Ever heard of Jo Robinson? Jo is the founder of eatwild.com, which originated as a compendium of food studies comparing pasture-based meats, beef, chicken, pork, eggs and dairy, to their counterparts in factory food. From there, she established directories of grass-based farmers in the various regions of the country. She is the most accessible semi-famous person I have ever known, having established a long correspondence and conversation with her about grass-based production. All given freely and enthusiastically.
Jo has written a book, Eating on the Wild Side, which turns her focus from meats and dairy to vegetables. Her subtitle is the missing link to optimum health. Who could ignore those titles? And so far, the book lives up to its titles with some fascinating information and ideas about plant life, their natural defenses, and how to use those inherent defenses to get the maximum nutritional boost from your vegetables. The working hypothesis is this: in the wild, healthy plants survived their predators by emitting defensive mechanisms that were distasteful to say the cotton boll weevil. This may occur through changing its odor or making itself bitter to the taster. In the process, all manner of elements were unleashed that sat dormant before the attack. So, as consumers of those vegetables, we should convince the plant, which is still a living thing when it arrives at our kitchen, that it is under attack. How does this translate in the kitchen? One example is garlic. When we crush it to put into our gumbo or tomato sauce, let it rest on the counter for 5 minutes. The garlic will be marshaling its resources following the “attack”, so you must give it time to do so. While you wait, your garlic will be doubling, tripling or quintupling its nutritional value. Jo goes through each class of vegetable and fruit to teach that “attack” technique. I recommend this book. It will buy you more good health for the same money.