Hi there… thanks for coming. Well, to this section anyway. If you’re here, I’m assuming you have an interest in more information. Super. There are a metric butt-ton of books out there these days dealing with nutrition and health, why you should eat this food, why you shouldn’t eat that food, blah, blah, blah. These 3 have made my list because they’re fad-free. There’s no fancy words in here like, paleo, primal, vegan, vegetarian, keto, atkins, south beach, pescatarian, or pick a rian. What there is is FOOD.
Dr. Price was traveling the globe and identifying problems with modern eating practices loooooooong before the debate over fats v. carbs ever entered the public consciousnesses. Mr. Taubes is a scientific journalist. He likes facts. He likes logic. I like facts. I like logic. Spock was my hero as a child, and Data took his place later. Gary Taubes’s research and writing summed everything up for me without me having to go track down 5 million sources myself. For that I am forever grateful. And Ms. Fallon. I know it says it’s a cookbook, and yeah, there’s some danged good recipes in there, especially for making real, I mean REAL food — food the way Dr. Price said the cultures he was visiting were making food — but more than that she tells you WHY you should be making this real, traditionally cultured, food. And gives excellent little excerpts from a multitude of other books on the sidelines of each page.
So, lets start with the all-time #1 book every home should own. If you never ever read or want to read another book on health, diet, or modern eating, as long as you’ve read this one, you’re good.
Keep in mind here that Dr. Price was a dentist. I have a mild teeth phobia (don’t ask, just know that it was daddy that played Tooth Fairy around here – teeth not in place just creep me the hell out) and this entire book is filled with TEETH. And jaws. And skulls in general. But mostly teeth. And I am wholeheartedly recommending you read this book. Twice.
Dr. Price and his wife traveled the globe back in the 1930s, looking for people living remotely, away from modern (even at that time) influences in search of the cause of dental caries (cavities). From Switzerland to Scotland to New Zealand, Africa, South America, Canada, remote South Pacific islands… you name it, they went. And oh, he found the cause of dental and jaw issues in modernized humans alright… and the cause behind nearly every other physical disturbance they faced in the 30s and that we face on a grander scale today. All of it. Known for nearly 100 years. Yet now we depend on orthodontists and liposuction to do what the human body will do all by itself if you put the right crap in it.
Almost 100 years.
But no one can make money off of you eating to give your body and your children’s bodies the best opportunities possible so you will never hear this stuff mainstream. You have to search it out yourself. Make your own conclusions. Change to the best of your ability to put into practice the ways of our own ancestors (puhleeze… we’re all such an ethnically intertwined mess at this point pretty much all ancestors are everyone’s ancestors — embrace it and roll with it). Doesn’t appear to matter which ancestors you choose to throw your lot in with either — take your pick, just fill your diet with nutritionally dense foods and abstain from modern-sugar-filled-devoid-of-nutrients processed foods. Not only with your teeth thank you, but your children’s teeth will thank you, and even your children’s children’s teeth with thank you. Your bank account will thank you because you won’t get ill (we have no prescription meds in this house and the only time I’ve been to a doctor in the past 16 years was a year ago for a quick occupational “check-up” to get my commercial driver’s license). Your brain will thank you because it’s receiving the stuff it needs to keep on truckin’. Your eyes will thank you because they’re receiving the right combo of vitamins they need to keep your vision in tip-top shape (whole section on that in the book — disturbing, but a need to read). Your joints and arteries will thank you because they will no longer be clogged or stiff. Your entire body will simply thank you because it will have the tools at hand that it needs to repair itself to the best of its ability.
Almost 100 years. My book has the original copyright date as 1939. I only wish I’d known about it before I decided to replicate. I could have started my very own breed of super-humans… well, at least by modern standards. By historical standards, they would have just been average.
Just buy the book. Trust me. And pick your chin up off the floor as you read it, because THIS IS KNOWN INFORMATION SINCE THE 1930s and here we are in the most laughable joke of a societal health condition (Wall-E anyone?) ever.
Next on our list of must-reads is Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. LOVE this book. Mind you, I’d already switched to a completely carb-free (except veggies and some fruits) diet about 6 months before I read this, but he absolutely answered why I dropped so much weight so quickly at my age (at the time 42). I had honestly begun to wonder at the time if I hadn’t contracted some sort of ravenous parasite. I mean, I was in my 40s. Don’t we all get just a bit chubbier in our forties? Isn’t that what we grow up expecting to happen based on our observations of those around us? Well, I did. And I did. Gain weight starting in my thirties, that is. And then my pancreas pooped out on me so to give it a rest, I eliminated everything from my mouth that would make it work any harder than necessary. Cue weight loss and confusion at the speed at which this happened. Enter Gary Taubes with real scientific answers. To quote him quoting someone else (from the book, don’t remember who), “no insulin = no fat.” Well, let me tell you, he wasn’t just whistling Dixie there 😐 Seriously. 42 years old (well, closer to 43 at that time) and closer to my weight when I was 23 than I ever had a right to expect.
But he goes into the scientific reasons behind all this and why Ancel Keys was full of poop. It is long and in depth, which is what I liked about it. He does have another similar book called Why We Get Fat and What to do About It, with which I was not overly impressed. It is written in far more laymen’s terms. Much of the scientific justifications and notations were removed from that book. So if you just want to read the Cliff’s Notes, get that one, just don’t expect to be as convinced as you will be with Good Calories, Bad Calories.
Mr. Taubes also explains to us in this book that this is information that has been known for hundreds of years. Pamphlets have been published down through the ages, traditional wisdom dictated that if you wanted to lose weight and feel healthier, lay off the sweets and starchy foods. Not something you’re going to hear on the latest junk food commercial.
So, yeah, it’s a nutrition book even though it’s a science book, and inadvertently a diet book, but it is my absolute #2 must-read for anyone interested in turning their own health around.
Annnnnnndddd, #3 on my list. The one that brings the other two together. The one that takes all of Dr. Price’s research and observations and puts them to use by telling you how to cook to eat all of those wonderful foods. Want to make your own sauerkraut? It’s in there. Pickles? Yup, they’re there too. Sweetbread salad… absolutely. Organ meats are front and center in traditional cooking — and after reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, you’ll be more willing to add a liver or two to your own diet.
Unfortunately for me, I only found this book a few months ago. Really wish I’d known about it sooner as it would have made some of my forays into traditional cooking all by myself a bit… less painful. However, it was one of those that I purchased after my brother’s death to get my mind off of, well, his death. I really thought I had all the nutrition books I needed around here until I lost him, and then I was having difficulty concentrating on anything frivolous, but could throw myself into non-fiction and the kitchen. I was already in the kitchen putting everything that wasn’t nailed down into jars and growing creatures on my counter top (see Igor/Sourdough Bread), so finding this book was a coup! If you have any interest whatsoever of putting Dr. Price’s observations into practice in your own home, get this book.
With this book, even if you never make any of the actual recipes in it, it is a good read in and of itself.
If you have any questions on any of these 3, please let me know. I have a plethora of others that I have and have read; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some clinical, some personal anecdotes by the authors . I will post them all (well, at least the ones worth reading) eventually. Stay tuned…