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

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The Diet Dictocrats don't want you to know that... - Your body needs old-fashioned animal fats - New-fangled polyunsaturated oils can be bad for you - Modern whole grain products can cause health problems - Traditional sauces promote digestion and assimilation - Modern food processing denatures our foods but - Ancient preservation methods actually increase nutrients in fruits, n The Diet Dictocrats don't want you to know that... - Your body needs old-fashioned animal fats - New-fangled polyunsaturated oils can be bad for you - Modern whole grain products can cause health problems - Traditional sauces promote digestion and assimilation - Modern food processing denatures our foods but - Ancient preservation methods actually increase nutrients in fruits, nuts, vegetables, meats and milk products! At last, a successful challenge to Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats! Recalling the culinary customs of our ancestors and looking ahead to a future of robust good health for young and old, Nourishing Traditions offers modern families a fascinating guide to wise food choices and proper preparation techniques. Nutrition researcher Sally Fallon unites the wisdom of the ancients with the latest independent and accurate scientific research. The revised and updated Second Edition contains over 700 delicious recipes that will please both exacting gourmets and busy parents.


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The Diet Dictocrats don't want you to know that... - Your body needs old-fashioned animal fats - New-fangled polyunsaturated oils can be bad for you - Modern whole grain products can cause health problems - Traditional sauces promote digestion and assimilation - Modern food processing denatures our foods but - Ancient preservation methods actually increase nutrients in fruits, n The Diet Dictocrats don't want you to know that... - Your body needs old-fashioned animal fats - New-fangled polyunsaturated oils can be bad for you - Modern whole grain products can cause health problems - Traditional sauces promote digestion and assimilation - Modern food processing denatures our foods but - Ancient preservation methods actually increase nutrients in fruits, nuts, vegetables, meats and milk products! At last, a successful challenge to Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats! Recalling the culinary customs of our ancestors and looking ahead to a future of robust good health for young and old, Nourishing Traditions offers modern families a fascinating guide to wise food choices and proper preparation techniques. Nutrition researcher Sally Fallon unites the wisdom of the ancients with the latest independent and accurate scientific research. The revised and updated Second Edition contains over 700 delicious recipes that will please both exacting gourmets and busy parents.

30 review for Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

  1. 4 out of 5

    melissa

    I am a reformed vegan. I will say this again and again with no shame. I was a longtime vegetarian who went vegan after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. I thought I was eating "cleaner" and "healthier". I guess I did feel morally superior but physically I felt like crap and I never felt any relief from autimmune disease flare-ups. Then I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I felt like my body was turning against me even though I thought I was healthy. After finding out t I am a reformed vegan. I will say this again and again with no shame. I was a longtime vegetarian who went vegan after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. I thought I was eating "cleaner" and "healthier". I guess I did feel morally superior but physically I felt like crap and I never felt any relief from autimmune disease flare-ups. Then I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I felt like my body was turning against me even though I thought I was healthy. After finding out that soy was a big NO for anyone who is hypothyroid (and here I was living off of a diet that was about 90% soy! I mean, Tofutti Cuties!!) I felt stuck. And then magically one day I met Weston A. Price. Only I didn't actually meet him because he's dead and everything, but I met his foundation. I'm not going into all the specifics. Go do that yourself. But I tell you all this because my life has seriously been changed/improved/healed after I picked up Nourishing Traditions. I've loosely been following the dietary guidelines for about a month and I have experienced: -ridiculously improved energy. I mean insane. And I have almost-normal sleep now! -weight loss without much effort -almost nonexistent sugar cravings (before this sugar was my heroin. I mean, shakes and chills and visions of goblins until I had an hourly fix) -cleared complexion -okay, this is going to be harder to explain but I have this definition I never had before in my face and body. Like, contours I never knew I had. And it's not the weight loss because even when I was terribly thin I didn't have quite the same definition. I mean, it's magic! Plus I've had about 99% less joint swelling! Magic, I tell you! I will get off this soapbox now! So, as another review said, this is more textbook than cookbook so I have a feeling I will be reading this forever. The general idea is grass-fed, organic meats, full-fat dairy (and lots of it!), coconut oil, organic produce and then only two parts I haven't ventured in to, lacto-fermented foods and organ meats. The former because I tried to make fermented carrots and the smell was too vile to try them and the latter because I'm still too sqeamish to venture inside the animal. Also, I haven't had raw dairy yet because there is only one certified raw dairy farm in Texas and it is a few hours from where I live. I MISS YOU CALIFORNIA I WILL COME BACK SOON!!! There are 7500 characters remaing for this review. I wish I could use them all. 7481.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    My stepmother gave me this book for my birthday. Looking it over at first I thought-- "Wow, she thinks I'm a spelt-eating, raw-milk drinking, conspiracy theorist lunatic." This book begins with 80 pages of single space size 10 font INFORMATION-- about how the USDA, the American Cancer Association, and your pediatritian are all part of a sinister alliance to give you cancer, heart disease, cavities, and arthritis, and about the vast conspiracy of misinformation in the health and food world, and m My stepmother gave me this book for my birthday. Looking it over at first I thought-- "Wow, she thinks I'm a spelt-eating, raw-milk drinking, conspiracy theorist lunatic." This book begins with 80 pages of single space size 10 font INFORMATION-- about how the USDA, the American Cancer Association, and your pediatritian are all part of a sinister alliance to give you cancer, heart disease, cavities, and arthritis, and about the vast conspiracy of misinformation in the health and food world, and more detailed chemical analysis of the foods you should and shouldn't eat than I've ever read before. Did I say looking it over-- at first? Well at second look-- I read the whole 80 page introduction. It basically says: Eat butter, eat sea salt, eat meats, preserved food and soaked foods are easier to digest and have more enzymes. Don't eat sugar, or white flour, or any fat besides butter and olive oil. Traditional cultures have the right idea: butter, organ meats, sausages, pates, miso, natto, saurkraut. And on third glance-- once I got past all the dense reading and into the actual recipes-- wow, this stuff is yummy. As weird as this book is, I have had it for 3 days and I have made 5 recipes out of it already: yogurt cream cheese, whey, carrot kim chee, dill pickles, bean sprouts. That's a way better track record than my favorite, The Joy of Cooking.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laura Lemay

