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Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

Nourishing Traditions:  The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

  • ISBN13: 9780967089737
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This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. Sally Fallon dispels the myths of the current low-fat fad in this practical, entertaining guide to a can-do diet that is both nutritious and delicious. Nourishing Traditions will tell you: Why you

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3 Responses to “Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats”

  1. 1,112 of 1,150 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great read even if you don’t cook, March 18, 2002
    By A Customer
    Amazon Verified Purchase(http://www.amazon.com/gp/community-help/amazon-verified-purchase/184-4323380-1918349', ‘AmazonHelp’, ‘width=400,height=500,resizable=1,scrollbars=1,toolbar=0,status=1′);return false; “>What’s this?)
    This review is from: Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (Paperback)

    I was seeing references to this book in other books that I found helpful: The Metabolic Typing Diet and Life Without Bread. But I delayed more than a year before buying Nourishing Traditions. I figured if I knew what to eat, I didn’t need a cookbook too.

    I was wrong. This is a textbook as much as a cookbook. I liken it to Joy of Cooking. You can learn a lot from it about food and nutrition even if you never use its recipes. I have used recipes from both, though, and can attest to their deliciousness. But I must admit, for me the best thing about reading Nourishing Traditions is learning about nutrition, not learning new recipes.

    The authors criticize the “Diet Dictocrats” who propound the “politically correct” low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. I find the epithet of “politically correct” rather grating and would hope they drop it in later editions.

    The book’s thesis is a Rousseauian one: industrial food production yields a product unsuited to our body’s nature. To find out what is suited to our nature, we ought to rely on research of what preindustrial societies consumed. Thus, as another reviewer pointed out, they view themselves as continuators of the program initiated by the dentist Weston Price (author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration).

    I had spent years eating in accordance with the low-fat dietary dogma and my health suffered because of it. I give the authors credit for recognizing a wide spectrum of ideal diets depending on one’s genetic makeup. What is more problematic is how one draws the line between natural and unnatural. Is the line to be drawn between industrial and nonindustrial societies, or is it more basic than that? The book NeanderThin, for example sees humanity making a wrong turn with the advent of civilization. Civilization brings cultivation of grain and the domestication of dairy animals. Nourishing Traditions embraces dairy and grain as long as they are prepared in ways consistent with nonindustrial societies.

    Despite these controversies, Nourishing Traditions is a treasure trove of valuable information. Just one small tidbit: there is a concern that beef in the USA has an unfavorable fat profile–there is an unsatisfactory omega 6/omega 3 fatty acid ratio. I just learned from Nourishing Traditions that this problem is not present with lamb in the USA because lamb is virtually all pasture-raised. Since I live in a small apartment and have no place to hang a side of pasture-fed beef, this was very helpful information.

    OK, OK, one more tidbit. Everyone by now should know that people who eat nuts live longer. I love the taste of nuts but they always were hard for me to digest. Nourishing Traditions explains why and told me how to eat nuts without the digestive upset. These people know their stuff.

    I’ve seen five stars on a lot of books, that were, frankly, pretty lightweight. This book is a keeper. It’s not someone’s brilliant marketing concept turned into a book. It’s clearly the product of much, much, hard work. It’s not the final word. But it’s a comprehensive presentation of a coherent worldview on healthy nutrition.

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  2. 1,413 of 1,488 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Responding to some objections UPDATED, July 13, 2008
    By 
    D. Steinlage
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (Paperback)

    While the front matter in the book is pretty earth-shaking in terms of toppling most dietary shibboleths erected in recent years, the sidebar information as you go through the book is just as eye-opening. But let me deal with some objections I noted when reading Amazon reviews of this book. There are over 200 reviews, which says something about this book: it may not be on airport book racks, but people are reading it.

    The NT way of eating is downright dangerous.

    This is in the eye of the beholder. Most studies showing a decrease in heart disease deaths due to cholesterol-lowering drugs or diets show an increase in death rates from all causes. Which one are you going to take your chances with? Several well-done studies audited by independent researchers show no correlation between deaths related to heart disease or artheriosclerosis and the consumption of butter, eggs, and red meat. A few studies show that butter and saturated fats appear to have a protective effect.

    What happens is that the government, the American Heart Association, the American Dietetic Association, and others (the Diet Dictocrats), cherry pick the studies they will publicize and which aspects of these studies the public will learn about–which the MSM then dutifully report to John Q. Public. Studies whose results seem to defy the diet-heart hypothesis are silenced, starved of funds, and ultimately shuttered. Hence you have people like my father-in-law who says he’s not supposed to eat organ meats because they are high in cholesterol. There is absolutely no relationship between the amount of cholesterol in a food and the likelihood of it contributing to artheriosclerosis. The one exception is a form of oxidized cholesterol (present in powdered milk and powdered eggs, and in liquid lowfat milk), which did produce artheriosclerosis in rats. These are the foods we are supposed to eat to lower our cholesterol, and they actually contribute to heart disease!

    Sally Fallon et al. have a thing against vegetarians.
    This criticism was the most prevalent among the reviews. The reviewers were very emotional in their comments…but that should not be construed as reflecting an emotionalism (can I say that?) in the book. The book is unemotional. However, vegetarianism is the most deeply established alternate diet we have–many people are invested in it body, heart, and soul. I won’t debate here whether vegetarianism is a good diet or not, but I will say that there are several points in the book where it’s pointed out that pure vegetarian (vegan) diets are likely to contribute to a deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins (which come from animal products, primarily), some B vitamins and, if the grains/beans/legumes are unsoaked and unfermented, to the loss of minerals. Children in particular are profoundly affected by the lack of animal fat in the diet, and this is very sad to see.

