Sucking Eggs by Patricia Nicol
What Your Wartime Granny Could Teach You About Diet, Thrift and Going Green

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A clever, colourful, comparative history showing us that, when it comes to being green, resourceful and eco-friendly, our grannies can show us the way.

Recycling, composting, buying locally-sourced food and vintage clothing, checking air miles and carbon footprints -- our ever-growing national obsession with being green, healthy and preserving the planet is beginning to affect the way many of us shop, travel and eat every day. After decades of plenty, we are now seeing signs that the good times might not last forever and that change is urgently needed. It would seem that never before have we been in this position of having to impose so many personal (if not government enforced) rules to protect ourselves and the world we live in. But if we cast a glance backwards to the 1940s and 50s it is surprising and enlightening to discover that our grandparents and parents, forced into austerity by the Second World War and its aftermath, were resourceful, thrifty and a rather dazzling shade of green.

In our age of globalisation, climate change, unprecedented consumption and limited resources, the good news is that we do not have to look far back in our own history for a handy lesson in making seismic lifestyle changes. Our grannies can show us the way. They wasted almost nothing; they recycled; they bought locally; they 'dug for victory' and grew their own vegetables. Theirs was not a disposable culture: they made do and mended; they salvaged; they were early anti-consumerists dressed in Utility clothing. They did thrift years before it became a fashion model's fad: the second-hand shop and the recycling bin were their invention. Their heroic self-sacrifices and the austerity measures that were put into place made a huge difference to this country's survival -- perhaps we should think about this as we face the different, but arguably just as urgent, challenges of this century.

Sucking Eggs is a colourful, comparative history, full of insights into the austerity years and the lessons we can learn from them today. It's a creative look at two very different generations which show amazing similarities in their approaches to preserving their futures and an ever dwindling supply of resources.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Patricia Nicol

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PATRICIA NICOL is a journalist. She was born in Aberdeen in 1971, and brought up in Scotland, the UAE, England and Brazil. She studied English at the University of York and newspaper journalism at Cardiff Journalism School, University of Wales. As a journalist she has worked for the Aberdeen Press and Journal, the Scotsman and, since 1997, the Sunday Times, where she is currently deputy editor, of Culture. She lives in London.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published June 16, 2009 by Chatto & Windus. 288 pages
Genres: History, Parenting & Relationships.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sucking Eggs

The Bookbag

I think I was left more disappointed by this book because I had such clearly defined expectations, but since these came from the cover of this very book, I don't think they were unreasonable.

Nov 07 2015 | Read Full Review of Sucking Eggs: What Your Warti...