Meatless Mondays - To China and Back

One of my favourite books, The China Study, was recently profiled on The New York Times blog and I realized I have never taken the time to mention it to you. This is a review I originally wrote for my company's staff newsletter:

Sadly, we all know someone who has died of cancer or heart disease or who suffers with diabetes, osteoporosis and other debilitating conditions, but how well do we really understand how these diseases work? Dr. T. Colin Campbell has been a disease researcher for over 40 years and has been at the forefront of many groundbreaking studies, including The China Study, which The New York Times called the “Grand Prix of Epidemiology.” In his book of the same name, Dr. Campbell details the fascinating results of the study and helps us understand not only the diseases which plague our society but also the ways in which we can halt and even reverse them.

The idea behind the study came after the publication of Chinese government statistics showing different rates of various diseases from county to county and village to village. With genetics due to racial differences no longer a factor, why would the rate of breast cancer be one hundred times as prevalent in one village compared to another? What were they doing differently in each village and what could we learn from that? With this in mind, researchers from Cornell, Oxford and China tested 6500 people in 65 different counties, tracking 367 variables through the collection of blood, urine, food samples, lifestyle questionnaires and other environmental data. It was the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted.

If that sounds a little dry, you will be glad to know that he left the writing to his son, Thomas M. Campbell, who is a former actor and writer, now turned medical doctor. The result is an easy and compelling read which relates scientific information in layperson’s terms and reads like a “whodunit” of disease research. It explains how these seemingly random diseases function and what you can do to limit your risk, stop some diseases in their tracks and actually reverse others. If there was ever a book which had the potential to save your life, this is it.

Read the book. You won't be sorry you did.

For once, the vegetable of the week is an actual vegetable and it ties in with the recipe of the week. What's funny is that this was a complete accident and not related to any newly-discovered planning skills of mine. So this week is all about cauliflower. As with the other cruciferous vegetables, it is known to be a powerful cancer-fighting vegetable, particularly breast cancer. It's also ridiculously high in vitamin C and dietary fibre. You could make the attached recipe as a side dish or add chick peas, crumbled tofu or tempeh, etc. to make it into a meal with a tossed salad to start. We had this last night and it is a new family favourite (adapted from a recipe on 101 Cookbooks). Bon appetit, mes petits chou-fleurs!