By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only


At the risk of losing my head like Marie Antoinette did some
ten score and seven years ago, my response to the question,
"What should I feed my kids?," would be:


Marie's non-cerebral advice to revolting peasants was "Let
them eat cake." She wasn't referring to petit fours or
eclairs. When food was scarce in France during the 1790s,
the miserable people (les miserables) baked fireplace ashes
with wheat and water to form a substance commonly known as
"cake." In our 21st century, there is a variety and
abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, even for those
people unlucky enough to be living in Buffalo, New York
during record snow falls.

Shining white light through a prism, one is instantly
blessed with the hidden beauty and complex nature of our
universe. A pure white beam of light reveals its inner

Most people can name the seven visible colors of the
rainbow's spectrum. Violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow,
orange, and red. Of course, there are two other colors,
often forgotten, but always present, ultraviolet and infra-

Animals and insects feel these colors. Plants sense them,
too. While we lack the same receptors and are blind to their
existance, our handicap cannot negate their influence.

The ultras and infras of plants are magical substances,
indeed! They include plant chemicals, or phyto chemicals,
such as isoflavones and bioflavinoids. Science teaches us
that plants protect themselves from attack with their own
secretions and chemical messengers. Vegetables repel insects
who would eat them, and blossoms attract other insects with
a perfume so that their pollens can be spread and their
species self-propagate. Plants protect themselves from too
much heat, or cold, or wind, or too much moisture,
maintaining their own good health with their specialized
hormones. Plants can cure their own sicknesses and cancers
by secreting and bathing themselves with these enchanted

When we eat the plants, we are similarly protected. Modern
science has confirmed the centuries-old traditions and lore
from cultures that refined the sacred techniques of using
foods as medicine.


Eat foods of color. The perfect color can be found right in
the middle of our rainbow, the color green. There is a pot
of gold and jewels within that rainbow, and these treasures
so contained can be cashed in to purchase good health.

Eat green for wellness.

In the 1980s, scientists first began to explore how
phytochemicals prevent cancers. A great amount of emphasis
was placed upon the fruits and vegetables that contain
vibrant colors. The best known of these wonder drugs was
recognized as beta carotene. That's what gives carrots their
bright orange hue.

In the 1990s, scientists at the University of Minnesota
(Steinmetz, et. al.) categorized different groups of fruits
and vegetables demonstrating life giving, disease fighting
qualities. In doing so, they defined some of those magic
colors, and the phytochemicals so contained within those


The violet, indigo and blues of the plant kingdom include
phenols and dithiolthiolnines contained in eggplant,
cruciferous vegetables, grapes, plums, and grains.

Eat onions and shallots, leeks, scallions and garlic for
cancer-fighting alliums. Those green leafy vegetables
contain flavonoids, and inositol is found in beans. Green
fruits and veggies contain phenols, and plant sterols,
protease inhibitors and saponins.

Yellow limonines contained in citrus fruit and squash have
also been identified as cancer fighters, as have the orange
carotines in carrots, and my all-time favorite vitamin pill,
the cantaloupe. Balancing out the rainbow's spectrum would
be the red phenols in peppers, radishes, and tomatoes.

Tens of thousands of unique substances have been identified,
and there are still plant hormones and enzymes yet to be

Remarkably, the one plant containing the greatest amount of
these wonderful phytochemicals is the soybean. Soybeans
contain coumarins, flavonoids, inositol, isoflavones,
lignans, phenols, plant sterols, protease inhibitors,
saponins, and Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils.

For many years, it has been said that "an apple a day keeps
the doctor away." Such wisdom! Each day of one's life should
reflect a lifestyle that includes this maxim:

For the best of health eat a rainbow today!

Robert Cohen author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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