150 Food Science Questions Answered: Cook Smarter, Cook Better by Bryan Le
I've been making my own meals & baked goods at home for a very long time. I developed autoimmune disease & have a lot of special cook books to help me navigate through my food limitations. I was hoping this book would help me understand the science of cooking so that I didn't always need cookbooks to create autoimmune friendly meals. This book did not help me in that regard.
Most of the information provided in this book I already knew. Not necessarily the why behind the knowledge, I simply knew if you do this, x is the result. In this way, the book wasn't particularly useful to me. Finding out the why on some things was interesting, but not necessarily helpful.
My biggest peeve is the section on raw milk. The author states that raw milk is not safe to drink. This simply isn't true. Yes you can get sick on raw milk if it hasn't been handled properly. The response to this question should have been "It depends." or "Possibly." rather than a firm "No." to the question of "Is raw milk safe to drink?" FYI you can get sick drinking pasteurized milk. A proper dairy house who sells raw milk tests the prior to consumption or sale. Conventional milk comes from many different cows from different dairy farms, it's all mixed together, bacteria counts are high, I could go on & on. I'm not anti pasteurized milk. I'm not really pro pasteurized either. I am for raw milk but not in all cases. So please don't think me a raw milk nut. I just think this is an area where the author didn't give enough information behind the realities of our dairy system before just jumping on the "Raw milk isn't safe." bandwagon. If you are curious, I don't drink milk. I do have my own Jersey dairy cattle. So I do know a thing or two about milk.
There are other things I didn't care for. For example the author states that MSG is perfectly safe, as are other food chemical additives. He even goes so far as to say that naturally derived products are less safe than their chemical counterparts. He states that studies show people believe they react to these ingredients, so basically it's all in their head. I never worried much at all about MSG until out of the blue, I got my first migraine in my early twenties after having a MSG heavy meal at Applebees. I never had pain like that & have never since. Was it MSG? Who knows. I somehow doubt it's just in folks heads. Frankly, it's insulting.
Aside from those points, this book was pretty good & I enjoyed reading it. I can't say I learned a lot, but I did learn a few things, so that's something. Plus, if you don't really cook (studies show most folks don't cook anymore which is sad), I expect you will find yourself learning a whole lot from this book. But please, whatever you do, do your research, from both sides & be open minded.
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