Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
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Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  5,482 ratings  ·  498 reviews
This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. Sally Fallon dispels the myths of the current low-fat fad in this practic...more
Paperback, 674 pages
Published April 8th 2003 by New Trends Publishing (first published 1995)
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melissa
I am a reformed vegan. I will say this again and again with no shame. I was a longtime vegetarian who went vegan after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. I thought I was eating "cleaner" and "healthier". I guess I did feel morally superior but physically I felt like crap and I never felt any relief from autimmune disease flare-ups. Then I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I felt like my body was turning against me even though I thought I was healthy. After finding out t...more
Rebecca
My stepmother gave me this book for my birthday. Looking it over at first I thought-- "Wow, she thinks I'm a spelt-eating, raw-milk drinking, conspiracy theorist lunatic." This book begins with 80 pages of single space size 10 font INFORMATION-- about how the USDA, the American Cancer Association, and your pediatritian are all part of a sinister alliance to give you cancer, heart disease, cavities, and arthritis, and about the vast conspiracy of misinformation in the health and food world, and m...more
Lucinda
May 26, 2011 Lucinda rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone who eats! Especially vegetarians!
Recommended to Lucinda by: Julie Waddell
As a child I lived in the city, playing outside, watching a lot of tv and chasing down the ice cream truck until my dad remarried when I was 8 and we moved to a small farm. On that farm, our family ate EXACTLY how she teaches in this book. We milked our cow and goats and drank raw milk. We raised and butchered our own cow, pigs and chickens. My step-mom made us eat liver (organs) and lacto-fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickled veggies. She was German but now I am wondering if she lived by...more
Sara
I was first given this book by an herbalist friend of mine who endorsed its content and position ondiet, but warned me about Sally Fallon's "spit-and-vinegar" approach to food choices and social change. No doubt--Nourishing Traditions absolutely lives up to its subtitle in Sally Fallon's direct, no-nonsense critique of prevailing nutritional values and investigation of the vagaries of processed foods. This book is both a bible of useful recipes and an argument for a considered, holistic relation...more
Alan
I've read some pretty dogmatic,self-righteous--"I'm right and everyone else is so stupid" books on nutrition, but this one really takes the cake (I eat puns too). How many times am I going to read about the Pottenger cat study that was done 60 years ago? The author cites the most outdated and poor quality research to argue against vegetarianism, flours, breads, pasta, etc. The author also does us the favor of debunking the myth that an animal based diet requires more resources than a plant based...more
michael
As a cookbook, its ok. It has a few odd and interesting recipes, but nothing really that jumps out as memorable.

As for the rest. Its starts out by trashing fad diets while trying strongly to encourage you to believe it isn't a fad diet itself. Then rumbles on into telling you that packaged, prepared food is bad for you, you're gonna die of malnutrition. Packaged, prepared ingredients are bad for you, you're gonna die from malnutrition. Your only chance is to get hard to find and expensive raw in...more
Astrid
Jun 23, 2007 Astrid rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
This book inspired me to become a nutrition consultant. It's a must-read. The first part of the book discusses nutrition concepts, and the second part presents a plethora of recipes. Don't worry if you are vegetarian; while Fallon focuses much of her time on meats, there is plenty of other information to be gleaned from this volume.
Emily Cohen
girl, when i read this book, i feel mixed: ok, i hear you, very interesting, subversive, and... like, "sets the bar really high" as a friend said. yeah, like, too high and for the wrong hurdle. like i am one of those people who really wants to be told what to eat and to eat that. i often opened this cook book when it was in my house, wanting to make say, pancakes, and then realize there's no way in hell i can feasibly realize the recipe ever, especially not w/in the next 40 minutes or 2 days......more
Maren
I came upon this book three years ago at Barnes and Noble. I read it, sitting in the bookstore, leaning against the bookshelves over the course of a few weeks, while my kids were at preschool for an hour. Fallon puts together a very interesting book though she isn't an anthropologist, a researcher, or a very good chef (though some of her salads are delicious).

