Not a true blue farmer I’m always interested in picking up whatever I can about farming and food from people I meet and books I read. When I heard about Jo Robinson’s Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health I bought the book on Flipkart, read it overnight and here I am happy to share what I thought was interesting, informative and educative.
The book argues that our prehistoric ancestors picked and gathered wild plants that were in many ways far more healthful than the stuff we buy today at farmers’ markets.
And over the centuries, Robinson says, those choices in human agriculture led to a dramatic loss in the nutrient value of the plants we eat most commonly — something she says we had no way of knowing until recently, when modern technology made it possible to do so.
Robinson, an investigative journalist and author or coauthor of several best-selling books, pored over more than 6,000 scientific studies to uncover the most nutritionally powerful foods available to us—many of which can be found in your supermarket, farmers’ market, or home garden.
According to her most beneficial bionutrients have a sour, astringent, or bitter taste, but that human beings are wired with a preference for sweet, starchy, and fatty foods, so that we selected plants for the qualities we like, and in the end created plants significantly deficient in the bionutrients contained in their wild ancestors.
- Tearing Romaine and Iceberg lettuce the day before you eat it quadruples its antioxidant content.
- The healing properties of garlic can be maximized by slicing, chopping, mashing, or pressing it and then letting it rest for a full 10 minutes before cooking.
- The yellowest corn in the store has 35 times more beta-carotene than white corn.
- Cooking potatoes and then chilling them for about 24 hours before you eat them (even if you reheat them) turns a high-glycemic vegetable into a low- or moderate-glycemic vegetable. Paradoxically, combining potatoes with oil (French fry alert!) helps keep them from disrupting your metabolism.
- Carrots are more nutritious cooked than raw. When cooked whole, they have 25 percent more falcarinol, a cancer-fighting compound, than carrots that have been sectioned before cooking.
- The smaller the tomato, the more nutrients it contains. Deep red tomatoes have more antioxidants than yellow, gold, or green tomatoes.
- The most nutritious tomatoes in the supermarket are not in the vegetable section but are in the canned goods section! Processed tomatoes, whether canned or cooked into a paste or sauce, are the richest known source of lycopene. They also have the most flavour.
- Storing broccoli wrapped in a plastic bag with tiny pin pricks in it will give you up to 125 percent more antioxidants than if you had stored the broccoli loosely wrapped or in a tightly sealed bag.
- Canned or jarred artichokes are just as nutritious as fresh. (I’m ready to agree)
- Thawing frozen berries in the microwave preserves twice as many antioxidants and more vitamin C than thawing them on the counter or inside your refrigerator.
- Eat the skins of fruits and vegetables, provided they’re organic.