Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson

We all hear the same advice: eat your fruits and veggies. However, many people don’t realize is that there is a huge variety in the amount of nutrition you get from your food depending on the specific varietal, storage, and way it is prepared. This book is an amazing resource to learn how to maximize the nutritional value of your produce.

Robinson talks about how to choose produce in the store, how to best store it, and how to prepare it to maximize benefits. It is full of little hints that can make a big difference. Some veggies are better consumed raw, some cooked. In general the more intense color a veggie has, the more benefit it will convey.

The history of where our food comes from is endlessly fascinating. For each type of produce, Robinson talks about what it was like when it was wild and how it was changed by humans. Corn, for example, came from a plant called Teosinte which bears little resemblance to the super sweet varieties many people enjoy today. Part of corn’s history involves mutations caused by nuclear reactions. I encourage you to read the whole story.

As a gardener, I quite appreciate that this book lists specific varieties of different plants and which have the highest nutrient content. If we are going to spend time nurturing and growing food plants, why not choose the ones that will give the most back?

Some of my favorite tidbits include: carrots retain more nutrients if you cook them whole and then cut them up to serve after. Potatoes are better for you if you eat them one day after cooking. Red lettuce has more health benefits than green.

All in all, I wanted to share this with you all because I found it very interesting and helpful. I hope you enjoy too!