Yes, the book is a little dated, stylistically, but I'm pretty sure that's what they're going for. The whole idea is that those old quirky cooking methods our grandmas & great-grandmas from all over the world had were wise traditions. This book encourages us to look back to our cultural heritages and understand why our ancestors ate what they did. Borscht? Kvass? Kraut? YUM! I can say I enthusiastically love the foods of my ancestors. There are all kinds of notes & quotes in the margins to geek out over. From fermentation to how to prepare liver to vegan desserts, this book covers a wide range of territory.
When I was introduced to Nourishing Traditions 15 years ago it completely changed how I looked at food. Weston Price's studies of traditional cultures around the world proved the benefit of eating as our ancestors did. They prized certain nutrient-dense sacred foods, they ate primarily local foods and they didn't eat processed foods. It makes so much sense that we need to do the same for our own health!
Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions changed my life. Over a decade ago, and in the midst of many life stresses, I got a flu shot at work one year, and suddenly developed all sorts of allergies. I started to develop serious health problems – Asthma, Digestive issues, Raynaud’s, Sjogrens. Worried, I went for the first time in years to my Kaiser doctor, who admonished me about my cholesterol levels (228), and recommended statins. Fearing drugs more than high cholesterol, I told him I’d use natural means to reduce my serum cholesterol. And I did. By ingesting large gobs of oatmeal and by shunning saturated fats, I got my cholesterol down to 180 within the year. I was very proud. But I did not get well. I got sicker. I got every office flu, cough, cold out there. After a final bout of flu on top of flu, and probably driven by some shred of self-preservation, I googled ‘cholesterol good’. That is when I stumbled into the WAPF’s realmilk.com site, sampled some raw milk…and never looked back. I read about the cholesterol skeptics. I read about the incredible conflict of interest between Pharma and human health, and I read about the statin scam (that I nearly fell for). I was hurtling down the modern health highway of food shortcuts, to surefire disaster, and it was pure accident (and the good luck of bad health), that I came upon Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. Not everybody is so lucky. Many people get sick on nutrient deficient diets, then try to cure this with drugs, which have more side effects, which cause more knock on diseases, a vicious cycle that frequently damages them beyond repair. Dr. Mary Enig, Sally’s co-author, was a brilliant lipid biochemist who jeopardized her career to get the message of transfatty acids vs. wholesome saturated fats out to the public. ‘Nourishing Traditions’ and ‘Know Your Fats’ are my go-to food and fat-science bibles. These amazing women resisted bullying and bludgeoning by industry to impart their knowledge and wisdom of traditional food-ways to common people like me.
I grasped the notion of ‘body as terrain’ and ‘food as medicine’. I now eat delicious, pastured, fragrant, nutrient dense, food that is rich in butter, cream and coconut oil. I eat ferments, kefirs, kvasses, yogurts, organ meats, broths, stocks and vegetables of course (without pesticides). I prepare my breads the traditional way and the taste and aroma are incomparable. And my belly likes it too. My kitchen is fragrant once again with the Ghee that my mother and my grandmother before her made. Our insurance premiums are completely wasted because we have not been sick in the last eight years. Nary a cough, cold or flu. This way of living and eating has opened up my life in delightful ways to farmers markets, farmers and the wonderful kinship of likeminded people.
If you have children, feeding them NT food will make them stronger, smarter and healthier. If you are sick, you will get well on this food. The body WANTS to heal, and is set up to heal, if properly nourished. Many people with chronic degenerative disease I know, got not just better, but were cured. My recommendation is, ignore all other isms, fads and trends. Don’t just borrow the book. Buy it. Take a week off from work to read it, imbibe the wisdom, and pass it forward. Sally and Mary probably saved my life. I am forever indebted to them.
This book is a great resource for anyone interested in traditional diets, for making bone broths and fermenting foods. I highly recommend it.
Some of the recipes required ingredients that were too "exotic". The idea of eating more fat and introducing cultured food to our diet. Good intro info using the correct cookware
The BEST book on food and health I have ever seen! No fad ideas, just good solid evidence.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not anti-vegetarian. Anti-vegan, yes, in a way. The author maintains that some animal fat is necessary for the proper absorption of nutrients. On the other hand, if you look at the recipes, there are many very nutritious dishes and much sensible eating advice that even the hard core vegans would do well to consider looking it over. And in case you're wondering, I haven't eaten meat in over 30 years. You don't have to agree with everything a book says to learn something useful.
Otherwise the book is a little dated and could do with a revised edition. The author makes a very silly suggestion on how to dry salad leaves (put them in your washer on spin cycle? has she never heard of a salad spinner?).
Much overrated. This author is very anti-vegetarian and many of her claims do not make sense scientifically.