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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relating to One's Food
This book is a personal re-examination of food--what we eat, and why we eat it. In this book, Prentice examines food customs and traditions, searching for their physiological and environmental rationale. Her primary observation about food traditions is that they are strictly tied to the seasons, and thus the continual year-round availability of our foodstuffs has...
Published on November 26, 2006 by Amazon Customer

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1 of 70 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Full Moon Feast
Very disappointed in what this book had in it. BORING stuff. Not at all what I thought it would be.
Published on January 20, 2011 by ningram


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66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relating to One's Food, November 26, 2006
This review is from: Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection (Paperback)
This book is a personal re-examination of food--what we eat, and why we eat it. In this book, Prentice examines food customs and traditions, searching for their physiological and environmental rationale. Her primary observation about food traditions is that they are strictly tied to the seasons, and thus the continual year-round availability of our foodstuffs has resulted in loss of much traditional knowledge about what is good for us and what isn't. In recognition of the essential seasonality of foods, Prentice organizes this book into the thirteen moons that make up the year, from the famine moon, to the sap moon, from the egg moon to the corn moon, from the blood moon to the wolf moon.

Each chapter describes the ecology that led to the association between a particular food item and a specific time of the year. In the chapters, Prentice discusses the nutritional contributions of the featured food items, and how her relationship with that food has changed over the years. For example, she explains how she used to avoid milk and other dairy products, but now relishes them as a gift of love from Mother Earth. Each chapter also includes recipes of the season, ranging from exotic dishes of non-Western food cultures, like Cardamom and Jaggery pudding, to simple directions for lost arts, such as rendering pork, or making homemade yogurt and sauerkraut.

Prentice was once a strict vegan, who for health reasons, eventually found herself drawn to a diet which includes animal products, but not the products of industrial agriculture. There is much that vegetarians and vegans would not like in Prentice's essays, since she explains how her 10 years of vegetarianism were not healthy for her. Having had the same experience myself after being a vegetarian for 20 years, I can appreciate the wisdom in what she writes. While vegetarian diets work well for some, they are not appropriate for everybody. But at the same time, diets that include the consumption of industrially produced and processed animal products do nobody any good. We need to be willing to recognize our relation and responsibilities to the animals that we consume.

I first heard of this book when I attended a Vermont Localvore potluck at which Prentice was the invited guest chef. I was deeply offended then at her attitude, when she announced she was going to make a salad using a recipe from her book, but lamented the lack of local artichokes or olive oil. `How could such a person be associated with local cooking,' I wondered, `if she doesn't even have the sense to find out what the best local ingredients are and celebrate them, instead of parading the products of another region in front of us?' I figured that a seasonal local cookbook written by a national author would be a worthless concept. Fortunately, that's not what this book attempts--instead the book is much more about rediscovering our connection to food than about specific local recipes.

Although she has become famous for leading the concept of eating foods only from one's local region, what she urges here is really an appreciation for the products of small farms. Thus, instead of simply cheering on local food, Prentice argues in this book that our industrial agriculture system has torn us away from one of the most essential of human traits, our relationship to the food that nourishes us. Instead of following diets of avoidance, Prentice advocates recognizing the meaning that each item of food brings to our lives, and using food to re-establish our connection to the land. Indeed, the only foods that Prentice avoids are those heavily processed products of industrial agriculture: refined sugar, white flour, and pre-packaged extruded junk. Although the book contains a few recipes, it is not a cookbook, but rather a wake-up call: "Our poor diet is at least partly a physical manifestation of a spiritual decay," together with some suggestions of how we can begin the journey back to healthy eating.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, Inspiring, and Fascinating!, June 6, 2006
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This review is from: Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection (Paperback)
Jessica Prentice's book was a joy to read. In fact, it is so readable, I've recommended it as a book club selection to several friends -- after all, we all eat! The way Prentice talks about eating and food, it is like she is an old friend on a passionate adventure.

I have spent years of searching for a way of eating that seems "right" nutritionally (from all-American to vegetarian to vegan to macrobiotic to low-carb to Gittleman!). I have owned books on all of them, and I have lived all of them. None have made as much sense intellectually AND intuitively as what Jessica describes. Her book is organized by thirteen moons, and each moon represents a theme. This organization is one of the things that makes her book so readable - each chapter is a complete exploration of that theme, and then you're off to another theme.

Jessica's work is well-researched, well-written, fascinating, inspiring, and for me, life-changing. I took my hundred-or-so other cookbooks and diet books to the used bookstore, purchased a few others that Prentice recommended in her resources, and my kitchen supply of books is now complete at only a few books rather than the close to 100 that I owned before. I feel THAT sure of this.

This book is for everyone -- interested in nutrition or not. I guarantee you will enjoy it, you will learn things you didn't know about what you eat, and you will be inspired by Prentice's knowledge and passion. And if you are searching for a way of eating that makes sense intellectually AND intuitively (and feels GOOD physically), you will have found a path home.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration to cook and eat better, April 14, 2006
By 
S.R.M (Northern CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection (Paperback)
Blending food lore, memoir, and recipes, "Full Moon Feast" appeals on many levels. I learned more about food than what's in my standard cookbooks. But thanks to Jessica Prentice's conversational style, I didn't feel like I had to work hard to do it. Her evocative prose inspired me to learn more about the issues she raised, cook more, and eat better -- and just plain eat. You'll get hungry reading this book!

