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Eat on the Wild Side Slideshow

Eat on the Wild Side Slideshow


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Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge (Illinois)

The Midwests Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge on the northern edge of the Ozark foothills was established in 1947. The 43,890-acre refuge has three man-made lakes, hardwood and pine forests, croplands, grasslands, wetlands, and rolling hills.

Picnicking, along with camping, swimming, horseback riding, and more traditional refuge activities such as hunting (white-tail deer and geese) and fishing are allowed. Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge has four picnic areas with grills, and some picnic areas have shelters.

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (Florida and Georgia)

Named for the Native American "Land of the Trembling Earth," Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida and Georgia has one of the oldest preserved freshwater systems in the U.S. Created in 1937, the 402,000-acre refuge has cypress forests, marsh, lakes and islands that are filled with 400 species of animals like alligators, sandhill cranes, amd red-cockaded woodpeckers.

The refuge has guided boat tours that take visitors through historic canals and open prairies, and water trails and platforms allow people to canoe for the day or stay overnight deep within the 354,000-acre wilderness. Activities include nature photography, hunting, and fishing.

The Georgia portion of the park has picnic facilities at its three entrances. At the east entrance, near Folkston, there are picnic tables and a pavilion at the Suwannee Canal Recreation area. (Entrance fee: $5) At the west entrance, there are picnic facilities and three shelters operated by Stephen Foster State Park. (Entrance fee: $5). At the north entrance, there are picnic facilities and a concession run by Okefenokee Swamp Park, a nonprofit.

Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge (South Carolina)

Located in Chesterfield County, S.C., Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge lies along the fall line that separates the Piedmont Plateau from the Atlantic Coastal Plain. An extensive longleaf pine forest is part of the refuge, which has the largest population of endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers in the U.S. The 45,348 acre refuge has 30 ponds and lakes, making the wildlife viewing even more diverse.

Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge (South Carolina)

Activities in the refuge include a nine-mile paved auto tour route, two hiking trails, fishing ponds, observation towers, and turkey, small game, and white-tailed deer hunting. Picnic tables are also available in the park.

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (Florida)

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is one of the oldest refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Established in 1931 and located along the Gulf Coast of Northwest Florida, the 68,000 acre refuge provides a wintering habitat for migratory birds. The refuge includes coastal marshes, islands, tidal creeks, and estuaries of seven north Florida rivers. The St. Marks Lighthouse, which was built in 1832 and is still in use today, is a popular attraction.

A picnic area is located within St. Marks Unit near the visitor center. The forested Panacea Unit has picnic shelters in the Otter Lake Recreation Area, which has free entry.

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge (North Carolina)

Located in East Lake, N.C., the 154,000-acre Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is one of the last remaining strongholds for black bear on the Eastern Seaboard. Many visitors also come to watch the red wolves howl at night in July, August, and September.

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge (North Carolina)

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge has paddling trails, a wildlife drive, and two wildlife trails, and fishing and hunting are permitted. While white-tail deer is the main species hunted, a variety of small game are also hunted, such as squirrels, rabbits, quail, and mourning doves. Guests can bring snacks to eat during a leisurely stroll on the trails.

Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge (Florida)

Stretching across 20.5 miles between Melbourne Beach and Wabasso Beach along Florida's east coast, Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge is known for its sea turtle conservation. Loggerhead sea turtles race from their nests to the sea and baby sea turtles hatch in the refuge in August.

The refuge is also the most significant area for green turtle nesting in North America, and it also serves as a minor nesting area for the leatherback turtle, which is one of the world's largest and rarest sea turtles.

Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge (Florida)

The best time to view sea turtles is in June and July when guided, nighttime sea turtle watch programs are offered. The park also has several beaches and salt water fishing is permitted. There are several seafood restaurants a short drive from the park.

Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Located along Oregons coast, the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge includes 1,853 rocks, reefs, and islands, two headland areas, and spans 320 miles of the Oregon coast.

Some 13 species of seabirds nest and breed, including common murres, tufted puffins, leach's and fork-tailed storm petrels, rhinoceros auklets, brandt's, pelagic and double-crested cormorants, and pigeon guillemots. Harbor seals, California sea lions, Steller sea lions, and Northern elephant seals use refuge lands for breeding.

Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge (Montana)

Located in the glaciated rolling plains of northeastern Montana between the Missouri River and the Canadian border, Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge provides important breeding and stopover habitats for a diverse array of migratory birds. The refuge's 31,702 acres are a prime spot for watching the annual migration of birds. More than 1,000 geese breed here in the summer months.

Waterfowl and bird hunting, along with wintertime ice fishing for northern pike are popular activities, along with camping. Visitors can bring snacks to enjoy in the park or campground.

Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge (Delaware)

Stretching eight miles along Delaware Bay, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is a mix of tidal salt marsh with a mix of cordgrass meadows, mud flats, tidal pools, rivers, creeks, and tidal streams. The upland area includes forests,plants, freshwater areas, and swamps.

It is easy to spot animals here. Deer, red foxes, and beavers are found on the refuge's 16,251 acres, along with many species of turtles, insects, non-poisonous snakes, frogs, and salamanders. Wading birds, including herons, egrets, and ibis, congregate at Bombay Hook in July.

The refuge offers visitors a 12-mile auto tour, five walking trails, observation towers, wildlife photography, hunting opportunities, a variety of nature and educational programs. Visitors can bring snacks to enjoy in the park or campground.

Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge (Mississippi)

Located on the edge of Bluff Lake northeast of Louisville, Ky., and south of Starkville, Miss., Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge serves as a resting and feeding area for migratory birds. One of the 254 bird species on site is the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, which resides on the refuge's 48,000 acres.

Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge (Mississippi)

A favorite wildlife viewing area is the 30-foot-high observation platform at Goose Overlook that overlooks the Dickerson Arm of Bluff Lake, where geese and white-tailed deer can be seen in the fall. Visitors can take in a panoramic view of the refuge from Morgan Hill, and boardwalk and hiking trails are available within the refuge. Other activities include fishing and hunting, and there are picnic tables in the park, too.


10 Questions for Jo Robinson, Author of Eating on the Wild Side

W ith Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, Jo Robinson has written the next Omnivore&aposs Dilemma𠅊 book of revelations that food lovers and home cooks everywhere will be reading, recommending, quoting, and living by. Robinson may not be a household name yet, but her groundbreaking work will turn much of what you thought you knew about food upside down and inside out. Chew on this amazing fact, for starters, one of hundreds in the book: Berries have 4 times more antioxidant activity than the majority of other fruits, 10 times more than most vegetables, and 40 times more than some cereals.

Eating on the Wild Side explains the fascinating changes that have taken place in our food in the 10,000 years since man&aposs adoption of agriculture, and the unintended consequences of those changes. Generations of farmers, following in the footsteps of our distant ancestors, selected what plants to grow based on flavor, ease of harvest, and the simple economics of what would sell, and not on the plants&apos beneficial nutrients, something they had no way of knowing until very recently. The upshot: What we eat today is actually far less nutritious than what our hunter-gatherer forebears ate.

As alarming as all this may sound, there is lots of good news here, too. 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&apos market, or home garden. For instance, when it comes to apples, the Granny Smith is the most nutritious of the 12 most common varieties (surprise!).

If the mere mention of nutrients and scientific journals makes your head spin, rest assured that Robinson&aposs book is an entertaining read full of unforgettable stories—the kind you&aposre likely to repeat at cocktail parties. Each chapter ends with a clear, concise list of the take-away points, along with charts of the best varieties of each type of produce to choose at the supermarket, the farmers&apos market, and from seed catalogues. It&aposs the new food bible for the 21st century.

We caught up with Robinson between food conferences to find out more about how to eat on the wild side. In addition, she shares two super-nutritious recipes from her book, Armenian Lentil Soup and Apple Crisp with Apple Skins.

Epicurious: In your last book, Pasture Perfect, you showed how beneficial it is on so many levels to confine our consumption of livestock and dairy products to animals raised on grass. What was the impetus to investigate and write about fruits, vegetables, grains, and pulses in your latest book, Eating on the Wild Side?

Jo Robinson: Since 2000, I&aposve been investigating the nutritional differences between our present-day diet and our original diet of wild game, plants, and seafood. I spent five of those years focusing on animal products and developing the EatWild.com website. Then, I began researching fruits and vegetables so I could cover more of the food on the plate.

Epi: The information you unearthed about so many of the fruits and vegetables we take for granted is truly amazing, even shocking at times. When you started your research for the book, what did you expect to find, and what was the discovery that surprised you the most?

JR: My intuition was that wild plants were more nutritious than the plant food we eat today, but I wasn&apost prepared for the extent of those differences. Some wild tomatoes, for example, have 30 times more of a heart-protective compound called lycopene than our supermarket tomatoes. The wild dandelions in our lawns have eight times more antioxidants than spinach, which we regard as a superfood. Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet. We didn&apost start 50 or 100 years ago, as many people assume, but 10,000 years ago when we first became farmers.

Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet.

Epi: You write that the 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. From an evolutionary biology point of view, is there a logical theory or explanation for this?

JR: There is. In the wilderness, most plants are low in sugar, starch, and fat. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors needed lots of calories to fuel their active lifestyle. Nature, obligingly, gave them taste buds that were linked to reward centers in their brains, infusing them with feel-good chemicals whenever they consumed sugary, oily, and starchy food. Today, we have the same wiring, but we&aposve turned our food supply upside down. We are now awash in fat, sugar, and starch. Unfortunately, we still get blasts of dopamine when we eat dessert after a full meal.

