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Nourishing Diets
What Our Paleo, Ancestral and Traditional Ancestors Really Ate
Sally Fallon Morell
Read by Dara Rosenberg

Hachette Audio
June 2018/ ISBN 978-1549197079
Nonfiction, Cooking/Food/ Audiobook - Unabridged

Reviewed by Leslie C. Halpern


Best-selling cookbook author Sally Fallon Morell provides copious amounts of information on the diets of primitive cultures. Relying heavily on previously documented research (especially that of Dr. Weston A. Price), the author explores ancestral diets of Australian Aborigines, Native Americans, Africans, and other cultures to compare their eating habits to their overall health. These health issues include height, weight, tooth decay, speed, stamina, longevity, and ease of childbirth.

Some of the quoted research contradicts itself (heights of adult males in certain populations, for example) and some is difficult to believe, such as easy childbirth for many of these groups of wide-hipped ancestral women who hiked into the forest alone to have their babies. Overall the information is consistent: Ancestral tribes that ate grains, organ meat, animals, insects, seafood, vegetables, fermented products, and animal blood tended to live long lives with healthy bodies and strong teeth. The book also emphasizes how nearly every part of each animal was eaten or their body pieces used for tools, supplies, or toys. Casual readers (especially animal lovers) may find much of this book’s contents distasteful. Ideal readers will possess a strong interest in nutritional history and paleo diets.

The narrative (read professionally by Dara Rosenberg) studies various ancestral cultures in the areas of hunting, gathering, eating, birthing, dental care and other related subjects. Nourishing Diets is not for vegans, vegetarians, or those with weak stomachs, as this book is heavy on the “ick factor.” Primitive foods including blood soup, entrails, fetuses, excrement, worms, grubs, maggots, brains, sex organs, and other humans are described at length. At one point, the author refuses to cite all examples of what these primitive cultures ate for fear of scaring off readers.

The book’s stated purpose is to prove the health benefits of traditional diets – thereby disproving modern fad diets – and adapt them for modern times. This CD set includes a pdf with a few dozen recipes that today’s cooks can use for their own families, if they can get past the ick factor.

Reviewed 2018