Thursday, January 10, 2008

japanese foods that heal.

Japanese Foods That Heal: Using Traditional Ingredients to Promote Health, Longevity & Well-being
by Jan Belleme

Those of you who are interested in TF should check out this book. While I am by no means a TF (Traditional Foods) expert, my experiences and reading lead me to find many tie ins with traditional foods and the 18 key ingredients in this book.

For us, buying local ingredients is important. We try to purchase local veggies, meats, and dairy - and being in such a rich farm area, we can do that much of the year. There are always going to be certain things we buy that are not local -- citrus, spices, coffee/tea, salt, vitamins, etc. In pursuing our interest in traditional foods, those concepts also tie in with our eat local goals - as the base ingredients should be and can easily be what is available here, and the other items we purchase using quality/organics as much as we can for the full benefit.

Japanese Foods That Heal goes through key traditional ingredients of Japan which evolved into the diet historically due to their health benefits. Now, the authors admit most Japanese no longer eat this way, but there are still companies who are preserving centuries old traditions and methods to produce these ingredients (very cool!).

There are 18 ingredients in the book - including miso, sesame oil, tamari, amazake, kuzu, brown rice vinegar, noodles, tofu, and sea vegetables, to name a few. Each chapter is dedicated to one item, and covers the history, traditional harvest and preparation, health benefits, recipes, and how to find/buy here in the US.

It is a great resource book, has interesting information and history, and ties in so many of the things I have read in the current traditional foods and fermentation books that it all just clicked. Definitely a good read.

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