Food for Life

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Richard Bohannon, who is a medical doctor and president of the California chapter of the American Cancer Society, teamed with a chef and a dietician to write a cookbook that incorporates the Cancer Society guidelines. Each group of recipes is prefaced by two or three pages of text expanding on the recipes and giving preparation hints and tips. For example, to increase the richness of cream soups, one should add five tablespoons of nonfat dry milk to a cup of low-fat milk.

The individual recipes are clear and easy to follow. The “typical” American should be warned that these recipes are not of the brownies-and-whipped-cream variety. Instead they rely heavily on carrots, cabbage, brown rice, and yogurt. Nevertheless, the food is tasty. A number of the recipes have a Mexican or Oriental emphasis; colors, textures, and tastes may at first be foreign to some people, especially children. This reader prepared a soy salad dressing which turned out to have the color of melted milk chocolate, and a creamy vegetable soup made with broccoli, zucchini, and yogurt was more sour than commercial canned soups.

The last two chapters include a twenty-one-day menu plan and menus for special occasions. An appendix lists the nutritive values of many foods.

Although thirty-five percent of all cancers are diet-related, the authors warn that these recipes are “neither a cure for cancer nor a guarantee that you will not contract it.” At the same time, they emphasize that an awareness of what an individual can do to prevent cancer is an important step toward having life without cancer.