Not sure how I feel about Sally Fallon

From Caroline — Blog by
February 9, 2009

skimmed her 2001 book Nourishing Traditions over the weekend. seems like a book with a useful niche, but I doubt that niche is on my shelf.

sure, there’s a lotta footnotes backing up Fallon’s various health claims, but am I really gonna go look up all those studies and see if my take on them jives with hers? nah.

and I know she’s got a lotta fans, but I really couldn’t, erm, stomach the bossy tone of the book. attitude goes a long way toward converting the masses, ya know, and this one wasn’t for me.

at the very end of the book is a brief section with suggestions for how busy people can apply some of the book’s principles to their own hectic lives. the list is very short (make your own salad dressing, for example) and feels like a literal afterthought.

because, really, this book is for people who don’t have careers and are willing to devote their days not only to near-impossible sourcing of ingredients (perfectly fresh, unpasteurized, totally clean, pure raw milk) and hours of fermentation, soaking, simmering, and the like (all nuts should be soaked for a day and then dried out in an oven for a day before eating).

um, unless I get a Bessie of my own in my back yard, I’m not sure where to get that ideal raw-milk ingredient Fallon deems necessary for what feels like half the book’s recipes.

and I’d rather eat my nuts freshly toasted for a few minutes instead of spending a day soaking and a day cooking. am I missing out on vital nutrients by being such a lazy bum? Fallon would say yes. but I’m not so sure.

as for the section on homemade baby formula made from raw cow’s milk or meat — since when we were supposed to give babies formula made from cow’s milk (a known allergen in little tots) or meat? not that industrially produced formula is exactly fabuloso, but yikes!

There are 5 comments on this item
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1. by Kim on Feb 9, 2009 at 2:43 PM PST

I think you need a cow.

2. by Caroline Cummins on Feb 9, 2009 at 3:00 PM PST

caleb thinks that back-yard chickens are so last year, and that urban cow shares are the next hot city foodie thing ...

3. by Twilight Greenaway on Feb 10, 2009 at 9:42 AM PST

I’m fascinated by some of Fallon’s ideas, but wonder how in the world we’re supposed to provide everyone with that much animal protein -- especially given the current environmental constraints...

4. by Caroline Cummins on Feb 10, 2009 at 10:47 AM PST

Given that humans have always coveted animal products, be they hunted or domesticated, I doubt we’ll shed them from our diets in the long run, despite what Mark Bittman might encourage in his new book “Food Matters.” Yes, us First Worlders should all eat fewer animal products. But the real question is: How can we go about raising animals in a sustainable way? Getting rid of factory farms is just the first step.

5. by kelly on Feb 10, 2009 at 12:54 PM PST

Why oh why is there so much worry about eating the healthiest of all possible foods? Compared to the very poorest people, or to what people have subsisted on throughout history, aren’t we doing pretty well if we eat a lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains, eat as locally as possible, and eat low on the food chain? Whatever happened to balance and moderation? Food is supposed to be enjoyable!

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