Epi: I was amazed to learn from you that berries increase their antioxidant profile with cooking, so that canned blueberries have more phytonutrients than fresh. Does that really mean that the wild blueberries I pick in northern New Hampshire and immediately pop in my mouth aren&apost as nutritious as a can of cultivated blueberries from the supermarket?

JR: Those fresh wild blueberries are likely to be better for you than canned cultivated blueberries because the wild varieties are so much higher in antioxidants. But, canned wild blueberries have more antioxidants than fresh wild blueberries, provided you drink the canning liquid. Bizarre but true. However, you get plenty of phytonutrients from fresh berries𠅊nd they taste better! I, for one, eat them fresh.

Epi: Your storage recommendations for various produce were surprisingly varied. Some fruits and vegetables need to be eaten soon after purchase while others will last longer when stored in the crisper section of the refrigerator or in plastic bags perforated with a few pinpricks. Many people tend to shop for food only once a week. If they can&apost consume their produce at its optimum time, what&aposs the best way to deal with it?

JR: You can still shop once a week, if you like. But eat the foods that lose their nutrients most rapidly in the first two days. "Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach. Interestingly, they are also among the most nutritious.

"Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach.

Epi: Are frozen fruits and vegetables a potentially better source of phytonutrients than fresh produce that&aposs been picked and trucked across country?

JR: There&aposs a better alternative to eating frozen food or food that&aposs languished for days and weeks in a warehouse: Get more of your fruits and vegetables from the farmers&apos market or grow it in your backyard, which is the healthiest choice of all. Join the 35 million Americans who have home gardens. If you must buy frozen food, cook it before thawing it. The thawing process destroys more bionutrients than freezing.

Epi: In your research did you find there was a difference between the phytonutrient content of organic foods versus conventionally grown ones?

JR: This is an area of research that needs much more attention. To date, some studies show that organic production enhances phytonutrient content, some show no effect, and some show that conventional production yields more bionutrients. Even though the verdict is mixed, I eat organic food and recommend that other people do as well. It reduces your intake of unwanted farm chemicals, keeps toxic chemicals out of the environment, and protects the health of farmworkers.

Epi: A surprising amount of your research seems to point toward a phytonutrient improvement for humans with cooked foods. The raw-foods enthusiasts maintain that cooking destroys beneficial enzymes. Do the benefits of cooking trump the beneficial action from the enzymes in raw food?

JR: Heat makes many bionutrients more available and potent. Cooked carrots, for example, give you twice as much beta-carotene as raw ones. But raw broccoli gives you more cancer-fighting compounds than cooked broccoli. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Heat does destroy enzymes, of course, but I have not researched the health effects of getting rid of them.

Epi: If people can only manage to adopt a few new practices from your book, what do you consider to be the three most important and effective ones for their general well-being?

JR: I believe that people should eat more berries𠅊 half a cup a day is a reasonable goal—more leafy greens and reds [beet greens, red kale, red cabbage, red lettuces, and radicchio, particularly radicchio di Treviso], and eat the skins of fruits and vegetables, provided they&aposre organic.

Epi: Since researching and writing the book, how have you changed your diet and the way you shop and cook? Have you given up eating anything? Have you embraced certain produce, grains, or legumes that you ignored before? Are you trying to grow or forage all your food?

JR: Everything about my diet has been transformed by my research. Many of the changes are not radical. I get a big boost in nutrition simply from knowing which varieties of fruits and vegetables to buy in the store, information that I share in my book. Knowing the most healthful ways to store and prepare food is just as important. I&aposve included that as well. I have a wonderful garden where I grow the most nutritious varieties of fruits and vegetables I&aposve discovered.


10 Questions for Jo Robinson, Author of Eating on the Wild Side

W ith Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, Jo Robinson has written the next Omnivore&aposs Dilemma𠅊 book of revelations that food lovers and home cooks everywhere will be reading, recommending, quoting, and living by. Robinson may not be a household name yet, but her groundbreaking work will turn much of what you thought you knew about food upside down and inside out. Chew on this amazing fact, for starters, one of hundreds in the book: Berries have 4 times more antioxidant activity than the majority of other fruits, 10 times more than most vegetables, and 40 times more than some cereals.

Eating on the Wild Side explains the fascinating changes that have taken place in our food in the 10,000 years since man&aposs adoption of agriculture, and the unintended consequences of those changes. Generations of farmers, following in the footsteps of our distant ancestors, selected what plants to grow based on flavor, ease of harvest, and the simple economics of what would sell, and not on the plants&apos beneficial nutrients, something they had no way of knowing until very recently. The upshot: What we eat today is actually far less nutritious than what our hunter-gatherer forebears ate.

As alarming as all this may sound, there is lots of good news here, too. 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&apos market, or home garden. For instance, when it comes to apples, the Granny Smith is the most nutritious of the 12 most common varieties (surprise!).

If the mere mention of nutrients and scientific journals makes your head spin, rest assured that Robinson&aposs book is an entertaining read full of unforgettable stories—the kind you&aposre likely to repeat at cocktail parties. Each chapter ends with a clear, concise list of the take-away points, along with charts of the best varieties of each type of produce to choose at the supermarket, the farmers&apos market, and from seed catalogues. It&aposs the new food bible for the 21st century.

We caught up with Robinson between food conferences to find out more about how to eat on the wild side. In addition, she shares two super-nutritious recipes from her book, Armenian Lentil Soup and Apple Crisp with Apple Skins.

Epicurious: In your last book, Pasture Perfect, you showed how beneficial it is on so many levels to confine our consumption of livestock and dairy products to animals raised on grass. What was the impetus to investigate and write about fruits, vegetables, grains, and pulses in your latest book, Eating on the Wild Side?

Jo Robinson: Since 2000, I&aposve been investigating the nutritional differences between our present-day diet and our original diet of wild game, plants, and seafood. I spent five of those years focusing on animal products and developing the EatWild.com website. Then, I began researching fruits and vegetables so I could cover more of the food on the plate.

Epi: The information you unearthed about so many of the fruits and vegetables we take for granted is truly amazing, even shocking at times. When you started your research for the book, what did you expect to find, and what was the discovery that surprised you the most?

JR: My intuition was that wild plants were more nutritious than the plant food we eat today, but I wasn&apost prepared for the extent of those differences. Some wild tomatoes, for example, have 30 times more of a heart-protective compound called lycopene than our supermarket tomatoes. The wild dandelions in our lawns have eight times more antioxidants than spinach, which we regard as a superfood. Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet. We didn&apost start 50 or 100 years ago, as many people assume, but 10,000 years ago when we first became farmers.

Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet.

Epi: You write that the 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. From an evolutionary biology point of view, is there a logical theory or explanation for this?

JR: There is. In the wilderness, most plants are low in sugar, starch, and fat. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors needed lots of calories to fuel their active lifestyle. Nature, obligingly, gave them taste buds that were linked to reward centers in their brains, infusing them with feel-good chemicals whenever they consumed sugary, oily, and starchy food. Today, we have the same wiring, but we&aposve turned our food supply upside down. We are now awash in fat, sugar, and starch. Unfortunately, we still get blasts of dopamine when we eat dessert after a full meal.

Epi: I was amazed to learn from you that berries increase their antioxidant profile with cooking, so that canned blueberries have more phytonutrients than fresh. Does that really mean that the wild blueberries I pick in northern New Hampshire and immediately pop in my mouth aren&apost as nutritious as a can of cultivated blueberries from the supermarket?

JR: Those fresh wild blueberries are likely to be better for you than canned cultivated blueberries because the wild varieties are so much higher in antioxidants. But, canned wild blueberries have more antioxidants than fresh wild blueberries, provided you drink the canning liquid. Bizarre but true. However, you get plenty of phytonutrients from fresh berries𠅊nd they taste better! I, for one, eat them fresh.

Epi: Your storage recommendations for various produce were surprisingly varied. Some fruits and vegetables need to be eaten soon after purchase while others will last longer when stored in the crisper section of the refrigerator or in plastic bags perforated with a few pinpricks. Many people tend to shop for food only once a week. If they can&apost consume their produce at its optimum time, what&aposs the best way to deal with it?

JR: You can still shop once a week, if you like. But eat the foods that lose their nutrients most rapidly in the first two days. "Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach. Interestingly, they are also among the most nutritious.

"Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach.

Epi: Are frozen fruits and vegetables a potentially better source of phytonutrients than fresh produce that&aposs been picked and trucked across country?

JR: There&aposs a better alternative to eating frozen food or food that&aposs languished for days and weeks in a warehouse: Get more of your fruits and vegetables from the farmers&apos market or grow it in your backyard, which is the healthiest choice of all. Join the 35 million Americans who have home gardens. If you must buy frozen food, cook it before thawing it. The thawing process destroys more bionutrients than freezing.

Epi: In your research did you find there was a difference between the phytonutrient content of organic foods versus conventionally grown ones?

JR: This is an area of research that needs much more attention. To date, some studies show that organic production enhances phytonutrient content, some show no effect, and some show that conventional production yields more bionutrients. Even though the verdict is mixed, I eat organic food and recommend that other people do as well. It reduces your intake of unwanted farm chemicals, keeps toxic chemicals out of the environment, and protects the health of farmworkers.

Epi: A surprising amount of your research seems to point toward a phytonutrient improvement for humans with cooked foods. The raw-foods enthusiasts maintain that cooking destroys beneficial enzymes. Do the benefits of cooking trump the beneficial action from the enzymes in raw food?

JR: Heat makes many bionutrients more available and potent. Cooked carrots, for example, give you twice as much beta-carotene as raw ones. But raw broccoli gives you more cancer-fighting compounds than cooked broccoli. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Heat does destroy enzymes, of course, but I have not researched the health effects of getting rid of them.

Epi: If people can only manage to adopt a few new practices from your book, what do you consider to be the three most important and effective ones for their general well-being?

