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Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson download in pdf, ePub, iPad

Now plant geneticists can insert foreign

Unwittingly, when our ancestors rejected strong-tasting fruits and vegetables, they were lowering their protection against a long list of diseases and troubling conditions. Allicin, one of the best of these, is only formed when cell walls are broken and the precursor molecule is exposed to the enzyme that converts it. Early-modern plant breeders were most definitely entrepreneurs. By necessity, all their food was local, organic, and seasonal.

And many of the wild plants that we used to eat had levels of bitterness similar to that dandelion. Now, plant geneticists can insert foreign genes into corn or beets or potatoes and create a new variety in a matter of hours. Instead, it goes to your liver to be dismantled and converted to glycogen or fat. Only Michael Pollan would come close to her superbly researched work.

Independent Booksellers We like to think that if we eat our recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables, we're doing right by our bodies. If the variety is attractive, pleasing to eat, productive, and disease resistant, it is considered a triumph. Many of the most beneficial bionutrients have a sour, astringent, or bitter taste. Perhaps the most useful tidbit concerns garlic.

The roots of domesticated beets, carrots, and parsnips were twice as large as the roots of their wild ancestors, and they contained less protein, more sugar, and more starch. Most fruit sugar comes in the form of fructose.

And many of the wild plants

They timed their journeys to coincide with the annual migration of game and the ripening of wild nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. We now know that one of the consequences of cultivating the sweetest and mildest-tasting wild plants was a dramatic loss in phytonutrients. Although hunter-gatherers had consumed only small amounts of grain, the first farmers made starchy cereal grains a central part of their diet. Try eating more dandelion greens, radicchio, Brussels sprouts, and citrus fruits to get extra bitter foods in your diet.

The differences between wild plants and our man-made varieties had, even then, become marked. The first farmers gathered seeds and cuttings from wild plants and grew them in one location to make them easier to tend and harvest.