Green Barbarians: Live Bravely on Your Home Planet

Ellen Sandbeck, Author . Scribner $14.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4165-7182-7

Sandbeck (Green Housekeeping ) offers “domestic strategies both ancient and modern” to help the ecologically minded reduce their carbon footprints. She convincingly argues that ruthless advertising has made us squeamish, timorous, unnecessarily germophobic, and sick—she links environmental contaminants to the increasing prevalence of asthma and ulcerative colitis. Despite some advice that's more silly than serious (e.g., rather than using napkins, wipe your hands on a slice of bread that you can eat later), she ably demonstrates that real bravery is required to “break free from the siren call of stuff.” Sandbeck lambastes Americans' addiction to shopping as well as the expected suspects: big pharma, hormone- riddled milk and meat, the cottonseed oil lobby, and factory-style egg production. She roots for kefir, kimchi and sauerkraut as natural immuno-boosters and anticarcinogens, bacteria (as partners in producing Belgian beers and French cheeses), locavores, Seedsavers, composting, “freeganism,” the cleaning properties of some kinds of dirt, and vaccination and male circumcision as low-cost preventive health care. Even if there is a schism between Sandbeck's championing of local eating and her salivating over French Roquefort, her book promotes greener and cheaper living with skill, wit, and conviction. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/16/2009
Release date: 12/01/2009
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4165-7690-7
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