Recommended from the American Botannical Council Bookstore, via their web pages or 800/373-7105 for credit-card orders. or send check or money order to: ABC Books, Box 201660, Austin, TX 78720-1660. No indications about school PO's. They publish Herbalgram an excellent, well-illustrated magazine for $25/year.
Traditional Plant Foods of Canadian Indigenous Peoples: Nutrition, Botany, and Use, Harriet Kuhnlein and Nancy Turner, Gordon and Breech, 1991, hardcover, 633 pp. Covers 1050 species, Canada and northern U.S. states. $88, available from American Botannical Council Books, #B030
Ironically, this expensive book was "primarily intended as a resource for native peoples, botanists, nutritionists, and other health care professionals who may be working with native peoples." The authors are pros in ethno-nutrition. This book is No. 8 in the series "Food and nutrition in history and anthropology.".150 pages of tables try to cover nutrient values of traditional plant foods. There'san outline overview of plants by Latin name, so you can look them up in other botannical sources. Toxicities are also noted. What's most noteworthy, though, is that most of the traditional foods really haven't been given much analysis. Wild rice -- whose analysis I publish at the end of my story about it just before the recipes -- was analyzed by University of Minnesota largely at the urgings of several Indian people, but that analysis -- done in the late 1970's -- can now be seen to be incomplete in that nutrients which have now come to be seen as vital (such as soluble and insoluble fiber) are ignored. The situation is much worse for most traditional native plant foods. It is too bad this book is so expensive that most native groups, schools, individuals, etc. will not be able to afford it.
A Handbook of Edible Weeds, Dr. James A. Duke, 1992, 246 pp, $44. 100 plants with detailed field ID pix, descriptions, parts used, preparation, habitat, region, safety precautions, historical use` (including native uses), current uses. Much more thorough than similar books by Euell Gibbons and others. but not much on the recipes for good eating.
Eating on the Wild Side: The Pharmacologic, Ecologic, and Social Implications of Using Non Cultigens, ed. Nina Etkin, 1994, 305 pp, $40. A collection of essays and research by anthros, paleontologists, ethnobiologists that explores issues such as consumption of "famine time" foods. Comparison of aboriginal, colonial, and modern diets. The so-called "caveman diet" (most food from plant sources) is discussed here, with the argument that diets of this family are what human beings have been genetically blueprinted to survive on.
American Botannical Council has sponsored seminar- visits to Ix Chel, a Belize botannical study area bringing together traditional and modern scientific healers. Two books by Dr. Rosita Arvigio, who founded Ix Chel, are available from the ABC Book catalog: Sastun, the story of her apprenticeship with Mayan healer-elder Don Eligio Panti and the founding of Ix Chel, 90 pp, $12. Rainforest Remedies covers 100 healing herbs found in Belize, together with usages and practice by local native healers who now work with Ix Chel. 215 pp, $9.95
These books are available from The Mail Order Catalog PO Box 180, Summertown, TN 38483; 800/695-2241 for orders or catalog; email: email@example.com. (NOTE: Surely they must have a web page by now. Try to find.) Prices are as given in their Spring, 1995 catalog:
How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine and Crafts, $4.95. By Frances Densmore, Dover reprint of report compiled between 1908-20. Despite its general title the Natives are Ojibwe, from White Earth, Cass Lake, Mille Lacs and Grand Portage, Minnesota; Lac Courte Oreilles, Wisconsin; and Manitou Rapids, Ontario, Canada. Densmore, unlike most male anthros, was a musicologist, who was also very interested in foods, medicines and crafts. Her plant compilations are a model that (unfortunately) often wasn't followed by later men collecting plant info. Of course most ethnographers didn't have the collaboration of a Native woman like Mary Warren English of White Earth. Whatever tribe you are, this book is a model, a pace-setter, and a price-bargain. 396 pages, many cross-rerencing tables, the best that could be done with that before computers.
Indian Givers, Jack Weatherford (Powhattan), 272 pages, $10. Classic study of Native achievements in food, medicine, agriculture, architecture which were taken over by Western Civilization. Also includes philosophical influences such as democratic government, league of nations, ecology.
