I am made of books (and trillions of microorganisms)

Biologist Lynn Margulis was recently quoted in the New Yorker saying “there is no such thing as an individual. Humans are walking, talking microbial vats. Nearly all the DNA in our bodies belongs to microorganisms: they outnumber our own cells nine to one.”

This can be seen as good news on two counts:

1) If there’s no such thing as an individual, it’s way easier for us to get over ourselves.

2) Evidence that it’s time for me to let go of my public doorknob phobia (currently fomenting under winter conditions).

This information also made me think of all the many collaborations that conspire to create our very (non) selves. Like Rose. She’s an amalgam of shiny pink leotards, vats of breastmilk, high fructose corn syrup longings, kicky dance moves, peanut butter flecked grins, outstretched arms.

I am made of books.

If I know how to can tomatoes and applesauce it’s because of the Ball Blue Book, which I bought at my local hardware store for $8.99 eleven years ago. If I know how to spin milk into yogurt, it’s from the cookbook Nourishing Traditions, pg. 85. If my first attempts at farmer’s cheese were a success (they were!) it was because I was guided solely by a neon green-jacketed book splattered with pink lettering (my beloved copy of Wild Fermentation!).

For this week’s San Juan Table, and in honor of the shopping season into which we’ve landed, I am sharing with you my favorite foodie books, from which I’ve gleaned information, inspiration and recipes.

What are your favorite food-oriented books? What are your kids made of? And does anyone know how to cut and paste a book cover off Amazon?


Visit freelance writer Rachel Turiel at her blog about raising children on an urban homestead at 6512 feet.

on 12/7/10 in featured, Society | No Comments | Read More

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