"Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health"

Jul 17, 2014

Buying local and frequenting farmers' markets continue to be very popular pursuits, and for obvious reasons. But what's the best strategy for navigating the produce section of your average supermarket? Our guest on ST is Jo Robinson, an investigative journalist who lives (and often "grows her own") on Vashon Island, Washington, and who specializes in science and health. Robinson is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books, and the latest title, just out in paperback, is "Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health" (which the foodie website Epicurious.com has called "the next 'Omnivore's Dilemma'"). As was noted of this book in The Washington Post: "Because recent studies have taught us that we should be getting our beta carotene and other health-builders not from pills but from well-grown food, this book is just what gardeners and cooks need." And further, per a critic writing for Booklist: "For some, locavorism isn't enough. Farmed food of any sort lacks the full panoply of flavors and textures that wild foods bring to the table. Moreover, wild foods offer some nutritional advantages and may be richer in some vitamins and minerals than their cultivated cousins. Some laboratory studies have concluded that medical benefits, including protection from cancer cells, can be found in vegetables such as brussels sprouts. Despite her impassioned advocacy for eating foods culled from woodlands and creek beds, Robinson is not so doctrinaire as to believe that everyone has the time or the access to such foods. So she offers a guide to buying the best, most flavorful produce in supermarkets. Robinson guides readers through ranks of greens, explaining how to judge lettuces by color and why to select loose spinach rather than the bagged variety. Such guides can benefit grocery shoppers who lack the means of foraging their dinners."