Friday, June 19, 2009

A New Good Book on Whole Foods

New Good Food, by Margaret M. Wittenberg (Ten Speed Press, 2007)

New Good Food is an encyclopedia of whole foods (not Whole Foods™, but the kinds of foods that are unprocessed and unrefined and in their natural form). There are a number of these books out there, and this is an especially good one. New Good Food would be a great resource for anyone interested in health and nutrition, even for those of us who are trained in this stuff.

The author has a great background in food, from owning and running a natural foods store in the late 70’s to working for Whole Foods in almost every capacity (cashier through store manager, and currently global vice president). Most tellingly, she was the Whole Foods rep (the only representative from the retail industry, might I add) who sat on the USDA National Organic Standards Board when the standards were being created, and was awarded the Rachel Carson Award for her work in organic agriculture, sustainability and the environment.

Some features of this book that I liked:

• Detailed descriptions of both common and exotic foods including nutrition information, methods of preparation and storage, information about common processing methods for the food, and some history of the food

• A chart of peak seasons for fruits and vegetables, arranged by color

• Flours at a Glance chart giving details about gluten content, flavor, and texture for each flour (click on the picture to get a gander at this chart)

• Whole chapters devoted to sweeteners, oils and seasonings

• A guide for selecting culinary oils based on smoke point and cooking method

• A really comprehensive bibliography including books, articles and reports for further study (for us nutrition nerds!)

Oh, and Marion Nestle says this book is "an extraordinarily comprehensive guide to foods, ingredients, and their handling." If you can't trust Marion, who can you trust?

You may be able to find the older version of this book at your local library. This would be a great way to check out the book before buying it.

Disclaimer: My husband is an employee of Whole Foods, but I was not coerced in any way to write about this book, nor am I being compensated for recommending it!

1 comment:

  1. ohh, another fun book to add to the collection!!