"...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"...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....more
A celebration of cooking and why it matters: Bittman succinctly discusses the health, economic, and societal benefits of cooking your own food. It's aA 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. ...more
I started reading this book in tandem with my viewing of the HBO documentary miniseries, The Weight of the Nation. The two dovetail nicely - coveringI started reading this book in tandem with my viewing of the HBO documentary miniseries, The Weight of the Nation. The two dovetail nicely - covering many of the same topics, but reinforcing, not repeating what you already learned.
The book begins strong, with the author's personal stories and observations, but also from case studies, and interviews with restaurant industry professionals. The holy trinity of the regular American diet - sugar, salt, and fat - are covered extensively. The author highlights many of psychological and sociological reasons for overeating, and the basic notion that the more sugars, salts, and fats we eat, the more we will want - backing up every claim to "you can never have just one."
The middle of the book lagged - reflected in my 3-star rating. He delves into the psychology and science of hypereating, and each chapter seems to repeat the thesis of the previous chapter.
However, the book ends on a high note, speaking about overcoming the challenges, breaking the cycle, and how to change relationships with food. This is not a diet book, and there is not a single diet encouraged or advocated in these pages. It preaches portion control and calorie counting, pure and simple.
Recommended for the strong beginning and end - there are some great "take-away" points that will make you think. ...more
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 firI 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....more
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 starWatch 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. ...more
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 (aOh 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.
A book filled with unique recipes - I have made several, most recently the crockpot apple butter. There are many others I am planning to make soon. IA book filled with unique recipes - I have made several, most recently the crockpot apple butter. There are many others I am planning to make soon. I like the way the author gives the step-by-step details for jams and jellies. Also, she has some unique flavors and lots of herb jellies included - perfect for marinades and dressings.
This book came at a very good time for me - I have been a vegan for nearly a year, after being a vegetarian for 14 years. It was what I needed to readThis book came at a very good time for me - I have been a vegan for nearly a year, after being a vegetarian for 14 years. It was what I needed to read at this point in my life to reinforce the choices that I have made. It was nothing revolutionary and new, but it was definitely good to see all of this information gathered in to one central place. Because many of my friends are vegetarians or are open-minded, I don't feel any particular hostility from them... however, I get little comments from my family often. This book helped me realize that this is where I need to be. Very glad I read it. ...more
Oh my my, can you just smell the controversy? I picked this book up at the public library and read it cover to cover right there. It was a quick readOh my my, can you just smell the controversy? I picked this book up at the public library and read it cover to cover right there. It was a quick read and chocked full of information... as well as several "F" bombs.
The book gives it to you straight up - no pretense, no coddling. It calls you out for eating shit and not moving your body. It is a book about veganism, and that is one of the biggest criticisms about it - nowhere on the cover or on the back synopsis does it say the dreaded "V" word. People don't want that word thrown at them because our culture says that being a vegan is unhealthy, ridiculous, and subversive. Definitely not unhealthy and ridiculous, but maybe a bit subversive, yes. It's anti-establishment, going against the grain, etc. I like that this book challenges the idea that not all vegans fit in this neat little hippy box.
While their approach is sure to raise some eyebrows, if it makes people think more about what is on their plate, I think it is worth it. They were "preaching to the choir" with me, but I still felt inspired and even more firm in my beliefs and choices after reading this book.
Funny thing is that I am NOT a skinny bitch. I am still "overweight" by many standards, but I eat healthier than anyone I know - and I only have one other vegan friend in my immediate area (several others online!) I also exercise more than many people I know. So, something can be said about the role of genetics in this. Of course, something can also be said about the role of convenience foods and not taking the time to make something rather than open a package. Breaking the mentality of the "get it quick" craze... slow food movement, enjoying your meals, and knowing everything inside it... I am on that path, and so far, I feel great. I may never be "skinny", but hey, I will be healthy.
My #1 complaint about this book: too many processed foods. The authors recommend several products that are highly processed in their menu selections. Yes, they may not contain dairy, meat, or egg products, but they are still more synthetic than they are REAL. Vegan cheeses, soy burgers, etc. Way too much soy and way too many "fake it" products. There are so many great options for vegans out there - go to your market and get the fresh ingredients and just go for it! Also, they suggest some fasts to detox the body. While I agree with their sentiments, they frame it in a way that almost advocates a liquid diet, albeit for a short period of time. They should probably be a little more aware of the audience perception of the word "fasting", because to a critical eye, it *almost* seems like they are saying this is the key to weight loss. Which bring on my #2 complaint in the book: the authors are clearly preying on the Western notions of "thin" and using veganism as a way to lose weight. Yes, it can help one lose weight, but it is SO much more than that. A large majority of vegans make the switch for another more sustainable reason (primarily ethical or religious issues) and the weight loss is simply an added bonus. The idea of the weight loss being the sole reason to go vegan is short-sighted and superficial . It simply doesn't offer enough substance.
All in all, I am glad I read it. I am glad it was a NYT bestseller. Now just to get people to LIVE it. That's the hard part. ...more
A really fun little book - so far, I have made two kinds of cupcakes, and three kinds of frosting from the book. Both cupcake recipes were delicious,A really fun little book - so far, I have made two kinds of cupcakes, and three kinds of frosting from the book. Both cupcake recipes were delicious, and two of the three frostings were *great*.
I realize that vegan baking is a exercise in creativity and there is a true art to substitution... but I couldn't help but think that there may have been some other subs for all of the soy products and the sugars in the book. I used almond and hazelnut milk in place of the soy and had very good results. I also cut the sugar amounts in half on the frostings and they were still very sweet and perfect for the recipe.
All in all, it is a great book and one that I will turn to for years to come for quick delicious recipes for myself and for all my friends - vegan or not!...more
I put this book on hold at the library and when I picked it up, I just had to go through it - what a wonderful delight!
The seasonal menus, the partyI put this book on hold at the library and when I picked it up, I just had to go through it - what a wonderful delight!
The seasonal menus, the party ideas/foods, the sheer diversity of ingredients and the general style make this book a total winner. All of the ingredients that I needed for the foods (and many others that I have seen in the book) are accessible and should be stocked in all natural food stores and/or many grocery stores.
I feel that I cannot fully comment on a cookbook until I have tried several recipes from different section - and so far, I have made a whole bunch of things from the book: the Blackberry Crisp, the Herb-Infused Portabello Mushrooms, Quinoa Corn Salad, Warm Spinach Salad, the Beet Chocolate Bundt Cake, Stewed Lentils, and the Eggplant Caponara.
On a design note, this book has photographs for every dish - it is wonderful to see how it is *supposed* to look! It's a highly attractive book and definitely inspires you to dig in!
This copy will go back to the library and I will definitely be getting my own!
Having read several books on local foods and sustainability, I really wanted to love this book. I wanted to read about this man's year of eating localHaving read several books on local foods and sustainability, I really wanted to love this book. I wanted to read about this man's year of eating local in the southwest US. However, I found the book just about as dry as the soil in the Arizona, where the book takes place... his writing style did not engage me at all. It did not make me want to continue turning the pages. Perhaps it is because I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life right before this? It had great potential... but it left me disappointed. ...more
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 mThis 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....more