    Any book that contains the word "dictocrats" in the title should probably be read with a wary eye. This is a rant in the form of a cookbook, based on the work of the Weston Price Foundation. I'm sympathetic to many of the ideas here (especially the idea of eating natural, organic, unprocessed foods) but I think the authors use questionable science to back up many of the more out-there ideas. There's some serious cherry picking of references here. If it convinces people to eat healthier, to eat c Any book that contains the word "dictocrats" in the title should probably be read with a wary eye. This is a rant in the form of a cookbook, based on the work of the Weston Price Foundation. I'm sympathetic to many of the ideas here (especially the idea of eating natural, organic, unprocessed foods) but I think the authors use questionable science to back up many of the more out-there ideas. There's some serious cherry picking of references here. If it convinces people to eat healthier, to eat closer to nature, that's a good thing, but I was turned off by the didactic, lectury tone and the wacky conspiracy theorist smell. I did like the fermenting recipes (I have some pickles up right now using the recipes in the early part of the book), but little other that really called out to me that I had to try. I'm glad I read it because a bunch of friends have been pushing the WP foundation at me, and now I know exactly what they're up to, but I'm not at all convinced by the arguments.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lucinda

    As a child I lived in the city, playing outside, watching a lot of tv and chasing down the ice cream truck until my dad remarried when I was 8 and we moved to a small farm. On that farm, our family ate EXACTLY how she teaches in this book. We milked our cow and goats and drank raw milk. We raised and butchered our own cow, pigs and chickens. My step-mom made us eat liver (organs) and lacto-fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickled veggies. She was German but now I am wondering if she lived by As a child I lived in the city, playing outside, watching a lot of tv and chasing down the ice cream truck until my dad remarried when I was 8 and we moved to a small farm. On that farm, our family ate EXACTLY how she teaches in this book. We milked our cow and goats and drank raw milk. We raised and butchered our own cow, pigs and chickens. My step-mom made us eat liver (organs) and lacto-fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickled veggies. She was German but now I am wondering if she lived by this book! We have a son that was born with heart defects so I am constantly reading books that will teach me how to feed him to protect him against worsening his heart disease and this book takes us back to eating a diet before all the modern inventions ruined our food. We are doing some things right like eating eggs from a neighbors chickens, eating butter (never margarine), we only use coconut oil and cold-pressed olive oil and never any oils that aren't expeller pressed, we buy all organic fruits and veggies and plant a garden and we only eat beef and chicken from a local farm. We also just found a source for raw milk since homogenized/pasteurized milk is one of the main sources for heart disease. Before I found this book I already knew of Weston Price (a dentist) and his travels to remote tribes and villages where he studied their teeth and their diets. It is amazing what he learned! If any tribe was near civilization he always cautioned them not to EVER eat anything from the "white man's stores"! We would be doing a lot better if we did the same. I am a big supporter of co-ops and farmers markets! If we didn't travel so much, we would probably have our own small farm. I actually appreciate my childhood experience even though I didn't like my mean step-mother! Read this book! Update 2019: Due to the massive amount of research on the devastating effects of eating animals and oils/fats that have been extracted from the original plant source, I no longer recommend this book. We followed her recommendations and ate like this for 11 years and it didn't improve my kids' teeth or our health one bit. I followed everything as perfectly as possible, even the recommended supplements. My kids never drank soda or juice and have never eaten at McDonald's or other fast-food restaurants and their teeth are still terrible. I still think that if people raise their own animals and grow their own food they will dodge many diseases but my family is now eating 100% whole food plant-based. No animals, dairy, eggs, oil, added salt or refined sugars. This was an easy transition for us because we already ate almost exclusively home-cooked meals and no refined sugar. We tossed the oils, dairy, and meat. We have seen significant improvements in our health. My husband lost 30 lbs. I lost 20 lbs. My kids stopped wetting the bed at night. No one has toothaches anymore so I am expecting to see improvement there. My son's acne cleared up. I no longer have insulin resistance. We all have more energy when we run and exercise. I no longer have joint pain. None of us wakes up with stomach aches anymore. My digestion has improved greatly! Sorry, but this book is going in the trash now. For more information on peer-reviewed research on eating whole food plant-based check out the non-profit nutritionfacts.org

