I Pick You Up, I Crack You Open

I pick you up and give a look

I’m guessing what I’ll find
I crack you open and so begins
The filling of my mind
You’re beautiful, you’re long
You bring to me you’re thoughts
And though you’re not expensive
The most valuable thing I’ve bought
I spend many hours enjoying you
When the last page is done
I tell everyone about your gifts
And I grab another one

Now after the obligatory poetic opening to the annual book review post, and without further ado, here are the food and diet books that have come to my attention, and currently reside in either my Kindle or in my iBooks app. Always I purchase books on the recommendation of book reviews in Mother Jones, Salon.com, Slate.com, New York Times or occasionally other random online sources. From time to time friends are ahead of the curve and I will get a good tip for an informative read from a friend. Hopefully this morning you will learn about a new book that I have read and you will make a valuable purchase of your own after you hear my glowing review.

The Nourished Kitchen: Farm to Table Foods for the Nourished Lifestyle, by Jennifer McGruther


Here is a short excerpt from the introduction in the book. You will see immediately why this book heads the list of books for this blog…

“Emphasizing whole and minimally processed foods, the traditional foods movement calls you back to the kitchen, to real home cooking, and offers you an opportunity to weave the connections between the food on your table, the time you take to prepare it, and the farms that produce it.”

Excerpt From: Jennifer McGruther. “The Nourished Kitchen.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/ddxkQ.l

This book is nothing less than a technical manual for how to operate a home kitchen that contains no artificial anything. Tips on fermenting, storing and preparing vegetables, tips on making fermented milk products like yogurt and cheeses, tips on how to live off of the land for four real seasons all grace the pages of this essential “It’s Just That Easy” lifestyle. If you get only one book that I recommend, this may be the most useful. I intend to purchase this one in ‘real’ form, as I look into it frequently.

The Big Fat Surprise:Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, By Nina Teicholz


This book is partially read and has been the focus and inspiration for the past couple of weeks of blogging here at One Small Change. I am twenty percent done and one hundred percent convinced that no book is more vital to the health of this nation. Every member of Congress needs a copy of this book (and probably someone to read it to him/her). I may just send three copies, one each, to my Federal representatives in the House and Senate. You will learn an absolute mountain about science, pseudoscience, politics and government. As a side benefit, you will learn, as I have, that there is nothing wrong with eating like your grandparents ate. Eating like people from the 1900’s will actually make you a much healthier AND happier person. The science is in, and it’s not what you hear all of the time on the television.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma:A Natural History of Four Meals, By Michael Pollan


If memory serves me correctly, this book and the movie Food, Inc. that contains information from this book was the beginning of my awakening to the importance of real food in my life. Until that time I was the typical fattening middle aged man, and I thought that what I was experiencing was what we experience as we age. After reading this I KNEW that I didn’t have to decline slowly or spread out in the middle inevitably. I had the power to learn new things, to eat good things, and to regain my natural weight, my vigor and my health. Read this book and be entertained as the scales fall from your eyes. Do you think I rate this book too highly? I do not. Here is Pollan wondering what could be wrong with a country that it felt like it had to change the national diet every few years…

So violent a change in a culture’s eating habits is surely the sign of a national eating disorder. Certainly it would never have happened in a culture in possession of deeply rooted traditions surrounding food and eating. But then, such a culture would not feel the need for its most august legislative body to ever deliberate the nation’s “dietary goals”—or, for that matter, to wage political battle every few years over the precise design of an official government graphic called the “food pyramid.” A country with a stable culture of food would not shell out millions for the quackery (or common sense) of a new diet book every January.

Pollan, Michael (2006-04-11). The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (p. 2). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

I actually would recommend any book written by Pollan and I have several, but this first one is really still my favorite of his…

It is silly of me to try and say get this one then that one. I have literally posted these books in the order in which I found them in my eReaders, not in the order that I recommend them. I say that because I would not put the following book last on any list, and I feel bad about it being last even on this random list. I love this book and it is my current most recommended by me book.

Pandora’s Lunchbox:How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal, By Melanie Warner


Post after post on this blog was inspired by words from this book. I found the investigative aspects incredible, but true. I read with alarm the way the FDA goes about approving Generally Regarded As Safe ingredients to be added to processed foods. Spoiler alert, they just trust the industry that is doing the adding. The entire book is required reading if you are having trouble getting your loved ones to give up their favorite processed foods. It is incredible that this nation has allowed these industries to get so big. I hate the idea of putting so many people out of work that create processed foods, but I don’t feel so strongly about their positions that I would kill myself to do it. I would be killing myself by degrees if I continued to eat like I did just a few years ago.

Well, I hope that you can find the time to read just one of these books in the next year. If you do, then I am certain that this time next year you will be adding one or all of them to your own best reads of the year lists.

About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
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