It's not often I read a book that is less than 100 pages long and I fold over and highlight nearly every page.
But that was indeed the case when I read the book “How (& Why) To Eat More Vegetables“, a book with a very simple title but a very wide range of practical plant-eating information I've never seen published elsewhere, including little-known superfood plants, why humans are like an upside down plant, how to make extremely nutritionally dense vegetable powders and much more.
The book was written by the guest of this podcast: Dr. Tom Cowan.
Dr. Cowan discovered the work of the two men who would have the most influence on his career while teaching gardening as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, South Africa. He read “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” by Weston A. Price, as well as Rudolf Steiner’s work on biodynamic agriculture. These events inspired him to pursue a medical degree and he graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 1984. After his residency in Family Practice at Johnson City Hospital in Johnson City, New York, he set up an anthroposophical medical practice in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Dr. Cowan relocated to San Francisco in 2003.
Dr. Cowan has served as vice president of the Physicians Association for Anthroposophical Medicine and is a founding board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation™. During his career he has studied and written about many subjects in medicine. These include nutrition, homeoathy, anthroposophical medicine and herbal medicine.
He is the principal author of the book The Fourfold Path to Healing and is the co-author of The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care. He writes the “Ask the Doctor” column in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the foundation’s quarterly magazine, and has lectured throughout the United States and Canada. He has three children and three grandchildren and practices medicine in San Francisco, where he resides with his wife, Lynda Smith.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-Why a plant is like an upside-down human, carrots and roots are good for your sinus and head, leaves are good for your lungs, and flowers are good for your metabolic and reproductive systems…[15:30 & 19:12]
-Why Dr. Cowan believes that vegetables are vastly misunderstood and misused by modern “healthy” diets, such as the Paleo diet…[27:45, 32:50 & 45:00]
–How commonly vilified foods such as beans and grains are actually good for you and a crucial part of an ancestrally appropriate diet…[29:35]
-Why you should seek out and learn to eat a special superfood vegetable called “Ashitaba”…[37:30]
-The little-known plant that can lower blood sugar more powerfully than the diabetic drug Metformin…[41:50]
-The fascinating tale of how the vegetable variety of “ancient Californians” compares to the vegetable variety of modern Californians today…[44:45 & 47:50]
-How the container that you store a vegetable or other food in can drastically affect the energy and nutrient bioavailability of that food…[51:30 & 52:50]
-Whether you should eat vegetables in their raw vs. cooked form…[56:35]
–How to make vegetable powders from tomatoes that taste just like bacon…[60:35]
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
-Use code BEN and get 15% off on your first order at Dr. Cowan's Garden.
Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dr. Cowan or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!
Also published on Medium.