I tend to read articles and books about particular subjects in phases. I’ll read a couple of books on parenting, a few biographies of athletes, maybe some philosophy or some histories. Maybe most of us do this. Exercise and food are two subject areas I often circle back to. The idea is that some of it might sink in and actually affect the way I eat and move. Experience tells me that my natural position is sitting down with my feet propped up while eating a bowl of ice cream.
One book that made a big impression on me was Eating on the wild side by Jo Robinson. It’s all about vegetables and fruits – their origins, nutritional value, and how to get the most out of eating them. Robinson, an investigative journalist, writes about how the plants we eat have been cultivated over time to be the way they are now. In general, we’ve selected them to be less fibrous and more sugary. They’re also less nutritious.
Even if you aren’t interested in changing the way you eat, there’s plenty to make it a worthy read. From Chapter 2: “The Menominee Nation of the Great Lakes region laid claim to an extensive field of wild garlic, or ramps, that was located on the southern tip of Lake Michigan. The area was so rife with ramps that their odor perfumed the air for miles. The Menominee called their prized field Shikako, or ‘skunk place.’ The name lives on today in its anglicized form, Chicago.”
Jim Gaffigan approaches food and eating from a different angle. In Food: a love story, he writes less about things like vegetables and nutrition and more about things like cheese and gravy. He covers restaurants and culinary specialties in various regions of the country. Gaffigan, a comedian, describes himself as an “eatie” rather than a foodie. If you want to read about food and feel okay about yourself and your diet regardless of what you’re eating, then give this one a try.