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessaka

    Fermented Peppers. Oh, My! My friend Lisa raises goats and chickens just west of Tahlequah. I always enjoy going to visit with her and her farm animals. She has some Great Pyrenees dogs, one that I have loved since she was a puppy, Gigi. Now that she is grown the only way I can tell her from the other dog is that she runs up to me first and begins pawing me. I pet her and begin pulling out stickers that she gets hung up in her hair this time of year. Our dog, Mocha, used to love to come to the fa Fermented Peppers. Oh, My! My friend Lisa raises goats and chickens just west of Tahlequah. I always enjoy going to visit with her and her farm animals. She has some Great Pyrenees dogs, one that I have loved since she was a puppy, Gigi. Now that she is grown the only way I can tell her from the other dog is that she runs up to me first and begins pawing me. I pet her and begin pulling out stickers that she gets hung up in her hair this time of year. Our dog, Mocha, used to love to come to the farm with us, and this last spring she saw her first new born baby goat. Being a border collie, she instinctively knew not to hurt it, so she just put her nose up to the goat, and I could see the wonderment in her face. Mocha isn’t with us anymore, and sometime I just wish to go to the farm. Lisa makes the best soft chervil goat cheese with chives and garlic. And the other day she gave me a jar of her homemade fermented Anaheim peppers. “It would be good with eggs,” she said. I took it home and made my special scrambled egg dish that consists of 2 eggs, beaten with some milk, then scrambled in olive oil. Next, I slice up some tomato, avocado, and then I add some of her cheese, but I do not cook them. Well, this time I sliced up some of the fermented peppers and added them. I was so in love with this meal, with the added peppers, that I had it again that day for lunch. I called Lisa up. “Are you selling your jars of fermented peppers?” “No, not unless I can find another crate of Anaheim peppers so I am make more.” She had bought the crate she used from out of town. “Then, can I have the recipe?” She started to give it to me, but then she began talking about thiscook book, how wonderful it was and how it even had neat tidbits in it. She went on and on about it, mainly because I asked her where she had found the recipe. Then I said, “I will buy it and get the recipe from it, because the book sounds great.” Then she told me that the recipe was on page 97, but that she had changed some things in it. The biggest change was that it was not made with cucumbers but with Anaheim peppers. She first scorches the peppers, and then she peels them and takes out the seeds. If you can’t find Anaheim I think that Poblano would work as they are almost as large but unlike other peppers, they are both not hot. Of course, the amount used would more than likely be different due to the size difference. Fermented Anaheim Peppers For one quart: 12 Anaheim peppers, scorched, seeded and peeled 1 T. mustard seeds 1 T. sea salt 4 T. whey, not powder ¼ t. peppercorns 2 to 4 minced garlic cloves 2 T. Onion, chopped, but NOT finely 2 T. olive oil 1 c. filtered water Place whole peppers in a quart jar. Mix other ingredients in a bowl, and then add to jar. The liquid should cover the peppers and be one inch below the top of the jar. Screw on the lid and keep at room temperature for 3 days; then refrigerate. Note: You may have to use another jar, a pint one. I say thins because ours overflowed. So after mixing up the liquid, etc. I poured the mixed into both jars, covering the peppers. Enjoy. Update: We made some fermented peppers and sat the jar on the counter. Well, after three days nothing happened. I called Lisa and she said to leave them on the counter for ten more days because it takes longer to ferment in cooler weather. So my husband put a heat lamp on them because nothing was happening. The next day the water in the jars rose, and there were a few bubbles. So a few days later we took a jar over to Lisa’s. She took one out and ate it. Said it was getting there, but it wasn’t tart enough. Maybe two more weeks, but I could keep tasting it and see how I like them. I was afraid of botulism, but she said that the whey prevented that from happening. So make sure your whey has live culture. Lisa has now made fermented jalapenos with carrots, cauliflower, and cucumber. Even green tomatoes would be good. In the batch with the cauliflowers she added a tablespoon of turmeric. Update: Two days after Lisa told me that it needed another 14 days to ferment, the peppers were tart enough. Lisa hadn’t taken into consideration our heat lamp. I was excited. I made my scrambled eggs and enjoyed them just as much as I had enjoyed her batch.

  6. 5 out of 5

    michael

    As a cookbook, its ok. It has a few odd and interesting recipes, but nothing really that jumps out as memorable. As for the rest. Its starts out by trashing fad diets while trying strongly to encourage you to believe it isn't a fad diet itself. Then rumbles on into telling you that packaged, prepared food is bad for you, you're gonna die of malnutrition. Packaged, prepared ingredients are bad for you, you're gonna die from malnutrition. Your only chance is to get hard to find and expensive raw in As a cookbook, its ok. It has a few odd and interesting recipes, but nothing really that jumps out as memorable. As for the rest. Its starts out by trashing fad diets while trying strongly to encourage you to believe it isn't a fad diet itself. Then rumbles on into telling you that packaged, prepared food is bad for you, you're gonna die of malnutrition. Packaged, prepared ingredients are bad for you, you're gonna die from malnutrition. Your only chance is to get hard to find and expensive raw ingredients. Which you must correctly prepare prior to consumption, else you're gonna die from malnutrition. Basically, you're gonna die from malnutrition, but this book is here to save you. Overall, the book presents such an extreme viewpoint that it can be difficult to read at times. While there are maybe good ideas presented in the book, they are drowned out in the dogmatic preaching.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Maren

