by Kathy Humiston, WSGC Staff
It is so easy to eat organic food now in late summer and early fall—our gardens and produce aisles and farmers’ markets are pumping out all kinds of delicious treats. The local orchards are harvesting apples and pears, and all the fall storage veggies are yet to come. Many of our member-owners are committed to organics all year—but some have questions, aren’t sure how to best make the transition, or wonder why the transition is important. This month’s featured book is The Organic Food Guide by Steve Meyerowitz. This slim little volume packs in a ton of basic information on organic foods: what the label means; what other, alternative labels mean; the nutrition and flavor connection; the real costs and values of organic versus conventional foods; and how you can easily make the transition to organics. Meyerowitz includes price comparison charts for organic and conventional products and has a resource list so you can plug into more information if you wish. The Organic Food Guide is on special this month at 15% off the publisher’s price.
As you adopt your organic eating habits, you may find yourself curious to know more about the specific foods you consume. The Whole Foods Companion by Dianne Onstad has recently been revised and expanded and includes a huge assortment of fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, seeds, nuts and more. Each entry includes general information about the plant, its history and lore, health benefits and a complete nutritional breakdown. If you ever run into Drumstick Beans or Jaboticaba on the produce aisle, Onstad will explain it to you! She also covers hundreds of more common foods like apples, green beans, and walnuts!
As the days cool off, you may find yourself with the urge to get back into the kitchen and create some wholesome goodies. Beth Hensperger’s Bread Made Easy will gently guide you into the creation of handmade breads. The book is filled with directional photos and clear instructions and recipes for eight basic breads and dozens of variations. Hensperger discusses tools and ingredients as well as sources—don’t forget to check our bulk aisle for flours, grains and dried fruits. If you are new to bread baking, this book is invaluable; if you are a seasoned baker, you are likely to find some new hints and recipes in this volume of Hensperger’s work.
A recent addition to our health books is Dr. Murray’s Total Body Tune-Up. You may recognize Michael Murray as a leading authority on natural medicine. This book looks at the various body systems and common health problems. Murray provides tools for assessing your health and tips for improvement. There are recommendations for foods, exercise, herbs and supplements for improving each body system.
I want to share a quick reminder that our calendar rack is up and spinning! The biggest assortment right now are 16-month calendars that will carry you from now right through 2006 and calendars to start off the Jewish year, but all the 2006 calendars have started to arrive, so keep an eye on the selection.