BY TJ Dawe
It’s Farmer’s Market season, and that means it’ll be that much easier to shop and eat locally, and in season.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are unquestionably good for you, but some are better than others. How can you tell which ones?
By buying and reading Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, by Jo Robinson.
Its thesis is simple. Every plant we eat today is descended from wild ancestors. If you want to eat more healthily, eat the strains that are closest to those ancestors.
Each chapter looks at a different group of vegetables or fruits. There’s a short history of where it came from and how it’s cultivated and used today. There are recommendations on which kinds to buy, how soon to eat them, and how to prepare or preserve them in ways that maximize their nutrients. Each chapter ends with a point form reiteration, making it easy to brush up on.
The book is well-written, accessible, fascinating, even funny. It’s amazing no one’s thought to write it till now.
So buy it! Read it! Keep it handy! Its recommendations will add to your life.
- the purpler it is, the better it is for you. Purple onions, purple beets, purple grapes, purple kale, purple potatoes, purple carrots, purple cabbage, red lettuce, blood oranges.
- Beet juice enhances athletic performance.
- Wild blueberries reverse memory loss, improve cognitive ability and improve moods.
- Canned beans are higher in antioxidants than home cooked beans.
- In a test tube study, extracts of Brussels sprouts destroyed 100% of human cancer cells of the breast, pancreas, stomach, prostate and lung.
- Concord grape juice is really good for you. Including Welch’s.
- Carrots are more nutritious cooked than raw. But only if you don’t cut them first.
- Mangoes contain way more vitamin C than oranges do.
- Broccoli loses its nutrients quickly. Buy it fresh, and eat it as soon as possible.
- Processed tomatoes are often better for you than fresh ones.
- Chop or press garlic and then let it sit for 10 minutes before adding it to whatever you’re cooking.
There are recipes in the book too. Lemon pudding with lemon peel. Colourful cornbread. Armenian lentil soup. Grape, mint and feta salad. Cranberry horseradish relish. Apple crisp with apple skins. Steamed beets with sautéed greens, blue cheese and balsamic vinegar. Savory plum sauce. Sauteed leeks with mustard and cumin.
Many of us are intimidated to cook from scratch. We shouldn’t be. These whole foods are rich and simple to use. And they’re delicious.