She denounces modern food preparation methods, including the pressure cooker and the microwave in favor of old-fashioned methods of preser...more
Jill
Wow! This book is seriously challenging my notion of good food and a healthy diet. Just getting into it, but I think many of her ideas are right on: lacto-fermentaion, sprouted grains, cultured dairy products, meat - especially organs, and real butter! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when, over a bowl of my homemade granola, I read the intro to the chapter on whole grains: "Nor do we recommend granola, a popular "health" food made from grains subjected only to dry heat and therefore extrem...more
Laura Lemay
Any book that contains the word "dictocrats" in the title should probably be read with a wary eye. This is a rant in the form of a cookbook, based on the work of the Weston Price Foundation. I'm sympathetic to many of the ideas here (especially the idea of eating natural, organic, unprocessed foods) but I think the authors use questionable science to back up many of the more out-there ideas. There's some serious cherry picking of references here. If it convinces people to eat healthier, to eat c...more
Elaine
Oct 07, 2011 Elaine added it
I haven't read this cover-to-cover (it's a cookbook!) but I did finish the intro chapters on nutrition and skimmed most of the recipes. It's a good overview of a lot of the same information you see in books like Good Calories Bad Calories, albeit from a different perspective, and it's not so rigorously scientific. A lot of the info can also be read online at the Weston A. Price Foundation website.

The thing that sticks with me the most is the miracle Fallon paints of butter from spring grass fed...more
tessa maria lalonde
The joy in this tome is the encouragment I received to go beyond my notions about diet and preparation and to consider, then put into practice, pretty logical and sound health concepts. Basically, this book argues that we should incorporate a variety of quality fats, fermented foods, raw dairy, and organ meats to our diets for optimal mental and physical health, for us and the generations proceding. Party! As a warning, though, Nourishing Traditions is really bound up in a kind of disturbing med...more
Amy
Full of well-researched and presented information on the value of traditional foods and dietary habits. Fallon has an agenda, but is not afraid to point out the failings of any kind of extreme diet. The only drawback of this book, she advocates against coffee and chocolate because of the negative effects of caffeine. I suppose, in logic, I agree, but I get so much satisfaction from those two items, that I can't imagine a fulfilling life without them. Such is the nature of addiction.
Brandt
This book is one part manifesto, two parts cookbook. It is the recipe for a grass-fed uprising. It has liberated me. The revolution will not be pasteurized.
Karen
I have always been conscious of nutrition and health, but this book was a real eye-opener! While I'll admit that Fallon is a bit of a fanatic and that some of her "research" may be questionable, my gut tells me that, overall, she is correct. Certainly, she gives us all something to think about.

The basic premise of the book is that people (and Americans in particular) need to get back to our ancestral methods of growing, preparing, and eating food. She blames a myriad of health problems (from the...more
Beth
Feb 24, 2008 Beth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Beth by: Liz
This is another good foundation book if you're looking at eating traditional foods. She talks a lot about culturing foods to encourage enzyme growth which promotes good digestion and gut flora.

There are a few bizarre things...I think she promotes eating meat raw, though specially prepared and of course from clean sources. I'm not willing to go that far. Heh.

Some of her recipes are not the greatest...I would suggest finding some one who has tried them before making. I have made the kraut, kimch...more
Samee
This cookbook brought my understanding of food to a new level. More than any other (aside from perhaps my Zen cookbook), Fallon's book made me engage with ingredients and think about them in new ways. It added another dimension to my cooking (almost literally--it was like moving from Flatland to Sphereland). It showed me where the life was in my food.

With that said: DO NOT RELY on Sally Fallon for your nutrition and cooking information needs. She is just as much of a diet dictocrat as the shadow...more
Lanie
I love this book. I'm so bummed I took it to a friends' house to cook with and left it in my paper grocery bag and it got mistaken for recycling....*pout*. It was my most referenced reference book, probably (so much so that I might splurge for another), with loads of info on every vegetable and what vitamins and minerals it is rich in and what each of those vitamins and minerals does for you, and loads of info on diseases and ailments and what you should eat to get rid of them and oodles of yumm...more
Karyl
I really enjoyed this book. Fallon does an excellent job of refuting most of what we are taught by the government and has plenty of research to back her up. I was most surprised by her assertion that vegetable oils can be very hazardous to our health, and now she has me wanting to investigate cooking with more butter, animal fats, and coconut oils. The recipes she present sound quite tasty. I can't get on board with giving up coffee completely, but as with many things, moderation is key. I do ap...more
Roslyn Ross
Just finished reading this beast cover to cover (it's half cookbook, half nutrition re-education). The most important book on food/health I have read in my life. I have been making my own keifer, cream cheese, butter, buttermilk, root beer and so many other things since I got this--it's been incredible! So far the effects of eating this way include: no more hair loss for Tom, beautiful skin for me, overall feeling happier, no desire to eat sugar or drink alcohol (I am convinced that those cravin...more
Cassie
Dec 23, 2008 Cassie rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: home cooks, eaters, margarine lovers, Michael Pollan fans
Shelves: best-books-ever
Man, I love this Nourishing Traditions cookbook. It has immediately filled my kitchen with little dishes of fermenting stuff in a way that even Wild Fermentation did not. Fallon is pretty big on meat (mmm organs) but i think even hard core vegans could find stuff to take from it, e.g. fermenting fruits and veggies, soaking grains, eating coconut oil. It may even make me a raw dairy product convert if I get a little ambition. It's sort of the perfect recipe book companion to Pollan's In Defense o...more
Lisa
Feb 29, 2012 Lisa rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa by: Diane Franklin
This is my go to nutrition book. It is so full of information that makes sense on so many levels. I don't think I could ever digest it all, as there seems to be something new to learn every time I look at it. Some of the recipes are real gems (Kombucha, Kefir, baked rice pudding, broth, etc.) but some are not so great. I am pretty much able to find any old recipe I like and make it healthier according to more of the WAPF principles.

