Books: Green Thoughts

THE VEGETABLE PASSION

by JANET BARKAS

224 pages. Scribner's. $8.95.

In Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens introduces "an elderly pimply-faced, vegetable-diet sort of man . . . who seemed to be an essential part of the desk at which he was writing, and to have as much thought or sentiment." That caricature of the desiccated plant-eater still pervades the English-speaking world. The very language is meaty with bias. Imagine a Beaneater martini, a fatted kale, a yam actor, a string of Turnip 'n' Brew restaurants. . .

On this mountain of cultural prejudice, Janet Barkas has planted The Vegetable Passion, a monomaniacal history of...

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