Eating on the Wild Side

  • by Jo Robinson
  • Narrated by Erin Bennett
  • 11 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The next stage in the food revolution - a radical way to select fruits and vegetables and reclaim the flavor and nutrients we've lost.
Eating on the Wild Side is the first book to reveal the nutritional history of our fruits and vegetables. Starting with the wild plants that were central to our original diet, investigative journalist Jo Robinson describes how 400 generations of farmers have unwittingly squandered a host of essential fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. New research shows that these losses have made us more vulnerable to our most troubling conditions and diseases - obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, and dementia.
In an engaging blend of science and story, Robinson describes how and when we transformed the food in the produce aisles. Wild apples, for example, have from three to 100 times more antioxidants than Galas and Honeycrisps, and are five times more effective in killing cancer cells. Compared with spinach, one of our present-day "superfoods," wild dandelion leaves have eight times more antioxidant activity, two times more calcium, three more times vitamin A, and five times more vitamins K and E.
How do we begin to recoup the losses of essential nutrients? By "eating on the wild side" - choosing present-day fruits and vegetables that come closest to the nutritional bounty of their wild ancestors. Robinson explains that many of these jewels of nutrition are hiding in plain sight in our supermarkets, farmers markets, and U-pick orchards. Eating on the Wild Side provides the world's most extensive list of these superlative varieties. Drawing on her five-year review of recently published studies, Robinson introduces simple, scientifically proven methods of storage and preparation that will preserve and even enhance their health benefits:


Squeezing fresh garlic in a garlic press and then setting it aside for 10minutes before cooking it will increase your defenses against cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Baking potatoes, refrigerating them overnight, and then reheating them before serving will keep them from spiking your blood sugar.
Cooking most berries makes them more nutritious.
Shredding lettuce the day before you eat it will double its antioxidant activity.
Store watermelon on the kitchen counter for up to a week and it will develop more lycopene.
Eat broccoli the day you buy it to preserve its natural sugars and cancer-fighting compounds.
The information in this surprising, important, and meticulously researched book will prove invaluable for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans alike, and forever change the way we think about food.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Fantastic Food Science Book

This is the book I have been looking for and hoping to find for quite a while now. It offers detailed information about food choices, storage and preparation for optimal health. The book examines history, human physiology, chemistry, nutritional needs and dietary science through a microscope and through the lens of your life as an actual cook and consumer of food. There is even a section in each food type about growing the optimal cultivars in your garden! You can skim this, as the info is short, if you don't grow food.

Be forewarned that this book is slow going in parts and dense because there is so much information presented. The author does a great job breaking it all down and makes it easy to understand and apply to your life. There are times when I felt that listening in the car and before bedtime was not the best because occasionally I needed to write down a variety name or an interesting web address. It was ok though--I just scanned back and found the info later.

If you are trying to eat a better diet and are making changes in what you eat this book is an important source of information. Why go to a lot of trouble to add onions to your diet when in reality it matters a great deal what type of onions you need to add? This book spells out which changes make a real difference, what to pick at the store and the reason to make the change very clearly. It will completely alter the way you think about food and how you cook. Recommended listening.
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- Sara "Avid Reader"

make market days more interesting

this was not a page-turner and sometimes I had to take a break from it BUT it turned Saturday morning trips to the farmers market into a treasure hunt. some surprising info ... origin of orange carrots, etc. Helpful pdf that goes to the market with me now.
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- Sharvo

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-11-2013
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio