Almost everyone knows nature’s most nutritious food is milk.  Human infants and the young of almost all mammals thrive on milk from their mothers or from other sources for the beginning of their lives.

What is the second most nutritious, or might I say complete food?  Is it honey?

Many will claim honey is next to milk in its capacity as food.  But I beg to differ.

Oatmeal raisin cookies are next best!  My wife, Marilyn, has learned this through years of adjustment to living with me.

She knows I crave oatmeal raisin cookies because they contain every life-sustaining ingredient: the protein that oats, eggs and milk contain, carbohydrates from wheat flour as well as the oats, fats from the shortening (butter works too), vitamin C and many other vitamins from the raisins, essential minerals from a small amount of salt as well the other ingredients, and lots of fiber to lead a regular life, if you know what I mean. 

Marilyn has to make them using my mother’s recipe, for it is the best available to provide life-sustaining goodness from these delicacies.  I demand oatmeal raisin cookies at least once every few weeks and as need dictates.

Seriously, is honey second in nutrition?  It’s tasty, free of fat and cholesterol and contains about 80 percent sugars for energy, lots of vitamins and minerals, and enough protein for young bees to grow from eggs to adults.

After all, honey is the food that sustains bees from the larva stage to death and which many animals and humans covet.  Animals and people that raid wild honeybee stashes aren’t fat and don’t suffer from diabetes, and nearly all species thrive from honey, so it has to be second in terms of nutrition, right?

Sorry, wrong.  Oatmeal raisin cookies are the second best, in my experienced opinion.

So maybe I love oatmeal raisin cookies because my mother made them and I crave anything that reminds me of her nurturance.  Wrong again all you psychologically-minded diagnosticians. 

Mom was a good mother as well a good baker, but my love for oatmeal raisin cookies is even deeper.  And no, my affinity for these wonderful treats has nothing to do with regularity.

Oatmeal raisin cookies taste good.  My mother’s recipe is the best anyone has ever found; Marilyn agrees.

Some other detractors of oatmeal raisin cookies insist dried beans are the second best food.  Beans, no way, they cause too many social problems.

All pinto, navy, kidney, or other types of dried beans, when cooked and eaten, have undesirable side effects that create considerable discrimination and olfactory distress in polite social gatherings.  Sorry bean growers.

Beans have highly beneficial effects among all-male groups of hunters, fishers and other outdoorsmen.  They fuel good natured humor and comradery.  They awaken a party of deer hunters in time to get to their tree stands before dawn.

Nutritionally, most dry edible beans stack up well against almost all other foods.  A typical serving (1 cup) of properly prepared beans provides its consumers with 22 percent of the protein they need daily, 245 calories that are 74 percent carbohydrates, along with lots of vitamins and minerals, no cholesterol and only 4 percent of the fats they need each day. 

It’s the methane produced by beans that is the deterrent to good social grace.  So, despite their admirable qualities, we have to relegate beans to lower than second on the food totem pole.

What about eggs?  Chicken or other bird eggs have to be really good for us, because they are the source of life for their species.

Nice try.  A large chicken egg provides about 80 calories, of which about 50 are from fat.  Eggs are high in protein–35 percent, most vitamins and minerals and only 2 percent carbohydrates. 

So, eggs can facilitate amicable social relations and they are good for us nutritionally in many respects.  But they have a little problem with cholesterol, for a single large egg provides its consumer about half of one’s daily need for cholesterol.

This is a controversial attribute, for many authorities proclaim that eggs contain “good” cholesterol and do not cause hypertension.  Humans have been eating eggs, well, since we were humans.

We can get our necessary allotment of eggs in oatmeal raisin cookies.  Even better! 

Here is Mom’s recipe, thanks to Marilyn.

Cream together: 1 cup shortening, 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup brown sugar.  Add 2 eggs and 1.5 teaspoons vanilla.  Sift together 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon each of soda and baking powder, along with ¼ teaspoon salt.  Add dry ingredients together and mix.  Add 2 cups oatmeal and I cup raisins (In my opinion it’s okay if you add more) and mix everything again.  Scoop out dollops and flatten them with a fork on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes.

Michael Rosmann is a Harlan, Iowa clinical psychologist (and fly-fisherman) who lives on the farm he shares with his wife.  Contact him at: