Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Book Report: Eating for Beginners

This summer has been slow reading for me. We've been hanging out with our friends several times a week until midnight or later which doesn't leave much energy for late night reading. Recently my nightly reading has picked up a little as I struggle to fall asleep with thoughts of the wedding racing around my head.
Two nights ago I finished reading Eating for Beginners by Melanie Rehak. A couple of months ago Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishers contacted me and asked if I was interested in receiving a copy of Rehak's book. While I would never want to sell out I am too much of a reader to ever turn down a book and I was interested in Rehak's story.

Eating for Beginners tells Rehak's story of learning to prepare, value, and enjoy seasonal, local food. In this time of corporate farms, debates about genetically modified crops, and the many options at the grocery store I think it is beneficial to expand your knowledge on where our food comes and what you're really putting into your body.
While researching Eating for Beginners Rehak worked in the kitchen at applewood, a New York restaurant that focuses on using sustainable, local, and seasonal foods. During her time there she travelled throughout New England learning where the restaurant's food came from and how the people that harvested it lived.
I imagine that my grocery shopping trips are like many women's these days, I try to shop around the edges, buying fruits & veggies and skipping the overly processed cookie aisle, but many times I struggle with justifying the cost of organic food over the cost of the standard produce. What Rehak has taught me is that while organic produce certainly trumps pesticide filled produce there are many other elements that go into buying food.
Choosing foods that are grown locally are not only important for the environment (just think about the gas that goes into shipping produce across the country or even across the world!) but it's also beneficial for your regional economy.
The benefit of a sale is much greater for Micro farms (small, family run operations) than to large farms that deal with produce all over the county. Smaller farms employ local people that take the time and care to sustainably maintain the land.
Rehak doesn't use Eating for Beginners as a platform for demonizing imported, out of season food but rather as an opportunity to present the benefits of focusing on adding local foods to your diet.
Realistically I would love to be a member of our local food co-op but financially it's just not in the cards right now, but by buying from our local farmers market and roadside stands I can help change my habits to become a more sustainable consumer.
Eating for Beginners was incredibly educational for me, and if you'd like to learn more about sustainable eating I'd definitely recommend it.

PS Don't forget to enter the giveaway! And for an extra entry leave a comment telling me what you're planning to have for dinner tonight!

This is a sponsored post.

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