Watch as a rich and compelling history is turned into a snooze fest!
If this book consisted of the first three chapters alone, it would be 3 or 4 star...moreWatch as a rich and compelling history is turned into a snooze fest!
If this book consisted of the first three chapters alone, it would be 3 or 4 star material. It is evident that much more research and time went into piecing those chapters together. So, is the writer or the editor at fault? Maybe both. The author seriously spent an entire chapter on the dangers of banana-peel slipping on urban sidewalks. If she had painted it in a larger context, or if the writing had been better, she (maybe) could have pulled it off.
The writing style is encyclopaedic, but if you are looking for facts, you will find them; however, if you are looking for something a little higher on the "interestingness" scale, there are probably better options. (less)
A celebration of cooking and why it matters: Bittman succinctly discusses the health, economic, and societal benefits of cooking your own food. It's a...moreA celebration of cooking and why it matters: Bittman succinctly discusses the health, economic, and societal benefits of cooking your own food. It's a great primer for someone new to food politics. (less)
I have long suspected that wheat did not like me as much as I liked it - so, I decided to kick it to the curb for an experiment. This book was the fir...moreI have long suspected that wheat did not like me as much as I liked it - so, I decided to kick it to the curb for an experiment. This book was the first one I found in my search to back up my assertions, and I learned a lot from it.
Davis is a cardiologist, and the book is filled with stories of patients who gave up wheat under his guidance and have seen complete 180s in their health: people who couldn't walk because of severe arthritis, others who were extremely obese and depressed, and those who had unexplained aches, allergies, and ailments. The book is not just for celiacs or gluten intolerant individuals - he states clearly that everyone can benefit from getting rid of this grain, which is not what it used to be even a hundred years ago.
In several pointed chapters, Davis lays it out about wheat's effect on the brain, the body's pH balance, the skin and aging, and links to obesity and a number of other chronic ailments, chief among them diabetes and arthritis. Some of the most convincing and telling arguments he makes for getting rid of wheat are the blood sugar tests: how two slices of whole grain bread can spike blood sugars more than regular old sugar.
My one criticism of the book is how Davis shows harmful correlations (most notably that of meat consumption in the body in terms of pH balance) yet, advocates meat and dairy as "EAT IN ALL QUANTITIES" in his food plan. Why spend a whole chapter talking about pH balance in the body, and *THEN* advocate meat consumption? You just said that meat was acidic, and our bodies want neutral/slightly alkaline - just eating MORE leafy greens isn't enough to cancel out the acid of meat consumption. I found that information inconsistent with everything else he was trying to prove. I eat a strict plant-based diet so I have strong ethical feelings about this, but that aside, he doesn't make a case WHY meat should even be included in this plan at all.
In many ways this book seems to be a "repackaging" of the popular and ubiquitous PALEO food plan - just in a lighter and more palpable format. He doesn't say to get rid of rice and beans, for instance, but says to limit their consumption. Agriculture is not painted as the "fall of civilization" here.
The book isn't perfect, but it has some good tidbits, and I'm a sucker for testimonials.
-- Personal note:
Just a few days into my no-wheat / no-gluten experiment, and things are going very well. The fuel to continue comes from the general "good" feelings I have now. Of course, it is the things that only YOU would notice and that are hard to quantify: no more stomach/intestinal aches after eating (this was my big problem with wheat consumption), deeper quality sleep, increased energy (a "hop in my step" that I haven't felt in a long time), and less hunger pains in between meals. An added bonus: down a few pounds on the scale. We'll see how this continues, as I am committed to continuing this "experiment" and possibly making it a lifestyle change.(less)
"...any American who has eaten a winter tomato, either purchased at a supermarket or on top of a fast food salad, has eaten a fruit picked by the hand...more"...any American who has eaten a winter tomato, either purchased at a supermarket or on top of a fast food salad, has eaten a fruit picked by the hand of a slave. That's not an assumption. That is a fact." -pg.75
I first learned about the Florida tomato atrocities through Estabrook's article in Gourmet in 2009 http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/2000s... . When I heard a public radio interview with him in 2011 upon release of this book, I wanted to find out more. There's a very dark side to this story - one of human trafficking and slavery on American soil, as well as the propagation of a fruit that bears little likeness to what it was even 25 years ago...
My hope is that more awareness and advocacy for this cause will shed light on both the egregious human rights violations and the environmental atrocities that are taking place in Florida's tomato industry.(less)
Oh Tony! you have so much to offer: pithy observations, thoughtful commentary on a host of subjects... and then you devolve into talking shit about (a...moreOh Tony! you have so much to offer: pithy observations, thoughtful commentary on a host of subjects... and then you devolve into talking shit about (almost) everyone. Sure, that's some of your charm - you say it like it is, you snark, you are lovingly curmudgeonly - but a few times in reading this book that I just skipped ... and skipped over few chapters. Too much bad jou jou with all the mud-slinging.
You had some great tales to tell: island hopping with the "old money" crazy girl, teaching your daughter about the evils of fast food, Changology, in the kitchen and the dining room with Justo the Dominican... and hell, I even read and got something out of your lambasting of vegetarianism / veganism (although I have to say, you seem to miss the point entirely... and you didn't change my mind: I eat vegan food AND while you may "hate" my kind, I still have an odd and inexplicable affection towards YOU) especially your note to your vegan "friend" after your harrowing trip to Beirut.
...and I really could have done without the final essay on the roomful of famous chefs eating the threatened species of French bird... irresponsible, selfish, and wrong is what it really is... but I digress.
That being said, I will still watch your show, and read your books and articles. I think it is your unique blend of joie de vivre that keeps reeling me in - you are so damn passionate about your food and your travels. And I get that. I am too. I just prefer my pho with vegetable broth, veggies, and no fish sauce. We can still agree that it is one of the most amazing foods on earth.
This book truly helped me get on the healthy path that has now become my lifestyle. I still make the fruit/nut smoothie suggested in this book every m...moreThis book truly helped me get on the healthy path that has now become my lifestyle. I still make the fruit/nut smoothie suggested in this book every morning.(less)