Nature’s Foods

In 1973 I co-wrote Nature’s Foods (click for full pdf) with Karen Betteridge. The book is very much a creature of its time. It is hand-written and hand-illustrated (all Karen’s work) and offers a vision of natural foods based on macrobiotic ideas but tailored to the British and American rural and homesteading traditions.

While there a few pages that make me cringe a bit now, it is still a wonderful expression of love of nature and of  harmonious and natural eating and is full of ideas that were visionary for their time yet taken for granted now.

The recipes are basic (in many cases too much so)  but the value of the book now is more in the integrated and romantic whole that it offers. Infinity Foods recently republished Nature’s Foods on behalf of the charity Practical Actions and copies of this reprint can be bought from The Journal of Chinese Medicine bookshop



  1. Mark

    Hi. I’m just making some Tibetan Barley bread page 39 from my much used Nature’s Foods and decided to put the title in a search and found your website – it’s good to see you’ve got all this up on the ‘net. The book I fell in love with when I found it in a friend”s wholefood shop in Poole many years ago – it seemed to define so much if where we were at the time. So , still in use in our kitchen all these years on !!!

    • Peter Deadman

      Hi Mark

      I’ve just realised I haven’t made Tibetan Barley Bread for years and I used to love it. I’ll have to dig out a copy of Nature’s Foods!
      And yes, while it’s all a bit fluffy, dated and naive it’s still true in its heart … the kind of perception we now need more than ever.
      warm wishes, Peter

  2. Sarah

    My copy of Natures Foods has been with me since 1980. My favourite cookbook. I never even noticed it was vegan, for years, but now I am fully vegan I appreciate it even more. My favourite was always karinto biscuits with strawberry jam.
    It is still in front of me on my kitchen counter as I type this. A beautiful and inspiring book that has been with me through decades of change and growth.

  3. Danny Skyrme

    Wow, I bought this treasure back in 1976, over the years much of the illustrations have been coloured in by myself and girlfriends. The original cord binding perished and I rebound it with wire. Along with my Bible this book gets grabbed first! So much of the content is and has remained so necessary, back in 76 it was visionary. Thank you Peter, your book has added to my life and inspired me
    In my opinion a reprint is long overdue!

    • Peter Deadman

      Hi Danny. Humble apologies for the very late response but somehow I didn’t see your comment. So pleased and I have to agree it was ahead of its time. I’m not sure how that happened but the 60s and 70s were a ferment of a time and laid down what has become accepted thinking in so many areas – diet, agriculture, gender relationships, environment, racial equality and more. If you send me your address (better to email me at I can send you a copy of a reprint that Infinity Foods had done a while back.

  4. Sue

    I must’ve bought this book soon after you published it, in my early 20s. It became my bible, and the gateway to a whole new way of living. It transformed my cooking, my priorities, my viewpoint and my life. Sounds a bit extreme, but it’s true. I utterly adored it, both the content and the beautiful design. Still do.

    So – thank you Peter! I still have it, falling to pieces and tucked away somewhere. I’m extremely grateful,and am glad to have the opportunity here to say this. As you say, in its time it was truly visionary and a breath of fresh air. Funny how what was at that time a rather on-the-edge lifestyle is now pretty mainstream. We were pioneers! (I later co-ran a vegan wholefood cafe in London for a few years).

    • Peter Deadman

      That’s a lovely message to receive Sue. Somebody (maybe Voltaire) said ‘there’s nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come” and that is so true with diet, health, agriculture and the environment. warm wishes and happy eating, Peter (PS: Infinity Foods did a basic reprint a while back and if you’d like a copy, email me your address to

  5. Helen Royall

    Hi Peter,
    My all time favourite book, bought April 1977. The calligraphy and illustrations are so inspiring. I have written a book of crafts with this book in mind and am going to try to hand write it when I republish. I hope it will inspire as many people as your book has.
    Many thanks, Helen x

  6. Sylvia Murray

    I have just rebound my very precious copy of Nature’s Foods, and found your name in Google, which gives me the happy opportunity to thank you for writing it. It takes me back to a specific time and place, and reminds me of core principles of living. My daughter lives on an organic smallholding they built themselves. So the message lives on!!

    • Peter Deadman

      Hy Sylvia. That’s great to hear. I look back on the book with some reservations but basically its message is as valid (or more valid) today than ever. warm wishes, Peter

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