Weekend Reading – Forks Over Knives Companion

A Good Read:

Forks Over Knives
The How-To Companion
Edited by Gene Stone

Forks Over Knives

Forks Over Knives

Let me begin by saying that this book is correctly labeled a companion because if you have not seen the film, Forks Over Knives, then I think it might appear shallow and wanting. I however, have seen the film and my memory not being what it once was, I appreciated the mini-refresher on the arguments for a plant-based diet.

This short primer contains vignettes and interviews highlighting the thoughts of several who have transitioned to plant-based foods and the physicians who promote the research behind the movement. The book includes useful tips for converting to this way of eating including a list of essential kitchen tools and over 125 recipes. If you’ve made the transition, it’s unlikely you will learn a lot more but if you have a friend who was originally moved by the movie, this book would be a useful tool to use along their journey to health.

Good Food Blogs:

Living in the desert means that the green deluge has begun. Our farms are flourishing with greens; kale, chard, lettuces, mustard, mizuna and root vegetables with leafy green tops. From one of the most beautiful food blogs out there, check out this kale rice bowl.

Some greens have a strong taste and mustard is one of them. I prefer to cook them with other things so that I still get the nutrition but mask their snarky tang. A Homemaking has done just that with this tempting recipe for blackbean and squash enchiladas. These will definitely find their way to our table in the near future.

Of course, if you can’t be bothered to cook greens, there is a growing phenomena to throw them into the blender. Our vitamix probably sees a lot more of them that the skillet does and I have grown to call this my breakfast of choice. Check out one of Kate’s recipes at Hustle + Glow.

In Other Food News:

Can you name a Surgeon General? I remember Everett Koop and more recently Richard Carmona, but the latter only because he ran in a local congressional race. Really after those two names, I have no idea and as Mark Bittner points out, that’s a shame when this really is the person responsible for our nation’s health. Her name is Regina Benjamin and Bittner and others are calling for her to step it up.

Lately it’s hard to scan for any of my favorite food topics; policy, security, advocacy, etc. without reading about horse meat. For me, the issue really highlights two of the main issues in food today; the constant drive for cheap food and deception in labeling. Here’s a link where you can learn more if you are so inclined.

“Why in the world would anybody spend any money to try to improve the seed if as soon as they sold the first one anybody could grow more and have as many of those seeds as they want?” Chief Justice John Roberts said. This comment is being described as a signal of support to food giant Monsanto in the legal battle that persists over seed saving. The company is battling Vernon Hugh Bowman, an Indiana farmer.

Finally, here in our home, it’s a busy weekend of football, baseball and soccer. We have theatre conservatory and a hospital benefit and I have an enormous amount of CSA produce to work through in order to get the fridge back under control. Stay tuned to see what’s coming.

What are you reading this weekend?

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61 Comments

  1. Thanks, Tammy, good information!

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  2. Forks Over Knives has been recommended to me many times. This post moves it to top of list! I enjoy your blog, as always, Tammy!

    Annie at Biocadence

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  3. Sally

     /  February 23, 2013

    Great call Tammy. I think I will try the enchiladas tonight for friends coming from Richland and trying to move to a plant diet. Perfect call. Thanks and enjoy your busy weekend!

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    • These are a great food if they’re just moving to that diet because they’re so filling and tasty. They won’t miss the meat.

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  4. Is was recently recommended to see Forks Over Knives. It’s on my Netflix list! Your post has given me even more enthusiasism to check it out.

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  5. It’s incredible to me how Monsanto has been allowed to poison so much of the world and ruin so many lives. And they just get away with it. I haven’t heard of that film but I’d like to see it xx

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    • It’s a good film and I think you’d enjoy it. I am really watching this Monsanto thing closely. It will be a shame if it hurts small farmers.

