Non-WAPF Resources on Traditional Foods - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-04-2009, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Many long time Traditional Foodies take issue with the Weston A Price Foundation, under Sally Fallon, stances on several topics:
  • Breastfeeding - The standard WAPF position is that mothers who are not 100% TF in their diet should make their recipe for homemade formula and give that instead. They also hold the position that breastmilk is insufficient for even the first year of life and advocate supplementing with all sorts of things, including raw eggs. They do not support breastfeeding beyond the first year.
  • Pork - Sally Fallon is against pork consumption, which seems to derive from a religious position that she never actually states.
  • Grains - Despite the fact that grains in various forms remain staples of many traditional diets and have been for a long enough time to influence our development, she is a bit down on them.
  • Alcohol - Ignoring the fact that alcohol was a staple in traditional cultures, and not just in "small beer" formate (the builders of the pyramids received a ration of barley wine, for instance, that was nearly their whole diet), WAPF is opposed to alcohol except in the minutest quantities.
  • Prejudice Agains an Assortment of Traditional Foods - Included here are tea, coffee, chocolate, and any number of others I didn't look up. These foods are ancient and have been found to be beneficial in modern studies.

So, when we want more information on TF outside of the WAPF schema, where do we go? My personal preference is to go to historical cookbooks and check out any information I can find on a specific culture's foodways. How about all of you?
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:11 PM
 
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how do they not support breastfeeding for more then one year? i am fairly certain weaning at one year is not remotely traditional. my personal thoughts on traditional diets is that they are what they are and if you are going to tout the wonders of traditional diets you do not get to pick and choose the parts that work for you. if she personally doesn't support bfing beyond a year thats fine.. thats her business.. and she can write a whole series on it if she wants to. but just because she doesn't support breast feeding beyond a year doesn't make it non traditional. not supporting bfing beyond a year just makes me question the accuracy of wapf because it doesn't get more traditional than extended bfing and you don't have to be a genius to figure that out. if she is going to add to or remove from or in any way amend what a traditional diet entails she needs to say so... clearly ... implying that it is non traditional to bf beyond a year is just plain wrong... there is no gray area there.

ugh sorry that really makes me mad. traditional diets are fairy strait forward.. they are what they are ... people ate what they ate.. if you edit them to your personal beliefs they are not traditional diets... it is a diet sort of based on traditional foods.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:19 PM
 
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The breastfeeding 'info' is one of the things that imo discredits WAPF. I can not move past it because it is so ignorant and if they/she can be so wrong about something as important as breastfeeding then they can be wrong about a lot. I really like the idea of traditional eating/foods but I just can not get behind WAPF. So I am very interested in other resources that have no connection to WAPF/Sally Fallon.

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Old 01-04-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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I think personal pref. is going to crop up, no matter who writes.

Nourishing Traditions is just a sounding board. A first grade textbook so to speak.
Use it as a sounding board, and you can use almost any cookbook out there.
If you want the best, go for ones that were written in the first half of the century.
I have a Boston cooking school book from the 20s and a New York Times book from the 50s. Both are excellet when it comes to things like organ meats.

Please do not write off WAPF because of the bf stand. I would venture that the leaders do not know better. Mrs. Fallon is older, she raised her babies in another era so to speak. Some things are ingrained.
She likely went through much of what my mother did. The hospital withheld me and fed me bottles, so when it came time at home to nurse, it was a no go. The stigma with bf was far worse during that time than it is now.

If a huge number of woman were to respectfully write WAPF, short, consice scientifically based notes in regards to breastfeeding, possibly we could find a good middle ground.
Be diplomatic about it. Not judgemental.

Just my thoughts,
Paula

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Old 01-04-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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[*]Prejudice Agains an Assortment of Traditional Foods - Included here are tea, coffee, chocolate, and any number of others I didn't look up. These foods are ancient and have been found to be beneficial in modern studies.[/LIST]
I am certain when it comes to chocolate, it has more to do with how we know to use it.
Candy always has soy lecithin in it, and often the processing the beans go through, causes a great deal of heavy metals to leach into the choc.
Coffee is because of what caffine does to the adrenals.

The goal is to remove things that are addictive. And our society encourages addiction.

Remember, she states over and over, "we are trying to achieve a balance".

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Old 01-04-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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If a huge number of woman were to respectfully write WAPF, short, consice scientifically based notes in regards to breastfeeding, possibly we could find a good middle ground.
Be diplomatic about it. Not judgemental.
Oh, Paula, we tried. Many, many women on this board and others have written to Sally Fallon urging her to change her stance on bf'ing but she hasn't, and won't.