JR: I believe that people should eat more berries𠅊 half a cup a day is a reasonable goal—more leafy greens and reds [beet greens, red kale, red cabbage, red lettuces, and radicchio, particularly radicchio di Treviso], and eat the skins of fruits and vegetables, provided they&aposre organic.

Epi: Since researching and writing the book, how have you changed your diet and the way you shop and cook? Have you given up eating anything? Have you embraced certain produce, grains, or legumes that you ignored before? Are you trying to grow or forage all your food?

JR: Everything about my diet has been transformed by my research. Many of the changes are not radical. I get a big boost in nutrition simply from knowing which varieties of fruits and vegetables to buy in the store, information that I share in my book. Knowing the most healthful ways to store and prepare food is just as important. I&aposve included that as well. I have a wonderful garden where I grow the most nutritious varieties of fruits and vegetables I&aposve discovered.


10 Questions for Jo Robinson, Author of Eating on the Wild Side

W ith Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, Jo Robinson has written the next Omnivore&aposs Dilemma𠅊 book of revelations that food lovers and home cooks everywhere will be reading, recommending, quoting, and living by. Robinson may not be a household name yet, but her groundbreaking work will turn much of what you thought you knew about food upside down and inside out. Chew on this amazing fact, for starters, one of hundreds in the book: Berries have 4 times more antioxidant activity than the majority of other fruits, 10 times more than most vegetables, and 40 times more than some cereals.

Eating on the Wild Side explains the fascinating changes that have taken place in our food in the 10,000 years since man&aposs adoption of agriculture, and the unintended consequences of those changes. Generations of farmers, following in the footsteps of our distant ancestors, selected what plants to grow based on flavor, ease of harvest, and the simple economics of what would sell, and not on the plants&apos beneficial nutrients, something they had no way of knowing until very recently. The upshot: What we eat today is actually far less nutritious than what our hunter-gatherer forebears ate.

As alarming as all this may sound, there is lots of good news here, too. 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&apos market, or home garden. For instance, when it comes to apples, the Granny Smith is the most nutritious of the 12 most common varieties (surprise!).

If the mere mention of nutrients and scientific journals makes your head spin, rest assured that Robinson&aposs book is an entertaining read full of unforgettable stories—the kind you&aposre likely to repeat at cocktail parties. Each chapter ends with a clear, concise list of the take-away points, along with charts of the best varieties of each type of produce to choose at the supermarket, the farmers&apos market, and from seed catalogues. It&aposs the new food bible for the 21st century.

We caught up with Robinson between food conferences to find out more about how to eat on the wild side. In addition, she shares two super-nutritious recipes from her book, Armenian Lentil Soup and Apple Crisp with Apple Skins.

Epicurious: In your last book, Pasture Perfect, you showed how beneficial it is on so many levels to confine our consumption of livestock and dairy products to animals raised on grass. What was the impetus to investigate and write about fruits, vegetables, grains, and pulses in your latest book, Eating on the Wild Side?

Jo Robinson: Since 2000, I&aposve been investigating the nutritional differences between our present-day diet and our original diet of wild game, plants, and seafood. I spent five of those years focusing on animal products and developing the EatWild.com website. Then, I began researching fruits and vegetables so I could cover more of the food on the plate.

Epi: The information you unearthed about so many of the fruits and vegetables we take for granted is truly amazing, even shocking at times. When you started your research for the book, what did you expect to find, and what was the discovery that surprised you the most?

JR: My intuition was that wild plants were more nutritious than the plant food we eat today, but I wasn&apost prepared for the extent of those differences. Some wild tomatoes, for example, have 30 times more of a heart-protective compound called lycopene than our supermarket tomatoes. The wild dandelions in our lawns have eight times more antioxidants than spinach, which we regard as a superfood. Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet. We didn&apost start 50 or 100 years ago, as many people assume, but 10,000 years ago when we first became farmers.

Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet.

Epi: You write that the 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. From an evolutionary biology point of view, is there a logical theory or explanation for this?

JR: There is. In the wilderness, most plants are low in sugar, starch, and fat. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors needed lots of calories to fuel their active lifestyle. Nature, obligingly, gave them taste buds that were linked to reward centers in their brains, infusing them with feel-good chemicals whenever they consumed sugary, oily, and starchy food. Today, we have the same wiring, but we&aposve turned our food supply upside down. We are now awash in fat, sugar, and starch. Unfortunately, we still get blasts of dopamine when we eat dessert after a full meal.

Epi: I was amazed to learn from you that berries increase their antioxidant profile with cooking, so that canned blueberries have more phytonutrients than fresh. Does that really mean that the wild blueberries I pick in northern New Hampshire and immediately pop in my mouth aren&apost as nutritious as a can of cultivated blueberries from the supermarket?

JR: Those fresh wild blueberries are likely to be better for you than canned cultivated blueberries because the wild varieties are so much higher in antioxidants. But, canned wild blueberries have more antioxidants than fresh wild blueberries, provided you drink the canning liquid. Bizarre but true. However, you get plenty of phytonutrients from fresh berries𠅊nd they taste better! I, for one, eat them fresh.

Epi: Your storage recommendations for various produce were surprisingly varied. Some fruits and vegetables need to be eaten soon after purchase while others will last longer when stored in the crisper section of the refrigerator or in plastic bags perforated with a few pinpricks. Many people tend to shop for food only once a week. If they can&apost consume their produce at its optimum time, what&aposs the best way to deal with it?

JR: You can still shop once a week, if you like. But eat the foods that lose their nutrients most rapidly in the first two days. "Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach. Interestingly, they are also among the most nutritious.

"Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach.

Epi: Are frozen fruits and vegetables a potentially better source of phytonutrients than fresh produce that&aposs been picked and trucked across country?

JR: There&aposs a better alternative to eating frozen food or food that&aposs languished for days and weeks in a warehouse: Get more of your fruits and vegetables from the farmers&apos market or grow it in your backyard, which is the healthiest choice of all. Join the 35 million Americans who have home gardens. If you must buy frozen food, cook it before thawing it. The thawing process destroys more bionutrients than freezing.

Epi: In your research did you find there was a difference between the phytonutrient content of organic foods versus conventionally grown ones?

JR: This is an area of research that needs much more attention. To date, some studies show that organic production enhances phytonutrient content, some show no effect, and some show that conventional production yields more bionutrients. Even though the verdict is mixed, I eat organic food and recommend that other people do as well. It reduces your intake of unwanted farm chemicals, keeps toxic chemicals out of the environment, and protects the health of farmworkers.

Epi: A surprising amount of your research seems to point toward a phytonutrient improvement for humans with cooked foods. The raw-foods enthusiasts maintain that cooking destroys beneficial enzymes. Do the benefits of cooking trump the beneficial action from the enzymes in raw food?

JR: Heat makes many bionutrients more available and potent. Cooked carrots, for example, give you twice as much beta-carotene as raw ones. But raw broccoli gives you more cancer-fighting compounds than cooked broccoli. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Heat does destroy enzymes, of course, but I have not researched the health effects of getting rid of them.

Epi: If people can only manage to adopt a few new practices from your book, what do you consider to be the three most important and effective ones for their general well-being?

JR: I believe that people should eat more berries𠅊 half a cup a day is a reasonable goal—more leafy greens and reds [beet greens, red kale, red cabbage, red lettuces, and radicchio, particularly radicchio di Treviso], and eat the skins of fruits and vegetables, provided they&aposre organic.

Epi: Since researching and writing the book, how have you changed your diet and the way you shop and cook? Have you given up eating anything? Have you embraced certain produce, grains, or legumes that you ignored before? Are you trying to grow or forage all your food?

JR: Everything about my diet has been transformed by my research. Many of the changes are not radical. I get a big boost in nutrition simply from knowing which varieties of fruits and vegetables to buy in the store, information that I share in my book. Knowing the most healthful ways to store and prepare food is just as important. I&aposve included that as well. I have a wonderful garden where I grow the most nutritious varieties of fruits and vegetables I&aposve discovered.


10 Questions for Jo Robinson, Author of Eating on the Wild Side

W ith Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, Jo Robinson has written the next Omnivore&aposs Dilemma𠅊 book of revelations that food lovers and home cooks everywhere will be reading, recommending, quoting, and living by. Robinson may not be a household name yet, but her groundbreaking work will turn much of what you thought you knew about food upside down and inside out. Chew on this amazing fact, for starters, one of hundreds in the book: Berries have 4 times more antioxidant activity than the majority of other fruits, 10 times more than most vegetables, and 40 times more than some cereals.

Eating on the Wild Side explains the fascinating changes that have taken place in our food in the 10,000 years since man&aposs adoption of agriculture, and the unintended consequences of those changes. Generations of farmers, following in the footsteps of our distant ancestors, selected what plants to grow based on flavor, ease of harvest, and the simple economics of what would sell, and not on the plants&apos beneficial nutrients, something they had no way of knowing until very recently. The upshot: What we eat today is actually far less nutritious than what our hunter-gatherer forebears ate.

As alarming as all this may sound, there is lots of good news here, too. 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&apos market, or home garden. For instance, when it comes to apples, the Granny Smith is the most nutritious of the 12 most common varieties (surprise!).

If the mere mention of nutrients and scientific journals makes your head spin, rest assured that Robinson&aposs book is an entertaining read full of unforgettable stories—the kind you&aposre likely to repeat at cocktail parties. Each chapter ends with a clear, concise list of the take-away points, along with charts of the best varieties of each type of produce to choose at the supermarket, the farmers&apos market, and from seed catalogues. It&aposs the new food bible for the 21st century.

We caught up with Robinson between food conferences to find out more about how to eat on the wild side. In addition, she shares two super-nutritious recipes from her book, Armenian Lentil Soup and Apple Crisp with Apple Skins.