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  6. Good stuff! Forks Over Knives was a great way to bring Hippocrates’ message to life: “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” In other words, if we eat the way we should be, we are more likely to be healthy and then successfully avoid both the cocktail of medications so many people take, and the “knives” – the surgeries – that so many people end up needing. Folks accustomed to a high fat, high calorie, fast food, convenience food diet tend to assume that healthy foods will taste like cardboard. Nothing could be further from the truth! Trying a healthy plant-based diet will no doubt be different, just like trying any other type of food for the first time, but it can definitely be tasty. I enjoyed Mexican, Thai, and Chinese foods the first time I had them, and also enjoyed healthy plant-based foods the first time I tried them. It’s definitely worth everyone’s while to improve their health, and this is one of the rare times that can be done AND be tasty and pain-free at the same time.

    Agreed about the Surgeon General. I’d like to see the SG take a much more activist role, protecting health and promoting healthy lifestyles. As we so often see though, this governmental role is a tough balancing act between promoting human health and promoting economic health. Those two interests are most often mutually exclusive, placing the SG in a very difficult position. Leaders of the EPA and USDA face similarly difficult jobs.

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    • I understand your comments about the folks working in the agencies. It’s an unfortunate dilemma caused by economics and politics and the crux of why I am so bad at the latter. I think it’s a good idea to view films or books like this periodically as it provides a bit of punch as a reminder about why this makes so much sense. I do enjoy plant based foods but I have to admit that I enjoy them more when they are well prepared. This week I’m rocking on some of Ani Phyo’s raw dishes!

      Reply
  7. Lisa H

     /  February 23, 2013

    It’s been awhile since I have seen the movie, but I do remember it was great and extremely informative. Although we are not vegetarian, we always have a healthy amount of veggies in the house, and each year I cut back just a little more on the meat. Thanks for the suggested reading!

    Reply
    • There are a lot of people going with a Meatless Monday as a way to begin. I like that idea. We’re also working on a raw day each week.

      Reply
  8. Thanks for helping to spread the word. We purchased the Video…..It is very well done. We then bought the book “The China Study”. You can’t dispute that data… We now own the “Forks over Knives” Cook book. Got it at Whole Foods.

    Reply
    • That’s great Sarah. I didn’t know there was another separate cookbook but then, I don’t need one. It’s a habit of mine and the internet makes recipe surfing so easy.

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  9. Horsemeat does seem to be making its way to more and more tables . . . one more reason I’m glad to be a vegetarian. I no longer have to worry about “mystery meat.” :D

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    • It’s frightening Nancy. I actually don’t have an issue with it being horse as long as it’s sold that way – of course, I wouldn’t eat it but if others chose to, then it is that – their choice.

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  10. Tammy,
    A nice read this weekend–thank you. I once met SG Antonia Novello, but haven’t kept up with the less high profile SGs. “snarky tang” I love that. I chop/blanch/freeze many cooking greens from my CSA, when I get more greens than we can eat in a week, and just used a bag in a pair of soups–Caldo Verde from Putney Farm blog and Italian Wedding from Everyday Maven blog. Both were good. Greens can also pair with cheesey grits, though I’m forgetting the name of the blog I saw it at. My family are not the grits fan that I am, so I didn’t try it.

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    • But it might work really good with polenta! I made kale soup, lettuce juice (with apple) and a chop salad today!

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  11. Sounds like interesting reading Tammy. Have fun working through your fridge. We are away and I’m reading blogs :)

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    • Working through the fridge has been great fun. Have a big chopped salad prepared, some fresh juice a pot of soup, and some whole grains.

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  12. Thank you for recommending ‘Forks Over Knives”, Tammy. You always give is good food for thought . . .and to eat. I’m reading “Not A Fan” by Kyle Idleman this weekend and an old devotional, Streams In The Desert. :)

    Reply
    • Debbie, see the film. I think you’d enjoy it and it does introduce a new perspective on eating. Your husband and your daughter might like to see it too.

      Reply
  13. Thanks so much, tammy for the recommendation here!

    A lovely post it was too! :)

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  14. I felt like Rapunzel’s natural parents listening to you talking about the green-leafed vegetables available in the desert, Tammy *sigh*. I’m off to Kale Rice Bowl to drool.

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  15. Thanks for the heads up on the book! I’ve nominated your for a couple of awards…stop by and see!

    Reply
  16. I have never heard of this book. Therefore, thanking you sincerely for the suggestion. I think raw kale is one of the most awesome foods on the planet. My husband does not agree–but likes it cooked. Which do you prefer?

