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Pure Food: A Chef’s Handbook for…
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Pure Food: A Chef’s Handbook for Eating Clean, with Healthy,…

by Kurt Beecher Dammeier

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A special thank you to BenBella and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Well known, chef, restaurateur, food entrepreneur, retailer, and educator, Kurt Beecher Dammeier’s exciting new cookbook PURE FOOD, A Chef's Handbook for Eating Clean, with Healthy, Delicious Recipes — reflects his tremendous passion for healthy food, including insightful education into the food industry; additives, preservatives, processed foods and its critical health connections; from inspiring recipes, as well as his personal journey, with helpful tools and cooking tidbits, for an all-in-one guide to addictive-free foods.

“Commit yourself to the simple goal of avoiding additives. The rest falls into place.”

The food photography is excellent by Barnard & Meyer in Dallas, a critical element for a superior cookbook, with high resolution color images.

His work with Beecher’s Pure Food Kids Foundation is amazing, along with all his business models; with an ultimate goal to help change the way we eat in American. To arm families with the tools they need to cut additives from their lives.

For me, the most exciting part of the book: The ongoing education and initiatives regarding additives and preservative, processed foods, and The Pure Food Nation efforts--Call to Action. It is always a pleasure hearing from a chef’s point of view, the difficulties for many of us who have chosen to lead a pure food life, without these nasty additives and preservatives.

You have two choices: you can wait for science to catch up to what you already instinctively know, or you can take the artificial stuff out of your life now. I agree with the author: There is one thing you can do above all else-- to take your health into your own hands.

Pure Food is geared toward helping adults remove additives from their diets by changing the way they shop, cook, and eat. Even though I have been doing this for the last five or more years, I still enjoy keeping abreast of updated information, while supporting ongoing efforts. We all have to work together to change the way America eats- a collaborative effort.

In addition, to the education, insights, and personal experience, the author gives us tools and equipment tidbits, and delicious recipes. Since I am a vegan, not able to indulge in some of the recipes, but enjoyed the ones I tried, and of course the interesting subject material, and the stunning food photography.

Many of you who have read my previous reviews or blog are aware I chose more than five years ago to make the choice of pure foods, and never regretted it. As a vegan (no dairy, breads, meats, or processed foods, sugars, alcohol, chemicals, additives or preservatives), I maintain a healthy lifestyle and would never go back. It took years of food journaling, targeting the problems, and slowly eliminating all the bad things. It is a lifestyle choice and one I would recommend to others. As we age our bodies cannot fight, the way it does when we are younger (plus over time gets worse).

Much like the author, foods I had never had any issues with previously, began bothering me. Things I thought were healthy too. Then one day all the food allergies started with serious consequences, leading to ongoing severe allergic reactions, analyphaxis, and heart problems, plus more.

As the author reiterates, the current debate over food additives—and their presumed safety, unless otherwise proven unsafe— is a reminder of another major public health crisis. "Cigarettes." For some, it was far too late for those who had succumbed to their poison. He believes and I agree, that food additives will chart a similar course.

I found the chef’s journey fascinating. The wake-up call, the ingredients and additives used in restaurants, using industrial powders which are not good for us. The chemical flavorings, and the eye-opening behind the scenes-things diners cannot imagine.

From Pasta & Co, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Beecher’s Pure Food Kids Foundation, which use 1% of sales from the company to educate school children about how to be savvier consumers of processed foods.

From 2006 his cookbook, Pure Flavor, Bennett’s a casual bistro, then Maximus/Minimus—a food truck. Since then he has expanded Beecher’s to New York City and opened another bistro in Seattle called Liams. His company name is Sugar Mountain, homage to the Neil Young song. Sugar Mountain is committed to offering pure, full flavored, additive-free food.

You have to want to make a change. Like diets, addictions or anything you set your mind to do. However, by educating our kids to be a “detective “and teaching them how to read ingredients in foods, nutrition labels, investigating packaged foods for nutritional content, understanding chemical additives, consumption, health risks, and serving size—creates awareness. To arm kids with the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy food choices.

Empower them to make a healthier world with fruits and vegetables (not chemicals). Hopefully they will educate their parents and influence them in their buying decisions. If the parents do not educate themselves, we have to work through our children. In the end, it may be years down the road, they will find the harmful effects of years of abusive eating.

Our industry makes the bad things appear sexy and appealing. Like cigarettes, by the time the food industry finally admits the health consequences, will be too late for many. Start educating now and making changes!

There are many harmful chemical interactions and most people eat over a hundred different chemicals in a single day. Alarming! The food industry is free to dump additives into our food virtually unregulated. Many implications of the food people sell are slowly rising to the surface with lawsuits, food poisoning, and outbreaks. Accountability.

As we all are aware, food companies use industrial additives to lower their costs and increase consumption by engineering textures, flavors, and shapes designed to impossible to resist and consumer buy it.

We have to demand better products and force more transparent disclosure of what’s in them. We then vote with our wallets. Our greatest power over food companies and our general health is where we spend our next dollar.

We are seeing some hope! With books, like this, online bloggers, education, and awareness, people are waking up to the potential dangers of food additives--demanding change from companies that use them. The more people do so, the easier it will be to force changes.

PURE FOOD outlines some immediate steps to help reshape how food companies advertise to kids and how kids learn about and consume food and beverages:

• Vote for legislators who prioritize a pure food agenda and keep them accountable. FoodPolicyAction.org.
• Improve transparency by requiring both food manufacturers and restaurants to list ALL ingredients in the food and beverages they sell, including liquor, beer, and wine.
• Implement a ban on the advertising, and all marketing of food, and beverages to youth.
• Vote with your dollars. Buy the purest products that you can afford, produced by companies that prioritize ingredient transparency.
• Empower schools to model healthy food choices. Join the conversation at PureFoodRevolution.org.
From chronic illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes, asthma or allergies--- all these plus more will benefit from a diet free from food additives. They are known to cause these health problems. I am living proof of this. I support and applaud every book and initiative to help further this cause.

Taking control of your diet doesn’t have to be a challenge. PURE FOOD will show you how easy—and how much healthier—it is to cook clean, delicious foods. Recommend!

JDCMustReadBooks ( )
  JudithDCollins | Jul 6, 2016 |
A special thank you to BenBella and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Review to follow. ( )
  JudithDCollins | Jul 3, 2016 |
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