October 19, 2011

Folks, This Ain't Normal by Joel Salatin

In Folks, This Ain't Normal, Joel Salatin describes how the lives we lead in the 21st century are just not normal.  The way we view food needs, food quantities, conservation, the environment and even our families are unlike those of any other time in history before us.

When we take a look back into history, just 75 years ago, we see that things were done very differently.  Some of this change has been great... the advancements in medication, simplicities of transportation, etc.  But with this change, other issues have arisen and our world is facing the consequences of poor management for the past century.  Salatin says that the way we do things today, and our mentality about these things, "just ain't normal".  In his book, he outlines practical steps to return to normalcy.

Joel Salatin knows what he's talking about.  He was one of the featured farmers on a little documentary (perhaps you've heard of it) Food Inc.  He is also a distributor for the national food chain, Chipotle and runs a magnificent farm, Polyface.

Personally, I found this book to be so interesting, but a little too detailed.  Truth is, I'm not a farmer... and although I'd like to make small steps to become more "green", I can't see myself doing some of the stuff he recommends.  And, that's just the problem he speaks about... people like me, normal non-farmers, who are not willing to make a change.  Eh.

He goes into extreme detail about forestry and the different needs for the different trees.  I don't know the difference between a palm and a pine (ok maybe that one, but you know..).  He talks for page after page after page about manure.  I don't need to know all that crap about... crap.  He challenges us suburbanites to get 2 chickens in our backyards.  No thanks.  He goes bananas on people who play video games.  He calls women to their proper place... the kitchen.  He tells us we shouldn't rely on supermarkets to supply our food, but should have a years supply in our basement.  Although true, that's quite a task!

Although the book was really interesting, some of it was just hard to swallow.  I think this book would be great for agricultural buffs, real greenies (not the farmers market kind), and people ready to make BIG changes.  For me, it read a little like a text book and was hard to get through... in fact, I only made it 60% through.

I'm not going to rate this one with stars... that would be unfair.  This just wasn't the book for me, but it may be for you.  Give it a try... at the very least, you'll learn something completely new.  And, who knows?  Maybe you'll get inspired!

I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
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