Epicurious: In your last book, Pasture Perfect, you showed how beneficial it is on so many levels to confine our consumption of livestock and dairy products to animals raised on grass. What was the impetus to investigate and write about fruits, vegetables, grains, and pulses in your latest book, Eating on the Wild Side?

Jo Robinson: Since 2000, I&aposve been investigating the nutritional differences between our present-day diet and our original diet of wild game, plants, and seafood. I spent five of those years focusing on animal products and developing the EatWild.com website. Then, I began researching fruits and vegetables so I could cover more of the food on the plate.

Epi: The information you unearthed about so many of the fruits and vegetables we take for granted is truly amazing, even shocking at times. When you started your research for the book, what did you expect to find, and what was the discovery that surprised you the most?

JR: My intuition was that wild plants were more nutritious than the plant food we eat today, but I wasn&apost prepared for the extent of those differences. Some wild tomatoes, for example, have 30 times more of a heart-protective compound called lycopene than our supermarket tomatoes. The wild dandelions in our lawns have eight times more antioxidants than spinach, which we regard as a superfood. Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet. We didn&apost start 50 or 100 years ago, as many people assume, but 10,000 years ago when we first became farmers.

Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet.

Epi: You write that the 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. From an evolutionary biology point of view, is there a logical theory or explanation for this?

JR: There is. In the wilderness, most plants are low in sugar, starch, and fat. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors needed lots of calories to fuel their active lifestyle. Nature, obligingly, gave them taste buds that were linked to reward centers in their brains, infusing them with feel-good chemicals whenever they consumed sugary, oily, and starchy food. Today, we have the same wiring, but we&aposve turned our food supply upside down. We are now awash in fat, sugar, and starch. Unfortunately, we still get blasts of dopamine when we eat dessert after a full meal.

Epi: I was amazed to learn from you that berries increase their antioxidant profile with cooking, so that canned blueberries have more phytonutrients than fresh. Does that really mean that the wild blueberries I pick in northern New Hampshire and immediately pop in my mouth aren&apost as nutritious as a can of cultivated blueberries from the supermarket?

JR: Those fresh wild blueberries are likely to be better for you than canned cultivated blueberries because the wild varieties are so much higher in antioxidants. But, canned wild blueberries have more antioxidants than fresh wild blueberries, provided you drink the canning liquid. Bizarre but true. However, you get plenty of phytonutrients from fresh berries𠅊nd they taste better! I, for one, eat them fresh.

Epi: Your storage recommendations for various produce were surprisingly varied. Some fruits and vegetables need to be eaten soon after purchase while others will last longer when stored in the crisper section of the refrigerator or in plastic bags perforated with a few pinpricks. Many people tend to shop for food only once a week. If they can&apost consume their produce at its optimum time, what&aposs the best way to deal with it?

JR: You can still shop once a week, if you like. But eat the foods that lose their nutrients most rapidly in the first two days. "Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach. Interestingly, they are also among the most nutritious.

"Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach.

Epi: Are frozen fruits and vegetables a potentially better source of phytonutrients than fresh produce that&aposs been picked and trucked across country?

JR: There&aposs a better alternative to eating frozen food or food that&aposs languished for days and weeks in a warehouse: Get more of your fruits and vegetables from the farmers&apos market or grow it in your backyard, which is the healthiest choice of all. Join the 35 million Americans who have home gardens. If you must buy frozen food, cook it before thawing it. The thawing process destroys more bionutrients than freezing.

Epi: In your research did you find there was a difference between the phytonutrient content of organic foods versus conventionally grown ones?

JR: This is an area of research that needs much more attention. To date, some studies show that organic production enhances phytonutrient content, some show no effect, and some show that conventional production yields more bionutrients. Even though the verdict is mixed, I eat organic food and recommend that other people do as well. It reduces your intake of unwanted farm chemicals, keeps toxic chemicals out of the environment, and protects the health of farmworkers.

Epi: A surprising amount of your research seems to point toward a phytonutrient improvement for humans with cooked foods. The raw-foods enthusiasts maintain that cooking destroys beneficial enzymes. Do the benefits of cooking trump the beneficial action from the enzymes in raw food?

JR: Heat makes many bionutrients more available and potent. Cooked carrots, for example, give you twice as much beta-carotene as raw ones. But raw broccoli gives you more cancer-fighting compounds than cooked broccoli. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Heat does destroy enzymes, of course, but I have not researched the health effects of getting rid of them.

Epi: If people can only manage to adopt a few new practices from your book, what do you consider to be the three most important and effective ones for their general well-being?

JR: I believe that people should eat more berries𠅊 half a cup a day is a reasonable goal—more leafy greens and reds [beet greens, red kale, red cabbage, red lettuces, and radicchio, particularly radicchio di Treviso], and eat the skins of fruits and vegetables, provided they&aposre organic.

Epi: Since researching and writing the book, how have you changed your diet and the way you shop and cook? Have you given up eating anything? Have you embraced certain produce, grains, or legumes that you ignored before? Are you trying to grow or forage all your food?

JR: Everything about my diet has been transformed by my research. Many of the changes are not radical. I get a big boost in nutrition simply from knowing which varieties of fruits and vegetables to buy in the store, information that I share in my book. Knowing the most healthful ways to store and prepare food is just as important. I&aposve included that as well. I have a wonderful garden where I grow the most nutritious varieties of fruits and vegetables I&aposve discovered.


10 Questions for Jo Robinson, Author of Eating on the Wild Side

W ith Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, Jo Robinson has written the next Omnivore&aposs Dilemma𠅊 book of revelations that food lovers and home cooks everywhere will be reading, recommending, quoting, and living by. Robinson may not be a household name yet, but her groundbreaking work will turn much of what you thought you knew about food upside down and inside out. Chew on this amazing fact, for starters, one of hundreds in the book: Berries have 4 times more antioxidant activity than the majority of other fruits, 10 times more than most vegetables, and 40 times more than some cereals.

Eating on the Wild Side explains the fascinating changes that have taken place in our food in the 10,000 years since man&aposs adoption of agriculture, and the unintended consequences of those changes. Generations of farmers, following in the footsteps of our distant ancestors, selected what plants to grow based on flavor, ease of harvest, and the simple economics of what would sell, and not on the plants&apos beneficial nutrients, something they had no way of knowing until very recently. The upshot: What we eat today is actually far less nutritious than what our hunter-gatherer forebears ate.

As alarming as all this may sound, there is lots of good news here, too. 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&apos market, or home garden. For instance, when it comes to apples, the Granny Smith is the most nutritious of the 12 most common varieties (surprise!).

If the mere mention of nutrients and scientific journals makes your head spin, rest assured that Robinson&aposs book is an entertaining read full of unforgettable stories—the kind you&aposre likely to repeat at cocktail parties. Each chapter ends with a clear, concise list of the take-away points, along with charts of the best varieties of each type of produce to choose at the supermarket, the farmers&apos market, and from seed catalogues. It&aposs the new food bible for the 21st century.

We caught up with Robinson between food conferences to find out more about how to eat on the wild side. In addition, she shares two super-nutritious recipes from her book, Armenian Lentil Soup and Apple Crisp with Apple Skins.

Epicurious: In your last book, Pasture Perfect, you showed how beneficial it is on so many levels to confine our consumption of livestock and dairy products to animals raised on grass. What was the impetus to investigate and write about fruits, vegetables, grains, and pulses in your latest book, Eating on the Wild Side?

Jo Robinson: Since 2000, I&aposve been investigating the nutritional differences between our present-day diet and our original diet of wild game, plants, and seafood. I spent five of those years focusing on animal products and developing the EatWild.com website. Then, I began researching fruits and vegetables so I could cover more of the food on the plate.

Epi: The information you unearthed about so many of the fruits and vegetables we take for granted is truly amazing, even shocking at times. When you started your research for the book, what did you expect to find, and what was the discovery that surprised you the most?

JR: My intuition was that wild plants were more nutritious than the plant food we eat today, but I wasn&apost prepared for the extent of those differences. Some wild tomatoes, for example, have 30 times more of a heart-protective compound called lycopene than our supermarket tomatoes. The wild dandelions in our lawns have eight times more antioxidants than spinach, which we regard as a superfood. Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet. We didn&apost start 50 or 100 years ago, as many people assume, but 10,000 years ago when we first became farmers.

Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet.

Epi: You write that the 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. From an evolutionary biology point of view, is there a logical theory or explanation for this?

JR: There is. In the wilderness, most plants are low in sugar, starch, and fat. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors needed lots of calories to fuel their active lifestyle. Nature, obligingly, gave them taste buds that were linked to reward centers in their brains, infusing them with feel-good chemicals whenever they consumed sugary, oily, and starchy food. Today, we have the same wiring, but we&aposve turned our food supply upside down. We are now awash in fat, sugar, and starch. Unfortunately, we still get blasts of dopamine when we eat dessert after a full meal.

Epi: I was amazed to learn from you that berries increase their antioxidant profile with cooking, so that canned blueberries have more phytonutrients than fresh. Does that really mean that the wild blueberries I pick in northern New Hampshire and immediately pop in my mouth aren&apost as nutritious as a can of cultivated blueberries from the supermarket?

JR: Those fresh wild blueberries are likely to be better for you than canned cultivated blueberries because the wild varieties are so much higher in antioxidants. But, canned wild blueberries have more antioxidants than fresh wild blueberries, provided you drink the canning liquid. Bizarre but true. However, you get plenty of phytonutrients from fresh berries𠅊nd they taste better! I, for one, eat them fresh.

