ontario in January.  Want to see why? Check out this link for a preview of Locavore! And for other great books, check out The Savvy Reader.


~ by foodNURD on February 16, 2011.

One Response to “Loca-victorious”

  1. […] Fife bread was wonderful! I’d read about this particular grain in Sara Elton’s book, Locavore, and was excited to check it out. It kind of makes regular bread taste entirely pathetic. We’d […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: