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Reintroducing Wild Food In Our Modern Diet

Jo Robinson will speak at Seattle's Town Hall on June 17, 2013.

eatingwildsideHumans once thrived on wild plants, but 400 generations of misguided farming methods have bred essential nutrients and fiber out of many modern fruits and vegetables, says Jo Robinson, a nationally recognized investigative journalist from Vashon Island. Robinson has spent the past 15 years delving into research on how we can restore vital nutrients to fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and dairy products.

In her new book, Eating on the Wild Side, Robinson explores the nutritional history of fruits and vegetables and discusses how the evolution of farming unwittingly squandered essential fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants--leaving us more vulnerable to diseases including obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation and dementia.

Her research found wild apples 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.

Robinson shares simple, scientifically proven methods of food storage and preparation to preserve and enhance health benefits of fruits and vegetables.

Here are some of her tips:

Squeeze fresh garlic in a garlic press and then set it aside for ten minutes before cooking. It will increase your defenses against cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Bake potatoes, refrigerate them overnight, and then reheat them before serving to keep them from spiking your blood sugar.
Cooking most berries makes them more nutritious.
Shred lettuce the day before you eat it to 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.

Jo Robinson will speak at Town Hall on Monday, June 17, 2013, 7:30 – 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 at www.townhallseattle.org or (888) 377-4510 and at the door beginning at 6:30 pm. Town Hall members receive priority seating. Downstairs at Town Hall; enter on Seneca Street. Presented as part of the Town Hall Civics series with Elliott Bay Book Company.


  • Guest
    sara Friday, 14 June 2013

    According to the head of the UN Panel for biodiversity there are 31,000 edible foods but we get 95% of our energy from only 30 plants. One plant that should be on everyone's list are stinging nettles. Considered a weed by most, they are a treasured medicinal plant with over 3000 years of testing

  • Paula Bock
    Paula Bock Wednesday, 26 June 2013

    Thanks, Sara! I hear stinging nettles make wonderful tea. Do you have any other stinging nettles recipe you'd like to share?

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