Customer Review

299 of 345 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great idea but a couple big questions unanswered, June 12, 2013
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This review is from: Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health (Kindle Edition)
I liked this book and thought the assembly of facts and stories about the common fruits and vegetables we eat to be both informative and at times entertaining. I think the book also does a good job of cataloging some of the effects of industrial food production. Overall, the book was novel enough, interesting enough and surprising enough for me to give it 4 stars, but a few critical flaws make it impossible to use the book for its stated mission as a guide on which fruit / vegetables to eat, and a flaw in methodology (use of the discredited ORAC score) throughout forces me to downgrade to 3 stars. Below are a few questions that I thought the book could have better addressed.

1) Is sheer quantity of phytonutrients really the only thing that determines whether a particular fruit / vegetable is good for you? Wouldn't some phytonutrients or combinations of phytonutrients be better than others? There is limited discussion of this throughout the book. I am not sure this is the author's fault as I am not sure whether the scientific research is there yet, but a frank discussion of the state of understanding here to set the stage would have been helpful.

The ORAC score the author used to compare varities throughout the book has been discredited according to the Wikipedia page. The USDA has stopped publishing ORAC data it seems after the connection between quantity of antioxidants and human health was seriously questioned. Some mention of the controversy around ORAC would have been intellectually honest given its extensive use throughout the book.

2) How do the various fruits / vegetables compare among themselves. Given a 2000 calorie / day budget, how should a person allocate this? Etc. The book has a couple comparisons (eat more berries, etc.) but lacks even a simple table comparing the ORAC scores (antioxidant quantity of each fruit per gram) vegetable discussed.

3) The information on the various fruits / veggies is clearly uneven, likely having to do with the availability of scientific research on the various kinds. This leads to some awkward issues where for example the author discusses how you should look at the total phytonutrients, and not just vitamin c for one fruit, but for a later fruit only talks about lycopene quantity. Would have been nice to see apples to apples comparison of each type of produce discussed.

4) Bit of a nitpick but what about nuts and mushrooms? Nuts are mentioned briefly at the end as something you should include in fruit salad, but otherwise are not discussed. Mushrooms are not mentioned.

As I said, I see the challenge in healthy eating to be how one should allocate their daily food budget in an optimal way. This book helps answer a part of that question by discussing how to find the ripest of a particular kind of produce, how to optimally store produce and by discussing which varieties of a particular produce have highest antioxidant content (which may or may not be the critical consideration), but unfortunately it doesn't do a complete job in telling you which fruits/veggies to prefer vs. one another and I believe it overstates many of its claims as a result.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 33 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 16, 2013 7:38:58 AM PDT
I bought the book "The worlds healthiest foods" and it answers many of your concerns and I keep it close by for reference. I have adopted the idea of making and drinking nutritional blender drinks and this book gives me a better idea of what to add to my juices. So far I am making great progress with my health and have cut all my medications in half, except cholesterol meds, which I have eliminated completely after a year of experimentation. I would love to correspond with people with similar interests...jhbatchelor@yahoo.com

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2013 9:19:22 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2013 6:55:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 11, 2013 7:13:04 AM PDT
Dan A. says:
Yep, no-one on Amazon should review any books since author has almost always done more work on the subject than the reviewer. No-one should review any products either since the engineers spent much more time on the product than the user.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2013 7:42:36 AM PDT
Westfalia says:
But he used Wikipedia for his research about the ORAC! He is an expert.....pfft.

Posted on Jul 11, 2013 8:07:00 AM PDT
I didnt buy this book, so....,but I have a few other books that I have a lot of confidence in, but
find fault with all of them and try to put info from each one together to get at the truth. I first bought "The green smoothie revolution" and found it facinating, but not fully researched. I then bought another book by the same author "Green for life"...on the same subject, but a little different, The idea is that in general greens are the healthiest foods and can be eaten
by blending them in a blender and adding any kind of fruit to improve the flavor. I have been
doing this for about 8 months religiously and have cut my medications drastically. Next I bought the book "The worlds healthiest foods" and it answers many of your concerns and gives
me a better idea of what to add to my "Smoothies". Now I bought the book "Lose the wheat -
lose the weight" another facinating read and is not just about losing weight. If you want more
information, email me at jhbatchelor@yahoo.com

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2013 8:09:44 AM PDT
I dont agree and would rather do my own experiments to evaluate the results.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 11, 2013 9:33:00 AM PDT
People with thyroid issues should avoid raw greens and cook them instead... just a side note. Glad it's working for you! But, if you try green smoothies and feel worse, this could be why...

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 31, 2013 3:04:03 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 31, 2013 3:04:44 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2013 4:52:32 AM PDT
We are bombarded with information and misinformation and we have to try to cull the nonsense from fact.
Some people write books just to make money and they have little factual basis and others are just trying to
sell us something else. Still, none of us know everything, not even the so called experts, so all we can do is watch, listen and then try to decide what we shall believe....right or wrong, but always keep an open mind
and change it when we feel it is necessary.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2013 2:04:22 PM PDT
Jiva says:
Amy,

Your statement is not entirely true. Although kale, spinach, and other vegetables in Brassica genus are goitrogenic, there are many greens that are not including romaine and leafy lettuces, chard, dandelion greens, parsley, cilantro which taste yummy in smoothies. Also keep in mind that there are groitogenic fruits, berries, and nuts/seed that are commonly used in smoothies such as strawberries, peaches, almonds, flax seed, and soy-based foods to name a few.
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Location: Evanston, IL United States

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