Monday, August 31, 2009

'Nourishing Traditions'

Just recently I received a copy of 'Nourishing Traditions - The Cookbook that Challenges Politically correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats' as a gift. Its a pretty sizable volume so I've been slowly working my way through it. 'Nourishing Traditions' is written by Sally Fallon with Mary Enig. They claim our western diet is bad for our health and the cause of many of the degenerative diseases which plague us. Ms Fallon suggests we should return to the eating habits of our ancestors, nonindustrialized people who were remarkably healthy. It seems pretty obvious that our modern processed food is not as nutritious as simple natural foods.

There is a rather graphic description of how margarine is made. The book contains such facts as margarine is naturally a grey colour and is bleached and coloured to make it appetizing. Not very appealing is it? Butter, on the other hand, is natural and contains beneficial fat soluble vitamins,arachidonic acid, omega 6 and omega 3, trace minerals and other good stuff.

We swapped from using margarine to butter about a year ago. After reading the book we will be sticking to butter. We've also stopped buying low fat milk. I wasn't impressed by how skim milk is made. A friend, who had worked in the dairy industry, told me years ago that if you saw how it was made you wouldn't drink it. Skim milk also costs considerably more than 'normal' milk. 'Nourishing Traditions' suggests we drink raw milk if possible and if raw milk isn't available then non homogenized milk.

Pasturized milk is heated which destroys all the enzymes in the milk, including the beneficial ones. Homogenized milk is strained through tiny pores under great pressure so the fat particles are broken up and are so small they stay in suspension rather than rise to the top. This makes the fat more suseptilble to rancidity and oxidation.

Yoghurt has also made its comeback in our fridge. I'm going to make more of an effort to include yoghurt in our diet. Both conventional wisdom and 'Nourishing Traditons' claim yoghurt is good for us. I've made yoghurt in the past and probably should give it a go again. I need to come up with some creative ways to hide the yoghurt in the food we eat as my husband won't eat it, at least he won't if he knows it is there.

We won't be adopting all the changes from 'Nourishing Traditions' but we will slowly make our diet more traditional and simple. The book itself acknowledges the difficulty of cutting out processed foods in modern society.



Linda said...

I was fortunate enough to learn some of these things when I was a teenager as my uncle was into everything healthy. However, we have been eating margarine since I have been married, scary going back to butter and paying a higher price for it, but I am afraid not to as well.

My uncle used Jalna I think, and I like that style of yoghurt, the plain one.

Love frozen yoghurt.

Raspberry smoothies turned out much nicer than I thought they would be.

Tracy said...

I had my BIL tote this book all the way from the US with him. He was overjoyed to be rid of it LOL. I was so grateful and have spent many a breakfast time pouring over the contents of this wonderful volume. You can't imagine how angry I was when I went to a dietitian and she insisted that low fat dairy was a must. I flatly refused.

I changed to butter 10 years ago simply because I decided that a man-made replica of the real thing couldn't possibly be as good as nature intended it to be. Turns out I was right! We also switched back to full cream milk and real cheese. And I have fruit and yoghurt for breakfast at least 50% of the time.

You're right. There is a lot that is tricky to do, but there's also a lot of simple things that can be easily incorporated into a busy life.