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What Sustainability Means To Dr. Cowan's Garden

What Sustainability Means To Dr. Cowan's Garden

July 12, 2018

Sustainability is a frequently used word in today’s world.  People talk about sustainable buildings, sustainable agriculture, sustainable economics — even sustainable medicine.  I’m not sure a clear definition exists within any of these contexts, but I’d like to share what sustainable means to.

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Leaky-Gut: 101

Leaky-Gut: 101

July 03, 2018

In many ways, our guts are like a grassy meadow.  In a healthy meadow, layers of protection prevent toxins from seeping into the valuable groundwater below.  The uppermost level is composed largely of grasses and other species of plant life, all with their roots and foliage intermixed into a kind of carpet. Living among the foliage are numerous animal organisms, from rabbits and mice to butterflies and caterpillars.  Hundreds if not thousands of species of plant, animal and insect life make up this outer layer.

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A Quintessential Spring Food: Wild Ramps!

A Quintessential Spring Food: Wild Ramps!

June 11, 2018

Wild ramps are the quintessential spring food. Found in moist, shady areas of deciduous forests, they literally pop up out of the ground soon after the first warmth of spring. Sometimes referred to as wild leeks, the entire plant, from the snow- white bulb to the rich green leaf, is full of health-promoting minerals and poly-phenols. 

 

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A Tale of Sustainably Harvested Ramps

A Tale of Sustainably Harvested Ramps

June 04, 2018

My Dad, Dr. Cowan, always taught his kids that the key to growing good food is to farm the soil. Over the years and through a number of different experiments from creating a Hügelkultur, to broad-forking entire beds at the Napa Garden we have always paid attention to the soil. In our search for sustainability and it’s derivatives; flavor, smell, freshness, nutrition, and color we have come across some interesting vegetables and farmers. Wild Ramps have some incredible qualities that by virtue of aiding in sustainability and preventing soil erosion, have the added advantage of being highly sought after for culinary purposes. 

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Are Your Daily Multivitamins Really Beneficial to Your Health?

Are Your Daily Multivitamins Really Beneficial to Your Health?

May 15, 2018

In the earlier part of the 20th Century, vital substances needed for human nutrition were being discovered and named.  Vitamin A, or retinol, was the first vitamin discovered, hence, the name vitamin A. The name retinol came about because it was found that a deficiency of vitamin A caused blindness, connecting the substance to the retina.   Soon after came the discoveries of the B vitamins, and then vitamin C.

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What You Need To Know About Autoimmune Disease

What You Need To Know About Autoimmune Disease

April 20, 2018

As I put the finishing touches on my forthcoming book on autoimmune disease, I want to say a few words on the connection between autoimmune disease, diet and vegetable diversity.   

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Dr. Cowan's Garden Turns 2!

Dr. Cowan's Garden Turns 2!

April 16, 2018

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Plant Growth Habits, Seasonal Eating and the Optimal Time to Eat Each Vegetable

Plant Growth Habits, Seasonal Eating and the Optimal Time to Eat Each Vegetable

March 26, 2018

Tomatoes are a heat- and sun-loving plant; they die if exposed to even a touch of frost, whereas kale not only survives a hard frost, it actually thrives in cold weather. This got me thinking about plant growth habits, seasonal eating and the optimal time to eat each vegetable.

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End Food Fights Once and For All!

End Food Fights Once and For All!

March 24, 2018

Family dinners, a tradition in most households, are a time when all the loving members of the family sit together and recount the adventures of the day.  They’re full of light-hearted laughter, warmth and the joy of eating delicious, home-cooked food.  At least, that is the Leave It to Beaver version.   For many of us, including my three children and me, family dinners resembled more of a battleground than the peaceful event of TV fame. 

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Learn How Biodiversity Can Improve Your Microbiome!

Learn How Biodiversity Can Improve Your Microbiome!

March 24, 2018

recent article dramatically demonstrates the value of diversity in the human diet.   A professor from England, whose work entails studying the diversity of the microbiome (primarily the bacteria in the gut), traveled to Northern Tanzania in Africa to live with one of the last groups of hunter-gatherers, the Hadza, for three days.  During this time, he ate only what they ate: such foods as baobob "porridge," wild berries, foraged tubers and porcupine organs and meat. Honey is an important food for them as well (above).
 

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13 Vegetables before 8AM!

13 Vegetables before 8AM!

March 24, 2018

Dr. Cowan's approach to health has revolved around food since he was a medical student at Michigan State University, where he gave talks to other students on nutrition because they thought he knew more about food than the professors. Since then, he has read and lectured widely on food and counseled thousands of people with such health challenges as cancer, autoimmune disease, inflammatory bowel disease and heart disease on what to eat to heal and thrive.

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Here's What You Should Know About Low-Oxalate Greens!

Here's What You Should Know About Low-Oxalate Greens!

March 07, 2018

The importance of oxalates in food is a controversial topic. The conventional medical understanding is that oxalates in food are relevant only for people with calcium-oxalate kidney stones and are not a source of concern for anyone else. Other authors have pointed out the role of oxalates in contributing to inflammation, chronic pain and, in particular, fibromyalgia.

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