Epi: Your storage recommendations for various produce were surprisingly varied. Some fruits and vegetables need to be eaten soon after purchase while others will last longer when stored in the crisper section of the refrigerator or in plastic bags perforated with a few pinpricks. Many people tend to shop for food only once a week. If they can&apost consume their produce at its optimum time, what&aposs the best way to deal with it?

JR: You can still shop once a week, if you like. But eat the foods that lose their nutrients most rapidly in the first two days. "Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach. Interestingly, they are also among the most nutritious.

"Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach.

Epi: Are frozen fruits and vegetables a potentially better source of phytonutrients than fresh produce that&aposs been picked and trucked across country?

JR: There&aposs a better alternative to eating frozen food or food that&aposs languished for days and weeks in a warehouse: Get more of your fruits and vegetables from the farmers&apos market or grow it in your backyard, which is the healthiest choice of all. Join the 35 million Americans who have home gardens. If you must buy frozen food, cook it before thawing it. The thawing process destroys more bionutrients than freezing.

Epi: In your research did you find there was a difference between the phytonutrient content of organic foods versus conventionally grown ones?

JR: This is an area of research that needs much more attention. To date, some studies show that organic production enhances phytonutrient content, some show no effect, and some show that conventional production yields more bionutrients. Even though the verdict is mixed, I eat organic food and recommend that other people do as well. It reduces your intake of unwanted farm chemicals, keeps toxic chemicals out of the environment, and protects the health of farmworkers.

Epi: A surprising amount of your research seems to point toward a phytonutrient improvement for humans with cooked foods. The raw-foods enthusiasts maintain that cooking destroys beneficial enzymes. Do the benefits of cooking trump the beneficial action from the enzymes in raw food?

JR: Heat makes many bionutrients more available and potent. Cooked carrots, for example, give you twice as much beta-carotene as raw ones. But raw broccoli gives you more cancer-fighting compounds than cooked broccoli. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Heat does destroy enzymes, of course, but I have not researched the health effects of getting rid of them.

Epi: If people can only manage to adopt a few new practices from your book, what do you consider to be the three most important and effective ones for their general well-being?

JR: I believe that people should eat more berries𠅊 half a cup a day is a reasonable goal—more leafy greens and reds [beet greens, red kale, red cabbage, red lettuces, and radicchio, particularly radicchio di Treviso], and eat the skins of fruits and vegetables, provided they&aposre organic.

Epi: Since researching and writing the book, how have you changed your diet and the way you shop and cook? Have you given up eating anything? Have you embraced certain produce, grains, or legumes that you ignored before? Are you trying to grow or forage all your food?

JR: Everything about my diet has been transformed by my research. Many of the changes are not radical. I get a big boost in nutrition simply from knowing which varieties of fruits and vegetables to buy in the store, information that I share in my book. Knowing the most healthful ways to store and prepare food is just as important. I&aposve included that as well. I have a wonderful garden where I grow the most nutritious varieties of fruits and vegetables I&aposve discovered.


10 Questions for Jo Robinson, Author of Eating on the Wild Side

W ith Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, Jo Robinson has written the next Omnivore&aposs Dilemma𠅊 book of revelations that food lovers and home cooks everywhere will be reading, recommending, quoting, and living by. Robinson may not be a household name yet, but her groundbreaking work will turn much of what you thought you knew about food upside down and inside out. Chew on this amazing fact, for starters, one of hundreds in the book: Berries have 4 times more antioxidant activity than the majority of other fruits, 10 times more than most vegetables, and 40 times more than some cereals.

Eating on the Wild Side explains the fascinating changes that have taken place in our food in the 10,000 years since man&aposs adoption of agriculture, and the unintended consequences of those changes. Generations of farmers, following in the footsteps of our distant ancestors, selected what plants to grow based on flavor, ease of harvest, and the simple economics of what would sell, and not on the plants&apos beneficial nutrients, something they had no way of knowing until very recently. The upshot: What we eat today is actually far less nutritious than what our hunter-gatherer forebears ate.

As alarming as all this may sound, there is lots of good news here, too. 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&apos market, or home garden. For instance, when it comes to apples, the Granny Smith is the most nutritious of the 12 most common varieties (surprise!).

If the mere mention of nutrients and scientific journals makes your head spin, rest assured that Robinson&aposs book is an entertaining read full of unforgettable stories—the kind you&aposre likely to repeat at cocktail parties. Each chapter ends with a clear, concise list of the take-away points, along with charts of the best varieties of each type of produce to choose at the supermarket, the farmers&apos market, and from seed catalogues. It&aposs the new food bible for the 21st century.

We caught up with Robinson between food conferences to find out more about how to eat on the wild side. In addition, she shares two super-nutritious recipes from her book, Armenian Lentil Soup and Apple Crisp with Apple Skins.

Epicurious: In your last book, Pasture Perfect, you showed how beneficial it is on so many levels to confine our consumption of livestock and dairy products to animals raised on grass. What was the impetus to investigate and write about fruits, vegetables, grains, and pulses in your latest book, Eating on the Wild Side?

Jo Robinson: Since 2000, I&aposve been investigating the nutritional differences between our present-day diet and our original diet of wild game, plants, and seafood. I spent five of those years focusing on animal products and developing the EatWild.com website. Then, I began researching fruits and vegetables so I could cover more of the food on the plate.

Epi: The information you unearthed about so many of the fruits and vegetables we take for granted is truly amazing, even shocking at times. When you started your research for the book, what did you expect to find, and what was the discovery that surprised you the most?

JR: My intuition was that wild plants were more nutritious than the plant food we eat today, but I wasn&apost prepared for the extent of those differences. Some wild tomatoes, for example, have 30 times more of a heart-protective compound called lycopene than our supermarket tomatoes. The wild dandelions in our lawns have eight times more antioxidants than spinach, which we regard as a superfood. Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet. We didn&apost start 50 or 100 years ago, as many people assume, but 10,000 years ago when we first became farmers.

Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet.

Epi: You write that the 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. From an evolutionary biology point of view, is there a logical theory or explanation for this?

JR: There is. In the wilderness, most plants are low in sugar, starch, and fat. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors needed lots of calories to fuel their active lifestyle. Nature, obligingly, gave them taste buds that were linked to reward centers in their brains, infusing them with feel-good chemicals whenever they consumed sugary, oily, and starchy food. Today, we have the same wiring, but we&aposve turned our food supply upside down. We are now awash in fat, sugar, and starch. Unfortunately, we still get blasts of dopamine when we eat dessert after a full meal.

Epi: I was amazed to learn from you that berries increase their antioxidant profile with cooking, so that canned blueberries have more phytonutrients than fresh. Does that really mean that the wild blueberries I pick in northern New Hampshire and immediately pop in my mouth aren&apost as nutritious as a can of cultivated blueberries from the supermarket?

JR: Those fresh wild blueberries are likely to be better for you than canned cultivated blueberries because the wild varieties are so much higher in antioxidants. But, canned wild blueberries have more antioxidants than fresh wild blueberries, provided you drink the canning liquid. Bizarre but true. However, you get plenty of phytonutrients from fresh berries𠅊nd they taste better! I, for one, eat them fresh.

Epi: Your storage recommendations for various produce were surprisingly varied. Some fruits and vegetables need to be eaten soon after purchase while others will last longer when stored in the crisper section of the refrigerator or in plastic bags perforated with a few pinpricks. Many people tend to shop for food only once a week. If they can&apost consume their produce at its optimum time, what&aposs the best way to deal with it?

JR: You can still shop once a week, if you like. But eat the foods that lose their nutrients most rapidly in the first two days. "Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach. Interestingly, they are also among the most nutritious.

"Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach.

Epi: Are frozen fruits and vegetables a potentially better source of phytonutrients than fresh produce that&aposs been picked and trucked across country?

JR: There&aposs a better alternative to eating frozen food or food that&aposs languished for days and weeks in a warehouse: Get more of your fruits and vegetables from the farmers&apos market or grow it in your backyard, which is the healthiest choice of all. Join the 35 million Americans who have home gardens. If you must buy frozen food, cook it before thawing it. The thawing process destroys more bionutrients than freezing.

Epi: In your research did you find there was a difference between the phytonutrient content of organic foods versus conventionally grown ones?

JR: This is an area of research that needs much more attention. To date, some studies show that organic production enhances phytonutrient content, some show no effect, and some show that conventional production yields more bionutrients. Even though the verdict is mixed, I eat organic food and recommend that other people do as well. It reduces your intake of unwanted farm chemicals, keeps toxic chemicals out of the environment, and protects the health of farmworkers.

Epi: A surprising amount of your research seems to point toward a phytonutrient improvement for humans with cooked foods. The raw-foods enthusiasts maintain that cooking destroys beneficial enzymes. Do the benefits of cooking trump the beneficial action from the enzymes in raw food?

JR: Heat makes many bionutrients more available and potent. Cooked carrots, for example, give you twice as much beta-carotene as raw ones. But raw broccoli gives you more cancer-fighting compounds than cooked broccoli. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Heat does destroy enzymes, of course, but I have not researched the health effects of getting rid of them.

Epi: If people can only manage to adopt a few new practices from your book, what do you consider to be the three most important and effective ones for their general well-being?

JR: I believe that people should eat more berries𠅊 half a cup a day is a reasonable goal—more leafy greens and reds [beet greens, red kale, red cabbage, red lettuces, and radicchio, particularly radicchio di Treviso], and eat the skins of fruits and vegetables, provided they&aposre organic.

Epi: Since researching and writing the book, how have you changed your diet and the way you shop and cook? Have you given up eating anything? Have you embraced certain produce, grains, or legumes that you ignored before? Are you trying to grow or forage all your food?

