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Nourishing Traditions (2nd ed)

by Sally Fallon, MA, with Mary Enig, PhD.

listed in nutrition

[Image: Nourishing Traditions (2nd ed)]

The subtitle of Sally Fallon's revamped cookbook colossus says it all: 'The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.' Nourishing Traditions was first published in 1995 and caused quite a stir in the nutritional world. Here was a cookbook authored by two noted nutrition writers that condemned margarine, low-fat diets, skimmed milk, and the Lipid Hypothesis of heart disease. Here was a book that said excessive carbohydrate intake, even complex, was bad for you. Here was a book that told its readers to eat butter, cook with coconut oil, and drink raw milk. Here was a book that said meat and fish were healthy foods. Here was a book that said tofu and soy milk were unhealthy. Here was a book that extolled the nutritional virtues of organ meats and urged a return to liver with bacon and onions once a week.

What heresy was this?

Fallon, who holds a Masters degree in Literature, studied French cooking while living in France. She is also a self-taught nutrition and food science whiz who learned what a healthy diet was by studying the pioneering work of Dr. Weston Price, DDS, author of the classic Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

Enig received her doctoral degree in Nutrition Science from the University of Maryland and is a world renowned expert on lipid biochemistry, particularly trans-fatty acids. Enig provides the appropriate scientific background for Fallon's varied and plentiful recipes.

Fallon and Enig are a formidable writing team who have co-authored numerous ground breaking articles on soy and the political machinations of the edible oil industry. This second edition of Nourishing Traditions is their latest delectable offering.

Nourishing Traditions is as much a nutritional handbook as it is a cookbook. Indeed, the book opens with a 70+ page section on nutritional basics, discussing the biochemistry of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, as well as vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. This section takes special aim at 'politically correct' nutrition, pointing out its shortcomings and blatant fallacies. One particularly interesting tidbit is Harvard University's Dr. Frederick Stare's endorsement of Coca-Cola as a healthy, between-meal snack!

The most telling part of this section is Fallon's spirited nutritional defense of saturated fats, especially butter and coconut oil. Drawing on research from Price and Enig (who is an expert on coconut oil and lauric acid, the medium-chain triglyceride found in coconut), Fallon shows her readers why these shunned foods are health promoting and why people need to add them back into their diets. By contrast, however, Fallon includes considerable scientific rhetoric against margarine, vegetable shortening, refined sugar, and vegetable oils: the stepchildren of modern 'food technology' and the 'Diet Dictocrats.'

The revealing nutrition section is followed by the recipes. Fallon has everything covered, from soup to nuts. Different chapters on appetizers, sauces, fermented vegetables, soups, organ meats, traditional meats, fish, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, snack and finger foods, and healthy desserts demonstrate the depth of Fallon's culinary talents and knowledge.

They also give the reader hundreds of suggestions for nutrient-dense, good tasting food. Fallon even has a chapter on how to make one's own beverages to replace soda pop and coffee.

The unique thing about this book, however, is the marginal notes that are on every page of the recipe section. Lining the sides of each page are nutritional and scientific tidbits on various foods; nutritional anthropology; nutrition studies; book excerpts from Linus Pauling, H Leon Abrams, Dr. Price, and other authors; and myths/truths about nutrition with full references to assorted scientific journals. While some of these features were in the first edition, the second edition expands them considerably. They provide an excellent and interesting compliment to the wealth of recipes.

Nourishing Traditions is above all a cookbook that respects and promotes the culinary traditions of our ancestors, ancestors virtually untouched by cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, etc. 'It is by following these traditions', says Fallon, 'that we will find true and lasting health for ourselves and our children.' In my public lectures, I always recommend this book to my audiences as an absolutely essential guide to healthy living and eating. Find out why. Buy this book.

Nourishing Traditions can be ordered for $25 plus shipping from New Trends Publishing, 001 877 707-1776;

Stephen Byrnes
New Trends Publishing; Washington, D.C
0-9670 897-3-5

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