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    • I eat more kale raw than I do cooked. The trick is to massage it if you’re making a salad or to add other good flavors if making a smoothie.

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  17. I just started reading “The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table” by journalist Tracie McMillan. On the fiction front, I am working my way through “Away” by Jane Urquhart. It’s a historical novel set in Ireland and Canada and has elements of folklore or what some might call magic realism. Forks Over Knives has been on my need to watch list for some time now. Thanks for the reminder!

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    • Both of the books sound interesting to me. I have to mix it up with both fiction and non-fiction. I suggest watching the film. If you have kids, have them watch it with you.

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  18. My husband and I really enjoyed the film and the book. I am not fond of the recipes though – just a warning. We eat mostly vegetarian and we really like the internet for recipes.

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    • Interesting Linda. Did you find that you didn’t like the recipes because of no oils? I have to admit that I love my olive oil. Ditto on the internet for recipes!

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      • Hi Tammy, I found they simply did not taste good or they were very heavy (the Garbanzo Bean Loaf is very heavy). I am not a picky eater either, nor is my husband. I suggest a person rent the cook book from the local library before purchasing it. That’s what I did.

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  19. Thanks for sharing this book. I wouldn’t have known how wonderful it is if not for this post. I will check it out. Thanks.

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  20. I’m still trying to make time to see the movie.

    Thanks also for bringing up the issue of horsemeat. Some folks in my social media feeds seem to wonder what the big deal is, as other cultures such as the French eat and enjoy horse. But you nail it when you call attention to the mislabeling and the actual problems with the sourcing of cheaper, unregulated meat. The link you provide is very good reading. As always!

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    • That’s the way I feel also Jane. This issue isn’t eating horse meat – it’s being told that it was something else. Tastes like chicken? I doubt it. I think this drive to maximize our calories with fewer dollars is a real problem. In my opinion, it is causing all kinds of health related issues. So on a related note, are there any viable coops where you live?

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  21. I have to read “Forks over Knives. It sounds like an interesting book :)

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  22. Tammy, none that I know of. There may be and I’m just not getting the word. You’ve got me curious now, I need to ask around.

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  23. Melissa

     /  February 26, 2013

    My kids (10 and 7) were just talking about seed saving the other day. They think it’s pretty great that you can grow food, save some of the seeds, and grow more food. I agree that it is a great thing. It saddens me to think that anyone would try to prohibit or hinder this basic function of nature. Even children can see the beauty in it.

    We have seen the movie Forks Over Knives but have not read the book. My husband has gravitated toward the paleo style of eating, while I would gladly skip meat more often than not. We can agree on limiting processed foods, so we do have that common ground. And I do think it is an important common ground. Thank you for another interesting article.

    Reply
    • Love that your kids are already interested in seeds! There are some amazing groups that have built heritage farms and doing some important work.

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  24. Will need to put Forks Over Knives on my reading list. One of my daughters has just declared herself vegetarian…

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  25. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Yours is beautiful. I’m going to share it with my CSA in laws.

    Reply
  26. I still haven’t watched the movie! :(

    I’m currently reading “Game of Thrones”, and when sorting out books due to moving soon, I found some jewels I still haven’t read but wanted for a long time. There’s a Paleo book I’ve only read into a little and liked very much, and then the Thrive Diet book (which describes a vegan, gluten- and soy-free diet with an emphasis on vegetables and healthy fats), and “Eating Animals”, and some more I’m looking forward to.

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  27. I’m going to start with a little herb garden, after many years of a garden-less existence (city-dwelling for jobs). Thanks for posting your book suggestion. <3

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  28. I have 3 herbs- coriander, spearmint and curry leaves. I am also growing fennel and fenugreek. This is when I love where I stay…plants thrive pretty well. And of course, looks great too.
    Do you think this book would be available in amazon?

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    • Yes, I think if you click on the link above, it will take you to Amazon. Don’t read it until you’ve seen the movie though.

      Reply
  29. I need to check out this movie and book. Looks like good info, Tammy.

    Reply

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