Lovely to be here... I like the introduction and group guidelines...

Has anyone here seen the recipe book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon?

The book is based on the work of Weston A Price; back in the 1930’s he travelled around the globe, to Valleys in Switzerland, the planes of Africa, North and South America, the Outer Hebrides, Northern India, Australia, New Zealand, and well you get the idea – he went around all these places gathering up information about traditional diets. He did some tests to find new vitamins and then years later Sally Fallon came along and used his work to create a Nourishing Traditions Cook Book.

It’s full of very interesting methods of cooking and preparing foods – that are all based on gaining good nutrition for great health. I originally found the book after reading Weston A Price’s original work – Nutritional and physical degeneration – which is an interesting read about how our modern foods have effected our health adversely. Sally’s book allows us to once again explore the traditional ways of cooking and preparing foods for maximum notion.

I was concerned about my health at the time, and was looking for some dietary answers – using some of the dishes in the book along with other things I was able to recover quite well from my health concerns. I specially value the home made yogurt and the sauerkraut. Some of the cakes are really nice too – although quite unusual. She provides ways to prepare grains, through soaking and using wild yeasts, like sourdough.

Has anyone else had any experience with this traditionally based cook book?

Alice :)

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Replies to This Discussion

Alice, thanks for joining the group and thanks for the discussion. I've not heard of this book, but imo, older traditions can be hit or miss. Sometimes there is some wisdom there, but sometimes they are just bad ideas passed on from generation to generation.


Actually, regarding the grains: Grains are getting a bad rap these days, and it may be well-deserved. Looks like they are likely contributors to the diseases of civilization.

Hi Dallas,


Thanks for the reply.  I agree with you regarding traditions.  They can be sometimes hit and miss.  I think the premise of Nourishing Traditions is based in the idea that Indigenous groups, being very isolated from other influence for a very long time – 700 years or more, and so were more connected with a natural food for humans.  As opposed to the highly refined and processed foods we get today.


We seem to have had 3 major stages.  Hunter / Gatherer – the palaeo diet of meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, veg and fruit when in season.  The agricultural diet – with the introduction of grains and farming and a sedentary lifestyle; and then the modern highly refined, pasteurised and processed food diet.


If we think of diet in terms of evolution, then we can see that just because our diets have changed so much, it doesn’t necessarily mean that our evolution has kept up.


Grains are quite tough to digest, having much longer protein chains, and also lots of naturally evolved defences against being eaten, such as poisons and binders that lock away minerals.


The hunter / gatherer and agricultural traditions of food fermentation did much too assist us to digest these complex foods.  Fermentation unlocks mineral binders, breaks down long protein chains, generates additional vitamins and enzymes, and provides much beneficial gut flora to assist with the digestion and assimilation of nutrition.


With the modern introduction of pasteurisation, refining and processing our foods, we have lost touch with these traditions of fermentation.


So the emphasise in this book is not so much on flavour, taste or style – but about reconnecting us with our human roots, and with the foods that we have evolved to eat.


Alice :)

Thanks for the reply, Alice.


The hunter / gatherer and agricultural traditions of food fermentation did much too assist us to digest these complex foods.  Fermentation unlocks mineral binders, breaks down long protein chains, generates additional vitamins and enzymes, and provides much beneficial gut flora to assist with the digestion and assimilation of nutrition.


Yes, it seems to me I read something like this in reference to tempeh and the fermentation of soy beans. Soy is not supposed to be great for you, as I understand it. And men are warned about it because it contains a pseudo-estrogen chemical. However, cooked green soy beans are very tasty, but I've stopped eating them.

That sounds like an intriquing book. I will have to check it out.

Hi Dejah,


If you are interested in these ideas, I recommend the book that initiated the cook book.  Physical and Nutritional Degeneration by Weston A Price.  The book is a catalogue of the groups he visited and notes about findings he had.  It's quite an intriguing read.  Although it is a lot to get through and after a while it get's a little repetitive, as he goes through each group and finds similar things, but he does find a couple of new things in each group also.  There are lots of pictures in the book demonstrating his findings.  From a science research perspective I'm not a good judge, as I'm mainly in the arts - but from my lay persons perspective it was a good investigation with very interesting results - and well worth the read in our modernised pasteurised, highly refined and processed world of food.


The Weston A Price foundation has a web site, with lots of recipes on it and information related to his work.  I'm sad to say though that unfortunately Sally Fallon and others who are involved with the foundation are either God believers or supernatural believers of other sorts - I'm not sure if faith healing comes into, but I get their Wise traditions journal - which on the whole has some interesting articles; but I feel totally bewildered about what at least one of the board members has to contribute - his introductory speech just sounds like a rambling fantasy fairy story!  Which is upsetting because I really value Weston Price's work as an honest and science based investigation.  On the up side and fortunately for us, the recipe book 'Nourishing Traditions', by Sally Fallon - although having some references to belief in God, doesn't let God affect the principles of what was discovered by Price.  So the recipe content is great and from my understanding very much in line with the information sort by Price from long term isolated Indigenous groups regarding their food preparation techniques.


Alice :)

Oh, and another book that is very interesting about how our gut flora effects our ability to digest and absorb nutrition and I highly recommend - and this author doesn't express any supernatural belief - which is refreshing - 'Gut and Psychology Syndrome' by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride.  Her work ties in very will with Price's work and they come to similar conclusions about what humans need for optimal bio-chemistry.  She also has a web site based in the UK.  She is a medical doctor with additional education in psychology and nutrition.  Her book goes into much detail about our bio-chemistry and it's relationship to our immune function and our digestion and assimilation of food.


Alice :)

Hi Dallas,


Nourishing Traditions I think avoids all soy products.  I read a book about soy a few years ago and stopped eating it at all – it was scary.  It’s a really low quality easy to grow crop – a bit like potatoes.  A bit of fermented soy such as soy sauce or a small amount of property fermented tempeh might be alright. 


But I reckon the way it’s promoted as a health food is shocking – it’s no more a health food than a potato.  Plus the issue you bring up of pseudo-estrogens.  And they have questionable techniques of processing it into the variety of foods they do – soya lecithin is in almost every processed food – I avoid it like the plague.




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