    I came upon this book three years ago at Barnes and Noble. I read it, sitting in the bookstore, leaning against the bookshelves over the course of a few weeks, while my kids were at preschool for an hour. Fallon puts together a very interesting book though she isn't an anthropologist, a researcher, or a very good chef (though some of her salads are delicious). She denounces modern food preparation methods, including the pressure cooker and the microwave in favor of old-fashioned methods of preser I came upon this book three years ago at Barnes and Noble. I read it, sitting in the bookstore, leaning against the bookshelves over the course of a few weeks, while my kids were at preschool for an hour. Fallon puts together a very interesting book though she isn't an anthropologist, a researcher, or a very good chef (though some of her salads are delicious). She denounces modern food preparation methods, including the pressure cooker and the microwave in favor of old-fashioned methods of preserving, culturing, sprouting, etc. She advocates time spent in the kitchen feeding a family wholesome, unprocessed foods. She also advocates the family garden and farm. Her book made me really think about how little I knew about the processes our food goes through before it hits our grocery store shelves. Fallon got me into making my own yogurt and experimenting with alternative grains. I now own this book, and though I don't like many of the recipes, I like reading the quotes and getting ideas. I also think her suggestions on soaking grains to make them more digestible (especially for children) are dead on.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Ok, this book is a little outdated, so I wonder how the more recent research on omega3/6/9 plays in to what's here. Or certain alternative sweeteners. Also really dogmatic ("everything for sale at the grocery store is crap; you really need to shop exclusively at health food stores or direct from farms") and if you follow the advice without living on a farm, you're gonna be broke pretty quick. Even if you're rich, you'll be time-impoverished while sprouting/fermenting/culturing all this stuff. Yo Ok, this book is a little outdated, so I wonder how the more recent research on omega3/6/9 plays in to what's here. Or certain alternative sweeteners. Also really dogmatic ("everything for sale at the grocery store is crap; you really need to shop exclusively at health food stores or direct from farms") and if you follow the advice without living on a farm, you're gonna be broke pretty quick. Even if you're rich, you'll be time-impoverished while sprouting/fermenting/culturing all this stuff. You should use methods and techniques that traditional peoples used, and steadfastly avoid the microwave or pressure cookers. I don't know what she thinks of hot water canning. Another problem is data mining: she accepts WAP's nutritional theories from the 1920s-30s as gospel while dismissing almost all data that don't align with those theories. If I had a baby and nourished him properly from conception, would he have a "broad handsome face" capable of accommodating all 32 strong adult teeth? I haven't checked the other references in the book, but if the book is 15 years old, the studies are older, and in nutrition science, a decade is practically a lifetime. I definitely agree there is tons of room for improvement in the Western diet but don't necessarily believe that everything in this book must be adhered to all the time (seriously? no chocolate? no wine? sushi is bad but not carpaccio? pork is apparently a no-go but she never explains why). Also, I would never touch offal, certainly not from factory farmed meat. I wouldn't grate frozen liver to slip into my children's rice pilaf or mix sauteed brains into the meatloaf. Nor would I drink water with clay dissolved in it, even if it does contain beneficial minerals, or wean my child early because my milk was "inferior" to her insane formula recipes (pig milk, anyone?) As for the recipes, I hate how in order to make one you have to make another one (or more) first. I don't have time to make my own yogurt and grind my own wheat and spelt in order to make pizza dough, which, of course, I have to top with tomato sauce (made by me, and ideally containing bone broth as an ingredient). Or make my own whey in which to ferment fruits/vegetables. Some of the recipes are intriguing and I understand the value of meal planning but doing so at this level is ridiculous, I must say. A lot of them require special ingredients that must be ordered from elsewhere (piima, kefir, kombucha, kelp, etc) which is more than a little bit of a hassle. And with varying fermentation times, a cold spell this week could upset the meal plans two weeks from now.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Astrid

    This book inspired me to become a nutrition consultant. It's a must-read. The first part of the book discusses nutrition concepts, and the second part presents a plethora of recipes. Don't worry if you are vegetarian; while Fallon focuses much of her time on meats, there is plenty of other information to be gleaned from this volume.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I was first given this book by an herbalist friend of mine who endorsed its content and position ondiet, but warned me about Sally Fallon's "spit-and-vinegar" approach to food choices and social change. No doubt--Nourishing Traditions absolutely lives up to its subtitle in Sally Fallon's direct, no-nonsense critique of prevailing nutritional values and investigation of the vagaries of processed foods. This book is both a bible of useful recipes and an argument for a considered, holistic relation I was first given this book by an herbalist friend of mine who endorsed its content and position ondiet, but warned me about Sally Fallon's "spit-and-vinegar" approach to food choices and social change. No doubt--Nourishing Traditions absolutely lives up to its subtitle in Sally Fallon's direct, no-nonsense critique of prevailing nutritional values and investigation of the vagaries of processed foods. This book is both a bible of useful recipes and an argument for a considered, holistic relationship to food and diet that are incredibly valuable. I am a vegetarian, and it's important to note that Fallon does not endorse vegetarianism, nor is the text limited to meat-free recipes (by any means!). Nonetheless, both the meat and meat-free recipes are numerous and fascinating. I took a brief break from vegetarianism a few years ago, and this was my reference for the transition. Nourishing Traditions begins with a section about nutrition that I recommend as much as the recipes that make up the bulk of the book. Probably her most adamant position is that about the importance of saturated fats in a healthy diet. (Similarly, this book takes a strong stance against trans-fats; it was published before the mainstream anti-trans-fats revolution a few years ago.) She favors pro-biotic fermented foods just as highly and opens the book's recipes section with instructions for fermenting dairy and vegetables. I recommend this book as a cooking reference and as a starting place for reevaluating one's relationship to food--it advocates a more integrated, participatory relationship to food and diet, and it is deeply empowering.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    I have such a love / hate relationship with Sally Fallon and the Weston A Price Foundation. So much of what they advocate is so wonderful: a return to real food, slow cooked, sustainably grown, and delicious. Unfortunately, the legitimate scientific studies and well-reasoned arguments are mixed together in equal parts with unsubstantiated, unscientific hogwash.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Roslyn

