Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers, and Lovers of Natural Foods

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What if you could have information about more than 400 foods at your fingertips? You can find it all in the new edition of Whole Foods Companion.

Originally published in 1996, Whole Foods Companion has become the definitive resource guide...

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What if you could have information about more than 400 foods at your fingertips? You can find it all in the new edition of Whole Foods Companion.

Originally published in 1996, Whole Foods Companion has become the definitive resource guide to the rapidly expanding world of whole foods. This revised and expanded edition updates key nutritional information in six categories:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts, seeds, and oils
  • Herb, spices, and other foods.

Each entry includes nutritional value, general information, buying tips, culinary uses, and, when appropriate, health benefits, lore and legend, by-products, and descriptions of the more popular varieties.

In the face of staggering confusion and conflicting claims about the nutritional value of different foods and herbs, this book is a detailed and invaluable guide to natural foods. It is a perfect companion to cookbooks and should be required reading for chefs everywhere. No mere collection of dry nutritional information, Whole Foods Companion also explains the origins and naming of different foods and relays some of the legends and traditions with which they have been associated.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Wonderful! Whole Foods Companion is a valuable resource. It does make a difference what you eat, and this book describes in detail the range of nourishing organic foods available to all of us."--Alice Waters, founder and owner, Chez Panisse restaurant

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Dianne Onstad's The Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers & Lovers of Natural Food provides an encyclopedic guide to hundreds of natural foods. The book is arranged alphabetically within subject categories (fruits from "akee" to "wood apple"; vegetables from "arracacha" to "yautia"). There are also chapters on Grains; Legumes; Herbs and Spices; and Nuts, Seeds and Oils. Onstad explains how to find, fix store and preserve whole foods and describes health benefits, lore and legends. With 100 illustrations and 360 tables, this is a boon for health-directed foodies.
Library Journal
Did you know that cucumbers were once thought to ward off snakes? This is one interesting tidbit of information offered by Onstad, a member and librarian of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to nutritional and environmental education. The book's mandate to educate and entertain is achieved with an interesting blend of botanical, culinary, and folk information. Organized into broad subject categories like Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains, the text then explores individual food items in detail. Entries open with botanical names and a description of the plant's properties followed by buying tips, culinary uses, and a nutritional/calorie chart for the food in its raw, cooked, or preserved state. The entries are visually interesting, with sidebar information highlighted in boxes reminiscent of Windows screens and botanical line drawings sprinkled throughout that give the feel of an herbal. Informative without being too technical, the text appears to be well researched. Geared to the general reader, this work is nonetheless encyclopedic in its design and content and would make a good addition to any reference collectionor kitchen. (Index and bibliography not seen.)Elizabeth Braaksma, Thunder Bay P.L., Ontario
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931498623
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/28/2005
  • Series: A Politics of the Living Book Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 422,027
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 9.98 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dianne Onstad is actively involved in nutrition education and the promotion of organic whole foods, with a special interest in living and raw foods. She is the author of five books, including The Vitamin Companion, The Mineral Companion, and A Cup of Sunshine.

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Table of Contents






Nuts, Seeds, and Oils

Herbs, Spices, and Other Foods

Cooking Times and Proportions
Glossary of Terms
Annotated Bibliography
Index of English Names
Index of Botanical Names

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2005

    Excellent Resource

    'Whole Foods Companion' is a wonderful resource about foods from the earth. The author, Dianne Onstad, brings us more information in this revised and expanded edition based on her 1994 success! Dianne Onstad is involved in nutrition education, as well as in the promotion of organic whole foods. She even has a special interest in living and raw foods. In this impressive reference book, you will find information such as: Buying Tips, Culinary Uses, Health Benefits, Lore and Legend, and General Information on Fruits; Vegetables; Grains; Legumes; Nuts, Seeds and Oils; and Herbs, Spices and Other Foods. There is also a glossary and an extremely comprehensive index. Despite not having any photographs, this book is quite extensive and thorough. I tried to find obscure items within this text, such as loquats, and I actually did find them. I, also, tried to find some misinformation, such as health information, and was unable to do so. Onstad has done an excellent job once again! In today's world where everything is prepackaged, I find books such as 'Whole Foods Companion' to be a welcome and refreshing change to becoming a healthier eater. For anyone interested in understanding more about their food, how to select it, cook it and what health benefits it provides, then this is a fantastic food reference book of encyclopedic proportions!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2001


    This book is for all enlightened chefs who care what their customers eat, not just how much the customers spend. Also excellent for those in the field of nutrition, nutritional healing and holistics. Extremely wide range of all foods both domestic and tropical,and imported, from avocado to star fruit and more. Highly recommended!

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