JR: Everything about my diet has been transformed by my research. Many of the changes are not radical. I get a big boost in nutrition simply from knowing which varieties of fruits and vegetables to buy in the store, information that I share in my book. Knowing the most healthful ways to store and prepare food is just as important. I&aposve included that as well. I have a wonderful garden where I grow the most nutritious varieties of fruits and vegetables I&aposve discovered.


10 Questions for Jo Robinson, Author of Eating on the Wild Side

W ith Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, Jo Robinson has written the next Omnivore&aposs Dilemma𠅊 book of revelations that food lovers and home cooks everywhere will be reading, recommending, quoting, and living by. Robinson may not be a household name yet, but her groundbreaking work will turn much of what you thought you knew about food upside down and inside out. Chew on this amazing fact, for starters, one of hundreds in the book: Berries have 4 times more antioxidant activity than the majority of other fruits, 10 times more than most vegetables, and 40 times more than some cereals.

Eating on the Wild Side explains the fascinating changes that have taken place in our food in the 10,000 years since man&aposs adoption of agriculture, and the unintended consequences of those changes. Generations of farmers, following in the footsteps of our distant ancestors, selected what plants to grow based on flavor, ease of harvest, and the simple economics of what would sell, and not on the plants&apos beneficial nutrients, something they had no way of knowing until very recently. The upshot: What we eat today is actually far less nutritious than what our hunter-gatherer forebears ate.

As alarming as all this may sound, there is lots of good news here, too. 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&apos market, or home garden. For instance, when it comes to apples, the Granny Smith is the most nutritious of the 12 most common varieties (surprise!).

If the mere mention of nutrients and scientific journals makes your head spin, rest assured that Robinson&aposs book is an entertaining read full of unforgettable stories—the kind you&aposre likely to repeat at cocktail parties. Each chapter ends with a clear, concise list of the take-away points, along with charts of the best varieties of each type of produce to choose at the supermarket, the farmers&apos market, and from seed catalogues. It&aposs the new food bible for the 21st century.

We caught up with Robinson between food conferences to find out more about how to eat on the wild side. In addition, she shares two super-nutritious recipes from her book, Armenian Lentil Soup and Apple Crisp with Apple Skins.

Epicurious: In your last book, Pasture Perfect, you showed how beneficial it is on so many levels to confine our consumption of livestock and dairy products to animals raised on grass. What was the impetus to investigate and write about fruits, vegetables, grains, and pulses in your latest book, Eating on the Wild Side?

Jo Robinson: Since 2000, I&aposve been investigating the nutritional differences between our present-day diet and our original diet of wild game, plants, and seafood. I spent five of those years focusing on animal products and developing the EatWild.com website. Then, I began researching fruits and vegetables so I could cover more of the food on the plate.

Epi: The information you unearthed about so many of the fruits and vegetables we take for granted is truly amazing, even shocking at times. When you started your research for the book, what did you expect to find, and what was the discovery that surprised you the most?

JR: My intuition was that wild plants were more nutritious than the plant food we eat today, but I wasn&apost prepared for the extent of those differences. Some wild tomatoes, for example, have 30 times more of a heart-protective compound called lycopene than our supermarket tomatoes. The wild dandelions in our lawns have eight times more antioxidants than spinach, which we regard as a superfood. Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet. We didn&apost start 50 or 100 years ago, as many people assume, but 10,000 years ago when we first became farmers.

Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet.

Epi: You write that the 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. From an evolutionary biology point of view, is there a logical theory or explanation for this?

JR: There is. In the wilderness, most plants are low in sugar, starch, and fat. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors needed lots of calories to fuel their active lifestyle. Nature, obligingly, gave them taste buds that were linked to reward centers in their brains, infusing them with feel-good chemicals whenever they consumed sugary, oily, and starchy food. Today, we have the same wiring, but we&aposve turned our food supply upside down. We are now awash in fat, sugar, and starch. Unfortunately, we still get blasts of dopamine when we eat dessert after a full meal.

Epi: I was amazed to learn from you that berries increase their antioxidant profile with cooking, so that canned blueberries have more phytonutrients than fresh. Does that really mean that the wild blueberries I pick in northern New Hampshire and immediately pop in my mouth aren&apost as nutritious as a can of cultivated blueberries from the supermarket?

JR: Those fresh wild blueberries are likely to be better for you than canned cultivated blueberries because the wild varieties are so much higher in antioxidants. But, canned wild blueberries have more antioxidants than fresh wild blueberries, provided you drink the canning liquid. Bizarre but true. However, you get plenty of phytonutrients from fresh berries𠅊nd they taste better! I, for one, eat them fresh.

Epi: Your storage recommendations for various produce were surprisingly varied. Some fruits and vegetables need to be eaten soon after purchase while others will last longer when stored in the crisper section of the refrigerator or in plastic bags perforated with a few pinpricks. Many people tend to shop for food only once a week. If they can&apost consume their produce at its optimum time, what&aposs the best way to deal with it?

JR: You can still shop once a week, if you like. But eat the foods that lose their nutrients most rapidly in the first two days. "Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach. Interestingly, they are also among the most nutritious.

"Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach.

Epi: Are frozen fruits and vegetables a potentially better source of phytonutrients than fresh produce that&aposs been picked and trucked across country?

JR: There&aposs a better alternative to eating frozen food or food that&aposs languished for days and weeks in a warehouse: Get more of your fruits and vegetables from the farmers&apos market or grow it in your backyard, which is the healthiest choice of all. Join the 35 million Americans who have home gardens. If you must buy frozen food, cook it before thawing it. The thawing process destroys more bionutrients than freezing.

Epi: In your research did you find there was a difference between the phytonutrient content of organic foods versus conventionally grown ones?

JR: This is an area of research that needs much more attention. To date, some studies show that organic production enhances phytonutrient content, some show no effect, and some show that conventional production yields more bionutrients. Even though the verdict is mixed, I eat organic food and recommend that other people do as well. It reduces your intake of unwanted farm chemicals, keeps toxic chemicals out of the environment, and protects the health of farmworkers.

Epi: A surprising amount of your research seems to point toward a phytonutrient improvement for humans with cooked foods. The raw-foods enthusiasts maintain that cooking destroys beneficial enzymes. Do the benefits of cooking trump the beneficial action from the enzymes in raw food?

JR: Heat makes many bionutrients more available and potent. Cooked carrots, for example, give you twice as much beta-carotene as raw ones. But raw broccoli gives you more cancer-fighting compounds than cooked broccoli. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Heat does destroy enzymes, of course, but I have not researched the health effects of getting rid of them.

Epi: If people can only manage to adopt a few new practices from your book, what do you consider to be the three most important and effective ones for their general well-being?

JR: I believe that people should eat more berries𠅊 half a cup a day is a reasonable goal—more leafy greens and reds [beet greens, red kale, red cabbage, red lettuces, and radicchio, particularly radicchio di Treviso], and eat the skins of fruits and vegetables, provided they&aposre organic.

Epi: Since researching and writing the book, how have you changed your diet and the way you shop and cook? Have you given up eating anything? Have you embraced certain produce, grains, or legumes that you ignored before? Are you trying to grow or forage all your food?

JR: Everything about my diet has been transformed by my research. Many of the changes are not radical. I get a big boost in nutrition simply from knowing which varieties of fruits and vegetables to buy in the store, information that I share in my book. Knowing the most healthful ways to store and prepare food is just as important. I&aposve included that as well. I have a wonderful garden where I grow the most nutritious varieties of fruits and vegetables I&aposve discovered.


10 Questions for Jo Robinson, Author of Eating on the Wild Side

W ith Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, Jo Robinson has written the next Omnivore&aposs Dilemma𠅊 book of revelations that food lovers and home cooks everywhere will be reading, recommending, quoting, and living by. Robinson may not be a household name yet, but her groundbreaking work will turn much of what you thought you knew about food upside down and inside out. Chew on this amazing fact, for starters, one of hundreds in the book: Berries have 4 times more antioxidant activity than the majority of other fruits, 10 times more than most vegetables, and 40 times more than some cereals.

Eating on the Wild Side explains the fascinating changes that have taken place in our food in the 10,000 years since man&aposs adoption of agriculture, and the unintended consequences of those changes. Generations of farmers, following in the footsteps of our distant ancestors, selected what plants to grow based on flavor, ease of harvest, and the simple economics of what would sell, and not on the plants&apos beneficial nutrients, something they had no way of knowing until very recently. The upshot: What we eat today is actually far less nutritious than what our hunter-gatherer forebears ate.

As alarming as all this may sound, there is lots of good news here, too. 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&apos market, or home garden. For instance, when it comes to apples, the Granny Smith is the most nutritious of the 12 most common varieties (surprise!).

If the mere mention of nutrients and scientific journals makes your head spin, rest assured that Robinson&aposs book is an entertaining read full of unforgettable stories—the kind you&aposre likely to repeat at cocktail parties. Each chapter ends with a clear, concise list of the take-away points, along with charts of the best varieties of each type of produce to choose at the supermarket, the farmers&apos market, and from seed catalogues. It&aposs the new food bible for the 21st century.

We caught up with Robinson between food conferences to find out more about how to eat on the wild side. In addition, she shares two super-nutritious recipes from her book, Armenian Lentil Soup and Apple Crisp with Apple Skins.

Epicurious: In your last book, Pasture Perfect, you showed how beneficial it is on so many levels to confine our consumption of livestock and dairy products to animals raised on grass. What was the impetus to investigate and write about fruits, vegetables, grains, and pulses in your latest book, Eating on the Wild Side?

Jo Robinson: Since 2000, I&aposve been investigating the nutritional differences between our present-day diet and our original diet of wild game, plants, and seafood. I spent five of those years focusing on animal products and developing the EatWild.com website. Then, I began researching fruits and vegetables so I could cover more of the food on the plate.

