ECO LOGICAL, by Joanna Yarrow (Duncan Baird Publishers, 2009)

As a writer, quite a few books and gadgets show up on my doorstep hoping for some sort of review. Some get one. Most don’t. But something recently came in that I thought would be perfect for the first review here on NOURISH Evolution.

Joanna Yarrow’s ECO LOGICAL is like a groovy guidebook for navigating eco topics. Where a DK book on Paris might give you a room by room breakdown of the Louvre, arming you with just enough information in an at-a-glance format for you to gain a working knowledge of the art within its walls, Yarrow takes us through various realms of green living. She uses similar boiled-down-to-the-essence graphics and info-bites to tease out the main arguments of a topic and help us understand what’s at stake on both sides, and then leaves us to choose how to incorporate the information into our daily practices; much as we strive to do here at NOURISH Evolution.

In the section on food (one of five other sections), Yarrow tackles the dueling views that “the planet needs to go organic” and “only conventional farming can feed the world” with simple, nifty graphics and summaries that speak volumes. She also looks at fair trade; the wide-ranging impacts of an omnivorous diet versus a vegetarian; sustainable seafood; and buying locally and seasonally.

This book is not an end-all-be-all treatise on how to save the earth, but what I love about it is that it doesn’t purport to be. Rather than trying to answer all the questions, Yarrow instead stirs the pot with ECO LOGICAL and asks us to think for ourselves. The book’s tagline says, “Join the debate—all the facts and figures, pros and cons you need to make up your mind.” While ECO LOGICAL may not offer conclusions, it does spark the questions that do eventually lead to choices that are right for each of us.

Note: My philosophy with books or any other product that shows up on my doorstep is this: if it ends up being heavily used on my own shelves and I enjoy it so much I get excited about telling people, I’ll most likely write about it at some point. If it’s something that I have no use for, I won’t put words to it.


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