But Sally Fallon is not anti-pork. She's repeatedly referred to eating bacon for breakfast. There were no pork recipes in NT out of respect for the co-author, the very wonderful Mary Enig, who is Jewish.

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Old 01-04-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AnnaArcturus View Post
Many long time Traditional Foodies take issue with the Weston A Price Foundation, under Sally Fallon, stances on several topics:
  • Breastfeeding - The standard WAPF position is that mothers who are not 100% TF in their diet should make their recipe for homemade formula and give that instead. They also hold the position that breastmilk is insufficient for even the first year of life and advocate supplementing with all sorts of things, including raw eggs. They do not support breastfeeding beyond the first year.
  • Pork - Sally Fallon is against pork consumption, which seems to derive from a religious position that she never actually states.
  • Grains - Despite the fact that grains in various forms remain staples of many traditional diets and have been for a long enough time to influence our development, she is a bit down on them.
  • Alcohol - Ignoring the fact that alcohol was a staple in traditional cultures, and not just in "small beer" formate (the builders of the pyramids received a ration of barley wine, for instance, that was nearly their whole diet), WAPF is opposed to alcohol except in the minutest quantities.
  • Prejudice Agains an Assortment of Traditional Foods - Included here are tea, coffee, chocolate, and any number of others I didn't look up. These foods are ancient and have been found to be beneficial in modern studies.

So, when we want more information on TF outside of the WAPF schema, where do we go? My personal preference is to go to historical cookbooks and check out any information I can find on a specific culture's foodways. How about all of you?
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You just outlined some of the things that have kept me from being a devotee. To me, the above is why I see this more of a food fad than real traditional foods eating and ITA with you regarding the importance of historical cookbooks. They have some things right, like raw dairy but ITA with you that they ignore that grains were important in many many traditional cultures.
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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There is the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation: http://www.ppnf.org/catalog/ppnf/ And there is a whole online copy of NAPD at http://journeytoforever.org/farm_lib.../pricetoc.html

I don't even mention the WAPF to anyone anymore, unless they mention it first. Fallon is intelligent enough to have marketed Price's ideas, but clearly unable to remove her prejudices, and unable to find good science to support said prejudices (for instance, science clearly call's cow's milk highly allegernic). . .it is clearly her foundation, not Price's. I am grateful to Fallon's cult for having led me to anthropological eating, but it's caveat emptor with all their information, I'm afraid. Have you read this blog about GAPS? http://blog.plantpoisonsandrottenstu...aps-a-pile-of/
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:33 PM
 
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and as far as writing letters.. it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that extended bfing is about as traditional as it gets. i sincerely doubt that the cultures price studied weaned at one year. she talks a lot about misinformation and bad science.. yet she knowingly advocates something that is neither healthy nor traditional.

does anyone know why she is so anti bfing?
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:27 PM
 
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and as far as writing letters.. it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that extended bfing is about as traditional as it gets. i sincerely doubt that the cultures price studied weaned at one year. she talks a lot about misinformation and bad science.. yet she knowingly advocates something that is neither healthy nor traditional.

does anyone know why she is so anti bfing?
I believe Sally had trouble breastfeeding her own child(ren). I'm way over NT. I'm pretty much abck to LLL's philosophy of "a variety of fodds in as close to their natural state as possible"...more whole fodds for the whole family type stuff.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:27 PM
 
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Call me a rookie but I just don't get a lot of the vibe you guys are mentioning here. I read a few of the articles on bfeeding on the WAPF site and although they are strongly worded and I don't agree with everything there, she does point out a lot of non-PC points that are very valid. (ex: my dd has mercury in her pituitary and liver from the mercury that was released from my body through breastmilk when I lost 30 lbs this year. Would I change what I did? Breastfeeding? NO Losing weight? YES. But the fact remains that there are toxins in BM and what you eat does affect your BM, people need to know this. And I think you CAN get that info at LLL for sure but it is most certainly down-played by many)

As for the other stuff, I feel like, yes some of it is extreme but it is a guideline and we will do with it what we will, it doesn't mean that I will discount all of the hard work and dedication that went into writing the books and creating the foundation. I also find Enig to be a very reputable source of information.

I make lots of lovely grain dishes from NT, I eat bacon, I eat chocolate in moderation and drink in moderation. Frankly, if I overeat any of those things I feel terrible so she does have a point in recommending them in moderation (at least that is how I interpret what she recommends).