    Just finished reading this beast cover to cover (it's half cookbook, half nutrition re-education). The most important book on food/health I have read in my life. I have been making my own keifer, cream cheese, butter, buttermilk, root beer and so many other things since I got this--it's been incredible! So far the effects of eating this way include: no more hair loss for Tom, beautiful skin for me, overall feeling happier, no desire to eat sugar or drink alcohol (I am convinced that those cravin Just finished reading this beast cover to cover (it's half cookbook, half nutrition re-education). The most important book on food/health I have read in my life. I have been making my own keifer, cream cheese, butter, buttermilk, root beer and so many other things since I got this--it's been incredible! So far the effects of eating this way include: no more hair loss for Tom, beautiful skin for me, overall feeling happier, no desire to eat sugar or drink alcohol (I am convinced that those cravings are actually cravings for lacto-fermented beverages and things since now I will literally be having a bad day and crave my homemade root beer or kombucha). We'll see as time goes on what other benefits turn up! Regardless, I love the food!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Wow! This book is seriously challenging my notion of good food and a healthy diet. Just getting into it, but I think many of her ideas are right on: lacto-fermentaion, sprouted grains, cultured dairy products, meat - especially organs, and real butter! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when, over a bowl of my homemade granola, I read the intro to the chapter on whole grains: "Nor do we recommend granola, a popular "health" food made from grains subjected only to dry heat and therefore extrem Wow! This book is seriously challenging my notion of good food and a healthy diet. Just getting into it, but I think many of her ideas are right on: lacto-fermentaion, sprouted grains, cultured dairy products, meat - especially organs, and real butter! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when, over a bowl of my homemade granola, I read the intro to the chapter on whole grains: "Nor do we recommend granola, a popular "health" food made from grains subjected only to dry heat and therefore extremely indigestible. Granola, like all processed breakfast cereals should have no place on our cupboard shelves. Boxed breakfast cereals are made by the extrusion process, in which little flakes and shapes are formed at high temperatures and pressures. Extrusion processing destroys many valuable nutrients in grains, cause fragile oils to become rancid, and renders certain proteins toxic. For a new generation of hardy children, we must return to the breakfast cereals of our ancestors - soaked gruels and porridges." I made her soaked millet porridge for breakfast the next morning - topped with milk, butter, and maple syrup (as she recommends) and it was fabulous. But I still stare longingly at my jar of granola...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Samee

