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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother unless you are rich..., 11 Sept. 2008
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This review is from: Changing Seasons Macrobiotic Cookbook (Paperback)
Here's the problem with this book: A friend told me about the macrobiotic diet, explaining that it was about eating local, fresh foods with an emphasis on grains and legumes. Okay, fine. Sounds good. I want some recipes. So, I bought this book (and several others) thinking I was going to get some useful, kitchen friendly recipes.

Nope. That's not it at all.

Essentially, even though they say that the idea is to eat locally grown, fresh foods, what nearly all the recipes call for are foods that you can only find in health food stores or specialty shops. Most of them are Japanese foods that are unfamiliar to the average Westerner.

More specifically, my problem is this: as an American living in France, I am delighted that we have a local farmer's market every week where I can actually buy (very cheaply) local produce from my neighbors. But in order to get the ingredients for the recipes in this book, I would have to drive 45 km to the nearest larger city where they MIGHT have a store that carries some of them.

The recipes in the book, the whole concept, seems to be designed around a person living in Japan. I don't live in Japan. The ocean is not "local" to me and so "sea vegetables" are not easily available.

Oh, of course, they explain all this in the book by saying that you should eat foods grown in a climate "similar" to the one where you live, even if they do give the nod to the original idea that the foods were to be local. But then, that is contradicted on the next page by bringing up, again, the concept that macrobiotics has to do with eating what is grown in your area and therefore of a similar "frequency" to your body.

Next problem is the emphasis on soy products and grains. Soy has been shown in recent studies to not be the wonder food it was once thought to be. In fact, it is downright dangerous in some forms. Plus there is the problem that most soy products nowadays are made from GMO soybeans. Not a good thing. As a person who is wheat, corn and dairy intolerant, that reduces my options from this book.

Bottom line is this: don't buy this book if you think it is going to enhance your cooking and eating experience in a "local" context. The few recipes I could use because they don't call for exotic ingredients are basically "boiled cabbage" or something like that. I don't need a book to tell me how to boil vegetables.

The book is not worth buying or reading for that matter. I'm just glad I got a used copy for cheap; I'll certainly never use it.
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Location: France

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