Most helpful positive review
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
An Excellent Read & Cookbook
on May 18, 2002
This book is much more than a cookbook--it is a nutritional handbook and virtual encyclopedia of food history and food facts. The first 80 pages of the book concern themselves with nutrition basics. The sections on fats, proteins, and carbohydrates are accurate, well-referenced, and needed in today's fat-phobic world. Fallon and Enig (who is a well-known lipid biochemist) dispel the many myths about saturated fats and animal foods.
Recipes for every imaginable dish and drink are given, from appetizers and sauces to fermented fruits/vegetables and beverages. And it was SO nice to see a chapter on preparing wild game and organ meats--nutritious foods that have virtually disappeared from our modern diets (to our decided detriment). The substantial section on vegetables provides detailed nutritional info on each entry, as well as 2-3 tasty recipes.
One caveat: some of the recipes take a lot of work if you want to do them the way Fallon and Enig recommend. For example, they suggest soaking and then drying and grinding your own grains to make flour. Obviously, not everyone has time to do this. I wish there was more emphasis on alternatives for busy people such as myself. Nevertheless, there are still lots of simpler recipes to make and they are tasty and delicious.
The Resources section in the back is excellent and handy for people wanting to get started.
A word to the detractors below:
(1) Indians DO have very high rates of coronary artery disease, even the vegetarian ones, so vegetarianism is NOT a protection against this condition (J Indian Med Assoc 2000 Nov;98(11):694-5, 697-702).
(2) The claims that vegetarians live longer than omnivores (on a healthy diet) are also not supported by available data (R Smith and E Pinckney. Diet, Blood Cholesterol, and Coronary Heart Disease: A Critical Review of the Literature--vol. 2. (Vector Enterprises; CA)., 1991).
(3) The idea that eating animal protein causes calcium loss has been disproven many times over ((a) J Nutr, 1986, 116:316-319; (b) Amer J Clin Nutr, 1983, 924-929; c) J Nutr, 1988, 118(6):657-60; (d) Amer J Clin Nutr, 1999, 69:1:147-52; (e) J Bone & Min Res, 2000, 15:2504-2512; (f) Calcif Tiss Int, 1996, 58:320-5.
(4) The idea that eating a lot of butter or ghee (or other animal fats) contributes to or causes heart disease is false ( Lancet, 1994, 344:1195; (b) Science 2001 Mar 30 291:5513 2536-45).
(5) The idea that eating meat or animal fats contributes or causes various cancers is a popular idea that is not supported by available evidence (The Lancet, 1999, 353:686-7; (b) Aust J Nutr Diet, 1997, 54(4):S1-S44.
I'm wondering if these acrid reviewers bothered to read the book or check its many references.
Also, a few reviewers commented feeling sick after eating some of the recipes. This is usually indicative of digestive weakness and may call for digestive enzymes or fermented foods before a meal to stimulate digestive juice flow. The book does suggest eating some fermented food either right before or with with a meal to facilitate digestion. Again, I'm wondering if the critics have bothered to read the book in any detail. Nausea shortly after eating can also mean that the meal has too much fat in it. Either the people made the recipe wrong or they cannot tolerate higher amounts of fats at one time and need to cut back.