Epi: The information you unearthed about so many of the fruits and vegetables we take for granted is truly amazing, even shocking at times. When you started your research for the book, what did you expect to find, and what was the discovery that surprised you the most?

JR: My intuition was that wild plants were more nutritious than the plant food we eat today, but I wasn&apost prepared for the extent of those differences. Some wild tomatoes, for example, have 30 times more of a heart-protective compound called lycopene than our supermarket tomatoes. The wild dandelions in our lawns have eight times more antioxidants than spinach, which we regard as a superfood. Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet. We didn&apost start 50 or 100 years ago, as many people assume, but 10,000 years ago when we first became farmers.

Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet.

Epi: You write that the 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. From an evolutionary biology point of view, is there a logical theory or explanation for this?

JR: There is. In the wilderness, most plants are low in sugar, starch, and fat. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors needed lots of calories to fuel their active lifestyle. Nature, obligingly, gave them taste buds that were linked to reward centers in their brains, infusing them with feel-good chemicals whenever they consumed sugary, oily, and starchy food. Today, we have the same wiring, but we&aposve turned our food supply upside down. We are now awash in fat, sugar, and starch. Unfortunately, we still get blasts of dopamine when we eat dessert after a full meal.

Epi: I was amazed to learn from you that berries increase their antioxidant profile with cooking, so that canned blueberries have more phytonutrients than fresh. Does that really mean that the wild blueberries I pick in northern New Hampshire and immediately pop in my mouth aren&apost as nutritious as a can of cultivated blueberries from the supermarket?

JR: Those fresh wild blueberries are likely to be better for you than canned cultivated blueberries because the wild varieties are so much higher in antioxidants. But, canned wild blueberries have more antioxidants than fresh wild blueberries, provided you drink the canning liquid. Bizarre but true. However, you get plenty of phytonutrients from fresh berries𠅊nd they taste better! I, for one, eat them fresh.

Epi: Your storage recommendations for various produce were surprisingly varied. Some fruits and vegetables need to be eaten soon after purchase while others will last longer when stored in the crisper section of the refrigerator or in plastic bags perforated with a few pinpricks. Many people tend to shop for food only once a week. If they can&apost consume their produce at its optimum time, what&aposs the best way to deal with it?

JR: You can still shop once a week, if you like. But eat the foods that lose their nutrients most rapidly in the first two days. "Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach. Interestingly, they are also among the most nutritious.

"Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach.

Epi: Are frozen fruits and vegetables a potentially better source of phytonutrients than fresh produce that&aposs been picked and trucked across country?

JR: There&aposs a better alternative to eating frozen food or food that&aposs languished for days and weeks in a warehouse: Get more of your fruits and vegetables from the farmers&apos market or grow it in your backyard, which is the healthiest choice of all. Join the 35 million Americans who have home gardens. If you must buy frozen food, cook it before thawing it. The thawing process destroys more bionutrients than freezing.

Epi: In your research did you find there was a difference between the phytonutrient content of organic foods versus conventionally grown ones?

JR: This is an area of research that needs much more attention. To date, some studies show that organic production enhances phytonutrient content, some show no effect, and some show that conventional production yields more bionutrients. Even though the verdict is mixed, I eat organic food and recommend that other people do as well. It reduces your intake of unwanted farm chemicals, keeps toxic chemicals out of the environment, and protects the health of farmworkers.

Epi: A surprising amount of your research seems to point toward a phytonutrient improvement for humans with cooked foods. The raw-foods enthusiasts maintain that cooking destroys beneficial enzymes. Do the benefits of cooking trump the beneficial action from the enzymes in raw food?

JR: Heat makes many bionutrients more available and potent. Cooked carrots, for example, give you twice as much beta-carotene as raw ones. But raw broccoli gives you more cancer-fighting compounds than cooked broccoli. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Heat does destroy enzymes, of course, but I have not researched the health effects of getting rid of them.

Epi: If people can only manage to adopt a few new practices from your book, what do you consider to be the three most important and effective ones for their general well-being?

JR: I believe that people should eat more berries𠅊 half a cup a day is a reasonable goal—more leafy greens and reds [beet greens, red kale, red cabbage, red lettuces, and radicchio, particularly radicchio di Treviso], and eat the skins of fruits and vegetables, provided they&aposre organic.

Epi: Since researching and writing the book, how have you changed your diet and the way you shop and cook? Have you given up eating anything? Have you embraced certain produce, grains, or legumes that you ignored before? Are you trying to grow or forage all your food?

JR: Everything about my diet has been transformed by my research. Many of the changes are not radical. I get a big boost in nutrition simply from knowing which varieties of fruits and vegetables to buy in the store, information that I share in my book. Knowing the most healthful ways to store and prepare food is just as important. I&aposve included that as well. I have a wonderful garden where I grow the most nutritious varieties of fruits and vegetables I&aposve discovered.


10 Questions for Jo Robinson, Author of Eating on the Wild Side

W ith Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, Jo Robinson has written the next Omnivore&aposs Dilemma𠅊 book of revelations that food lovers and home cooks everywhere will be reading, recommending, quoting, and living by. Robinson may not be a household name yet, but her groundbreaking work will turn much of what you thought you knew about food upside down and inside out. Chew on this amazing fact, for starters, one of hundreds in the book: Berries have 4 times more antioxidant activity than the majority of other fruits, 10 times more than most vegetables, and 40 times more than some cereals.

Eating on the Wild Side explains the fascinating changes that have taken place in our food in the 10,000 years since man&aposs adoption of agriculture, and the unintended consequences of those changes. Generations of farmers, following in the footsteps of our distant ancestors, selected what plants to grow based on flavor, ease of harvest, and the simple economics of what would sell, and not on the plants&apos beneficial nutrients, something they had no way of knowing until very recently. The upshot: What we eat today is actually far less nutritious than what our hunter-gatherer forebears ate.

As alarming as all this may sound, there is lots of good news here, too. 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&apos market, or home garden. For instance, when it comes to apples, the Granny Smith is the most nutritious of the 12 most common varieties (surprise!).

If the mere mention of nutrients and scientific journals makes your head spin, rest assured that Robinson&aposs book is an entertaining read full of unforgettable stories—the kind you&aposre likely to repeat at cocktail parties. Each chapter ends with a clear, concise list of the take-away points, along with charts of the best varieties of each type of produce to choose at the supermarket, the farmers&apos market, and from seed catalogues. It&aposs the new food bible for the 21st century.

We caught up with Robinson between food conferences to find out more about how to eat on the wild side. In addition, she shares two super-nutritious recipes from her book, Armenian Lentil Soup and Apple Crisp with Apple Skins.

Epicurious: In your last book, Pasture Perfect, you showed how beneficial it is on so many levels to confine our consumption of livestock and dairy products to animals raised on grass. What was the impetus to investigate and write about fruits, vegetables, grains, and pulses in your latest book, Eating on the Wild Side?

Jo Robinson: Since 2000, I&aposve been investigating the nutritional differences between our present-day diet and our original diet of wild game, plants, and seafood. I spent five of those years focusing on animal products and developing the EatWild.com website. Then, I began researching fruits and vegetables so I could cover more of the food on the plate.

Epi: The information you unearthed about so many of the fruits and vegetables we take for granted is truly amazing, even shocking at times. When you started your research for the book, what did you expect to find, and what was the discovery that surprised you the most?

JR: My intuition was that wild plants were more nutritious than the plant food we eat today, but I wasn&apost prepared for the extent of those differences. Some wild tomatoes, for example, have 30 times more of a heart-protective compound called lycopene than our supermarket tomatoes. The wild dandelions in our lawns have eight times more antioxidants than spinach, which we regard as a superfood. Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet. We didn&apost start 50 or 100 years ago, as many people assume, but 10,000 years ago when we first became farmers.

Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet.

Epi: You write that the 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. From an evolutionary biology point of view, is there a logical theory or explanation for this?

JR: There is. In the wilderness, most plants are low in sugar, starch, and fat. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors needed lots of calories to fuel their active lifestyle. Nature, obligingly, gave them taste buds that were linked to reward centers in their brains, infusing them with feel-good chemicals whenever they consumed sugary, oily, and starchy food. Today, we have the same wiring, but we&aposve turned our food supply upside down. We are now awash in fat, sugar, and starch. Unfortunately, we still get blasts of dopamine when we eat dessert after a full meal.

Epi: I was amazed to learn from you that berries increase their antioxidant profile with cooking, so that canned blueberries have more phytonutrients than fresh. Does that really mean that the wild blueberries I pick in northern New Hampshire and immediately pop in my mouth aren&apost as nutritious as a can of cultivated blueberries from the supermarket?

JR: Those fresh wild blueberries are likely to be better for you than canned cultivated blueberries because the wild varieties are so much higher in antioxidants. But, canned wild blueberries have more antioxidants than fresh wild blueberries, provided you drink the canning liquid. Bizarre but true. However, you get plenty of phytonutrients from fresh berries𠅊nd they taste better! I, for one, eat them fresh.

Epi: Your storage recommendations for various produce were surprisingly varied. Some fruits and vegetables need to be eaten soon after purchase while others will last longer when stored in the crisper section of the refrigerator or in plastic bags perforated with a few pinpricks. Many people tend to shop for food only once a week. If they can&apost consume their produce at its optimum time, what&aposs the best way to deal with it?

JR: You can still shop once a week, if you like. But eat the foods that lose their nutrients most rapidly in the first two days. "Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach. Interestingly, they are also among the most nutritious.

"Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach.

Epi: Are frozen fruits and vegetables a potentially better source of phytonutrients than fresh produce that&aposs been picked and trucked across country?