Just as I LOVE LLL and will always be a strong supporter I can see where mistakes are made, that doesn't make me want to discount them completely, I feel the same way about WAPF. Of course I am new to all this so maybe I'm just being naive?

And I am happy this thread is here because you can never have enough recipes and resources so I appreciate it and I welcome varying views on TF eating. I will take what works for me. WAPF has lots of good info as far as I'm concerned. And I hope to find more from these other resources.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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Real Food by Nina Planck - http://www.ninaplanck.com

She does refer to NT and WAPF, but IMO she is much more AP in her parenting applications.

Her links don't seem to be working at the moment, but I know she planned to homebirth (but ended up with a c-section), she advocates EC, breastfeeding, etc...

And yes, she eats chocolate!

I am on the fence with Ms. Fallon. A lot of what she says makes sense but I agree about the breastfeeding issues. I personally think she is biased due to her own problems with it. I don't think that means we can't learn other things from her about nutrition. I have her book and appreciate it (and I am really glad she has given mothers who can't breastfeed an alternative to commercial formulas), but personally I just really liked Nina's book a lot better.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:04 PM
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I've written about the problems with the WAPF/SF's stance on breastfeeding extensively here in the past, it is a big problem. I'm not going to revisit that in any detail at the moment (no time, no patience), but I do want to say I don't get anything from WAPF literature that comes across as anti-grain. NT has tons of grain recipes. This forum specifically has had some very vocal advocates for no-grain diets recently, especially from the paleo perspective, but I wouldn't say that's a WAPF thing. They seem to me like big grain advocates, as long as they're prepared with care (sprouting, sour leavening, or soaking). Also, in addition to SF saying many times she personally eats pork, there is stuff on the WAPF site about how central pork is to the traditional Okinawan diet, casting it in a positive light. And pastured lard is highly recommended by the WAPF as a healthy fat.

It's a shame that a lot of people who take exception to some of the WAPF stuff, or who are rubbed the wrong way by SF, discount what Price himself wrote because of it. I really very highly recommend reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration for yourself, if you haven't already. It's not a cookbook, but it is very useful in terms of dietary philosophy IMO, and gives a broader perspective of traditional, nutrient-dense diets than what usually comes across in WAPF writings.

BTW, Price rarely commented on breastfeeding, perhaps because it was a given in the populations he studied (there being no other option except animal milk in a few of the cultures, so it couldn't really be studied as a variable in isolation from other traditional dietary practices), but there is one caption under two pictures of Melanesians that reads: "Top: The Melanesians of the South Pacific islands are a very strong and sturdy race, as illustrated in the splendid development of this man. The warm climate in which they live makes very little clothing and shelter necessary. Bottom: Melanesian women. Note the size of the child still nursing." The child in question appears to be well over two years old, perhaps as much as three.

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Old 01-04-2009, 08:06 PM
 
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is sf anti-bfing? i thought she just offers alternative formulas if for some reason the mom *can't* bf, in place of storebought formulas. i'm just curious to find out if in fact she is biased against bf?
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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Bottom: Melanesian women. Note the size of the child still nursing." The child in question appears to be well over two years old, perhaps as much as three.
Tee hee-- I'm not Melanesian...more Dutch, actually, but you should note the "size of the child still nursing" from me...she looks 5, but is actually 3 I just laughed when I read that

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Old 01-04-2009, 08:35 PM
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Tee hee-- I'm not Melanesian...more Dutch, actually, but you should note the "size of the child still nursing" from me...she looks 5, but is actually 3 I just laughed when I read that
Yeah, I know it can be hard to tell just from size, but this was obviously not a baby, and the point is that Price wanted to emphasize that these healthy, physically excellent, traditionally-living Melanesians had nursing toddlers.

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Old 01-04-2009, 08:37 PM
 
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AJP,
I totaly agree with you.

I use the basics, and work with it. We live in Alaska, so its different for us, than someone in a warm climate.
I prefer to look more at what Price studied, and that should be encouraged.
If more people can see that it is a stepping stone, and not something to camp on, we can make great gains.
Make it work for where you live and what you can eat without allergy:

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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"is sf anti-bfing? i thought she just offers alternative formulas if for some reason the mom *can't* bf, in place of storebought formulas. i'm just curious to find out if in fact she is biased against bf?"