The author uses lunar cycles as a launching pad to discuss old food ways and current corporate food practices without being preachy or long-winded. I found it interesting to learn how our ancestors ate and prepared food, and how relatively easy it is to preserve those traditions today. The recipes at the end of each chapter provide accessible ways to eat seasonal foods and try your hand at making foods based on older methods. I made 2 recipes and found them straightforward, complete and delicious. I also liked the extensive list of resources at the end. Her facts are footnoted.

"Full Moon Feast" offers wisdom on food choices for cooks and noncooks a like. A great gift for a foodie or environmentalist.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Food and the Human Condition, May 24, 2006
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This review is from: Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection (Paperback)
This book is a great deal more than just a cookbook. Rather it is an historical account of the human relationship with food before the great energy bonanza of the fossil fuel revolution made so many things appear easy, at least in the "developed world." But, as it becomes increasing clear that this bounty is failing, and that the economic and technological precepts upon which our civilization is based have certain fatal flaws from an ecological standpoint, we would do well to remember the wolf moon and the hunger moon that Prentice invokes so eloquently, and to contemplate why the people of old called their months so, and what that could mean to us in the future.

Reading this book brought me to tears at times, as I contemplated these subjects, and the fragile bonds we humans have with all of creation. I hope to never experience a true "hunger moon", but am afraid I may as climate change, oil depletion, and an increasing toxic load threaten our food supplies. It could all come crashing down very quickly. I am glad to have this small map of how our ancestors managed to feed themselves even without the technology we have come to rely upon.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new classic, May 2, 2006
This review is from: Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection (Paperback)
I love this book! The folklore blends easially with the recipes and information as well as the personal stories. This book is must for anyone interested in tradiational nutrition and medicine. It is soon to be a new classic like Nourishing Traditions!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading Full Moon Feast, March 28, 2006
This review is from: Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection (Paperback)
I loved this book. Part memoir, part culinary history, this book explores our increasingly tenuous relationship to the community, healthy eating, and a healthy planet. Jessica's book is in turns educational, heartwarming, and alarming--try eating white sugar after reading about cane sugar production.

Great recipes, too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A concise and "kitchen cook friendly" guide to the full-moon celebrations through healthy dining, June 5, 2006
This review is from: Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection (Paperback)
Full Moon Feast: Food And The Hunger For Connection by Jessica Prentice is an engaging guide to the beautifully intricate art of culinary creations in synchronization with the cycles of an agrarian calendar. Accurately following the thirteen lunar cycles in periods of their yearly contributions and celebrations, Full Moon Feast knowledgeably explores varying moons cycles with seasonally appropriate recipes ranging from Blood Moon Swedish Meatballs; Stir-fry of Pork and Vegetables with Ginger; and Beef Broth; to Egg Moon's Avocado and Hard-Cooked Eggs with a Lemony Dressing; Stracciatella (Roman Egg Drop Soup); and Spring Tonic Nettle Soup. A unique original concept in cookbooks, Full Moon Feast is very highly recommended as a concise and "kitchen cook friendly" guide to the full-moon celebrations through healthy dining.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The spiritually intelligent nutrient dense book, August 21, 2009
This review is from: Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection (Paperback)
This is a terrific book that I stumbled on almost by accident at the SF Green Festival. I was attracted to the cover, which had symbols connected to ancient names of moons I'd heard mentioned by ritual oriented women friends. I was tired, and I knew I didn't have the energy to deal with going into the festival. Instead I looked at this book and what really caught my interest enough for me to buy the book was the following passage:
"Regardless of what I actually ate-whether it was salads or pizza or Thanksgiving dinner- I never felt satisfied or truly nourished. I was in a state of continual state of either hunger or overfullness, often experiencing both at the same time. It would be years before I figured out why this is so. But at the time, my worry over what I was eating gave way to worry over worrying about what I was eating. My obsession with food seemed unhealthy, pathological, and I needed to get over it.
But I didn't. On and on it went like that: dieting, binging,feeling hungry, feeling stuffed, feeling sick, making resolutions to do better, failing to do better, hating myself for failing, hating myself for hating myself. It went on for years".
I bought the book, took it home and read the whole thing from cover to cover. It has extraordinary depth, unexpected and surprising twists and turns through all kinds of subjects about the connection of people to food and life. It is also literally delicious to read. I loaned this book to a woman who is a food writer and founder of several local farmer's markets in my area. I couldn't get the book back or out of her grip for over two years! With good reason, as this book is a feast all it's own. A must read for anyone who gives a damn about how we are involved with food.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To call this a 'cookbook' of any kind is limiting its appeal, May 22, 2006
This review is from: Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection (Paperback)
Chef and food activist Jessica Prentice arrives here with a mission: to promote locally grown, humanely raised foods and traditional cooking methods. She use the thirteen lunar cycles of a year as a foundation for her discussions, including recipes in each chapter but also including history, myths, political and social insights, and more. Plenty of reflections and first-person professional and personal insights provide a satisfying balance between literature, theory, and applied wisdom. To call this a 'cookbook' of any kind is limiting its appeal: FULL MOON FEAST: FOOD AND THE HUNGER FOR CONNECTION is so much more.

Diane C. Donovan, Editor

California Bookwatch
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, January 16, 2008
By 
This review is from: Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection (Paperback)
A great book!
The vegetarianism essay alone is worth the purchase price, but other parts of the book are just as engaging.

I've never met the author, but after reading this book I feel like she is an old friend.
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Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection
Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection by Jessica Prentice (Paperback - April 1, 2006)
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