    This cookbook brought my understanding of food to a new level. More than any other (aside from perhaps my Zen cookbook), Fallon's book made me engage with ingredients and think about them in new ways. It added another dimension to my cooking (almost literally--it was like moving from Flatland to Sphereland). It showed me where the life was in my food. With that said: DO NOT RELY on Sally Fallon for your nutrition and cooking information needs. She is just as much of a diet dictocrat as the shadow This cookbook brought my understanding of food to a new level. More than any other (aside from perhaps my Zen cookbook), Fallon's book made me engage with ingredients and think about them in new ways. It added another dimension to my cooking (almost literally--it was like moving from Flatland to Sphereland). It showed me where the life was in my food. With that said: DO NOT RELY on Sally Fallon for your nutrition and cooking information needs. She is just as much of a diet dictocrat as the shadowy figures she rails against--and forget about the "studies" she cites throughout (in 10pt marginalia on every page, no less). She lives in a mysterious and no doubt exciting world where anecdotal evidence topples the wisdom of decades and the hard work of scientists, where the dietary necessities of "primitive" cultures become the gospel for a decadent First World, and where any foodstuff that comes in a box is imbued with some sort of acid that slowly eats away at your vitals. I exaggerate. But not much. She represents most of what I love and hate about the holistic health movement(s), and as a result, I think that her book is important reading for all of us. In brief: she advocates whole foods, healthy fats, plenty of meat, lots of cooked vegetables, lots of whole grains, lots of fermented dairy, and lots of fermentation in general. I heartily approve of her general cooking philosophy (although I have no objections to vegetarianism, as she does), but I don't approve of her premises or her strictness. As with almost any cookbook of this length (7x10, 12 and 10 point font, no photos, nearly700 pages), the recipes are hit or miss, although there are a higher proportion of winners than one might expect. She shines, oddly enough, in the snack and dessert sections (possibly because I don't have an enormous sweet tooth). Likewise, her dairy and egg recipes are almost universally delicious. Her bread and grain recipes are quite good if you pay attention to proportions and add (gasp!) white flour when necessary. It's definitely a good idea to experiment with her condiments; many of the recipes are good, but tastes will vary. She gets low marks from me in the seafood section; many of the recipes are bland, and most involve poaching. I have no desire to poach every fish I eat. If you're a gourmand, her most unusual recipes are certainly the reason to buy this book. She provides excellent step-by-step instructions for daunting projects like sourdough, sauerkraut, kimchi, various chutneys, and raw meat appetizers. She also includes recipes for obscure and old-fashioned dishes and drinks like small beer, liver and onions, and Yorkshire pudding. She does not always do justice to non-European dishes; sometimes it's her fear of heavy flavoring, and sometimes she just seems to miss the point. Most importantly, though, you can gain a real, nuanced understanding of fermented foods and traditional cuisines through her notes--as long as you ignore some of the more wingnutty bits and supplement with your own reading. If you are looking for a sensible introduction to home cooking, this is not the book I would recommend for you. But if you know a bit about food, and you want to connect with and think critically about your food, I heartily recommend this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Update: This book deserves 3.5 stars. I enjoyed her information on history of food and history of food in different nations and many recipes. Of course, I think that eating real food, not processed, does help prevent many a disease and does contributes to better over-all daily health. I also do think soaking grains is helpful. I appreciated that she made it clear that we, in America, need more cultured food in our diets. However, some of her information irked me. I do believe that there are many Update: This book deserves 3.5 stars. I enjoyed her information on history of food and history of food in different nations and many recipes. Of course, I think that eating real food, not processed, does help prevent many a disease and does contributes to better over-all daily health. I also do think soaking grains is helpful. I appreciated that she made it clear that we, in America, need more cultured food in our diets. However, some of her information irked me. I do believe that there are many illnesses that were not properly diagonsed years ago (or the disease did not yet have a name), therefore, it seems that some diseases are on the rise, when, in fact, modern medicine enables better, earlier diagnoses. She states that some diseases were almost unheard of before modern food and I find that a little hard to believe. Obviously, food allergies and type II diabetes, most likely, play a huge part in eating poorly, however, I don't buy her extremist approach about disease and food. I think food plays a huge part, however, there is more to it than that (environmental, genetics, etc) and she didn't elaborate enough, in my opinion. I had hoped that she would have elaborated on her information and covered all the facts, not just her side. For example, her information on Chinese having larger pancreas, therefore being able to eat more rice than most of us ever would want to, wasn't elaborated on. They have a larger pancreas b/c they develop one over time. They aren't born with a larger one. However, she left that fact out. In our own home, I try to soak my grains more than half the time and avoid refined sugar. However, at family and friends, I relax about it. I'm not going to tell my kids they can't have cake made with refined sugar and/or HFCS when all the other kids are. I hope that when they are older, what I teach them at home will guide them in making wise choices. While it REALLY bothers me that some parents are clueless about eating smart, I can't always control what my kids eat outside of the home w/o causing some sort of scene or possibly offending our hosts. Reading this book, you get the feel that you have to become an absolute food nazi and I think that, barring an extreme health issue, eating well 90% of the time and encorporating good eating habits, etc., in our children is probably good enough. Good book, highly recommended. Keep a bit of an open mind when reading it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This is another good foundation book if you're looking at eating traditional foods. She talks a lot about culturing foods to encourage enzyme growth which promotes good digestion and gut flora. There are a few bizarre things...I think she promotes eating meat raw, though specially prepared and of course from clean sources. I'm not willing to go that far. Heh. Some of her recipes are not the greatest...I would suggest finding some one who has tried them before making. I have made the kraut, kimch This is another good foundation book if you're looking at eating traditional foods. She talks a lot about culturing foods to encourage enzyme growth which promotes good digestion and gut flora. There are a few bizarre things...I think she promotes eating meat raw, though specially prepared and of course from clean sources. I'm not willing to go that far. Heh. Some of her recipes are not the greatest...I would suggest finding some one who has tried them before making. I have made the kraut, kimchi and ginger carrots using kefir whey and they have turned out well. Also addressed is the soaking of grains to reduce phytates (naturally occurring nutrient inhibitors.) This can be somewhat daunting when it comes to bread making, turning a long enough process into a two-day affair. If you're interested in soaking and want something easy, google Mother Earth News No-knead Bread. This recipe (thanks, Kim!) is amazing and very versatile, an artisan loaf that will leave your teeth intact and unharmed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    Some of the information on nutrients and oils is interesting and informative. However, Fallon does use outdated and poorly constructed studies to try to convince her readers that you will be healthier if you eat more meat and lard. I agree that fats are fine and that reducing fat is not healthy, BUT I think fats like avocado, coconut, and olive-based fats/oils (for example) are much healthier than fats like pig and cow fat. I think there are more than enough studies that are far more convincing Some of the information on nutrients and oils is interesting and informative. However, Fallon does use outdated and poorly constructed studies to try to convince her readers that you will be healthier if you eat more meat and lard. I agree that fats are fine and that reducing fat is not healthy, BUT I think fats like avocado, coconut, and olive-based fats/oils (for example) are much healthier than fats like pig and cow fat. I think there are more than enough studies that are far more convincing than the studies that Fallon cites. Of course, I agree that ditching processed foods and cooking with whole ingredients is how people should eat. Pre-made, highly processed foods are not good for anyone, but neither is a diet reliant on animal fats and proteins. There are some interesting nuggets in this book and I think a few of the recipes will be used in our house for the long-term. All-in-all, Fallon did not convince me to do anything other than continue to eat un-processed foods.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    Man, I love this Nourishing Traditions cookbook. It has immediately filled my kitchen with little dishes of fermenting stuff in a way that even Wild Fermentation did not. Fallon is pretty big on meat (mmm organs) but i think even hard core vegans could find stuff to take from it, e.g. fermenting fruits and veggies, soaking grains, eating coconut oil. It may even make me a raw dairy product convert if I get a little ambition. It's sort of the perfect recipe book companion to Pollan's In Defense o Man, I love this Nourishing Traditions cookbook. It has immediately filled my kitchen with little dishes of fermenting stuff in a way that even Wild Fermentation did not. Fallon is pretty big on meat (mmm organs) but i think even hard core vegans could find stuff to take from it, e.g. fermenting fruits and veggies, soaking grains, eating coconut oil. It may even make me a raw dairy product convert if I get a little ambition. It's sort of the perfect recipe book companion to Pollan's In Defense of Food.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Full of well-researched and presented information on the value of traditional foods and dietary habits. Fallon has an agenda, but is not afraid to point out the failings of any kind of extreme diet. The only drawback of this book, she advocates against coffee and chocolate because of the negative effects of caffeine. I suppose, in logic, I agree, but I get so much satisfaction from those two items, that I can't imagine a fulfilling life without them. Such is the nature of addiction.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    I enjoyed this book. I haven't started doing all that it suggests but I had already started doing quite a bit of it. Over the last 2 years i have lost over 70 lbs and became much healthier. I want my own copy now :-)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brandt

