Top | Newsletter 2011

Culinate Newsletter June 1

(mailing, James Berry)

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 h1. Dear readers,

 A few months ago when I saw "Forks Over Knives," the new documentary that promotes a plant-based diet as a way to prevent — even reverse — cancer and heart disease, I left the theater in a daze. The film was so persuasive that in those first heady minutes out in the fresh air, I was ready to forgo butter and cheese — not to mention the occasional pork chop — for the rest of my life. I could eat plants alone, right? Subsist on grains and legumes and learn all there is to know about sea vegetables? After all, plenty of people do it. 

 But even as I was talking myself through it, I knew that I would be a lousy vegan. And then, as if to confirm it, I went to dinner. 

 I ordered vegetable pasta, which was vegetarian but not vegan, and when it came time for freshly grated Parmesan, I wavered — for a half a second. But here's the thing: I am in good health, and I relish — truly love — a variety of foods. I don't want to cut out these things I like so much until I know that I can't eat them any more. 

 Still, it's important to say that "Forks Over Knives" influenced me greatly, not just that night at dinner (when, if not for the film, I might well have ordered a meatier entrée or a cheesier pasta) but at every dinner since. Even though I'm not adopting a fully plant-based diet, I believe that small steps help — and I'm taking them. (Which is why I am such a fan of Mark Bittman's [/books/collections/allbooks/foodmatters '"vegan before 6"'] philosophy.) Perhaps someday I'll go all vegetarian — or even vegan. But for now I'm sticking with a simple More Vegetables Plan, which, of course, means less of everything else.  

 Want to know more about "Forks Over Knives"? Read Rebecca Kessler's review, new this week on Culinate.

 Kim Carlson
 Editorial Director

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story1text: "She spent a decade writing 'One Big Table,' a book thick with stories and recipes from across the U.S." 
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story2text: "Make this summery salad now, while your garden mint is still tender and the parsley hasn't yet gone to seed."

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recipe1text: "These moist, rich burgers, from Andrew Schloss and David Joachim's new book 'Fire It Up,' are lighter than beef."
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recipe2text: "Heidi Swanson's tasty whole-grain muffins have an appealing texture — and they're still great the next day."

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