5 Questions with Mira & Jayson Calton authors of Rich Food Poor Food – and a giveaway!

Anthony DiSarro Five Questions With, Giveaways 134 Comments

Hey everyone- if you haven’t yet had a chance to tune in to Episode #75 of the Balanced Bites Podcast, I highly recommend that you do so! I interviewed Mira and Jayson about their new book on that show for over an hour – it was a great conversation! There’s so much to learn about the quality of our food, and the Caltons make it easy to understand and navigate – check out that episode here. – Diane


1. Can you give our readers a brief explanation of the meaning behind the title “Rich Food Poor Food” and how the idea for this book came about?


Well, first and foremost RICH FOOD does NOT mean expensive food! For those who read our first book Naked Calories they will remember our Rich Food, Poor Food philosophy, which we first introduced there.

Simply stated the Rich Food, Poor Food philosophy advocates eating an abundance of micronutrient (vitamin, mineral & essential fatty acids) RICH FOODS and avoiding micronutrient POOR FOODs as the first step in our three step approach to achieving micronutrient sufficiency and eventually optimal health. However, while many people adopted our philosophy we got tons of emails and texts asking us how to find RICH FOODS outside of the obvious choices like grass-fed beef or local, organic produce.

They wanted to know how to identify RICH FOODS in the rice aisle, the cereal aisle, the snack aisle and even the ice cream aisle so we decided to write a book that would be the ultimate Grocery Purchasing System (GPS) a literal GPS that helps consumes shop smarter and safer in the modern grocery store.

2. I love the idea of the GPS! Most of us are told to just shop the outer perimeter of the grocery store – does the GPS also help us navigate the inner aisles well?


While we do start off on the perimeter of the store, the RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD GPS also guides consumers down every aisle of the grocery store from dairy to desserts helping them identify the most micronutrient RICH FOODS.

But it doesn’t stop there, we also up the ante on food quality and help them avoid over 150 potentially dangerous POOR FOOD ingredients that are often hiding in our modern foods – such as pesticides, hormones, GMOs and numerous other ingredients banned in other countries. We set the book up in aisles instead of chapters and we cover 9 aisles commonly found in most grocery stores – Dairy, Meat, Fish & Seafood, Produce, Condiments, Grains, Baking, Snacks, and Beverages… in that order.

3. Can Rich Food, Poor Food be a helpful tool for those of us who shop at the local farmers market or co-op?

Absolutely, in fact many times in the book we guide readers outside the grocery store and directly to local farms, farmers markets or co-op’s in their areas to find the freshest, most micronutrient-packed RICH FOODS. To be honest we buy very little from our grocery stores anymore. But all of the information on grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish, pastured chickens and eggs, raw/organic dairy and local/organic produce, and even what questions to ask your local supermarkets or farmers will be relevant to readers whether they are shopping at Walmart or their local farmers market. For example most people have no idea that the U.S. grows more that 25,000 acres of genetically modified zucchini and crock neck squash (yellow zucchini) or that 86% of all corn is GMO – ask your local farmer if his/her corn and zucchini are from a non-genetically modified seeds. Some farmers at local markets we have been to can’t answer these questions. (tip: organic is always from non-GMO seed)

4. Budget is always a big concern when people first make the transition healthier food. What advice would you give to a family on a tight budget?

First, that we understand what it is like to live on a budget that never seems to have enough room to include the foods we know are healthier for us. Do your best!

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If you are on a tight budget we urge you to completely re-think what you are buying. If grass-fed beef is not in the budget, go for line-caught, wild tuna in BPA free cans. If pastured organic chicken is out of reach opt for pastured organic eggs instead or if you are going to buy conventional chicken opt for the white meat, leaner cuts will contain fewer toxins, as toxins are more concentrated in the animals fat (tip from page 98 RFPF).

And don’t beat yourself up if your grocery list still has a few POOR FOOD items left on it. Nobody is perfect, the point is to make small changes and stick with them. Remember saying no to POOR FOODs at the movies, or sporting events is another way to save money and enhance your health.

We also did something else that had never been done before. We went to the RICH FOOD manufactures and asked for coupons for their foods and many of them came to the table. In our RICH FOOD Resource Center at CaltonNutrition.com we offer readers access to these exclusive RICH FOOD coupons to help bring down the cost of healthier foods. In addition, we are also offering our Limited Edition RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD shopping tote for FREE (a small shipping charge applies). It has the Fab 14 and Terrible 20 right on it (a guide that tells you which produce is safe to buy conventionally and save money on due to low pesticide residue and which you should buy organic due to high pesticide residue and high likelihood of genetic modification), it also has on one side a list of POOR FOOD ingredients you never want to see on an ingredient list. We really are doing everything we can to help make RICH FOOD affordable to everyone.

5. What are the top three mistakes consumers make when trying to shop healthy?

1. Thinking that REAL food is automatically a RICH FOOD

On the cover of our book RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD we are holding an apple and a carton of eggs, both of which are real foods, but it is impossible to tell just by looking at them if they are RICH FOODS or POOR FOODS. Just because a food is real it does not mean it is a RICH FOOD.

