A Review of Rich Food, Poor Food

Book Reviews,Books,Eco Tips,Green Living,Health Tips,Money Saving Tips

Rich Food, Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System (GPS) by Jayson Calton, PhD., and Mira Calton, CN, contains so much vital information that today’s shoppers need to navigate their way through supermarkets and natural foods stores to find the most micronutrient-rich foods. This lightweight, compact, 290 page book 6 1/2 x9-inch book delivers on it’s promise to help you shop smart, shop healthy, save time, save money, avoid hype and harmful ingredients. It’s something you can easily take shopping.

Is this book for you?
Not just for newbies, this well organized and user friendly shopping guide provides valuable information and recipes that even experienced natural foods shoppers can learn from. Whether you want to shop more wisely for yourself or your family, or you’re a nutrition or health educator seeking resources for your clients, and whether you’re devoted to a particular regimen, such as paleo, primal, vegetarian, low sugar, no sugar, low carb, low fat, gluten-free, or simply eat a whole foods or real foods diet, this book will steer you toward the most nutritious, meaning micronutrient-dense, choices in every food category and on every aisle of the grocery or natural foods store. You’ll learn how to choose the best staple foods, snacks, and treats.

6a00e552ad01da8834017d42af0baa970c-320wiWhy you need this book
Many corporations and companies are currently hijacking your shopping cart and short circuiting your efforts to eat healthfully and you may not even know it. Shopping for unprocessed or minimally processed, micronutrient-rich foods (that’s what the Caltons mean by “Rich Foods,” has never been more complicated. With wishy-washy labeling laws that favor corporations, with GMOs (genetically modified ingredients) and vague terms, you may not be getting what you’re seeking, even if you are shopping in “natural foods” stores.

The Calton’s introduce readers to misleading misnomers, such as Everyday Micronutrient Depleters (some may surprise you!), Sinister Sugar Substitutes, Criminal Chamelions, and other Problematic Personalities and Villainous Variables that lurk behind and within many seemingly healthy selections, whether they come in a package or not. (Do you know how to tell whether a particular vegetable has been genetically modified? The Carlton’s tip you off to a code that can help you find this out before you buy something.)

What’s inside?
Rich Food, Poor Food breaks the information it contains into easily digested bites by chapter and by food category. Colorful signs and symbols, pictures, charts, tables, text boxes, and sample product labels show, in addition to telling you, what you need to know to make better selections. To save time, the authors also include a list of some of the best (and worst) brands in every food category. You’ll learn about companies that sell sprouted nuts, nut butters and flours and cultured vegetable and dairy products, which brands of store bought meat really are 100% pasture raised and grass-finished, and so much more. Additionally, they offer even more resources  on their web site, such as coupons to help you save money on super nutritious foods, a Rich Food Request list you can take to the places you shop, a downloadable list of the Fab 14 and Terrible 20 produce options beyond the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15, video demonstrations on how to create recipes from Rich Food, Poor Food, a resource guide to Locating Local Rich Foods and their favorite kitchen tools, along with other great resources.

6a00e552ad01da8834017d42af05e2970c-320wiThe Caltons include some delicious and easy recipes that can also save you money. For example, they tell you how to make an inexpensive vegetable spray wash, The Carlton’s No-Belly Bread, Savory Protein Packed Morning Muffins, Swimingly Good Fish Sticks, Zughetti Macaroni Makeover, Grain-Free and Guilt-Free Perfect Pancakes with sugar-free Triple Berry Syrup, Veggie Chip Flip (to replace fried vegetable chips), sugar-free Better Cashew Butter Cookies (to replace peanut butter cookies), and other appetizing and super nutritious options. You’ll learn how to make tasty treats without any added sugars. Now I want to get a spiralizer (spiral slicer) to get the prettiest presentation on their Zughetti “spaghetti.”

About the authors
Jayson and Mira Calton have a long list of credentials and professional affiliations far too numerous to list here. You can read about them on their website. I have yet to read about a couple in the nutrition field with so much training and practical experience along with a very long list of professional affiliations with prestigious and well-known health and fitness related organizations and associations.

I was particularly impressed to read that Mira’s interest in the world of nutrition came by way of having to halt a successful career in the public relations industry when she was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis at the age of 30. Mira’s mission outside of the traditional medical community led her from Manhattan to Orlando, Florida, where she met nutrition guru, Jayson Calton. “The two worked together to create a drug-free, micronutrient based program, which not only completely reversed Mira’s advanced osteoporosis, but also inspired them both to make the study of micronutrient deficiency the focus of their lives.”

Even more, I was impressed to discover that they had updated and advanced the work of one of the nutrition pioneers that I have admired and whose work is frequently cited in my book, The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook.

Weston Price’s work updated!
“In 2005, the Caltons were married and set sail on an unconventional honeymoon, a 100-country, 7-continent, 6-year global expedition they called ‘The Calton Project.’ Their goal was to observe people from vastly different regions in remote, semi-remote, and urban settings, to discover how specific dietary patterns and lifestyle choices effected the development of modern disease. From camel treks thru the Sahara to visit troglodyte dwellings in Tunisia to five-hour canoe rides deep into the Amazon jungle to study the remote tribes surviving there, the Caltons have ventured farther and longer than they could have ever imagined. The result is a unique global perspective on nutrition, a new understanding about diet as a whole, which has brought them to where they are today.”

6a00e552ad01da8834017d42af073b970c-320wiNot content to simply read studies performed at acclaimed institutions and universities about the relationship between dietary patterns and health, they sat with, ate with, and asked questions of people from diverse cultures in an attempt to relearn modern man has forgotten. As a result, they discovered how different nutritional philosophies affected their own health and they have gone on to use that information to rethink how we eat in America and around the world to achieve optimal health.

Their motto is this: “Nature has shown us the path, and science has proven the benefits.”

I’m excited about trying their recipes and reading more of their work and sharing it with you. In the meantime, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Rich Food, Poor Food to guide you in your weekly shopping adventures. If you are a health practitioner, holistic health coach, or nutrition educator and have a waiting room, this book would make a great reading for your patients or clients. It would also make a great gift for family and friends who want to improve their health and fitness and prevent degenerative disease.


  • Charlotte Bone
    January 31, 2018 at 18:10

    I hope you are well! I have learned so much since and because of your classes at SWIHA, I appreciate that so much! It changed my life literally. I am not only on a healthier path, but I am studying to become a naturopath or nutritionist (depending on schooling). But it seems the more I learn, the less I know. Once you think a product is good, you begin to learn it may not be so. Agave syrup, Stevia, almond milk even! It would take some pressure off to finally have a definitive guide to refer to. Thank you so much!
    Sincerely, C

  • Jen Jones
    February 1, 2018 at 04:03

    I have 2 problems with reading labels…#1) there are so many ingredients with chemical sounding names that are actually natural. How can I learn to discern from healthy ingredients & poison? #2) I have food allergies & the various clever names and origins of certain ingredients has me concerned because the ‘clever names’ are not listed under allergens. *Yes! I eat lots of whole foods but I just don’t have time to make my own non-dairy butter/cheese & breads (yet) lol!
    You are fantastic. Thank you for ALL you do!

  • Emily
    February 5, 2018 at 20:29

    I often miss gluten when I am buying salad dressing and the like

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