Traditional foods and Garden of Eating book - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 18 Old 06-23-2006, 02:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
tamagotchi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,096
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I checked out Garden of Eating from the library. I tried looking through this forum for threads discussing this book and couldn't find much. Anyone have old threads bookmarked? I am curious what other people here think of it.

I just started reading it yesterday during DS's nap, so I haven't read it very closely yet, nor have I tried any of the recipes. I do find it interesting how the authors base their diet on research on early human diets and the health of humans living in different early societies. Their argument goes something like this:

1) Which human societies were the healthiest? (and therefore, which should we emulate)? Their answer is that hunter-gatherers had significantly better health than all other human societies (such as herders, primitive farmers, and modern societies) and therefore we should strive to emulate hunter-gatherers.

2) What did these healthy people eat? Their answer is that the hunter-gatherer diet lacked the products of herding and agriculture (grains, legumes, and dairy); included both animal and plant foods, with an emphasis on plant foods (they estimate 70% by weight); and was relatively low fat (due to lower fat content of wild meat, and lack of vegetable oils and butterfat in the diet).

How does the Garden of Eating differ from NT? The biggest conceptual difference is that the authors seem to consider only hunter-gatherers to be healthy enough to emulate. I suppose they feel that if you are trying to be healthy, you might as well try and copy the "healthiest" diet as closely as possible. On the other hand, NT-style traditional diets would also include the diets of herders and primitive farmers. These groups, such as the "primitive Swiss" described by Weston Price, seem quite healthy in comparison to modern people, even though they lived on foods that hunter-gatherers would not have eaten, such as (in the case of the "primitive Swiss") bread and dairy products. Dairy products and properly prepared grains are mentioned as optional foods in the Garden of Eating, but they are relegated to an appendix.

It also differs from NT in that it has a more single-minded focus on which foods traditional societies would have eaten, rather than how they prepared those foods. I didn't see much of a discussion of pre-agricultural food preparation, storage, or cooking techniques, but maybe I missed that part? I do really like all the emphasis on traditional food preparation techniques in the NT book. The Garden of Eating does recommend cooking most foods, but it was not clear to me whether the authors believe that hunter-gatherers cooked most of their foods. Also, didn't hunter-gatherers ferment some foods? How did they preserve fresh foods, other than by drying them?

I liked how the Garden of Eating has very specific dietary recommendations including how much meat and fruits/vegetables to buy and eat. They also include lots of information about kitchen storage, meal planning, and shopping, and the book is very well organized and easy to use! These are all practical features that I found lacking in the NT book (though it is quite possible that there is something I missed in the NT book; I haven't read it closely). I also like the emphasis on fruits and vegetables. I think it is easy to read the NT book and then to get so caught up in the soaking and fermenting and entrail-eating that you forget to eat adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables.
tamagotchi is offline  
#2 of 18 Old 06-23-2006, 02:42 PM
 
Gale Force's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Nestled in the Sierras
Posts: 5,010
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ITA with a need to discuss which foods. And it is easy to get caught up in soaking and such without much of a discussion about which changes are the most important to make from a health-impact point of view. For instance, I think our time is better spent reducing grains rather than soaking them. But if you are going to eat them, you might as well soak them.

Weston Price doesn't discuss fruits and vegetables much in his book. Perhaps that's the reason it's not discussed that much in newer literature. Obviously traditional societies ate fruits and vegetables but Price does not give us the framework to understand how much and what. Natives in our area though actually ate much more animal than Garden of Eating suggests. It was a diet of fish, game, acorn stew, and some wild plants.

I haven't read the book but intend to. How do the recipes look? Interesting new recipes? I just got Full Moon Feast and find it to have very different recipes and new ideas.

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

Gale Force is offline  
#3 of 18 Old 06-26-2006, 02:38 AM
 
toraji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Rural Upstate NY
Posts: 1,179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I really like this book as a companion to NT. I don't think it is the answer to all the world's dietary problems, however.

In general, it is difficult to discern exactly what "natives" were eating. Which natives? Where? What time period? It's all pretty much guesswork on everyone's part. Weston Price did his research and reported on it, and there are huge variations in interpretations of his work. I have even seen vegan interpretations, which of course is a very stark contrast to the NT viewpoint.

