Let me explain!
You see, for most of my life, I liked very few vegetables. But then, I started reading. And suddenly, roses just weren't enough. I wanted to grow vegetables, too.
|Hale's melon (cantaloupe)|
The book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver, was the biggest catalyst in changing the way I eat, buy vegetables, and look at food. She promotes eating locally, either through growing your own vegetables, or buying from a local farmers market. She preserves the local bounty in various ways in order to have food throughout the entire year. For me, it was a totally new way of looking at eating, and the way in which I still aspire to eat. It was because of this book that I started growing vegetables.
Later on, I read How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. I was intrigued. He endorses a oil-free, dairy-free, meat-free diet. Basically, vegetables and whole wheat breads and pasta. But the results he has achieved are incredible! He proved that, not only does eating this way prevent heart disease, but it actually reverses it! It made me see the value of eating vegetables for our health. In fact, his research was so convincing, I started eating (and growing) even more vegetables after reading his book, and cut way down on my use of meat and oil.
After reading Dr. Esselstyn's book, I read The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health by Drs. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II. Drs. Campbell also endorse eating a oil-free, dairy-free, and meat-free diet, based upon years of study and research. They call it a whole foods, plant based diet. To put it simply: Eat plants.
Can't get any simpler than that!
Now, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, with Dr. Howard Jacobson, has come out with a new book, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, which is a follow-up to The China Study. This is the book I've been reading lately. Personally, I don't like it as much as The China Study. However, my sister found Whole so intriguing that while she was visiting, she would pick it up every time I left the room. Whole is less of a how-to or why-to book than a look at the entire nutritional system, and the science behind all the studies. I believe Dr. Campbell wrote this book because the message about all the benefits we get from eating vegetables was not loud enough to be heard over all the other conflicting diets and ways of eating. He believes that if the public could understand why studies are conflicting, they would understand why there are so many unhealthy, yet so-called "healthy", ways to eat. He wants you to know how good vegetables really are for you.
Perhaps it seems I have to keep reading books that remind me to eat my veggies in order for me to be excited about eating veggies! But that excitement about eating vegetables turns into excitement about growing vegetables.
So, even though these books are really food books, not garden books, they have each inspired me to have my own vegetable garden. Everyone has a different reason to grow vegetables. For me, it was the health aspect that was the catalyst.
You may not want to eat a whole foods, plant based diet. I have to admit that I cheat way too much to say that I do. However, these books have inspired me. Without reading these books, I probably wouldn't have a vegetable garden. So, hopefully, one or more of these books will be inspiration for you to grow vegetables, too.
Now it's your turn! Please join us on the 20th of every month for your own Garden Book Review. Any book with a gardening influence qualifies. And as always, please take the time to visit the other participants. I've found some fabulous books from other's recommendations.