Friday, May 31, 2013

Another reason not to eat wheat?

Hey, I'm not really into food disparagement, but really, what is happening with the GMO scene in this country?
Before he got elected, Obama promised to take positive action on the GMO issue, but he's been a steady supporter of the companies who are trying to ram GMO's down our throats and make us like it.
By now, most have heard about the GMO wheat found on an Oregon farm.  This whole story is troubling for several reasons.
First of all, does this mean that GMO's are not contained like they were promised?  Surprise. Surprise.  Agriculture was already suspect in Oregon, due to all the testing that has been going on there.  That's why I select and grow out my own beet and swiss chard seeds.  Their pollen travels so far that I fear that every seed-producing plot around that area is probably already contaminated with GMO pollen.
Second, there are many countries who have insisted on no-GMO's, and today we just heard loud and clear from Japan.  I think other countries will follow.
Third, this is so bad for the farmer's.  I don't eat much wheat myself, but I always have thought it is OK for everyone else to make their own food choices.  These Oregon farmers', whose trade organization has rejected GMO wheat, are now stuck with the consequences.  Now, ideally, I would like to see them switch to farming that is more integrated with livestock, and to start growing forage crops like with "grass-fed" cattle eat.  But they have a problem there, too.  Many of the alternative crops are also GMO, in fact, wheat was pretty much the last holdout.
Here's a recent story.
(BTW, my take on GMO's is that they should be more carefully reviewed before release.  The technique alters proteins in unexpected ways, which can produce toxins and allergies.  Earlier I had assumed, like the researchers told me, that proteins are broken down by the animals who eat them.  Now I know that this is not true, and that gut bacteria can assimilate the protein easily, and then propagate it.  Even though I avoid eating GMO protein, I am sure my garden compost, and the microbes that live there, are contaminated.  Oh well.)

Friday, May 17, 2013

It's time to smash myPlate

Hi readers!  Y'all know by now that I am not a big fan of MyPlate, and that My Plate usually is a bowl, and filled with some meat and probably more than half the volume (at least before cooking!) of my home-grown organic veggies.  Nuts and dairy and fruit are usually off to the side, much farther away, like in a snack at a different time of the day.

Hey, get a load of this picture of the Kardashians tossing plates.  I guess they were stamped with the USDA's terrible-two-year-old MyPlate.  While they were in Greece, I sure hope they enjoyed a REAL Mediterranean diet.  I was going to fix the format, but I kind of like the way it spills all over the page, do you?

Here's the plate video.  Don't they all look smashing?  (Here's the link.)  Or, you can wait until the TV show features it.

(Check out the myplate category on the side for my earlier plate-y posts.)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I just want to set the record straight

There is so much backlash regarding grain-free or paleo diets.  I just wanted to tell the world here, those who say it is lots of bacon and everything....

I haven't had bacon for around 6 weeks, I guess?  My local store no longer carries bacon ends, and the other store has the ends in a large package that doesn't keep well enough before I can use it all.  I don't have any more bacon fat in the fridge, either.

So, what's with the full-scale attack on grain-free diets?  Is it some vast grain conspiracy?  The dietitians seem to be out in full force, making some of us look foolish, faddish, whatever.  How is that working for your credibility as a profession? 

I have been cooking with more butter lately, both because the grass-fed stuff has been on sale and also in arterycloggingsaturatedfat-"solid"-arity with those poor kids in NYC who are denied it.

Oh wait!  I had some bacon bits on a salad when we went out to eat recently.  Made it edible, in fact, made it tasty.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Who Got Ancel Keys' office?

Oh, I don't know who got it either, but I got somethin' better.

This REALLY COOL THING that happened today.

I had been feeling out of sorts lately at the local Sunday potluck, since it has gone so much towards vegetarian/vegan.  Earlier I spoke about the demonization of butter, and how coconut oil is the new star.

Maybe it was my speech, or maybe just chance, but a few friendly people joined me at the dinner table, and we continued the discussion regarding butter-as-evil.  Then one guy said something I really didn't expect to hear in polite company:

"We really don't know all that much about nutrition, do we?"  Well, I sure could agree with that.  People tried to recall the exact time (and what they were eating) when butter was declared B-A-D.  Then my friend offered another tidbit.

