Nourishing Traditions is based on the nutritional research of Weston A. Price, a dentist who practiced in the first half of the twentieth century. Concerned by the number of children in his practice who had dental decay, and theorizing that nutrition was a factor in dental as well as overall health, Price set out to visit fourteen isolated groups of people who experienced vibrant good health to find out what they were eating. Though the foods consumed by these groups varied, they all followed certain principles that appeared to be universal. For example, all the diets were nutrient-dense. That is, they contained about ten times the fat-soluble vitamins (A and D) and four times the minerals and other vitamins of the American diet of his day. All the groups fermented some of their foods (e.g. yogurt, sauerkraut). Dairy products or bone broths were used for their rich mineral content and if grains were eaten, they were carefully prepared by soaking or fermenting for at least seven hours. It is now known the soaking process neutralizes the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors found in all seeds and makes the grains easier to digest and be used by the body. All the groups consumed animal fats of some type such as butter, seal oil, whole milk, and tallow. Nourishing Traditions is a cookbook that translates Dr. Price’s research into recipes that can be prepared in the modern kitchen.
The first seventy pages of this cookbook contain nutritional information about fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Recipes follow, divided into types of foods, and more nutritional information is included on every page, often describing the benefits of ingredients in the recipe(s) on that page. Two comprehensive indexes, a subject index and a recipe index, make it easy to find the recipe or information. A short menu index helps readers find a desired menu from the dozens of examples in the text.
Reviewed by mc, 11/04. Other reviews by mc.