    On the other hand, a form of “vegetarianism” is followed in some cultures (more out of necessity than choice) which includes animal products in the form of eggs, raw and cultured dairy products, seafood, shrimp and fish eggs, and insects. These high-vitamin foods are sought-after commodities in these cultures, since they contain the all-important fat-soluble activators necessary for strength, long life, and healthy reproduction. The book notes that these more vegetarian cultures tend to suffer more from dental caries (as noted by Dr. Price) than others, but there are no diatribes.

    The book is not well referenced.
    I do not get this one at all. There are 63 footnoted pages of text explaining traditional foods, the role of certain substances in the diet (with an emphasis on fats), and the shortcomings of modern food processing and what can be done about it. There are 188 references listed in a separate section; most of these are research periodicals.

    Sally Fallon is down on working moms.
    “No one in modern America deserves more sympathy than the working parent on a limited budget….While it is not necessary to spend long hours in the kitchen in order to eat properly, it is necessary to spend some time in the kitchen. Simple, wholesome menus require careful planning rather than long hours of preparation…nutritious meals can be prepared very quickly when one lays the groundwork ahead of time. If your present schedule allows no time at all for food preparation, you would be wise to re-examine your priorities.” There are two pages of simple hints and advice that anybody could follow.

    Sally Fallon is down on moms who don’t breastfeed.
    “If, in spite of these measures, your milk supply is inadequate, don’t feel guilty. Lack of adequate milk supply sometimes does occur, especially as baby grows and his appetite increases. You have done the best you could and your baby can still grow up healthy, strong and smart on a homemade, whole-food baby formula.”

    Soaked baked goods…

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  3. 357 of 376 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Maybe the most vitally important and essential nutrition book to exist, August 22, 2005
    By 
    Niel Rishoi (Livonia, MI USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (Paperback)

    It is unfortunate that the Spotlight review, under the heading, “Like the ideas, not the presentation,” is the first one readers here see, because the review is written by someone who hasn’t a clue as to how vitally important this book is. Such a misinformed review only undermines the astonishing scope of this book; it is evident that this reviewer has not any viable credentials to back up what amounts to a series of laughably feeble reasoning points. Worse, it is evident that the reviewer has not actually read Weston A. Price’s “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,” which she dismisses in a naively peremptory way. Anyone who has read this eye-opening, exhaustively researched book on primitive versus modern diets, and see the evidence presented, will see why Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig have spearheaded a virtual campaign on the dangers of modern diets.

    Let’s face it – our foods have changed. And not for the better. In the long span of history, the last 100 years has wrought some devastating transformations in how food is handled, prepared, and, most insidiously – processed. Our genes are basically used to food that for millenia, was relatively pure, wholesome, unaltered and uncorrupted. So, since the turn of the century, matters began to shift. As manufacturing and processing became more sophisticated, food began to undergo a drastic change. Not having any longer to butcher our own beef, harvest our own vegetables and grains, make our own fats, we could rely on “companies” to start doing it for us. And what did we get in return? Fats (perhaps most disturbingly) are chemically altered and hydrogenated, turning them into dangerous poisons (just READ how margarine is made – it will incite one big colossal “yuck”); animals are mass produced in inhumane warehouses; are fed poor diets and get injected with god knows what; grains and vegetables are grown in sterile, pesticide-laden soils; refined, devitalized sugar and flour is in everything; we’re offered and forced everything from hydrogenated fats to high-fructose corn syrup to MSG to plastic sugars. And guess what? This is the sickest, fattest time Americans live in. Heart disease, cancer, obesity, degenerative diseases, are at an all-time high. We have antibiotics, anti-imflammatories to conquer infectious diseases, but in return, we have heart disease, cancer, degenerative and neurological dysfunctions in its place. As this exhaustively researched and documented book illustrates, the culprits for this state of affairs is definitely tied to the devastating changes wrought in our foods. Though the medical establishment has found a way to treat diseases, it has ignored many of the current causes of those diseases in the first place.

    This book offers a method, a return, so to speak, to a time when food was consumed in its purest state. Ironically, that’s a difficult thing to do; only through specialty stores and farmers can we get naturally raised food. Most of the food – as cheaply and quickly made as possible – offered in supermarkets is nutritionally worthless, being as it is, refined, processed, laden with questionable chemicals and riddled with substances that have no place in our bodies. The sobering fact remains: most food conglomerates simply don’t care about consumers’ health.

    Sally Fallon, along with Mary G. Enig, has done an astonishing, thorough and painstaking job in spelling out all that one needs to know regarding all manner of information about food. The writing is clear, easy to understand, and concise. The passion and near-missionary fervor with which they have pursued their topic is inspiring and infectious. The breadth of their research and work cannot be overestimated. The scope, level of information, exposés and hardcore truths these women offer is mesmerizing: one is fixated by what they know and the surprising, irrefutable facts that are detailed (by the way, the sidebars in the recipe sections of anecdotes, information and lore are fascinating). It may in fact be the singular most important body of work on food contained in a single volume. In particular, one needs to pay attention to the information regarding the matter of fats. Enig, a PhD in lipid chemistry, plainly details how fats in today’s food supply has wrought health havoc, what to avoid (polyunsaturates and hydrogenated fats are a menace), what is good, and how to go about using them correctly.

    Many reviewers in this forum have complained of how complicated it is to take the time to properly prepare many of the foods and recipes Fallon offers. That may be so, but the time invested is worth it. As we as consumers are made more aware of how things must be done, it may be that we simply have no choice ~~ if we are to achieve the best of health ~~ to make the proper preparation of food a top priority once again. Some of the suggestions regarding raw foods is controversial, and not everyone will be convinced, but they make a…

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