Earth Medicine, Earth Food, Michael A. Weiner, 214 pages, $14. Emphasis (like most of these books) is on medicines rathr than foods. Book is organized by condition or problem, listing herbal remedies of various tribes for each.How they were prepared (very sparse) and methods of identification (sketches, not always clear). An intertribal overview.
American Indian Medicine, Virgil J. Vogel, 578 pages, $21.95. Classic compendium by well-known Native scholar. Vogel uses medical practices as a lens to focus on changin relationships between invading whites and natives, as well as discussing practical and pharmacological bases of plant-based healing and remedies.
Handbook of Native American Herbs, Alma R. Hutchens, 256 pages, $10. Portable field companion with plant ID's. 125 North American herbs covered, kichen as well as medical. Indian Herbology of North America (382 pages, $17) by Hutchens covers more than 200 plants, the emphasis there is entirely medical.
Kids Can Cook, Dorothy R. Bates, 120 pages, $9.95. Favorite recipes for ages 10-teen, recommended by New York Times.
New Resource Wars, Al Gedicks, 270 pages, $10. Native environmental and land struggles against corporate greed, governmental racism from Wisconsin to the Amazon rain forest. Many of the problems are caused by companies clearing land to raise cattle for American markets; seeking herbs from which to synthesize medicines commercially. Others are older problems: mining, development, pollution.
From Lerner Publications, 241 1st Ave. M, Minneapolis, MN 55401; 800/328-4929 for catalog. Note that there are considerable school discounts, generally 25% of the list prices. Books cited below available both in library hardcover and class/individual paperback.
Iniatig's Gift of Sugar, Laura Wittstock (Seneca), photos by Dala Kakkak (Ojibwe). 48 pages, $6.95.Traditional maple sugar-making, mostly at Mille Lacs reservation, True story, social studies, Grades 3-6.
The Sacred Harvest: Ojibway Wild Rice Gathering, Gordon Regguinti, photos by Dale Kakkak, 48 pages, $6.95. Social studies book grades 3-6, has received several children's book awards. Wild ricing at Mille Lacs, with cooperation of Tribal Council and Historical Society.
Clambake: A Wamponoag Tradition, Russell M. Peters, Photos by John Madama, 48 pages, $6.95. Social Studies Grades 3-6. Winner of National Association for Multicultural Education award, 1993.
Grade 2-5 science series on Food Facts: Additives; Fats; Fiber; Proteins; Sugars; Vitamins, 32 pages many illustrations, $17.50 each (no paperback).
Grades 5+, Easy Menu Ethnic Cookbook series, $17.50 each (some paperbacks, $5.95). No Native American Indian cookbook yet. Ethnic Cooking the Microwave Way is recommended if kids are going to cook in classrooms.
Corn is Maize, by Akhi, book for children 4-8 yrs. old about how Native women thousands of years ago cross-bred corn from weedy seed plants and hardy grasses. Can be ordered on-line from Shen's Bookstore, which specializes in multicultural children's books.
The Big Family Guide to All the Vitamins, Ruth Adams, Keats Publishing: New Canaan, CT, c. 1992, 450 pages, $17.95. By the time I got hold of this, it was in its 18th printing. Author writes clearly and well; documentation included at the end. For ach chapter, the vitamin itself is discussed -- what it does, prevents, etc., and a list of foods that are top sources of it is given. Minerals are not covered. No recipes.
The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book: Going Beyond the RDA for Optimum Health, Shari Lieberman and Nancy Bruning. Lieberman is a PhD nutritionist, consultant and broadcaster on nutrition for Home Shopping TV Network. This book provides good coverage of minerals as well as vitamins. Author belongs to the school of thought that wants you to take vasst amounts of vitamin/mineral dietary supplements (pills) daily. While she mentions a few food sources in passing, th emphasis is on take-a-pill. However, the discussion of vitamins and minerals is thorough and the studies which established each point are summarized as well as cited. They make one very good point about this take supplements attitude: foods can supply only what nutrients they get from the soil. Most factory-garms in the Ag industry do not re-supply with fertilizer nutrients that are removed by cropping. Too, vitamins are vulnerable to storage conditions and time, and generally greatly reduced or destroyed by most processing. This book also has good coverage of interactivity of nutrients: interferences, proper ratios of different kinds, potentiations.
