Friday, May 19, 2023

Plant-Powered Protein

Plant-Powered Protein is a tutorial and theory guide to eating adequate protein on a plant-based diet written and curated by dietitians Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, and agronomist Cory Davis. Released 28th March 2023, it's 192 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

The authors are professionals working in nutrition and allied fields (one is an agronomist). They provide science and practice based research for their assertions. The authors expend a considerable amount of effort exploring the background of some of the sociopolitical realities behind farm subsidies and lobbying and how they affect meat farming and agriculture, especially in the US. 

The content is arranged in chapters thematically, exploring protein in general, and by life phase (pregnancy, lactation, infancy, toddler, up through adult). The chapters are *full* of raw data and statistics, tables, and expository information which gives an overall thorough and convincing picture of the benefits and realities of plant based diets. This is a monograph on plant based protein, and NOT much of a cookbook. There are some recipes gathered in the final chapter of the book which are varied and attractive, but they're not the chief focus of the book. 

Recipes are written with a description/intro, ingredients in a bullet list, and followed by step by step prep and cooking directions. Ingredient measurements are provided in imperial (American) units, with metric measures in parentheses (yay!!). Nutritional info is included for each recipe, as well as alternative ingredients for taste or necessary dietary restrictions. Most of the recipes include one or more color photos. Serving suggestions are attractive and appealing.

Four stars. An enthusiastically and motivationally written book with very general recipes. Readers will likely need more specific training advice as well as a broader selection of recipes. What the book does, and does well, is make a compelling argument for plant based nutrition being beneficial for health and performance as well as the heath of our biosphere. It also includes a comprehensive cross-referenced index for finding information quickly; important as this is a very very information dense volume full of tables and statistics. It would be well suited to readers who are looking for reference material, not chiefly for the recipes. It would also be a good selection for more formal classroom use for diet/nutrition and allied subjects.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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