There is a plethora of books out there about healthy eating and I am trying to square their advice and guidance with becoming more of a ‘locavore’. My favorite books on the subject have been Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food and Food Rules, all by Michael Pollan. I highly recommend all of these books as they are very practical and easy reads.
I also read The Conscious Kitchen, by Alexandra Zissu, which is helpful in making decisions about what’s good for personal health, what’s good for the planet, and what tastes great. I also read the China Study, by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, who sums it up as: “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored.” This goes against the grain (pun intended) of how many of us were raised with milk and beef as being the be-all and end-all in our diets.
But wait! There’s more! Edible, by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian, contains essays about local farmers as well as recipes for locally grown food. Anna Getty’s Easy Green Organic is a broader book in that it defines labels, recycling and compost tips as well as providing many yummy recipes for locally grown food. Lucid Food, by Louisa Shafia contains eco-kitchen basics and recipes that are convenient, affordable and healthy
If you only have time to read one of these books, I recommend In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. I think it is the best book on the subject. Among his many rules of thumb, are:
- If your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, don’t eat it!
- Avoid food products containing ingredients that are unfamiliar, are unpronounceable, total more than 5, or that include high-fructose corn syrup.
- Get out of the supermarket whenever possible. Go to a farmer’s market; buy fresh whole foods picked at their peak of their taste and nutritional quality, join in community supported agriculture by subscribing to the farm of your choice.
- Eat meals. Among 18-50 year old Americans, roughly 20% of all eating now takes place in the car.