Diet & Nutrition: A Wholistic Approach, Rudolph Ballentine, M.D. Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy, 17th printing, 1993. 700 pages. This huge book has good, clear explanations of the western-accepted nutritional and health affects of nutrients (all discussed in terms of their sources in natural foods, rather than pill-supplements). Dr. Ballentine studied "Ayurvedic" or traditional medicine in Indian, not a quick ashram trip, and also put in time in Hindu hospitals and labs. I have little patience for the Indian-and-gurus trip, but I like this book very much. Dr. Ballentine is the only one of the popular nutritionial authors to discuss the physiology of eating and digestion in detail. He also has many studies and picture-comparisons of people who ate traditional diets (and look fine as well as being fine) and tribespeople, brothers or sisters, who adopted modern fast and refined foods, whose bodies are nearly falling apart. Many health food co-ops carry this book, which deserves a wider audience than New Age types. Those interested in Native medical and health traditions will enjoy the clear, interesting, account of Ayurvedic Indian traditional medicine. A few recipes for very simple traditional India-Indian dishes are scattered throughout.
Diet for a Small Planet, Frances Moore-Lappè, Ballantine Books, NY: c. 1971 and later editions. About half this is a cookbook, and half is plain, clear explanations of why Lappe is concerned about American diets including so much meat. She mentions health and "animal rights" ideas only in passing. Her main concern is ecological and political: destruction of the land -- and new destructions of rainforest and savannahs of Mexico and South America-- by factory farming, largely to feed meat animals, largely for American and European markets. Her nutritional concern is with proteins in a largely (not necessarily entirely) vegetarian diet. She clearly explains the concept of usability when several foods with complementary amino acid (protein components) are combined -- as Native people long ago learned to do with traditional combos such as corn and beans. About half the book is good science for Earth Science or Health classes; the rest is some pretty good recipes for main dishes, breakfast, salads, soups. Lappe concentrates on protein; she does not consider vitamin/mineral nutritional components.
Healing Foods, Patricia Hausman and Judith Benn Hurley, Dell Books: 1989 (Reprinted from Rodale Press, a natural foods concern), paperback 1992. 461 pages, $6.99. This is the opposite number to the TV vitamin pill hope shopper guide above. The principal author -- president of the American Nutritionists' Association -- is definitely in the "good meals, not pills" camp. The book is easy reading, organized around a host of ailments which the author believes -- sometimes with evidence, sometimes it's pretty sparse -- certain foods can help prevent or heal partly or entirely. For each food discussed, there's a couple of recipes and preparation tips. There are many lists of good nutrient sources, and weeks of menus aimed at certain ailments. What impressed me the most? The discussions of dietary fiber. And the chance to get more of it without eating (ugh) spoonfuls of bran.
Culpepper's Color Herbal, edited by David Potterton, Sterling Publishing, NY and Toronto: 1992, $17.95 US; $24.95 Can. Paperback is a somewhat modernized version of 1649 herbal by an interesting fellow who wanted to make plant curative lore available to country people, suffering in London slums when pushed off their lands. Color drawings, and an arrangement by common rather than esoteric Latinate names was his approach. Neither the original nor the updated modern herbalistic curative powers have any credibility. Plants are mostly English, nothing Native American. This is just a great read and a beautiful book.
Indigenous Woman Magazinecontains some women's herbal/nutrition-health info in most issues through this web catalog-distributor: Indigenous People Catalog: Desert Moon periodical distributor/catalog--Carries Indigenous Women's Network magazine (and several other Native periodicals)
400 Healthy Recipes CDROM (PC, Mac hybrid)--Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook on CDROM for your, er, kitchen computer (!?). This one, unlike many of what's basically a worthless genre has lots of health and nutrition info -- making it worthwhile as an educational or self-educational guide, useful too in school Health classes.
Webmistress --Paula Giese.Text and graphics copyright 1995.
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 02, 1996 - 5:41:01 AM