Also taking into consideration our modern toxic environment and depleted soils, we are affected by many things which would not have been part of the equation in primitive humans time. My personal thought is that we absolutely need huge amounts of vegetables (not so much fruits as they have been bred for sugar production) in order to counteract the environmental toxins that we are exposed to daily.

Soil health is a biggie that is usually overlooked by most nutrition books, including NT and the Garden of Eating Diet. What is not stated in these books is that the mostly vegetarian people (like the rural Swiss and the Hunzas) had incredibly rich mineralized soils that they were growing their foods on. The same diet grown in Appalachia, however, would probably be tooth rotting. So for this area, I like to read books from the Soil and Health online library (which has yet another interpretation of Price's work in the book "How and When to be Your Own Doctor") http://www.soilandhealth.org

I do find it interesting that the Garden of Eating Diet focuses so much on cooked foods as well as neglecting the entrails. As far as I know, most hunter-gatherer societies prized the organ meats.

"Healthy" means different things to different people, and it's a matter of doing the detective work to find out what it means to you! I'm still trying to figure it all out.
toraji is offline  
#4 of 18 Old 06-26-2006, 02:49 AM
 
HerthElde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Mother Earth
Posts: 3,091
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I like it too (Hey, Toraji, I'm watching your post count !)

I think the reason NT doesn't focus on veggies a whole bunch is coz it's kind of a no-brainer that we need lots and lots . . . at least that was always my impression.

I recently discovered Annemarie Colbin also bases a lot of her ideas on Weston Price's work . . . I haven't looked into her website much, I actually get the impression that she might be vegetarian? Anyway, here it is http://www.foodandhealing.com/
HerthElde is offline  
#5 of 18 Old 06-26-2006, 11:24 AM
 
Gale Force's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Nestled in the Sierras
Posts: 5,010
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HerthElde
I like it too (Hey, Toraji, I'm watching your post count !)
whoa!

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

Gale Force is offline  
#6 of 18 Old 06-26-2006, 09:38 PM
 
toraji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Rural Upstate NY
Posts: 1,179
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HerthElde
Hey, Toraji, I'm watching your post count !
I'm almost there, eh? (One post closer now!)

Annemarie Colbin...the name sounds so familiar, but I can't recall why. I think I've gotten more addled with the mercury chelation. At least that's what DH claims!
toraji is offline  
#7 of 18 Old 06-26-2006, 11:57 PM
 
kallyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: central PA
Posts: 1,511
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I really enjoy my Garden of Eating book. I don't use it OR NT exclusively...I think they work well together, though. I think GoE would be especially helpful to people who wish to follow NT but are lactose- or gluten-intolerant.

Re: cooked foods, in GoE they state several times that traditional hunter-gatherers did cook their food, and that most vegetables should be consumed cooked in order to neutralize the plant's defenses and to increase vitamin/mineral availability. Don't have page numbers on me though, unfortunately.

I agree that it does focus on which foods, but not how to prepare them. However, it does have a short appendix in the back about grains. Basically, it says if you ABSOLUTELY HAFTA HAVE GRAINS, then you should prepare them properly by soaking.

Me love.gif, DH guitar.gif, and DD baby.gif9/27/10!
kallyn is offline  
#8 of 18 Old 06-27-2006, 04:53 AM
 
OceanMomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: south of somewhere
Posts: 2,216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've had my GoE on order from amazon since february & they keep delaying it What you say about soil health Toraji is very interesting as I remember thinking when I read about the rural swiss in N&PD that the cows must be getting lots of minerals from the glacial fields where they graze.
OceanMomma is offline  
#9 of 18 Old 06-27-2006, 11:10 AM
 
Peri Patetic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Barack and Roll Hall of Fame
Posts: 1,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, I haven't read GOE but the claim that the hunter gatherers ate low-fat seems to directly contradict what NT says, as well as IMO common sense. If they were at all like other ancient cultures, they would have prized the organs and fat of the animals over even the meat.
Peri Patetic is offline  
#10 of 18 Old 06-27-2006, 02:51 PM
 
kallyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: central PA
Posts: 1,511
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peri Patetic
Well, I haven't read GOE but the claim that the hunter gatherers ate low-fat seems to directly contradict what NT says, as well as IMO common sense. If they were at all like other ancient cultures, they would have prized the organs and fat of the animals over even the meat.
I wouldn't say that the authors espouse low-fat. They say that hunter-gatherers did indeed preferentially go for animals with large fat deposits and they gave lean mean to the dogs, but that then that fat was used for numerous things other than food, such as candles and soap. Some of it was eaten, but you wouldn't be eating a fatty piece of meat along with vegetables also soaking in olive oil. Their sample menus have Rachel eating 61g fat (35% her energy) and her husband Don eating 89g fat (36% of his energy).

