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Year Of The Cow: How 420 Pounds Of Beef Built A Better Life For One American Family

This is the story of a man, a cow, and a question: What am I eating? After realizing he knows more about the television on his wall than the food on his plate, award-winning TV producer and amateur chef Jared Stone buys 420 pounds of beef directly from a rancher and embarks on a hilarious and inspiring culinary adventure. With the help of an incredibly supportive wife and a cadre of highly amused friends, Jared offers a glimpse at one man's family as they try to learn about their food and ask themselves what's really for dinner. Year of the Cow follows the trials and tribulations of a home cook as he begins to form a deeper relationship with food and the environment. From meeting the rancher who raised his cow to learning how to successfully pack a freezer with cow parts, Stone gets to know his bovine and delves into our diets and eating habits, examining the ethnography of cattle, how previous generations ate, why environmentalists and real-food aficionados are mad for grass-fed beef, why certain cuts of beef tend to end up on our plates (while boldly experimenting with the ones that don't), and much more. Over the course of dozens of nose-to-tail meals, Jared cooks his way through his cow armed with a pioneering spirit and a good sense of humor. He becomes more mindful of his diet, makes changes to his lifestyle, and bravely confronts challenges he never expected - like how to dry beef jerky without attracting the neighborhood wildlife to the backyard and how to find deliciousness in the less-common cuts of meat like the tongue and heart - sharing a recipe at the end of each chapter. By examining the food that fuels his life and pondering why we eat the way we do, Jared and his family slowly discover how to live life more fully - and experience a world of culinary adventures along the way.

Audible Audio Edition

Listening Length: 7 hours and 42 minutes

Program Type: Audiobook

Version: Unabridged

Publisher: Audible Studios Release Date: July 28, 2015

Whispersync for Voice: Ready

Language: English


Best Sellers Rank: #392 in Books > Audible Audiobooks > Nonfiction > Lifestyle & Home > Cooking #610 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods > Cooking for One or Two #673 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking by Ingredient > Meat & Game > Meats

Great book. Fascinating insights into the anthropology of food and its relevance to everyday life. My wife, a far better gourmet than me, is busy reading it, expecting me to do the manly meat cooking. As a distant relative of Mr. Stone I might be a wee bit biased, but I believe anyone would enjoy this read, and learn something in the bargain.

I found it a bit too cute at first, but then as I got to know Jared--which is inevitable, as this is above all a personal book--I enjoyed his humor as an engaging embellishment to a tale of broad and deep significance. I have been on a somewhat similar journey of discovery in cuisine and health, and Jared's story furthered my education, mostly in the kitchen arts, where he certainly takes it beyond my modest aspirations. Without getting too preachy or too silly, which he easily might do, he takes the reader on a fairly intense and intimate two-year voyage--not just one year. Skillfully packaged, joyful, fun, fully-human, encouraging, satisfying--with well-written recipes too!

I picked up this book after listening to a podcast of the author and Robb Wolf. As someone who had adopted the Paleo diet a few years back, I thought it would be an interesting read. The book positively surprised me as it was not just about food, rather it demonstrated the impact of getting back to basics and the multiple positive impacts on personal life and family. Highly recommended.

I don't generally read books about food. But this one isn't just that - it's about a man consciously choosing to upgrade his life, and how that works out: a spiritual odyssey that's also wryly grounded in the quotidian here and now and is quite funny, besides. It manages the neat trick of entertaining you while slyly nudging you to examine your own life choices, and it's written in an honest, engaging way - alive to the nuances of every experience. Reading this is like hanging out with a cool and inspiring new friend. Plus you get recipes.

My wife surprised me with "Year of the Cow" a few weeks ago - immediately loved the cover, but wasn't too sure if I'd enjoy the content. There seems to be an influx of culinary commentary books released over the last couple years that attempt using "humor" (snark?) to sell their stance on diet, or some regurgitated philosophy on health and wellness. I knew after the first chapter that this was not one of those books! Stone has used his feat in attempting to consume an animal in a year as a backbone personal growth and self-enlightenment. He stumbles, he succeeds, he learns, he adjusts... and throughout it all stays open to whatever the experience is ready to bring forth next. As such, its really Stone's unwavering honesty that creates the humor in "Year of the Cow" . Humble humor. The author also weaves his family and friends into the timeline of the adventure making it read almost as a journal entry at times which I actually enjoyed.Anyways, that all I've got - its just a damn good book that taught me a little something and made me belly laugh a whole lot. I've already "loaned" (let's be honest, I'm never getting it back) my copy to a friend and purchased another one for my Dad for his birthday.

In "Year of the Cow" Stone confronts an amazing number of social issues from food, to friends and family, to science versus sensationalism. He does it with remarkable insight, drawn from an awareness of both the controversies of the day and sense of history. The book which began as a series of blogs drawn around the purchase and consumption of a whole locally-produced, grass-fed steer chronicles the growth he achieves personally as a chef, a father, a husband and a man. Heart warming scenes with a young son share time with recipes for common and international cuisine. Thoughtful analysis of the pros and cons of food issues and modern food production are balanced with an every man understanding of science. He is at home explaining Mallard's reaction or doing a braise. During the year he grows from Taco Pie to Yorkshire pudding. All the way there is good natured humor and a palpable joy of life that celebrates his Kansas roots and his California home. Well written, by a new writer who is obviously well read.

I enjoyed the author's thought process as much as I enjoyed the family stories and recipes. The research reminds me why I continue to buy grass-fed beef from a local butcher.Overall, a very good read!

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