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Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health Paperback – May 20, 2014
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Photos from Jo's Personal Garden
Potato Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20-45 minutes, depending on method
Chilling time: 24 hours
Yield: 5 cups
2 pounds unpeeled new potatoes or unpleeled baking potatoes, preferably with red, blue, or purple flesh
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped or julienned
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions or chopped scallions (including white and green parts)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably unfiltered
3 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1–2 garlic cloves, pushed through a garlic press
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard or 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
1/3 cup chopped prosciutto or diced cooked bacon (optional)
Steam or microwave the potatoes in their skins until they are tender. Cool and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Quarter the chilled potatoes, then cut into 1/4-inch slices and place in a large mixing bowl. Do not remove the skins. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the potatoes. Toss to coat evenly. Serve cold or at room temperature.
For some, locavorism isn’t enough. Farmed food of any sort lacks the full panoply of flavors and textures that wild foods bring to the table. Moreover, wild foods offer some nutritional advantages and may be richer in some vitamins and minerals than their cultivated cousins. Some laboratory studies have concluded that medical benefits, including protection from cancer cells, can be found in vegetables such as brussels sprouts. Despite her impassioned advocacy for eating foods culled from woodlands and creek beds, Robinson is not so doctrinaire as to believe that everyone has the time or the access to such foods. So she offers a guide to buying the best, most flavorful produce in supermarkets. Robinson guides readers through ranks of greens, explaining how to judge lettuces by color and why to select loose spinach rather than the bagged variety. Such guides can benefit grocery shoppers who lack the means of foraging their dinners. --Mark Knoblauch --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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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.
Now we are discovering all sorts of other factors in food such as phytonutrients and antioxidants in addition to the known vitamins minerals and proteins that humans need. That research is just beginning.
This is the first book since Adele Davis that gives us the research to help us in the kitchen to prepare foods with maximum nutrients. This research is just beginning which limits the book, and the author has not, apparently, been doing followup research ala Adele Davis. But this book is a wonderful start.
Just as an example, if you mash or dice your garlic and let it sit 10 minutes before using it in a recipe, it develops the maximum amount of allicin - a valuable nutrient. There are tips to preserve the maximum anthocyanins in fruits.
What this book cries out for is intensive kitchen research followed by a comprehensive tome on the subject. Meanwhile this is a start.
Here is my only problem with this - virtually every veg or fruit review comes with the advice- not to keep for more than a day or two. This makes it hard to buy fresh veg, if you are a small family or a single person. Storing is the only way to buy a wide variety of foods/vegetables. Ah-ah, I found one - blue berries can be frozen. It is worth reading this book for its discriminating treatises of what is really nutritious and what is not. And if you are lucky enough to have the room for a large garden, more power to you; or should I say you have no excuse for eating dried, limp super market produce.