By Dr. Tom Cowan
The traditional human diet in most areas of the world consisted of a wide variety of plant foods. I arrived at this conclusion from decades of investigating the dietary habits of the healthiest people who have ever lived.
Typically, indigenous peoples shaped their landscape to include many different perennial plants that could be used as food sources. These foods included pine nuts, acorns, wild greens, mushrooms and roots. They also typically had “garden” beds where they grew the annual plants that we are familiar with. These plants included cereal grains, squash, beans and many others. The final source of plant food was foraged and cultivated herbs, used mainly for seasoning and medicines.
Using the native people in California as an example, the typical indigenous diet included more than 100 different plants eaten throughout the year, the majority of which were foraged wild and perennial plants. Sadly, most Americans have never eaten a wild or perennial vegetable, with the exception of a few common examples, such as rhubarb or asparagus. This phenomenon can only mean that, from a phytonutrient perspective, the typical American diet is woefully inadequate in these valuable disease-fighting nutrients.
Interestingly, the plant, like the human being, has three “spheres” or parts. Just as the human being has a head or nervous system, a rhythmic or chest system, and a metabolic/limb region, the plant is divided into root, leaf/stem and flower/fruit regions. In essence, the plant is an upside-down person, with its sense organs fixed in the soil and its reproductive system reaching to the sky. A healing and complete vegetable diet takes advantage of this correspondence between the plant and human, meaning, each day we eat roots, leaves and fruits. This was the inspiration behind our Threefold blends. Each of these vegetable powders contain roots, leaves and fruits in an easy-to-use form (see photo above).
Diversity, in the form of wild and perennial plants and using all parts of the plant, is the inspiration behind Dr. Cowan’s Garden. That and finding the absolute best-grown or sustainably foraged examples of those plants and processing them in a gentle way, mimicking the way we prepare foods in our own kitchens, is the essence of what we do. After five years of being open for business, we are committed to these core principles as we attempt to bring to you the best vegetable products possible.
Whoever coined the term ‘comfort food’ is a genius. I can’t think of a better way to describe this quick and easy family meal, and I have lost count of the number of times I have cooked it. It’s versatile, requires minimal preparation, which you can do in advance, and above all, it’s wonderfully satisfying and won’t have you reaching for pumpkin spice muffins an hour after dinner.