I personally did not see anything in the book that led me to believe she was anti-breastfeeding *but* there are some things on her website in which she indicates that mom's without optimal nutrition probably couldn't provide optimal nutrition to their infants through breastmilk. I don't think she is wrong in stating that a mom who has a poor diet has poorer quality milk, but I think she paints with too broad of brush in assuming that such a mother should give formula. IMO I think she'd do better to help mothers obtain better nutrition rather than encouraging weaning. She has issues with LLLI also because, if I am remembering correctly, they lean heavily toward a near vegetarian diet.

This page indicates a diet *for* nursing mothers - http://www.westonaprice.org/children...ormothers.html - so no, I don't think she is "anti" breastfeeding, but I do think she is not as pro-breastfeeding as I would like.
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:42 PM
 
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I personally did not see anything in the book that led me to believe she was anti-breastfeeding *but* there are some things on her website in which she indicates that mom's without optimal nutrition probably couldn't provide optimal nutrition to their infants through breastmilk. I don't think she is wrong in stating that a mom who has a poor diet has poorer quality milk, but I think she paints with too broad of brush in assuming that such a mother should give formula. IMO I think she'd do better to help mothers obtain better nutrition rather than encouraging weaning.
yes, the fact is that if a mother is not willing to improve her diet, she is not going to be willing to obtain all the ingredients necessary to make her own home made formula. in this case, i think bm is still better than formula, even home made, because bfing is about more than just physical nutrition.

Quote:
I read a few of the articles on bfeeding on the WAPF site and although they are strongly worded and I don't agree with everything there, she does point out a lot of non-PC points that are very valid...But the fact remains that there are toxins in BM and what you eat does affect your BM, people need to know this. And I think you CAN get that info at LLL for sure but it is most certainly down-played by many)
i think this is a huge sticking point for a lot of people. i think, and i can understand, that a lot of bfing advocates don't want to talk much about how our bm can be contaminated with the bad stuff that is in our bodies, for fear that it may discourage women from bfing at all. when ds1 was a couple of months old, they came out with the study showing that mother's milk was contaminated with rocket fuel. my dad actually tried to tell me that if that was the case, then ffing would probably be better for him. it seems that a lot of people think "oh, breastmilk is contaminated. let's use formula instead." and that's the end of their critical thinking process. they can't go further than that, and think about how we should detox, or methods to help prevent as much toxins getting into our bm, or how if even our bm is contaminated how much worse formula can be contaminated.

and as many grain recipes are in NT i can't understand thinking that they are down on grains? certainly not grains that are properly soaked/sprouted/fermented.

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Old 01-04-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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Where does Sally say that if your diet is not 100% TF then you should use their formula instead? In the many times that I have heard Sally speak, she has never said that our diets should be 100% TF - she says it depends on how sick you are.

I believe their message is that diet is extremely important for nursing mothers. Historically special foods were saved for pre-conception couples, pregnant, and nursing mothers. LLL tends to say that as long as you eat a variety of foods, your milk will be fine. That's where Sally disagrees. The SAD diet has a "variety" of foods yet it is seriously lacking in nutrient dense foods that are critical to nursing babies.

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Old 01-05-2009, 12:08 AM
 
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:17 AM
 
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I think you could start by reading the actual studies that Price did and draw your own conclusions using common sense and ancient writings. There are plenty of ancient writings that refer to children being breastfed for a few years. I remember a specific one from "The Lost Books of the Bible" that refers to Mary, mother of Jesus, being weaned at age 3, according to the standard at that time.

To me, my belief in eating "traditional foods" is based on ancient wisdom and common sense. Nourishing Traditions is a useful book, but it doesn't have to be my Bible. I personally take issue with a lot of things she advocates, but her book is just a resource.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:15 AM
 
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Although I don't have a problem with SF or WAPF, I only use NT as a guide. If I cooked half of what she has in that book, my husband would never eat! LOL!

Instead, I combine her guidelines with my favorite Lebanese cookbook. My MIL is laughing at me daily b/c she sees that I *choose* to do things the "hard way" according to her (but the hard way is the way she was taught to cook--soaking rice and legumes, pickling vegetables, making yogurt and labneh from raw milk.)

I feel very fortunate that, even as she laughs at me, I have a MIL who can teach me traditional food preparation methods as I go. And everything she teaches me, I run by NT, so I still do things a little differently than she does.

