Jo Robinson's new book Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health takes careful measure of the last 15 years of scientific research in the fields involving food and nutrition-- tens of thousands of individual studies, and boils them down into a sizable number of startling new revelations.
According to Robinson, the scientific research, 250 separate studies that are listed in the back of her book, reveal the many ways that antioxidants and phytonutrient compounds enhance human health, and the importance of eating cultivated varieties of plants and fruits that approximate the nutritional value of their wild ancestors.
Jo Robinson is a veteran journalist, author, and a food activist since high school, who credits her grandmother, an Adelle Davis convert, for teaching her the value of eating healthy foods. It was not until years later that Robinson discovered her grandmother had herself been a food activist in 1910, protesting the USDA's promotion of white bread over whole wheat bread, and against the sale of coca-cola that reinforced for Robinson that the government and the medical establishment didn't always know what was best when it came to the subject of human nutrition. For Robinson, it's up to the individual to make their own informed decisions over which foods to eat.
Eating On The Wild Side is broadly divided into two sections, Vegetables and Fruits, and offers specific guidelines for choosing the most nutritious varieties within these commonly eaten foods.
Her central point is that many of the cultivated foods we eat are less nutritious than their wild counterparts, not just over the last 100 years, but since the dawn of farming 10,000 years ago. Beyond this controversial premise--there is a wealth of fascinating information on which cultivated varieties retain their "wild equivalence" in nutritional value, how to prepare these fresh ingredients to preserve (or enhance) their nutritional content, how to store fresh foods, recipes for making healthy dishes from the recommended high-octane nutritional ingredients, and the latest scientific research on the health benefits of eating foods rich in antioxidants and phytonutrient content.
Although this is a book easily recommendable to anyone interested in learning how to choose healthier foods to eat, Eating on the Wild Side does require of the reader a trust in the nutritional science to date. Of the 30,000 studies examining the health implications of antioxidants and phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables since 2000, does this relatively new body of knowledge represent a true breakthrough in our understanding of the role these compounds play (at the molecular level) upon human health?
As Jo Robinson stated during our interview when asked if some may find portions of her book not convincing, she acknowledged the book does contain controversial information-- but even at the least, it shows people how to choose varieties of fruits and vegetables that are more nutritious to eat.
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