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What are the health differences between pasture eggs and conventional? Just one of the many questions answered in the new book Rich Food, Poor Food.
If you take one book to the grocery store (aside from Food Rules, of course), Rich Food, Poor Food should be your new shopping buddy.
Who takes books to the grocery store, you ask?
The smart grocery buyer has had to learn more and more about the various hidden dangers lurking in innocent-appearing foods, from vegetable oils to fake flavorings to toxins that don’t even get disclosed. Yes it’s kind of crazy that you now need a book to guide you through the grocery store like it’s some kind of foreign country. But rather than curse the darkness, the Caltons cast light. Their indispensable source of information not only succinctly summarizes common points of confusion my patients face when changing their diets, it is also sure to educate even the savviest shopper.
But we already know shopping organic is healthy, right?
Rich Food, Poor Food offers much more than reasons to go organic. In chapter three, the Caltons present the best guide I’ve seen to hidden dangers. A variety of legal loopholes let manufacturers slip a variety of chemicals into their products without disclosure. Without a food science degree or time to do detective work, you would not know if you were exposing yourself to these label-exempt toxins.
For example, did you know that Gatorade, the world’s most popular sports drink, contains brominated vegetable oil, a flame retardant and known neurotoxin? If you, or anyone you shop for, have athletic aspirations, keep in mind the brominated vegetable oils can impair coordination and therefore have no place in the serious athlete’s diet.
This book delivers on its promise to help you shop smart and save time and is laid out in a very user-friendly scheme.
Eat this, Not That!
The bulk of the book consists of ten chapters offering an aisle-by-aisle guide to the best brands and the worst, and best choices within brands. Peanut butter, ketchup, rice, beans, lamb, cheese—which brands to buy, how best to prepare, even whether you should chose chicken with skin on or skin off.
It’s as if they’ve been sitting in my office listening to questions my patients ask.
The produce chapter offers a list of those foods that, if your budget is limited, you gain little by choosing organic. Next to that is another list of those foods most likely to be saturated in petrochemicals unless you get the organic versions. Another chapter I will be referring to often is the condiment chapter, which has recipes as well as—finally!—a brand of mayo that is vegetable oil free. (Wilderness Family Naturals Organic Mayonaise).
Too few diet books have emphasized anything other than what food manufacturers want us to pay attention to. The Caltons Rich Food, Poor Food helps us to focus on two things that I find matter most: That foods are grown in healthy soil and then processed in ways that protect or even enhance the nutrient content.
Of course, if you are the kind of person who reads book reviews like this, you probably already avoid most of the products likely to contain the worst of the worst, banned-in-other-countries ingredients. But the people you care about may not. This book is colorful and appealing enough, and simple in concept enough, to make a great gift for that person in your life who you think really needs it!