A Traditional Foods Movement: The Balance of Healthy Eating

The traditional foods movement calls you back to the kitchen, and allows you to weave the connections between the food on your table, the time you take to prepare it and the farms that produce it.

| June 2014

  • Traditional foods are the foods of our great-great grandmothers — the foods of gardens and of farms. They represent a system of balance, emphasizing the value of meat and milk, grain and bean, vegetables and fruits.
    Photo by Jennifer McGruther
  • In “The Nourished Kitchen,” Jennifer McGruther guides readers through her traditional foods kitchen and offers more than 160 recipes inspired by the seasons, land, and waters around her.
    Cover courtesy Ten Speed Press

The traditional foods movement is a fad-free approach to cooking and eating that emphasizes nutrient-dense food, and values quality, environment and community over the convenience of processed products. The Nourished Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2014), by Jennifer McGruther, not only teaches how to prepare wholesome foods, but also encourages a celebration of old-world culinary traditions that have sustained healthy people for millennia. The following excerpt comes from the introduction and discusses some of the general benefits of joining the traditional foods movement.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Nourished Kitchen.

"Everyone had a garden back then; you just couldn’t get by without it. We fried our dinner in lard, and sauerkraut got us through the winter,” Trudy explained, answering a question about how the old-timers survived in the rough-and-tumble Colorado mining community of Crested Butte long before the roads were paved and imported, packaged foods traveled up the winding mountain passes in eighteen-wheel trucks to line the shelves of our grocery store.

Trudy, you see, is an old-timer. She grew up when convenience foods and long-traveled fruit and vegetables simply couldn’t be found. That time lingered in the isolated town of Crested Butte, where I make my home, longer than it did in most American communities. Here, seasonal vegetables straight from the garden filled the dinner table, along with whole milk and butter from the local creamery, and locally produced meat and lard. In the fall, plenty of sauerkraut was put up to last until late spring lest bellies go hungry.



These foods—meat loaf and liver, whole raw milk and just-gathered eggs, sourdough bread and soaked oatmeal porridge—nourished generation after generation of healthy people the world over until the global food supply began to change slowly but dramatically at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century and again after the Green Revolution of the mid-twentieth century.

A Traditional Foods Movement

Traditional foods are the foods of our great-great grandmothers—the foods of gardens and of farms. They represent a system of balance, emphasizing the value of meat and milk, grain and bean, vegetables and fruits.






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