Nutritionist Arabella Forge is on a mission: to help people eat better and more healthfully and not break the bank. She’s what she calls a “frugavore,” a person who makes the most of what they have, supports best farming practices, wastes nothing, and grows their own food when they can.
Her book, Frugavore: How to Grow Organic, Buy Local, Waste Nothing, and Eat Well is a well-written, how-to manual about how you can become a frugavore too.
Around the realfoodtraveler.com offices, all of us are natural frugavores. So when I first opened this book, I though, “Oh, ho hum, the same old stuff.” After all, I keep an organic garden. I love to cook healthy foods, especially simple “peasant” foods.. I live in the country and shop at farm stands and farmer’s markets. And I’m naturally frugal, stretching my dollar at the market. Heck, I’ve even been known to glean fruits and veggies from gardens and fruit trees others have discarded.
However, after reading Frugavore, I found myself constantly quoting the author. “Did you know fruits and vegetables grown in 1940 have more nutrients that today’s fruits and veggies?” “Worm farms are really easy to grow and they can correct imbalances in your garden.” “Many people who are lactose intolerant like me can drink raw cow’s milk because it contains the enzyme lactase, which is killed off in pasteurized milk.”
Okay, so Frugavore taught me plenty and it can teach you too. The book will tell you how to make your own green cleaning products, grow an organic garden, how to raise chickens, and how to stretch your dollar at the fish monger’s and the butcher shop. It’ll also teach you how to make terrific soups and stocks, cook healthy beans, lentils, and legumes, how to preserve foods with salt, sugar, and fermentation, and even how to make your own bread. Interspersed throughout the book are recipes for “peasant style” dishes such as “Wild Greens Pie,” “Leek and Sour Cream Omelet,” “Bermuda Fish Chowder,” and “Sourdough Fruit Buns.” It’s also well-indexed and has a resource guide for those who want to dig deeper.
If you’re ready to eat more healthfully and watch your pennies, all with living lighter on the planet, it’s time to become a Frugavore and Forge’s excellent book is a good place to start. — BH