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4.6 out of 5 stars
The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Resource for Healthy Eating
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Since I already had a previous edition of this book that I have used extensively I felt confident that the new book could not possibly contain much additional information. Imagine my shock and surprise to find that the entire book has been added to and updated. This book already contained so much information that in the many years that I have owned and used it there was only one thing that it did not have available to me and that item is included in the new edition. The amount of info included in these books is incomprehensible. I have two additional food encyclopedias neither of which holds a candle to this book. If you find yourself with questions about the nutritional values or health benefits of individual foods rest assured that you will find your information here along with historical information and several interesting anecdotes and tidbits about the food.
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65 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was aware when I bought this that it wouldn't be quite what I wanted: I was looking for an encyclopedia of staple foods with basic background information, nutritional information, purchasing and storage guidelines, and general cooking recommendations, etc. I knew this would be much more New Age-y than I wanted, but it seemed to be the nearest thing available. (I guess I'll have to compile my own.) I do like it and will keep it, but will be looking for other sources to supplement it.

There is a lot to like about this book, but I wish the author had conflated less the nutritional and mystic properties, and given more concrete information. The book is actually less informative than it appears because it fails to provide any solid basis for the statements it makes about foods' properties, even nutritional properties that should have been easy to quantify and qualify. It's often vague about the food's properties and not clear if the attributed benefits are physical or metaphysical. (I will not comment on her information regarding mystical properties because that is not what interests me.) As an example: She notes that beans are filling and relieve constipation but doesn't finish the idea and add that it is because **they are good sources of protein and fiber**. She finally does mention that they are high in fiber, but it's a paragraph later and she doesn't really connect this to their health benefits.

I also would have to question some of the stated benefits: I'm not sure I'd eat a lot of blackberries to alleviate diarrhea. I'll agree that blackberries may have nutrients that could do so, but I suspect that they would be overpowered by the fruits' fiber, with potentially uncomfortable results. My gut feeling is that that there is some hyperbole at work in the descriptions--many of the foods sound like miracle drugs. I absolutely agree that eating well promotes better health, but it can't save everybody from every ailment.

For the most part, I ignore the "information" that isn't what I need, which isn't really very troublesome but does leave gaps.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If you are looking to know everything about what you eat get this book. This book is a must have for food lovers. It has how to store food, nutritional sources, Ayurveda information, Chinese Medicine, medicinal qualities and properties of foods, and much more. It is a complete and fascinating book to read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I checked this book out of our local library and was so impressed with the information provided I had to purchase. Found an excellent used copy through Amazon. If you are interested in what you are taking into your body- then you will find this Encyclopedia a very valuable tool. The author offers descriptions that include traditonal medicinal and nutritive benefits of whole foods and in addition- their relation to the Ayurvedic system of health. I found the author's personal asides and recipe suggestions a charming bonus- this New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by no means reads like a dry reference tome but more along the lines of a compendium of excellent information compiled by an old friend.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
A wonderful resource for cooking, eating, or just entertainment. Literally a real food encyclopedia with splendid amounts of information including history, medical uses, tips on purchasing, etc. Invaluable asset to any kitchen; highly recommend!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
There are so many items included that the info under each listing is fairly brief, but interesting. It's good started material, though. If there is a malady you want to address, the index is fairly comprehensive. I couldn't find an entry for arthritis, but there are many under inflammation, as well as pain. It's a lengthy book, and there are no color plates, but that allows for more items to be included. I have a book with pictures of vegetables, so if there's an entry I'm not familiar with, I'll just look it up in my vegetable reference. I'd say it's good info for novices.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
My original copy of Rebecca's book 'The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia' is tattered and worn from so many years of use. I love it so much I use it constantly for research in writing a garden column for newspapers and magazines. Did not believe that it could ever be improved on but found exactly what I was looking for in the new addition. Thank you Rebecca and thank you amazon for the new, revised addition. I love it! Jo Anne Boudreau Mineral Wells, Texas
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I bought one for my sister. I carry it everywhere I go. You can look up a food and it tells you the medicinal benefits, how to buy it and sometimes there are recipes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
While this is a wonderful book in many respects (covering a large amount of material with fairly detailed descriptions) there are no color photos of any of the whole foods listed and very very few sketch drawings. The nature of the book lends itself to research and discovery. The book's few pictures will drive you to look elsewhere for information and an accompanying photo.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I am very pleased with my copy of The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, and it is going to be a handy reference that will be tucked in on the shelf next to my cookbooks. That the book strays into medicinal benefits is a real bonus for me. 4 stars because the paper is a little fragile for a book that will get a lot of use in the kitchen.
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