Finding Healthful Food In The Nutrient Wasteland Of Supermarkets
Now that, as Jo Robinson reports in the New York Times, most of the natural nutrition has been bred out of our foods, what can we do about it? Robinson, the author of the forthcoming book “Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health,” makes her point with examples like these: “wild dandelions, once a springtime treat for Native Americans, have seven times more phytonutrients than spinach, which we consider a “superfood.” A purple potato native to Peru has 28 times more cancer-fighting anthocyanins than common russet potatoes. One species of apple has a staggering 100 times more phytonutrients than the Golden Delicious displayed in our supermarkets.” You get the message, but what to do? Robinson suggests that we “select corn with deep yellow kernels” and cook with blue, red or purple cornmeal. Wait, there’s more: when it comes to salads, go with arugula, which is very similar to its wild ancestor and is rich in cancer-fighting compounds called glucosinolates and higher in antioxidant activity than many green lettuces. Also, says Robinson, scallions, or green onions, “are jewels of nutrition hiding in plain sight, and have more than five times more phytonutrients than many common onions do. And one more thing: “Herbs are wild plants incognito. We’ve long valued them for their intense flavors and aroma, which is why they’ve not been given a flavor makeover. Because we’ve left them well enough alone, their phytonutrient content has remained intact.” Read more from Jo Robinson in the New York Times.