- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Reprint edition (May 20, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316227935
- ISBN-13: 978-0316227933
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 687 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health Paperback – May 20, 2014
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"The next Omnivore's Dilemma." --Epicurious.com
"Phenomenal...The cure for what ails us is right here, and it's delicious." --Dan Barber, chef and owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns
"I learned so much from this outstanding book. Highly recommended reading for all who are health conscious." --Andrew Weil, MD
"Wonderful, enlightening. Jo Robinson has done a magnificent job of bringing together information from so many diverse disciplines." --Loren Cordain
"Because recent studies have taught us that we should be getting our beta carotene and other health-builders not from pills but from well-grown food, this book is just what gardeners and cooks need." -The Washington Post
"It's a great book. I think people will change the way they buy their food. I know that I will." --Dr. Sanjay Gupta
"Most fascinating. Hailed as the first book to reveal the nutritional history of fruits and vegetables....I'm savoring every word." --PBS's Food Blog, "Kitchen Vignettes"
"If the organic movement needs a Joan of Arc I would surely nominate Jo Robinson. Only Michael Pollan would come close to her superbly researched work."-- Bill Kurtis, Chairman and Founder, Tallgrass Beef Company
About the Author
Jo Robinson is the author or coauthor of 14 nonfiction books. She lives on Vashon Island, Washington, where she grows many of the extraordinary fruits and vegetables described in this book.
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If you too are wondering what this book is, then I'll tell you what I've found. This is a book about the vegetables and fruits that are available in supermarkets and farmer's markets in the U.S. For each group of vegetables or fruits, there is a history going back to the earliest cultivation and information on the wild origins. Included with this history is also the healthful properties of the wild plant and the changes that have taken place as a result of cultivation. Wild plants are the original nutritional powerhouses and the author tells you how you can get closest to that with the cultivated plants found in the stores, markets or backyard gardens.
There is one review on Amazon that complains about the use of ORAC values throughout this book. The reviewer notes that the USDA has removed its ORAC database, but doesn't explain why ORAC was pulled. The USDA in announcing the removal says that "ORAC values are routinely misused by food and dietary supplement manufacturing companies to promote their products and by consumers to guide their food and dietary supplement choices." Marketers were abusing the system and had found ways to juggle the results to get high ORAC values, such as comparing the score of a gallon 'juice mix' with a half cup of berries. The marketers deliberately obscured the misleading result. But ORAC values can be important. As ORAC researcher Ronald L. Prior, Ph.D., said in a letter in response to the removal of the USDA database pointed out that is was a useful tool for research as there is "a considerable amount of scientific literature on the positive health benefits of the polyphenolic flavonoid-type compounds in foods." So there is good reason to list the ORAC values in this book. Google "ORAC Ronald Prior" to read the full response.
Eating on the Wild Side is a great book that I keep going to as a food-buying guide.
Great read. You will learn something on every page.
There is a new lack of diversity in varietals. The author gives the example of apples. We used to live for the apple SEASONS...not season. First early Macs, then Courtlands, Jonathans, Winesaps, etc. Now, go to the store and it's Gala, Fuji, Braeburn and the inevitable Granny Smiths for the most part. And those Grannys to me don't taste right. They are bitter. Many fruits just don't taste the same to me anymore (grapes, strawberries in particular. Corn is weird--sugary sweet, no character. Personally, I miss the yellow corn of my childhood, grown right down the street and picked and rushed to the table.)
The history of the blueberry was particularly interesting; the darkest berries (full of antioxidants) were selected AGAINST when they were cultivated from wild ones, because the horticulturalist thought lighter berries would sell better.
The saddest thing is the loss of nutrients. These foods are vital to your health.
The author goes over how we got various fruits, such as the apricots of Asia, the apples loved by the Salish tribe of America but also gives us suggestion on where and what to buy. Some of the info is a bit conflicting; for example, there is a recipe for apple crisp, using the nutritious skins ground up in the sugar topping portion to get the benefit of their vitamin content--but the author also tells us that commercial apples are very high, among the highest, in pesticides. This is absolutely true in my experience. We like to go to the "U-Pick" at a local orchard, but I can't go into the apple tree rows as the pesticide is so concentrated on freshly sprayed trees that it irritates my skin and lungs. So...organic is the way to go, if you can do so.
I kind of sort of came to the same conclusions as this book a while ago because I love fresh produce and it was getting more and more unsatisfactory; I found our local farms for asparagus and tomatoes, found the organic co-ops and learned what vegetables and fruits were best around here in the Mid-Atlantic. I try to stick to those good choices. The author gives recipes, advice, history and this all makes for good reading. Recommended.