Spoiled Milk: 37 OLD Expired Health Beliefs with a Fresh NEW Perspective
Angela Young, DC
Eagle, Idaho: Aloha Publishing, 2013
ISBN: 978-1612060521, paperback
184 pages, $14.95
Spoiled Milk reads like a series of magazine articles strung together, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Each chapter begins with a “Spoiler Alert” and then closes with “Fresh Ideas to Extend Your Expiration Date.” Angela Young’s 2013 publication, Spoiled Milk: 37 OLD Expired Health Beliefs with a Fresh NEW Perspective is a brief, informative collection of the author’s views on current personal practices for health, nutrition, and well-being. None of the chapters is longer than a few pages, and one could easily read the book in one sitting. Accepting Young’s invitation, however, could take some time and commitment. The author “encourages the development of new beliefs to change the American mind-set regarding health” (14).
Seven areas of discussion are offered, namely: Wellness, Food, Movement, Emotions, Chemical Peer Pressure, Popular Health Beliefs, and Chiropractic. Of the 37 “myths” Young busts, all have been presented either in other recent publications, on various medical or holistic websites, or in current medical or holistic journals. However, as Young conveys, much of what passes for news regarding health and wellness is possibly the result of the “advertising, marketing, and self-interested research that drives these fads” (13). One example of a debunked myth is the notion that one’s genetic profile will determine one’s health. Consider, she suggests, that one’s “genes can either be turned on or off by lifestyle choices” (33). Another mythical idea debunked is the lack of control over the way one feels. Referring to the forged neural paths and muscle memory which one has the ability to actually change, Young argues that if you feel unhappy or unwell, “you may feel that way out of habit” (105). Regarding this ability, she quotes health guru and wellness expert Dr. Andrew Weil, “Among other things, neuroplasticity means that emotions, such as happiness and compassion, can be cultivated in much the same way that a person can learn through repetition to play golf and basketball or master a musical instrument, and that such practice changes the activity and physical aspects of specific brain areas” (108).
None of this information is actually very new, and none are the author’s own discoveries, but there is some value in having all of it laid out in one book, along with the perspective of a doctor of chiropractic. The field of diet, nutrition, and best practices in personal wellness is a vast and ever-evolving one in which last week’s fact could quickly become this week’s fiction. If one is confused about the myriad of conflicting opinions and information available on health, nutrition, and well-being, learning about and implementing any of a number of these ideas might prove beneficial. Angela Young is a practicing chiropractor in Boise, Idaho.
Because Spoiled Milk could serve as a springboard for further research, I would recommend this book to both public and high school librarians.
Kathleen McVey is a Youth Services Library Assistant in the Meridian Library District.