Top Ten, Er, 150 List

September 30,2009
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

There are a lot of food books out there. Traditional cookbooks, diet missives, food lifestyle guides and more flood the shelves of bookstores and libraries. So it is rare that I find a food book that piques my interest enough to thoroughly peruse it, and even rarer that I get excited enough about the book that I want to recommend it. And yet, a book my Mother-in-Law shared with me did just that; in fact, it got me so excited I found myself sharing random facts about the antioxidants in horseradish to others. It takes a lot to get me talking about horseradish. The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth is a list of author Jonny Bowden’s subjective take on scores of research, independent studies and fellow experts’ opinion on food nutrients and how they affect our health. Each food item on the list is given a couple pages in which Bowden effectively supports each item’s reason for making the list. Before I even opened the book, I hypothesized on what items would certainly be on such a list. Blueberries, spinach, broccoli, pomegranate, sweet potatoes, and mango were all amongst my first guesses, and without much surprise, they were on the list. But celery? Horseradish? Sauerkrat? Yep, they all made the list too. In fact, the aforementioned horseradish trivia I was spouting out after reading the book is that there are more antioxidants in a mere tablespoon of horseradish than there are in a much larger broccoli serving. Other surprises in the book were the inclusion of certain cheeses, grass-fed beef and eggs (yolks and all). In the case of grass-fed beef, it has been proven that cattle that graze the way God intended, rather than being cooped up and fed hay produce healthier meat; meat that has some great Omega Fatty Acids, similar to those found in the super-healthy Wild Salmon. On the other end of the spectrum, but equally surprising is the author’s exclusion of most grains, including whole grains and the omission of soy from the list. But surprises aside, all in all the book is fun to read for gleaning new food facts, and can help you feel somewhat less guilty about that chili hot dog, if you glob on the sauerkraut. SPC