Cookus Interruptus Welcomes All Nations

What if all the nutri-brains were right about what YOU SHOULD BE EATING (and not eating)?  What would end up in your pantry?

In the past year we have had several distinguished food and nutrition experts come to Bastyr and speak.  One was T. Colin Campbell who wrote The China Study.  The findings? “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored,” said Dr. Campbell.  Advocates of a vegan or vegetarian diet such as the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine or Skinny Bitches gained more back-up for their already strong arguments.

Others preach lowering animal food consumption but are concerned from an agricultural, political or ecological point of view.  Mark Bittman is one and spelled out why in his Ted TalkMichael Pollan (who also made an appearance at Bastyr)  succinctly speaks of eating real food, not too much, mostly plants.  Softer and gentler than Mr. Campbell but the leaning is clear.

But whoosh there is a whole other wave of nutri-folks talking about our need for high-quality fat and protein.  Don’t shy away from a big steak and blue cheese, just make sure the steer is locally raised and grass-fed.  Both Nina 42-15622323Planck and Sally Fallon have enlightened readers of the misunderstanding around fat and cholesterol.  Sally spoke last weekend at Bastyr, Nina came in 2008.  I know many of our readers are devotees of Ms. Fallon and her traditional food philosophies which are derived from Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston Price.  Organ meats, raw milk, fermented foods and plenty of coconut oil and butter are thumbs up in this world and they have the research to back up what they preach.  The newer (older?) Paleo Diet is somewhat related, warning against grain-eating and advocating consumption of ample animal food.  The Paleo experts boast oodles of research to support its recommendations.

Uh oh.  Now what?  What do we eat if both camps are right.  I mentioned this eaters dilemma to one of my students and said that I guessed that lettuce was the only safe choice.  She had attended Sally’s lecture and reported that Ms. Fallon’s closing comment was that salads would be the genocide of America because of all that awful salad dressing.  Touche.

What’s left? What can we conscientiously eat for dinner?  And that’s where Cookus Interruptus walks in with a smile.  We like everybody.  We’ve parked our ship in the “no preach” zone.  We’ve pulled the best threads of common sense from all of the philosophies and woven them into a loose pattern.  We welcome you if you are vegan – we offer plenty of vegan, even more vegetarian recipes.  Grains and beans rock.  Gluten-free? – come on in.  About 75% of our recipes are wheat-free.  Traditional-diet lovers – we love you too.  Though we tend to keep our animal protein in small portions (family budget you know),  we embrace grass-fed, pastured, humanely-raised and forgo participating in CAFO food.  Fermentation nation?  Bring it.  Sauerkraut and yogurt are awesome.  All tribes, all camps, all philosophies – we’ve got food for you.  Real food that tastes good.  We’re world cup.  The best of each nation ready for your knife, fork, spoon, chopstick or paw.

5 thoughts on “Cookus Interruptus Welcomes All Nations

  1. You are the safe haven of sensibility and balance, thank you!!! There have been days when I don’t know what to buy or cook because of all the varying schools of thought on food. Our budget is beyond tight and I get worked up reading about all the organic goodness we can’t afford (except homegrown chickens), the need to eat a raw, organic, vegan, socially and environmentally conscious diet and feel like I’m poisoning, instead of nourishing, my family. Your no nonsense approach and humor bring me back from the edge and empower me to do the best I can. Thank you for be the Switzerland in my day.

  2. Yay for Cookus (and common sense)! As I’ve found my way to eating more healthfully, more conscientiously, I’ve read the literature – books, blogs, articles – and watched the films, and in the end, I’ve just followed my instincts. The funny thing is that as I watch the Cookus videos and read the recipes, I find that everything here “speaks” to my instincts. Everything I see here just feels intuitive to me. Maybe it’s because we’re in the same camp, or maybe also because the “loose pattern” of philosophies you’ve woven together here fits so well for so many of us. Thank you!

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