Landrigan: The Vegetarian’s Guide to Eating Meat


In a previous post, I mentioned that I had picked up the book while browsing through the “New and Noted” section at the Winnipeg Public Library. While I was browsing, I also picked up Marissa Landrigan’s book, The Vegetarian’s Guide to Eating Meat. Landrigan is an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, where she teaches creative, digital, and professional writing.

Marissa Landrigan Book cover

Cover shot of The Vegetarians Guide to Eating Meat, by Marissa Landrigan

The Vegetarian’s Guide to Eating Meat, subtitled, A Young Woman’s Search for Ethical Food, chronicles the author’s journey from a red headed Irish misfit in a large, extended, Irish-Italian family of meat eaters, to a vegetarian activist, to meat eater again. This isn’t the first book I’ve read related to our meat eating choices. The first being Tovar Cerulli’s The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian’s Hunt for Sustenance and the second being Scott Gold’s The Shameless Carnivore: A Manifesto for Meat Lovers

Landrigan’s book is much closer in tone to Cerulli’s than it is to Gold’s. Gold tries to hard to be a comedian, and while claiming to have respect for vegetarians too often veers into sarcasm and mockery. Cerulli, on the other hand, focuses on the interconnected nature of all living plants and animals. The biggest difference between The Mindful Carnviore, and the Vegetarian’s Guide to Eating Meat, is: Cerulli has a greater emphasis on the relationships between human and biosphere, while Landrigan focuses more on the role of personal relationships among family and friends, and how they impacted her eating decisions. Continue reading

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Snacks: A Canadian Food History – Janis Thiessen


I received a review copy of this book through University of Manitoba Press.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. The official launch for Snacks will be held tomorrow, October 10th, at McNally Robinson Booksellers.  The book launch begins at 7:00 pm and will be held in the atrium of the Grant Park Store.

Snacks. A part of what makes life worth living. Snacks of course mean different things to different people. For some people snacks mean vegetables dipped in hummus or some other healthy type of dip. If you are such a person you might as well stop reading now.

Snacks: is all about those sweet, salty, deep-fried, flour caked items that bring us pleasure as we sit and binge watch Netflix. The comfort food we turn to when we gather with our families, or grab and sneak off and avoid our families(Hey! It happens). For some people snacks are integral part of their eating day, while for others they are more markers of special events

Snacks for the read

Reading material with snacks to go alongside it.

Snacks: A Canadian Good History  is the the third book by Janis Thiessen, a history professor at the University of Winnipeg, with a specific focus on labour and oral history. Thiessen shares here own memories of snacks, and how the way in which they were part of her life growing up. Snacks is a love letter to many favourite Canadian Snack foods. At the same time it recognizes that like all relationships the story of snacks in Canada is complicated with many low points as well as high points. and things are rarely exactly as they seem to be. Continue reading

The Potlikker Papers – John T Edge


Earlier this spring, when I was doing my lecture series on Eucharistic Eating, one of the participants asked a question relating how the Eucharist was viewed in other cultural contexts. I didn’t have the answer to his question (my research is ongoing), but it did make me ask questions about my own reading experiences when it came to the subject of food.

Front cover of The Potlikker Papers

It seems to me, at times, that food writing is a particularly western, white, and privileged preoccupation. That may simply be due to my failure to find other writers. However, even a book like Mark Kurlansky’s Choice Cuts, shows a heavy tendency to lean in this direction.

I’ve tried to correct this somewhat in the intervening period. One thing I’ve done is become familiar with the work of Michael Twitty. The video below is a good introduction to some of his thinking.

There is a good selection of his videos available on YouTube, if you want to explore more.

One of the things the video above puts emphasis on is the need to credit that Black slave community for creations, Continue reading

Klindienst – The Earth Knows My Name


A couple of weeks ago, I was on my way to lunch downtown, and decided I wanted something to read as I ate. So, I stopped into Bison Books and had a browse through their cookbook section. In among the cookbooks, I found two or three interesting non-cookbooks. After leafing through them, I decided upon The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture, and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic Americansby Patricia Klindienst.

The Earth Knows My Name

Cover for The Earth Knows My Name

The Earth Knows my Name recounts two journeys, interwoven together. One journey consists of Klindienst’s visits to various ethnic gardens throughout the United States. The other journey takes the author back to her Italian roots. Continue reading

Berry: Bringing it to the Table


If you write about food long enough the name Wendell Berry will eventually come up. Berry, a Kentuckian, is a farmer, poet, novelist, and food activist. Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Foodbrings together some of his thoughts on those subject spanning the last four decades.

Berry cover

Cover shot, Bringing it to the Table

Bringing it to the Table is a collection of Berry’s essays, focused on farming and farmers, along with a selection of his fiction dealing with the subject of food and eating together. The first two sections, on farming and farmers make up the bulk of the book.  Continue reading