Welcome to She Said/She Said, where GGC Members are our book reviewers from across Canada sharing their opinions about the book of the month.
This month we take a look at Locavore by Sarah Elton, published by Harper Collins Canada. Locavore: From Farmers’ Fields to Rooftop Gardens, How Canadians are Changing the Way We Eat is a national bestseller, and has also been selected as a book club pick for the David Suzuki Foundation.
Book Reviewer Suggested GGC Rating: This book is suitable for young adults, ages 14 and older, and may contain mild uses of violence and/or profanity, sexual content and/or mature themes within the context of the story.
She Said: Guider Cheryl
18th Guides and 13th Rangers
When I was offered Locavore to review for the GGC Book Club, I will admit I was a bit skeptical. I thought it would be a very granola, pie in the sky book full of impossible dreams of a world where we all eat organic food produced within a hundred miles. What I found instead was a book full of hope for a real, entirely possible future that is already taking shape on farms and in markets and kitchens across the country. Sarah Elton, a food journalist for CBC, went right to the source, the farmers to find out about the food revolution that is slowly taking place.
I never realized how amazingly complex our food system is, or how much of a difference small changes can make in moving towards a more sustainable model. The farmers Elton talked to tell stories of their individual failures and successes, which when combined with the input of academics who make it their life’s work to study food systems paint a picture
of what the future of food in Canada might look like. From vegetables in Nova Scotia to urban cattle in BC, to rooftop gardens in Toronto, it all fits together.
The book did not address the problem of making local, and more importantly, sustainably produced food accessible to the less affluent as much as I would have liked, but I suspect that that would be beyond the scope of this volume.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to expand their relationship with food beyond the doors of the grocery store. It gives a different look at how to live with the land, rather than off of it.
She Said: Julie
Author, Sarah Elton challenges us to change the way we eat and the way we think about food in her national bestseller, Locavore. When Elton discovers that a pink iced cookie in her daughter’s loot bag has travelled all the way from China, her outrage at the environmental implications compels her to explore the local food system.
In Locavore, Elton criss-crosses the Canadian landscape on an enlightening journey from New Brunswick to Vancouver as she chronicles the evolution of rural and urban
farming, its rise, fall and resurgence. Elton’s heart-warming stories from local farmers serve to educate us on the sustainable benefits of organic farming. The reader is further drawn in to the culture of farmers markets, rooftop gardens and restaurants serving local fair, all in an effort to raise our environmental conscience.
Whether you support buying local or eating organic, Locavore is a worthwhile read that may inspire you to plant your own backyard garden or to think twice which raspberries to buy the next time you visit the supermarket.
[Julie McFayden lives in Toronto with her husband and three children. Her two daughters have been members of Girl Guides of Canada since 2007.]
She Said: Guider Stephanie
2nd Mount Hope Guides & Pathfinders
Mount Hope, Ontario
Iʼve always considered myself to be a reader and have tried to read the titles suggested by the Girl Guides of Canada/Guides du Canada book club. So I was quite excited when I was selected to review Locavore by Sarah Elton.
As someone involved in Guiding from childhood, Iʼve always tried to do what I can for the environment and I thought this book would prove to be very interesting; though I was
skeptical that it would actually change my views on how we, as Canadians, eat.
I am surprised to say I was wrong. The book takes one through farm life in Canada and how it has changed over the years; how commercialism and outsourcing have changed the way we purchase the food we eat. I now find myself anxiously awaiting the local farmers
markets to open so I can avoid purchasing produce, likely from the US and Mexico, at the grocery store.
Eltonʼs style makes the book an easy, light read while providing the reader with enough information to form a sound opinion and perhaps even change their original mindset; as it
did for me.
Locavore meets GGC Book Club criteria in several ways. Sarah Elton is a Canadian female author discovering how the way we currently eat and view food in Canada affects not
only our environment; but, our health and wellness as well. I thoroughly enjoyed
reading Locavore and would definitely recommend it to others. It empowers the reader to make a change; something that we, as Guiders, try to encourage our girls to do.
Have you read this book? Do you agree with our reviewers? How has this book changed your mind about environmentalism? Share your comments about this book and the reviews. We’d love to know what you think!