If you want to change your eating habits and get healthier, thi...more
Connie
Jun 23, 2011 Connie added it
BIG book with lots of information and I have not even gotten close to the recipes yet! This book was recommended by Dr. Terry Wahls who has overcome her MS (wheelchair bound, now biking and horseback riding) through diet and electrical stimulation used to retrain and rebuild nerves and muscles.

I expect this book is going to be a prominent fixture in my kitchen as I work through the post-CCSVI procedure period.

Wow! Great recipes, great information. I am done reading and thus far have made severa...more
Dave Riley
The problem with the diet gurus is that they tend to work up a schematic nutritional world view that rests on a few primary shibboleths. This is then packaged and patented as though the whole thing is self evident. The problem with Fallon is that she takes this on as a major assertion that she is ever so right and the alternative options are ever so wrong. I don't think that is the best method. It is simply food fadishness in disguise.

This is a recipe book with a long introductory essay justify...more
Emily Mellow
First time reading: I made the fermented salsa from this book, which turned out really great and made it all worth it, as it is totally a staple for us now. Fresh salsa that doesn't mold in the fridge! My young kids even like it when I add extra tomatoes.
However, the several other things I tried (marmalade, pickled grape leaves, pickled ginger) pretty much sucked. The marmalade is ok, if you like sour oranges. The rest I tossed, even though I spent hours peeling two pounds of organic ginger for...more
Melanie
Ok, this book is a little outdated, so I wonder how the more recent research on omega3/6/9 plays in to what's here. Or certain alternative sweeteners. Also really dogmatic ("everything for sale at the grocery store is crap; you really need to shop exclusively at health food stores or direct from farms") and if you follow the advice without living on a farm, you're gonna be broke pretty quick. Even if you're rich, you'll be time-impoverished while sprouting/fermenting/culturing all this stuff. Yo...more
Christy
I was on my way to veganism believing all the policitally correct garbage touted as dietary and health utopia. Thank heaven that I was saved from totally ruining my health by studing the research of Weston A Price. Instead I have enriched it and become stronger.

Grass fed annimal fats are not only healthy but vital. Other vital elements of a healthy diet are: fermented cod liver oil, cultured raw dairy, broth, and traditionally prepared grains and nuts. Traditonal cultures that ate seafood were t...more
Jasmyn
Sep 21, 2010 Jasmyn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jasmyn by: Melissa Griffiths
I liked this book - the author is very pragmatic about food and her ideas just made a lot of sense to me.

She goes against many of the ideas in nutrition today (ex. don't eat eggs to lower your cholesterol, don't eat saturated fats like butter, all salt is bad for you, etc.) and draws on research of primitive cultures to present a balanced nutritional plan that embraces healthy fats, whole meats, bone broths, whole grains, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

She discusses why the new fangle...more
Principle Based Learning
This is a book I first read about in another book (The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin). It gives the “how to” of Rubin’s dietary suggestions. I checked Nourishing Traditions out of the library again and again and realized that I could not live without it so bought full price via special order at the bookstore. That is the only time I have done that for a book. Now I can see it is almost half the price on Amazon, but I do not regret the money because it is such an incredible reference book. It expl...more
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