The apple could be a conventional POOR FOOD apple grown in micronutrient depleted, toxic fertilizer laden soil, picked prematurely (before it has had a chance to properly develop its optimal vitamin and mineral content) sprayed with 42 different pesticides (the amount the USDA pesticide data program states is commonly spayed on U.S grown apples) and shipped 1726 miles (the average distance the USDA states an apple travels to reach your table) across the county loosing the vitamin and minerals it does have every minute of every mile it travels due to its exposure to heat, light and air.

Or it could be a RICH FOOD apple— picked just seconds ago from our backyard tree that was organically grown and pesticide free.

The same thing goes for the carton of eggs, they could be POOR FOOD eggs laid by a hen who was kept in an unnatural environment, and fed a consistent diet of genetically modified corn and soy OR they could be RICH FOOD eggs laid just minutes before the photo, by a chicken that was allowed to wander free in a pasture to hunt and peck in the dirt for grass and bugs and bask in natural sunlight everyday to increase the vitamin D levels of its eggs and fed a supplemental portion of non-GMO grain.

As you can see the quality of these visually identical real foods are vastly different  – don’t assume that just because a food is real that it is automatically a RICH FOOD.


2. Thinking sugar is okay to include in their diet.

Okay, before your readers get upset and start throwing things at us, let us state that a rare treat that contains sugar is okay, but we include it as our #2 most common mistake most healthy consumers make because most consumers do not understand that sugar as a part of a regular diet will have addictive metabolic reactions.

Research has shown that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Additionally, sugar competes with vitamin C for entry into your cells, drastically decreasing your body’s ability to mount a strong immune system. Sugar also stimulates the secretion of insulin, our fat storage hormone and overconsumption of sugary foods can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Sugar is also an Everyday Micronutrient Depleter (EMD) in that it has had all of the minerals needed by the body to metabolize itself stripped away and so it must use your stash to be metabolized and in doing so causes you to use up your essential micronutrients at a quickened pace increasing the likelihood of becoming deficient especially in the minerals copper and chromium.

If that is not enough sugar blocks the absorption of calcium and magnesium two minerals which interestingly enough when deficient cause us to have a physical craving for salty and sweet foods. When you eat these salty and sweet foods those foods through a series of reactions we go over in Naked Calories (pg. 182 The Crave Cycle) cause us to become further depleted in these very minerals, which in turn intensifies the craving and the cycle becomes like a dog chasing its tail.  Lastly – its just not a good idea to eat sugar and fat together. The body is designed to use one or the other as an energy source. When we eat high quantities of both at the same time this can spell dieting disaster. Fat is essential and sugar is not so getting rid of the sugar is the obvious choice.

3. Thinking that wheat, especially whole wheat, is healthy.

Why this may not apply so much to your low carb/paleo/primal followers for the vast majority of health conscious consumers wheat, and especially whole wheat, is still the holly grail of healthy food. In RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD we have a whole aisle dedicated to grain and we explain in detail exactly what is wrong with wheat and how it makes us fat and sick. If you have a friend or a loved one who is still wolfing down the wheat thinking they are eating a healthy diet, the grain chapter may help change their mind without you having to go into your “why you should eat paleo” diatribe for the 20th time. Every RICH FOOD selection in RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD is wheat free – the pasta, bread, snacks, everything. So your friend or family member will be so focused on finding the RICH FOOD choices we steer them to in each aisle that they won’t even notice they are all wheat free.

Thank you to the Balanced Bites Team!

We want to say a special thank you to the Balanced Bites Team, for taking the time to talk to us and your readers for taking the time to learn a little bit about RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD. We truly feel that no matter how dialed in you are with your diet (or how new you are to the whole healthy eating arena) that RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD will bring something new to the table and really bring the issue of food quality front and center. We hope everyone will grab a copy of RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD, read it themselves, share it with friends and family and help us make the RICH FOOD Revolution a reality.

On a final note we just want to remind everyone that money talks – make sure yours is saying what you want it to say each time you buy a product in your local grocery store or farmers market. And please find some time to come explore our new RCH FOOD Resource Center at CaltonNutrition.com.

The grand opening is on February 26th and in it you will find exclusive RICH FOOD coupons, RICH FOOD Request lists to bring with you to the grocery store if your store is not currently carrying the brands you want, a downloadable wallet sized version of our Fab14 & Terrible 20 lists and our Limited Edition RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD Shopping Tote (FREE – just pay a small shipping charge) and tons more.

We can’t wait to hear what you think about RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD – drop us a line and let us know about your personal RICH FOOD shopping experience!

Check out just one of the many media appearances Mira & Jayson have had explaining POOR FOOD ingredients here:



1. “Like” The Caltons on Facebook.

2. Follow The Caltons on Twitter.

3. Comment here letting us know you’ve completed one or both of the above, and tell us why you want a copy of ! If you’ve already  ordered a copy, tell us who you’d give a second copy away to and why.

NOTE: Only one comment per person will count as an entry. Posting more than one comment will disqualify you from the contest, so please just post once! Thanks! 

That’s it! No purchase necessary.

Note: This contest will be open for entries until 5pm Eastern on Tuesday, March 5th, 2013. One winner will be selected using random.org and emailed and announced here on the blog. If you do reply to the winning announcement email to claim your prize within 48 hours of the announcement, a new winner will be selected in your place.


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