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.