    This book is one part manifesto, two parts cookbook. It is the recipe for a grass-fed uprising. It has liberated me. The revolution will not be pasteurized.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    I haven't read this cover-to-cover (it's a cookbook!) but I did finish the intro chapters on nutrition and skimmed most of the recipes. It's a good overview of a lot of the same information you see in books like Good Calories Bad Calories, albeit from a different perspective, and it's not so rigorously scientific. A lot of the info can also be read online at the Weston A. Price Foundation website. The thing that sticks with me the most is the miracle Fallon paints of butter from spring grass fed I haven't read this cover-to-cover (it's a cookbook!) but I did finish the intro chapters on nutrition and skimmed most of the recipes. It's a good overview of a lot of the same information you see in books like Good Calories Bad Calories, albeit from a different perspective, and it's not so rigorously scientific. A lot of the info can also be read online at the Weston A. Price Foundation website. The thing that sticks with me the most is the miracle Fallon paints of butter from spring grass fed cows. I also liked how she promotes moderation and discourages orthorexia by telling the reader not to make a "fetish" out of particularly healthy foods she's touting. Will probably try some of the lacto veggie recipes over the weekend. I modified the mayo recipe a bit, and added whey to lacto preserve it. Worked like a charm, the jar has been in the fridge for a week and it doesn't have that gross oxidized film on top like un-lacto mayo gets after a day or so. It's like kitchen science!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karyl

    I really enjoyed this book. Fallon does an excellent job of refuting most of what we are taught by the government and has plenty of research to back her up. I was most surprised by her assertion that vegetable oils can be very hazardous to our health, and now she has me wanting to investigate cooking with more butter, animal fats, and coconut oils. The recipes she present sound quite tasty. I can't get on board with giving up coffee completely, but as with many things, moderation is key. I do ap I really enjoyed this book. Fallon does an excellent job of refuting most of what we are taught by the government and has plenty of research to back her up. I was most surprised by her assertion that vegetable oils can be very hazardous to our health, and now she has me wanting to investigate cooking with more butter, animal fats, and coconut oils. The recipes she present sound quite tasty. I can't get on board with giving up coffee completely, but as with many things, moderation is key. I do appreciate the way Fallon points out that extreme diets are never a good idea; I feel that we Americans are looking for the one quick way to solve all our health issues, and if one extreme diet can do that, we jump right on. I look forward to incorporating her ideas into my diet, especially where it comes to fermented foods.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ciro

    The most dense and comprehensive book on traditional diets and recipes that you could possibly ever read. Everything from Eggs to Brains.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Audrey Anne

    I love reading cookbooks. This one came to me when I needed to change the way I was eating. I was motivated because I felt sick. A naturopathic physician recommended giving up grains and sugar and starches. Now that is NOT something that Nourishing traditions requires that you do. It makes use of high quality ingredients and certain preparation practices, along with judicious quantities and frequency of use of these things. But I had to go a step further because I was sick. I was actually scared I love reading cookbooks. This one came to me when I needed to change the way I was eating. I was motivated because I felt sick. A naturopathic physician recommended giving up grains and sugar and starches. Now that is NOT something that Nourishing traditions requires that you do. It makes use of high quality ingredients and certain preparation practices, along with judicious quantities and frequency of use of these things. But I had to go a step further because I was sick. I was actually scared of food at that point. What happens after you are done with the usual card-deck portion of lean fish and all the green veggies you care to eat? There is still a heap-of-rice-sized hole on your plate and in your stomach. You WILL be hungry. What to do? And wasn't my cholesterol going to go from a little high to through the roof once I traded cheerios for 2 eggs a day? It did not (it actually normalized) and I now know why. This book helped me fill in the blanks and adjust to my new way of eating confidently. More than anything, I find this way of eating simply works for me. I do not, however, live the lifestyle to a T. I pick and choose which things I am going to be a stickler about and which I am more casual about. I shop more thoughtfully and the overall quality of the items I choose is higher. I do not believe I spend more because I have eliminated many prepared foods, which are expensive. I even order some things from a farm. I have become a huge fan of fermentation! It is more than a collection of recipes. There is a wealth of information in the margins about the history and anthropology of food. Once you open your eyes to the longer timeline of people and food, you can begin to see where our modern foods come from and all the compromises we have made. You can trace them back to healthier traditions. Now you can make your own choices. The book is based on the research of a dentist who travelled the world and investigated the native diets of indigenous cultures. You can get more information by looking up "Weston Price Foundation" on the internet. Just as with any alternative viewpoint, there are extreme voices on both sides. I try to maintain a neutral and inquisitive stance and try things for myself.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Racheal