But it has been an amazing journey for me seeing how well NT combines with traditional Lebanese food prep and how happy it makes my husband that I'm making familiar and healthy foods for him and the kids. :

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Old 01-05-2009, 01:34 AM
 
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Laura thanks for posting that. That is where I always get lost on the NT TF thing and why I stay away most of the time. My emphasis has been on learning traditional cooking methods and recipes from a culture, specifically Middle Eastern, Persian, Mexican, Greek and Indian. But too often these cookbooks do not use traditional spices or recipes or leave out traditional ingrediants because they want to adapt it to their own agenda and philosophy. That is why I seek out cookbooks written by members of the culture or people that are dedicated to staying true to the culture it comes from.
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:02 AM
 
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There are a TON of threads in this forum about the sf/bfing thing if anyone wants to do a search- just hoping this thread doesn't get too derailed on that topic, b/c I really like the idea of combining resources from other places.

I would like to point out quickly , that it's close to impossible to generalize enough to say there is *A* TF diet that all of our ancestors followed. There isn't. And breastfeeding can also vary enormously by culture, and just because a culture is old, doesn't mean they always do everything right- some purposely deny infants colostrum. Some introduce solids around 3 months. Some drank way too much alcohol in lieu of water and ate barely enough vitamin C to prevent scurvy. It's important to balance correct, informed choices with tradition. Not all traditional societies produced healthy people with great teeth that lived long healthy lives.

One great resource for me has always been pubmed.com. Typing in cholesterol, lipids, atherosclerosis, etc and just being amazed at what I'm seeing. The information that has come out somewhat recently about statins, it just confirms the belief that people were eating plenty of cholesterol without a problem.

Also, there is really interesting info out there regarding what happens, healthwise, to native, TF-eating people such as the Masai and Australian aboriginals who move to urbanized areas and begin eating modern diets.

I did find a great old Polish cookbook in my mom's bookcase. Nothing but butter!! Any time I'm in a used bookstore I'm going to try and pick up as many as possible. I've also found great books on what the Native Americans in my region used to eat in my local library.

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Old 01-05-2009, 02:38 AM
 
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i am looking on amazon for other books right now! there are lots but i am trying to make sure they are actually worth buying lol.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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When possible, I like to take books out of the library before deciding whether or not to purchase them.

I read NT from the library. I decided not to purchase it- IMO the information is put together awkwardly, and the recipes don't look that great.

Wild Fermentation is one that I took from the library and might consider buying. It gives instructions on how to make your own veggie ferments, and it gives both specific recipes you can follow as well as advice on how to tweak the recipes or make your own. I didn't purchase it at the time due to budgetary constraints, and right now I'm trying to "eat clean" and remove potential allergens, and it's really not a great time for me to experiment with new things added to my diet. But, if you're looking for a list of TF books to purchase, I'd add it to the list.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:57 PM
 
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Wild Fermentation is great. So is Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice.

Postpartum doula & certified breastfeeding educator, mama to an amazing girl (11/05) and a wee little boy (3/13).

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Old 01-05-2009, 02:12 PM
 
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awesome! wild fermentation and full moon feast are both on my amazon list. my parents gave me a $100 gift certificate for christmas so i have spent the last week and half deciding how to spend it. i think i am up to 50 lol.. i am being very choosey.

and ruthla i agree about NT. i think it actually makes TF seem a lot more complicated then it is. maybe i am over simplifying things but to me TF can be achieved fairly easily by eating local year round and by not buying anything you couldn't potentially make in your own kitchen (or really anything you don't need machinery they didn't have 300 yrs ago.. lol). if you eat locally (and ethically since it's not really traditional to mistreat farm animals) it would be pretty close to NT. you would have to ferment, dehydrate etc. to eat anything but like kale past december (i am in VA) and i learned the hard way that if you want to eat local year round you have to preserve.. lol.

and the making it yourself thing.. i can't make margarine myself.. but i can make butter... so in my book that automatically makes butter better for you. i don't mind buying butter because butter is butter whether i made it or the farm i get my milk from makes it yk? i just think NT makes it sound so freakishly complex and urgent etc. its really not. and i disagree with her whole fruit thing. she seems pretty down on the fruit. i doubt that traditional cultures passed over the fruit when it was in season... why would they it doesn't even make sense. they probably ate a ton of it in season and then preserved what they could.

i am actually looking for a book that sort of follows those guidelines yk? i agree that fermented foods are good though i don't believe that traditional cultures ate them all the time... my guess is that they ate them through the winter... eating them through the summer would be sort of pointless.. and make winter kind of hard.

o and something with good recipes.. her recipes sort of stink.
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