Food Blogging Project – Goodbye Sally


01/25/2014 by syrbal-labrys

photoI concede defeat in the matter of Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions” cookbook. I’ve pounded my way through to the final sections on desserts and beverages. I am disappointed.

It seemed a promising beginning, a valiant stand against the oh-so-politically correct diet ideas that I think drive people mad without making them healthier. I still agree with Fallon that dairy and meat and once-common amounts of fat in the diet are not the end of food or health civilization, nor are liquid oils the be all and end all. However, Fallon did what I believe is often referred to as ‘jumping the shark’ in her efforts to make her case. She was desperate to find anyone with an M.D. after their name to hook her hypothesis onto for a flight to cookbook stars. She picked some folks that were relatively well-intentioned, like Weston Price — but good gods, could she find nothing better than a dentist born in the 19th century? And then loons like guy who believes germs don’t cause disease? No wonder she got some hard raps on the head for her efforts. But I do think she got rapped hard also because she does fly in the face of the politically correctness of diets; using very out-dated and barely qualified “authorities” hurt her argument even more. And then, her Dr. Price — well intentioned man that he was, may have actually believed that a vegetarian diet WAS healthy, contrary to what Fallon insists.

Her section on grains and breads belabored the fact that phytic acid in grains blocks the body from using certain minerals and vitamins. But that component is only in whole grains that contain the bran —face it, most of America eats white bread that has long since said goodbye to hull and bran! I still intend to try her sourdough recipe, but since I am lessening my dependence upon bread as the meal time (breakfast and lunch) fix all…it isn’t a massive priority with me. Her shrill insistence that breakfast cereals should all be warm cooked “gruel” types that soaked overnight left me cold. I hate cooked cereals and barf almost on sight of them. Her screaming that fancy cold cereal shapes “extruded” are nigh-unto-poison was well into the howling-at-the-moon range. Her dessert section failed to impress because it is made in large part with nuts and fruits I cannot eat due to allergy issues. Her idea that “merengues”, as she calls the whipped egg white confections ARE healthy in some fashion eludes me. Whipping egg white negates the protein content, and maple syrup is still a calorie rich sugar….

Her rants against chocolate, coffee, and tea remind me of Mormon missionaries; I don’t plan my meals based on ANYone’s religious principles, thanks. And considering the good science HAS found in those things, I think Fallon obviously was remaining locked in her little fantasy world. Her dislike of canned food (except tomatoes?!), her fear of microwaving, and her rants against all food irradiation strike me as kitchen superstition. She whips herself into what sure seems near a religious fervor and makes you think maybe she needs to examine her diet her damned self, because she begins to sound pretty deluded.

I ended up back where I started: believing in moderation in all things food and drink wise. I won’t start using lard again, but I won’t stop using butter. I will continue to eat eggs in meals and I do buy the cage free vegetarian feed sort whenever I can find them. The price sees to it I don’t over-indulge in a way that would give any modern diet fan/doctor a fit. In spite of her anti-vegetarian complaints, I will eat largely vegetarian meals with exception of 3 or 4 times per month. I agree that sugars are a bigger threat to American health than normal sensible amounts of meat and dairy products. Her recipes that appeal to me by dint of tasting good and being reasonable to prepare will eventually join my electronic cookbook gleaned from other cooking tomes. The rest….well, recycling is good, right?


4 thoughts on “Food Blogging Project – Goodbye Sally

  1. Wow. Interesting review. You know your food. I’m with you on moderation (avoiding lard, white breads and too much sugar). I’m a huge fan of coffee, tea and chocolate–and as you said, science supports the health benefits of these food. I never skimp on things like butter and eggs. They’re much better for us than the artificial substitutes. I think once we start messing with our metabolism (via dieting or fasting), it is bad for our bodies. To me, the most important rule is just to eat things that have been minimally processed. So, avoiding all the additives, preservatives, HFCS and the like will keep our machines efficient. Anyway, interesting post this morning. Thanks.

    • Pretty much my stance…moderation and a rational, not panicked response to nutrition. I don’t diet and almost never fast. Fasting for me is when my entire touchy system is fouled up due to illness or medication reactions…it is a medical choice, lol, not a food-related thing.

      We use little processed food here…the occasional frozen meal for time, like ravioli from Costco, and my personal junk food — Craft Mac & Cheese, is about it. I used to bake almost all of our bread myself from a sourdough culture and I may do that again soon.

  2. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    Her shrill insistence that breakfast cereals should all be warm cooked “gruel” types that soaked overnight left me cold. I hate cooked cereals and barf almost on sight of them.

    My personal preference is for homemade Muesli (I’m a quarter Swiss, what can I say?).

    As far as the “diet police” thing goes, I have always been of the “eat a variety of stuff” school, and I endeavor to eat a much, much greater range of plants than the average consumer, including wild plants (I even tried one that I didn’t know was edible because it looked so cool). A little bit of butter now and then won’t kill anyone, but an over-reliance on processed foods will.

    • I like muesli, too and have often made it. I toast it lightly. Fallon insists it be soaked over night and cooked to mush in the morning. I’m not a fan of mush.

      I do harvest some wild foods, tho’ I am casting about for a new harvest zone as the marsh I love may be too polluted to risk eating greens from there now.

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The name of this blog, and my Dreamwidth blog, Herlander Refugee, is taken from a 1915 feminist novel "Herland". It makes my heart sing that modern women are experimenting with creation of a new "Herland"! Yes, comments are closed. Anyone who just MUST reach me can do so at syrbal6 at gmail dot com.

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