The Maker's Diet by Jordan Rubin starts off by telling his moving story of his battle with severe Crohn's Disease. It's a compelling story which gets you sucked into the book right away.
It's an easy read, but you'll uncover some rather shocking facts and theories about food. If you thought you were eating well, or you at least knew a decent amount about nutrition, this book will make you think again!
If you thought you were doing good by avoiding eating eggs and saturated fats to reduce your risk of cholesterol and therefore heart disease...this book may change your mind. Rubin claims many saturated fats are GOOD for you, and that at least 50% of dietary fat we consume should be saturated. In this book, Rubin states that, "the theory that saturated fats and cholesterol clog arteries has been effectively disproved".
Ok. But eating iron fortified, whole wheat breakfast cereal and whole grain breads must be healthy, right? According to the Maker's diet, if whole grains are not sprouted or fermented, they contain dangerous phytates, which block the absorption of essential nutrients (including iron in that iron fortified cereal).
Rubin encourages a primitive, biblical based diet. After reading this book, I felt a little like I couldn't eat anything, because nothing at all was healthy. Unfortunately I don't think we could afford to eat all whole foods, though I'd love to. But we are striving to make things from scratch whereever financially viable. Limiting processed foods can only be a good thing.
The other book was The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan.
The dilemma referred to in the title is that of "what's for dinner tonight?". This book takes a good, hard look at where our food comes from and forces us to think about what the true cost of our supper is, economically, ethically, financially and environmentally.
If after reading the Maker's Diet and feeling guilty about eating whole grains and polyunsaturated fats, you at least think SURELY there's nothing bad can be said of organic food, then read this book to change your mind again. Pollan has much to say about industrial agriculture, including the industrial organic industry.
I found the section on sustainable farming fascinating, and the benefits of supporting local, sustainable farms have never made more sense to me.
Pollan is believer in evolution, which features heavily throughout this book, but if you subsitute "evolved to" with "was designed to" whenever you see a reference, you'll find it makes a whole lot more sense!
These books are both from a meat eater's standpoint and in fact both have a few anti-vegetarian things to say. However, I did find these books both highly enjoyable and they've given me a new perspective on menu planning. The Maker's Diet explains so much about nutrition and the importance of gastrointestincal health, whilst the Omivore's Dilemma stresses the importance of appreciating the value of food, and the story behind our food; it is a challenging and thought provoking book. You might as well look them up in your library for a wee read.