Book Review: Nourishing Traditions

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

By Sally Fallon
NewTrends Publishing 1999

My friend Jan gave me this cookbook. I love it. It doubles as a reference book. It’s loaded with well-referenced material seemingly debunking many of the current trends in nutrition. This book is for the person who is ready to change their diet and is willing to put the time into doing so.

Nourishing Traditions arose from the writings of Dr. Weston A. Price. He was a dentist in the 1930s and conducted extensive, in-depth studies of people, all over the world, eating traditional foods. Price had the good fortune to be able to study groups of people who lived solely on traditional diets and compare them to people who had adopted a modern diet. He was able to examine multiple generations and siblings, some of which were born and raised on modern diets, and compare them to family members who were raised on traditional diets.

A dentist, Price focused on each group’s susceptibility to tooth decay and dental-arch deformities. Price found that in the groups who adopted a modern diet that included white flour and refined sugar, dental caries and dental malformations increased dramatically and their overall health decreased.

Nourishing Traditions uses Price’s findings as a starting point and adds to it copious amounts of modern research to develop the recipes.

This book asks you to dispense with the notion that saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for you. This is a hard one for everyone who, for the last 20-plus years has been taught the opposite. I think her facts are compelling and since saturated fat makes most things taste better, I’m all for it.

Nourishing Traditions also does a hard sell on foods that have a high “ick” factor. There is a whole chapter on organ meats. I haven’t been able to stomach anything except for the liver pate, but she has convinced me that organ meats are good for me.

Enzyme-rich, lacto-fermented foods are of particular interest to me. Making a pickle without a drop of vinegar seems like magic to me!