I think the authors are low-cal more than anything. The only reason they give for restricting fat is because fat has so many calories and it's easy to overeat it. The plan itself isn't low-fat though, and if you wanted to you could definitely add more fat to it. Also, the fats they recommend are all good high-quality animal fats and acceptable veggie fats (coconut oil, olive oil, avocado). Personally, I usually eat at least 50-60% of my calories as good fats or I never feel full.

Oceanmomma, I don't have my GoE book yet either. :/ I ordered it on May 5 and it's been delayed at least once. I keep checking it out of the library though so that I usually have it around.

Me love.gif, DH guitar.gif, and DD baby.gif9/27/10!
kallyn is offline  
#11 of 18 Old 06-27-2006, 04:35 PM
 
OceanMomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: south of somewhere
Posts: 2,216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our library doesn't have it so I am patiently waiting.
OceanMomma is offline  
#12 of 18 Old 06-28-2006, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
tamagotchi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,096
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by toraji
Soil health is a biggie that is usually overlooked by most nutrition books, including NT and the Garden of Eating Diet. What is not stated in these books is that the mostly vegetarian people (like the rural Swiss and the Hunzas) had incredibly rich mineralized soils that they were growing their foods on.
I have wondered about this issue but I really don't know much about it. We eat mostly locally grown foods... How would I find out more about the soil in our local area? Or would this be on a farm-by-farm basis, is it something we should be asking farmers about (especially for our CSA farm, since we eat so much produce from that one farm)? Or is soil just depleted everywhere? Where should I begin reading on this topic?

Quote:
I do find it interesting that the Garden of Eating Diet focuses so much on cooked foods as well as neglecting the entrails. As far as I know, most hunter-gatherer societies prized the organ meats.
I think the book neglects entrails for basically the same reason it neglects invertebrates (a very widespread traditional food category! ) Lots of people are grossed out by entrails. Personally, I have no problem eating liver, heart, tongue, and fish roe, and I used to eat brains a lot as a child, but I'm too picky to eat fish guts, fish heads, and bugs (DH, bless him, loves chicken feet and fish heads though, and I'm sure he would be happy to try a properly prepared specimen of one of the kosher locust varieties if one were offered)
tamagotchi is offline  
#13 of 18 Old 06-28-2006, 01:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
tamagotchi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,096
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallyn
Re: cooked foods, in GoE they state several times that traditional hunter-gatherers did cook their food, and that most vegetables should be consumed cooked in order to neutralize the plant's defenses and to increase vitamin/mineral availability. Don't have page numbers on me though, unfortunately.
Yes, this is what I understood the book to be saying, too. This point of view made me curious, because it seemed to conflict with what the paleo-food people say, to wit: "only foods which can be eaten raw are allowed" because of an assumption that paleolithic-era folks didn't cook their foods.

Hmm, perhaps the difference is that the paleo-food people base their diet on what they believe paleolithic-era folks ate, and the GoE authors base their diet on hunter-gatherers of any era?
tamagotchi is offline  
#14 of 18 Old 06-28-2006, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
tamagotchi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,096
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by toraji
In general, it is difficult to discern exactly what "natives" were eating. Which natives? Where? What time period? It's all pretty much guesswork on everyone's part. Weston Price did his research and reported on it, and there are huge variations in interpretations of his work. I have even seen vegan interpretations, which of course is a very stark contrast to the NT viewpoint.
I think this is the BIG question (or pair of questions: "which populations were the healthiest?" and "what did those people eat?") to be asked if one is going to adopt a very definite "diet" which restricts entire traditional categories of foods.

My gut feeling is that the modern food marketplace doesn't actually make it easy for us to get much genuine variety (think of the small number of animal species we eat and limited parts of each animal, the small number of plants and limited parts of the plant, etc), and therefore it would seem to be difficult to eat a healthy and varied diet with significant dietary restrictions (whether one is eating vegan, or paleo, or whatever).