JR: There&aposs a better alternative to eating frozen food or food that&aposs languished for days and weeks in a warehouse: Get more of your fruits and vegetables from the farmers&apos market or grow it in your backyard, which is the healthiest choice of all. Join the 35 million Americans who have home gardens. If you must buy frozen food, cook it before thawing it. The thawing process destroys more bionutrients than freezing.

Epi: In your research did you find there was a difference between the phytonutrient content of organic foods versus conventionally grown ones?

JR: This is an area of research that needs much more attention. To date, some studies show that organic production enhances phytonutrient content, some show no effect, and some show that conventional production yields more bionutrients. Even though the verdict is mixed, I eat organic food and recommend that other people do as well. It reduces your intake of unwanted farm chemicals, keeps toxic chemicals out of the environment, and protects the health of farmworkers.

Epi: A surprising amount of your research seems to point toward a phytonutrient improvement for humans with cooked foods. The raw-foods enthusiasts maintain that cooking destroys beneficial enzymes. Do the benefits of cooking trump the beneficial action from the enzymes in raw food?

JR: Heat makes many bionutrients more available and potent. Cooked carrots, for example, give you twice as much beta-carotene as raw ones. But raw broccoli gives you more cancer-fighting compounds than cooked broccoli. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Heat does destroy enzymes, of course, but I have not researched the health effects of getting rid of them.

Epi: If people can only manage to adopt a few new practices from your book, what do you consider to be the three most important and effective ones for their general well-being?

JR: I believe that people should eat more berries𠅊 half a cup a day is a reasonable goal—more leafy greens and reds [beet greens, red kale, red cabbage, red lettuces, and radicchio, particularly radicchio di Treviso], and eat the skins of fruits and vegetables, provided they&aposre organic.

Epi: Since researching and writing the book, how have you changed your diet and the way you shop and cook? Have you given up eating anything? Have you embraced certain produce, grains, or legumes that you ignored before? Are you trying to grow or forage all your food?

JR: Everything about my diet has been transformed by my research. Many of the changes are not radical. I get a big boost in nutrition simply from knowing which varieties of fruits and vegetables to buy in the store, information that I share in my book. Knowing the most healthful ways to store and prepare food is just as important. I&aposve included that as well. I have a wonderful garden where I grow the most nutritious varieties of fruits and vegetables I&aposve discovered.


10 Questions for Jo Robinson, Author of Eating on the Wild Side

W ith Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, Jo Robinson has written the next Omnivore&aposs Dilemma𠅊 book of revelations that food lovers and home cooks everywhere will be reading, recommending, quoting, and living by. Robinson may not be a household name yet, but her groundbreaking work will turn much of what you thought you knew about food upside down and inside out. Chew on this amazing fact, for starters, one of hundreds in the book: Berries have 4 times more antioxidant activity than the majority of other fruits, 10 times more than most vegetables, and 40 times more than some cereals.

Eating on the Wild Side explains the fascinating changes that have taken place in our food in the 10,000 years since man&aposs adoption of agriculture, and the unintended consequences of those changes. Generations of farmers, following in the footsteps of our distant ancestors, selected what plants to grow based on flavor, ease of harvest, and the simple economics of what would sell, and not on the plants&apos beneficial nutrients, something they had no way of knowing until very recently. The upshot: What we eat today is actually far less nutritious than what our hunter-gatherer forebears ate.

As alarming as all this may sound, there is lots of good news here, too. 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&apos market, or home garden. For instance, when it comes to apples, the Granny Smith is the most nutritious of the 12 most common varieties (surprise!).

If the mere mention of nutrients and scientific journals makes your head spin, rest assured that Robinson&aposs book is an entertaining read full of unforgettable stories—the kind you&aposre likely to repeat at cocktail parties. Each chapter ends with a clear, concise list of the take-away points, along with charts of the best varieties of each type of produce to choose at the supermarket, the farmers&apos market, and from seed catalogues. It&aposs the new food bible for the 21st century.

We caught up with Robinson between food conferences to find out more about how to eat on the wild side. In addition, she shares two super-nutritious recipes from her book, Armenian Lentil Soup and Apple Crisp with Apple Skins.

Epicurious: In your last book, Pasture Perfect, you showed how beneficial it is on so many levels to confine our consumption of livestock and dairy products to animals raised on grass. What was the impetus to investigate and write about fruits, vegetables, grains, and pulses in your latest book, Eating on the Wild Side?

Jo Robinson: Since 2000, I&aposve been investigating the nutritional differences between our present-day diet and our original diet of wild game, plants, and seafood. I spent five of those years focusing on animal products and developing the EatWild.com website. Then, I began researching fruits and vegetables so I could cover more of the food on the plate.

Epi: The information you unearthed about so many of the fruits and vegetables we take for granted is truly amazing, even shocking at times. When you started your research for the book, what did you expect to find, and what was the discovery that surprised you the most?

JR: My intuition was that wild plants were more nutritious than the plant food we eat today, but I wasn&apost prepared for the extent of those differences. Some wild tomatoes, for example, have 30 times more of a heart-protective compound called lycopene than our supermarket tomatoes. The wild dandelions in our lawns have eight times more antioxidants than spinach, which we regard as a superfood. Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet. We didn&apost start 50 or 100 years ago, as many people assume, but 10,000 years ago when we first became farmers.

Unwittingly, we have bred a wealth of nutrients out of the human diet.

Epi: You write that the 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. From an evolutionary biology point of view, is there a logical theory or explanation for this?

JR: There is. In the wilderness, most plants are low in sugar, starch, and fat. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors needed lots of calories to fuel their active lifestyle. Nature, obligingly, gave them taste buds that were linked to reward centers in their brains, infusing them with feel-good chemicals whenever they consumed sugary, oily, and starchy food. Today, we have the same wiring, but we&aposve turned our food supply upside down. We are now awash in fat, sugar, and starch. Unfortunately, we still get blasts of dopamine when we eat dessert after a full meal.

Epi: I was amazed to learn from you that berries increase their antioxidant profile with cooking, so that canned blueberries have more phytonutrients than fresh. Does that really mean that the wild blueberries I pick in northern New Hampshire and immediately pop in my mouth aren&apost as nutritious as a can of cultivated blueberries from the supermarket?

JR: Those fresh wild blueberries are likely to be better for you than canned cultivated blueberries because the wild varieties are so much higher in antioxidants. But, canned wild blueberries have more antioxidants than fresh wild blueberries, provided you drink the canning liquid. Bizarre but true. However, you get plenty of phytonutrients from fresh berries𠅊nd they taste better! I, for one, eat them fresh.

Epi: Your storage recommendations for various produce were surprisingly varied. Some fruits and vegetables need to be eaten soon after purchase while others will last longer when stored in the crisper section of the refrigerator or in plastic bags perforated with a few pinpricks. Many people tend to shop for food only once a week. If they can&apost consume their produce at its optimum time, what&aposs the best way to deal with it?

JR: You can still shop once a week, if you like. But eat the foods that lose their nutrients most rapidly in the first two days. "Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach. Interestingly, they are also among the most nutritious.

"Eat Me First" foods include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale, leeks, lettuce, and spinach.

Epi: Are frozen fruits and vegetables a potentially better source of phytonutrients than fresh produce that&aposs been picked and trucked across country?

JR: There&aposs a better alternative to eating frozen food or food that&aposs languished for days and weeks in a warehouse: Get more of your fruits and vegetables from the farmers&apos market or grow it in your backyard, which is the healthiest choice of all. Join the 35 million Americans who have home gardens. If you must buy frozen food, cook it before thawing it. The thawing process destroys more bionutrients than freezing.

Epi: In your research did you find there was a difference between the phytonutrient content of organic foods versus conventionally grown ones?

JR: This is an area of research that needs much more attention. To date, some studies show that organic production enhances phytonutrient content, some show no effect, and some show that conventional production yields more bionutrients. Even though the verdict is mixed, I eat organic food and recommend that other people do as well. It reduces your intake of unwanted farm chemicals, keeps toxic chemicals out of the environment, and protects the health of farmworkers.

Epi: A surprising amount of your research seems to point toward a phytonutrient improvement for humans with cooked foods. The raw-foods enthusiasts maintain that cooking destroys beneficial enzymes. Do the benefits of cooking trump the beneficial action from the enzymes in raw food?

JR: Heat makes many bionutrients more available and potent. Cooked carrots, for example, give you twice as much beta-carotene as raw ones. But raw broccoli gives you more cancer-fighting compounds than cooked broccoli. This is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Heat does destroy enzymes, of course, but I have not researched the health effects of getting rid of them.

Epi: If people can only manage to adopt a few new practices from your book, what do you consider to be the three most important and effective ones for their general well-being?

JR: I believe that people should eat more berries𠅊 half a cup a day is a reasonable goal—more leafy greens and reds [beet greens, red kale, red cabbage, red lettuces, and radicchio, particularly radicchio di Treviso], and eat the skins of fruits and vegetables, provided they&aposre organic.

Epi: Since researching and writing the book, how have you changed your diet and the way you shop and cook? Have you given up eating anything? Have you embraced certain produce, grains, or legumes that you ignored before? Are you trying to grow or forage all your food?

JR: Everything about my diet has been transformed by my research. Many of the changes are not radical. I get a big boost in nutrition simply from knowing which varieties of fruits and vegetables to buy in the store, information that I share in my book. Knowing the most healthful ways to store and prepare food is just as important. I&aposve included that as well. I have a wonderful garden where I grow the most nutritious varieties of fruits and vegetables I&aposve discovered.


Watch the video: Lou Reed - Walk on the Wild Side audio (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Plaise

    It is the valuable information

  2. Umarah

    Adorable topic

  3. Dohosan

    You don't have to try everything

  4. Samule

    I can recommend you to visit the website which has many articles on the subject of your interest.



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