I wanted to share with you my Top 5 All-time favorite Must Read books about Real Food. These are books that helped shape my transformation from processed food to REAL FOOD. These aren’t complex-scientific books written to nutritional-geniuses, they are written for the everyday person. Clear and easy to understand, all are very enjoyable stories you become personally engrossed in.
From farmer Joel Salatin’s point of view, life in the 21st century just ain’t normal. In FOLKS, THIS AIN’T NORMAL, he discusses how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love. Salatin has many thoughts on what normal is and shares practical and philosophical ideas for changing our lives in small ways that have big impact.
Salatin, hailed by the New York Times as “Virginia’s most multifaceted agrarian since Thomas Jefferson [and] the high priest of the pasture” and profiled in the Academy Award nominated documentary Food, Inc. and the bestselling book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, understands what food should be: Wholesome, seasonal, raised naturally, procured locally, prepared lovingly, and eaten with a profound reverence for the circle of life. And his message doesn’t stop there. From child-rearing, to creating quality family time, to respecting the environment, Salatin writes with a wicked sense of humor and true storyteller’s knack for the revealing anecdote.
Salatin’s crucial message and distinctive voice–practical, provocative, scientific, and down-home philosophical in equal measure–make FOLKS, THIS AIN’T NORMAL a must-read book.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
Today, buffeted by one food fad after another, America is suffering from what can only be described as a national eating disorder. Will it be fast food tonight, or something organic? Or perhaps something we grew ourselves? The question of what to have for dinner has confronted us since man discovered fire. But as Michael Pollan explains in this revolutionary book, how we answer it now, as the dawn of the twenty-first century, may determine our survival as a species. Packed with profound surprises, The Omnivore’s Dilemma is changing the way Americans thing about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating.
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan
Food. There’s plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it? Because in the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion–most of what we’re consuming today is longer the product of nature but of food science. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American Paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we see to become. With In Defense of Food, Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.
Real Food; What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck
Hailed as the “patron saint of farmers’ markets” by the Guardian and called one of the “great food activists” by Vanity Fair’s David Kamp, Nina Planck is single-handedly changing the way we view “real food.” A vital and original contribution to the hot debate about what to eat and why, Real Food is a thoroughly researched rebuttal to dietary fads and a clarion call for the return to old-fashioned foods.
In lively, personal chapters on produce, dairy, meat, fish, chocolate, and other real foods, Nina explains how ancient foods like beef and butter have been falsely accused, while industrial foods like corn syrup and soybean oil have created a triple epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The New York Times said thatReal Food “poses a convincing alternative to the prevailing dietary guidelines, even those treated as gospel,” and that “radical” as Nina’s ideas may be, the case she makes for them is “eminently sensible.”