So... if I were to adopt a diet with significant restrictions, eliminating whole categories of traditional foods (such as no grains, no beans, no dairy...) I would really need to be more confident that these restrictions are the right restrictions! I'd love to know more about real research that addresses those questions: "which populations were the healthiest?" and "what did those people eat?"
tamagotchi is offline  
#15 of 18 Old 06-28-2006, 02:41 AM
 
kallyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: central PA
Posts: 1,511
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tamagotchi
Hmm, perhaps the difference is that the paleo-food people base their diet on what they believe paleolithic-era folks ate, and the GoE authors base their diet on hunter-gatherers of any era?
I think that might be getting at it. When I think of the "hunter-gatherers" that paleo people talk about, I think pre-historical, practically apelike, small tribes...the kind of stuff you find in fossils. When I think of "hunter-gatherers" as the GoE authors and people like Weston Price talk about, I think of historical groups instead, with their increased technology and slightly different way of life.

Either way though, there is hot debate about the raw thing. There's been evidence of controlled fire found that is at least 500k years old IIRC, but of course it's pure speculation as to a)the authenticity of the evidence, b)if it was only specific to that one location (I think it was northern China), c)if it was used for cooking or just warmth, warding off predators, etc, d)if it was used for cooking then what types of foods, and e)if 500k is an appropriate timeline for adaptation. Come to think of it, I think Homo sapiens took over about 300k, so if there was fire before that being controlled by a more primitive species, it would stand to reason that Homo sapiens would exploit it as well; meaning, in essence, that we've been cooking our whole existence (I know that some anthropologists argue that we became so big-brained because we had more food sources and high quality calories available to us through cooking). I'm sure there's more to the story though, or anthropologists wouldn't be arguing about it.

Me love.gif, DH guitar.gif, and DD baby.gif9/27/10!
kallyn is offline  
#16 of 18 Old 06-28-2006, 02:28 PM
 
Gale Force's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Nestled in the Sierras
Posts: 5,010
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallyn
Come to think of it, I think Homo sapiens took over about 300k, so if there was fire before that being controlled by a more primitive species, it would stand to reason that Homo sapiens would exploit it as well; meaning, in essence, that we've been cooking our whole existence (I know that some anthropologists argue that we became so big-brained because we had more food sources and high quality calories available to us through cooking).
Very interesting.

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

Gale Force is offline  
#17 of 18 Old 06-28-2006, 05:08 PM
 
OceanMomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: south of somewhere
Posts: 2,216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There's a man here who sells organic beef on the farmers market. He told me he had read somewhere a theory that the reason our brains got so big was that we started eating bone marrow at a certain point in our evolution.

Note Mum used to eat marrow on toast when I was a kid. She is from good colonial stock that were virtually the first settlers where they went. I still can't bring myself to eat marrow. In fact, I've never even tasted it. So it is probably an attitude I need to examine.

There is also some speculation I have read that the venus of wilendorf is not a figurative representation but a literal representation of a priveledged female who got fed all the marrow & animal fat. No doubt a male theory Personally I doubt she would have got that fat in primitive times myself.
OceanMomma is offline  
#18 of 18 Old 06-28-2006, 06:48 PM
 
kallyn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: central PA
Posts: 1,511
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanMomma
There's a man here who sells organic beef on the farmers market. He told me he had read somewhere a theory that the reason our brains got so big was that we started eating bone marrow at a certain point in our evolution.
That is definitely one of the theories. It's part of the "expensive tissue" hypothesis, which is that our brains are so big they require lots and lots of energy, leading us to consume more energy in more concentrated forms, which in turn can lead to more brain growth, etc. It's a positive feedback loop. In this scenario, anthropologists have early man as a scavenger, eating brains and bone marrow. They theorize that only two animals on the African savannah would have been capable of breaking the large, thick, heavy bones to get to these two calorie-dense substances: hyenas with their freakishly powerful jaws, and us with our stone tools. We would just hang around and wait for a big cat to kill something, then we'd swoop down and devour the good parts! (after scaring the hyenas away, of course)

It still doesn't make me drool with delight over the thought of scrambled brains though!

-Elizabeth, who was an anthropology minor in college <---pretend those are glasses hehe

Me love.gif, DH guitar.gif, and DD baby.gif9/27/10!
kallyn is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off