    This book has completely changed how I view food. Although I think there are some problems with it (a bit of a conspiracy theory feeling to it, dismissing all opposing views as silly or unfounded), this one fact remains true. The premise of the book is that so many of our health problems stem from industrialized food--food we've only been eating for the last 100 years or so, such as refined sugar, white flour, and vegetable oil. Fallon argues that we should be eating traditional foods, with a fo This book has completely changed how I view food. Although I think there are some problems with it (a bit of a conspiracy theory feeling to it, dismissing all opposing views as silly or unfounded), this one fact remains true. The premise of the book is that so many of our health problems stem from industrialized food--food we've only been eating for the last 100 years or so, such as refined sugar, white flour, and vegetable oil. Fallon argues that we should be eating traditional foods, with a focus on meat, animal fats, raw veggies, and fermented foods. She has tons and tons of information at the beginning of the book that feels a bit like you're reading a textbook. I think the thing that most struck me over and over again while reading it was just how everything we do in processing foods--heating them to extremely high levels, putting them under huge amounts of pressure, just generally denaturing them--messes them up in some way or another, from killing essential enzymes we need to digest the foods, killing beneficial bacteria, making vitamins and minerals inaccessable, or just generally rendering it carcinogenic. The sections on fermenting foods also really resonated with me. In our quest to make foods more convenient we have lost many of the preserving techniques that make foods nutritious. For instance, soaking our whole grains, nuts and legumes neutralized phytic acid (which prevents our bodies from absorbing the majority of the vitamins in the grain), as well as increases the general digestability of the grain. All those happy bacteria get in there and basically start to break it down for you! Isn't that nice of them? :D That leads to the last thing that really makes sense to me, which is the idea of beneficial bacteria and having a balance in your body rather than trying to scour everything with purell. If you have a well built up colony of bacteria in your system they will be there to compete with the bad bacteria for space and be your defender! Eat yogurt, kids! Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus will kick sickness' ass!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I have always been conscious of nutrition and health, but this book was a real eye-opener! While I'll admit that Fallon is a bit of a fanatic and that some of her "research" may be questionable, my gut tells me that, overall, she is correct. Certainly, she gives us all something to think about. The basic premise of the book is that people (and Americans in particular) need to get back to our ancestral methods of growing, preparing, and eating food. She blames a myriad of health problems (from the I have always been conscious of nutrition and health, but this book was a real eye-opener! While I'll admit that Fallon is a bit of a fanatic and that some of her "research" may be questionable, my gut tells me that, overall, she is correct. Certainly, she gives us all something to think about. The basic premise of the book is that people (and Americans in particular) need to get back to our ancestral methods of growing, preparing, and eating food. She blames a myriad of health problems (from the chronic to the terminal) on our diet of prepared, refined, super-heated, pasteurized, and battery-raised foods. Alternatively, she recommends making everything possible from scratch (including salad dressings, stocks, soups, yogurt, etc). She firmly advocates butter over margarine, whole raw milk over ultra-pasteurized skim, and extra virgin olive oil over bleached, heated, and refined vegetable oil. (Makes sense, yes?) I have made a number of changes to my diet based on her advice and have prepared a number of her delicious, healthful recipes. They are *tasty*! I highly recommend this book as food for thought... but be warned... it may permanently alter your perception of food and those who sell it to us.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lanie

    I love this book. I'm so bummed I took it to a friends' house to cook with and left it in my paper grocery bag and it got mistaken for recycling....*pout*. It was my most referenced reference book, probably (so much so that I might splurge for another), with loads of info on every vegetable and what vitamins and minerals it is rich in and what each of those vitamins and minerals does for you, and loads of info on diseases and ailments and what you should eat to get rid of them and oodles of yumm I love this book. I'm so bummed I took it to a friends' house to cook with and left it in my paper grocery bag and it got mistaken for recycling....*pout*. It was my most referenced reference book, probably (so much so that I might splurge for another), with loads of info on every vegetable and what vitamins and minerals it is rich in and what each of those vitamins and minerals does for you, and loads of info on diseases and ailments and what you should eat to get rid of them and oodles of yummy recipes...and...and...and.... Word to the wise, though, it's pretty anti-vegan and down on vegetarianism (she comes out and says it's bad for you at some point....I just ignored it and got on with the veggie recipes, and now I...want to venture further into this book again... I got my Beet Kvass recipe from this book (it's fermented beet tonic)! They are currently fermenting on my counter and in just 1 more day I get to try the miracle drink (har har, but still excited).

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    I'm generally not a fan of anything that purports to tell me that the government is trying to kill me, so I skipped most of the first half of this book. According to the book, anecdotal data shows that populations who eat a traditional diet (think pre-refrigeration) are in better general health than those who eat a more modern diet of refined foods. (Though the author/foundation considers the research authoritative rather than anecdotal.) Anyway, I picked up the book because I'm curious about lac I'm generally not a fan of anything that purports to tell me that the government is trying to kill me, so I skipped most of the first half of this book. According to the book, anecdotal data shows that populations who eat a traditional diet (think pre-refrigeration) are in better general health than those who eat a more modern diet of refined foods. (Though the author/foundation considers the research authoritative rather than anecdotal.) Anyway, I picked up the book because I'm curious about lacto fermentation. I'm gearing up to make a batch of traditional sauerkraut, and I'm intrigued by water kefir. And dairy kefir, for that matter. I never did try any of the recipes, but I'm still intrigued.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anina

    I have been browsing through this slowly. It is a lot of reading. The idea of this book is that you should eat traditional, organic/chemical free foods, and unprocessed foods. It has a lot of recipes for fish, meat, and vegetables, dairy/butter heavy sauces and also ideas for making things from sprouted grains and beans(the way our ansectors ate them, supposedly). There are also recipes for fermented (good for you, according to the book) things you would never think to make yourself: thai fish s I have been browsing through this slowly. It is a lot of reading. The idea of this book is that you should eat traditional, organic/chemical free foods, and unprocessed foods. It has a lot of recipes for fish, meat, and vegetables, dairy/butter heavy sauces and also ideas for making things from sprouted grains and beans(the way our ansectors ate them, supposedly). There are also recipes for fermented (good for you, according to the book) things you would never think to make yourself: thai fish sauce, yogurt, soy sauce, kimchi. It is also half textbook, lots of information on nutrition, some of it I have been taking, some of it I have been leaving, but overall I really like this book.

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