"Do you know Ancel Keys?"

I replied that I did know him.  Well.....I didn't really know him.  I had read some of his work, and many of the critiques.

"Did you REALLY know him?" I asked.

"Yes I did, in fact, I shared an office with him."  He went on to explain that they used to share lots of the data, and years after Keys' first papers on arterycloggingsaturatedfat, long-term data started coming in that didn't match the theory.

Keys said, "Based on what these people are eating, they should be dead by now."  He couldn't figure it out.

Of course, many were still alive.  These old folks were eating BAD stuff, probably some of that evil butter.  Keys admitted that he had come to the conclusion that his theory was wrong.

"What were these people eating that was supposed to make them dead?  Sat fat?  Lots of eggs?" I asked.

"Yes, lots of eggs and fat.  At first we tried to explain it away by saying that some people were hanging on longer because lots of the fat-eaters must have died so early."

There were lots of rationalizations.  My friend and I talked about our theories as to why all the rationalizations, and will be the subject of another blog post.   I wanted to know why the about-face wasn't made public.

"Well, it was a professional reputation issue," my friend continued.  "This was in the late 80's."  I guess at the time, people weren't allowed to have another opinion on the matter.

My how times have changed!  Or have they?

(Here's the information that spurred the thoughts on butter.  I thought, HUH?  Have I been punked?  Is this from the Onion?)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Paleo on $84.88 a month day 30 - Done!

I finished the last challenge day by finishing odds and ends.

For breakfast, I had the usual greens and eggs, with some of the container of grass-fed beef that I had put in the freezer (containing lots of leeks and fennel) and beets and half a grapefruit from trader Delta.

Lunch was a stir-fry of greens, the last of the mushrooms and chicken.  I also enjoyed beet juice with lemon, and a dab of pineapple guava jam from trader Rebekah.

For dinner, I enjoyed the other half of the grapefruit, chicken cooked in butter, a soup made with meat broth, fennel, leek and celery, nuts from trader Dean, beets, a can of smoked oysters and and eggs cooked in beef fat with greens and feta cheese from trader Felix.

I bought a can of smoked oysters for a dollar, leaving me with $15.12 in the kitty.  I still have tons of food:  purchased chicken and a kitchen full of lemons, oranges, tangerines and kumquats.

This challenge was much more fun than last year, probably because I got to know of more places in town that hold quick sales.  Within the year, a new dollar-type store came to town, and I was able to enjoy a few more luxuries like liver sausage, sardines, oysters and eggs at a much better price than before.  It also helped that a trading partner moved across the country a few weeks before starting the challenge and left me with a couple of bags of pantry and fridge stuff.  There was lots of crap in the bag, too, but you didn't hear about it until now.  I took all the pasta and bean soup to a local community center, and then threw out (I mean composted) the inedibles like the 20-year-old spices and the rancid snacks.  But I did have several kinds of vinegars, pickles, sauces and sugars at my disposal, and that helped with variety.  It also helped that I started a seasonal volunteering gig mid-challenge, and they sure did come through with some wonderful food and some really great coffee.  (And a wonderful time, I might add.  I will certainly be helping them out next time!)

I get so so tired of hearing how a paleo diet is unattainable financially.  Sure, it is more expensive than the beans and rice diet I used to follow.  But I really doubt that eating paleo for 84-some dollars a month is three times what a vast majority of vegetarians and SAD-eaters pay for their food, with the required soy analogs and packaged necessities.

Some friends were complaining about the price of bread, and of having to pay more than $5 for the loaves that they enjoy, and then having to waste it when they made a sandwich for a visitor and they wouldn't eat the bread.  Mock meats and bags of salad greens are also really expensive, as is almost any type of fruit.  So, I really saved some bucks by not having to purchase 3-5 pieces of exotic fruit every day.  I was fine on just my locally-sourced and home-grown citrus, and the few berries and freezer jam I came across.

Today, I thought I would jump out of bed, go to the kitchen and scarf down a sweet potato or some cheese.  But instead, I made my normal breakfast with the last of the grass-fed beef, and forgot about the other foods.  Could I do this forever?  It certainly is a pain to cook "my food" and "their food" at home, and to keep track of everything, but I think it is certainly doable.

Thank you for reading!