Have you heard of Nourishing Traditions? I use this book all the time and I keep referring to it here on the blog. I thought I should go into more detail. The full name of the book is Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and Diet Dictocrats (affiliate link).
I found out about this book when we did our cheese making course, the instructor talked about it throughout the day (I'd also seen it mentioned on a few blogs) and I thought it sounded really interesting. I'm so glad that I bought it because I've already used many of the recipes and I think its really changed the way I think about food.
See more posts on Eight Acres about Nourishing Traditions here.
Nourishing Traditions is a cook book, with the tagline "The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats". It is written by the co-founders of the Weston A Price Foundation (WAPF), Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig (PhD). Already you can see that its going to be about more than just recipes! From what I can find out, Sally is a food writer and has compiled most of the book, however Mary has a PhD in nutrition, specialising in fats and oils, so that gives the book more credibility from a nutritional point of view.
The book is based on the 1930s work of Dr Weston Price, a dentist who documented the diets of several isolated societies that were still living and eating as they had for hundreds of years, without the influence of modern refined and processed food. He found that these people invariably had very good health, strong bones and teeth, with virtually no cases of cancer, obesity or heart disease. The only sick people were those who had started eating a modern diet.
|Dr Weston Price - looks like a nice sensible man :)|
This book documents the type of foods eaten by those traditional societies, explaining in detail the benefits of the food and who it should be prepared. The book is split into sections:
- Introduction - all about the nutrients in foods and the lessons of Dr Price compared to modern medical advice.
- Mastering the Basics - including cultured dairy, fermented dairy, sprouts, stocks, sauces and salad dressings
- Great Beginnings - dips, salads, soups, raw meat (!), and appetizers
- The Main Course - fish, poultry, organ meats, game, beef and lamb, ground meat
- Luncheon and Super Foods - meat salads, south of the border, eggs, sandwiches
- Grains and Legumes - whole grains, breads and flour, baking and legumes
- Snacks and Finger Food
- Desserts - natural sweeteners, sweets, pies and cakes, gourmet desserts
- Feeding Babies - untested by me!
- Tonics and Superfoods
I've read a bit of the criticism of this book on amazon and most of the comments seem to come down to the following points:
- the work is "unscientific", the references are old and it doesn't agree with conventional diet advice
- the recipes are too hard to follow, the ingredients are too hard to source, it required too much preparation and is not practicle
- vegetarians don't agree with the idea that we should eat meat and shouldn't eat soy products
- Fats - highly processed vegetable oils (eg canola, sunflower, soybean) are bad, including margarine, traditional fats like lard, tallow, butter, olive oil and coconut oil are good, eat lots of them to get enough fat soluble vitamin A and D in your diet. We now only eat butter, would like to make tallow next time we have a steer killed, and use olive oil for all cooking (will buy coconut when I can). (see also my review of Toxic Oil)
- Carbohydrates - refined carbohydrates are bad, white sugar is terrible, puffed grains are also bad, whole grains should be soaked or fermented to deactivate phytate which blocks mineral adsorption (more on this in later sections).
- Proteins - proteins are composed of 22 amino acids, and we need those amino acids to build our own muscles. The most complete source of all amino acids is meat, particularly raw meat and organ meat. Grain and legumes contain some amino acids and must be eaten in the right combinations to get all the amino acids we need.
- Milk and milk products - fermented milk products are easier to digest, raw milk is best, pasteurised homogenised milk is not good
- Vitamins - all vitamins are important, and best in their natural form (rather than in supplement tablets) as they are accompanied by "cofactors" that aid adsorption, meat products (even in small amounts) are an important source of some vitamins
- Minerals - aid in production of enzymes and hormones and in adsorption of vitamins, sourced from meat and vegetables
- Enzymes - produced by the body and found in raw foods, essential for digestion
- Salt, spices and additives - salt is essential, but raw sea salt is better than refined salt, spices stimulate enzymes, artificial additives are bad
- Beverages - soft drink is bad, fermented beverages and herbal teas are good
- Food allergies - can be exacerbated by processed food, artificial additives etc, sometimes a whole food diet prepared as described in NT will help ease allergies, but everyone is different and it depends how much damage has already been done.
Have you read Nourishing Traditions? Do you use the recipes?
For more book recommendations see by book review page.
Here's the rest of the series:
|Nourishing Traditions - start to finish|
|Nourishing Traditions - grains and legumes|
|Nourishing Traditions - main meals and more|
|Nourishing Traditions - mastering the basics|
|Nourishing Traditions - snacks, deserts and superfoods|