Thursday, June 19, 2014

Food


Most people seem to be unaware of the drastic changes 
in food in just the past decade or so.

Almost all of the food in the supermarkets now has little or no nutritional value and may even be toxic. More often than not the expensive packaging actually costs more than the contents which are essentially worthless. Nutrition has been sacrificed for convenience and artificial flavor. Even the so-called fresh vegetables loose most of their food value a few days after being harvested.

So what are the alternatives? When hungry we probably will eat whatever is available. So having food on hand that is actually nourishing is essential. Dr. Joel Fuhrman has identifies super foods are the most healthy.  A simple way to remember them is to remember the word GOMBS.

   
    Greens – Green vegetables have lots of different nutrients and systems that put a silicone like slippery coating on the inside of your blood vessels. They activate something inside the blood vessel called the Nrf2 mechanism that prevents plaque from binding to blood vessels and accelerates the rate at which fat melts away from the inside of the blood vessel.

    Onions – In The Medical Journal of Clinical Nutrition a large study in Europe showed people who ate onions regularly showed a 60 to 70% reduction in all major cancers. That would be a reduction in prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer just from the higher consumption of onions. When you cut an onion, the gas that is given off creates disulfides and anti-cancer nutrients that are formed.

    Mushrooms - A Recent study published in the international Journal of Cancer showed women who regularly consumed mushrooms are 64% less likely to develop breast cancer. That was about 10 g of mushrooms daily. That same study showed that the women who ate 10 g of mushrooms and simultaneously consumed green tea had 89% less likely to develop breast cancer.

    Beans and Berries - Beans and berries have high cancer preventive antioxidants levels and promotes healthy brain function.

    Seeds - Raw seeds and nuts contain phytochemicals and fats that help reduce inflammation, help reduce cholesterol, and helps the absorption of other important micronutrients. Dr. Fuhrman suggests having nuts as part of your salad or even making a salad dressing from them.

If you intend to eat healthier food you need to find ways to make it convent and savory. Frozen food is convenient. Commercially prepared frozen vegetables and fruit usually go quickly from the field to the freezer. Larger packages of them are economical. You can re-package them into smaller sizes at home. If you cook something healthy, make a larger amount and freeze some of it. Small size plastic zip top bags are easy, but if you leave air spaces in the bag the contents will get freezer burn, so fill the bag with liquid and squeeze the air out as you zip up the bag. Vegetable broth or even water will work. A small chest freezer is a wise investment.

To make food taste good you need to think ahead. Here is a list of some things to have on hand: garlic salt, curry powder, dried mixed herbs, red and black pepper, olive oil, soy sauce or bean paste. Spices in the bulk section of a health food store are usually fresher, better and less expensive than bottled ones in the supermarkets. Mixed dried Italian or French herbs can be used on many foods, but some have too much oregano to be very versatile. Another good tip is to keep some curry powder in a closed container with a shaker top. Just a few dashes will often enliven flavors without turning it into a curry dish. Turmeric is one of the dominant ingredients and it is a powerful anti-oxidant with other health benefits.

A good Caesar Salad dressing is also a quick and versatile way to perk up left-overs and other dishes. Newman's Own brand is excellent. Hummus is easy to make and is a versatile snack. Find a recipe you like and experiment with variations. Essentially it is a paste of garbanzo beans (chick peas), oil and garlic with a little lime juice, salt and pepper. But you could use just the garbanzos and Caesar salad dressing for a quick snack. Another version is to combine a can of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed) with a can of hominy and a ripe avocado.

Canned beans are economical and versatile. Black beans and chili beans (vegetarian) can be added to various salads, soups, pasta and other dishes. After opening the can if you drain and then wash them in a strainer you get rid of most of the BPA from the plastic liner of the can and rinse away the bean juice that gives some people gas problems during digestion. Black bean paste gives much more flavor than soy bean sauce. Make your own by mashing or blending the beans with salt and garlic if you like.

Frozen vege-burger patties and salmon patties make a quick and nutritious meal. Also, individually wrapped frozen salmon fillets cost as little as $1 each when bought in a package of a few pounds. Don't buy it unless it says "wild salmon" on the package.

Here are a few very handy and inexpensive kitchen utensils:

Steel Metal Handle CleaverSlicer Grater setZester/GraterSpiral slicer


Here are some pertinent films about food. All are available at Netflix:

Food, Inc.  Watch Free Documentary Online - Preview
For most Americans, the ideal meal is fast, cheap, and tasty. Food, Inc. examines the costs of putting value and convenience over nutrition and environmental impact.Director Robert Kenner explores the subject from all angles, talking to authors, advocates, farmers, and CEOs.

Food Matters - 2008-NR-77 minutes
With a staggering number of Americans suffering from obesity and other food-related maladies, this film takes a timely and hard-hitting look at how the food we eat is helping or hurting our health, and what we can do to live (and eat) better. Nutritionists, naturopaths, scientists, doctors, medical journalists and more weigh in on everything from using food as medicine to the value of organic food and the safety of the food we consume.

Forks Over Knives - 2011-PG-96 minutes
Focusing on the research of two food scientists, this earnest documentary reveals that despite broad advances in medical technology, the popularity of modern processed foods has led to epidemic rates of obesity, diabetes and other diseases.

The Future of Food - 2004-NR-88 minutes
Before compiling your next grocery list, you might want to watch filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia's eye-opening documentary, which sheds light on a shadowy relationship between agriculture, big business and government. By examining the effects of biotechnology on the nation's smallest farmers, the film reveals the unappetizing truth about genetically modified foods: You could unknowingly be serving them for dinner.

Ingredients - 2009-NR-66 minutes
Narrated by actress Bebe Neuwirth, this engaging documentary weighs the shortcomings of America's industrialized food system against a rising local-growth movement, whose proponents are shrinking the gap between farmland and dinner table. With chefs Alice Waters and Greg Higgins as guiding lights, growers, restaurateurs and consumers around the country, from Oregon to Harlem, New York, discuss their methods for bringing food production back home.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead - 2010 -NR- 97 minutes - Focusing on two men whose bodies have been trashed by steroids, obesity and illness, this documentary chronicles the rigorous healing path -- including a two-month diet of fruits and vegetables -- that both attempt in a bid to rescue their health.

King Corn - 2007-NR-90 minutes
In Aaron Woolf's thought-provoking documentary, friends Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis move back to America's Corn Belt to plant an acre of the nation's most-grown and most-subsidized grain and follow their crop into the U.S. food supply.

How to Cook Your Life - 2007-PG-1392 minutes
German filmmaker Doris Dörrie documents a summer in the life of renowned Zen practitioner and cook Edward Espe Brown as he teaches culinary classes in Zen centers in Austria and California, revealing the role food plays in our bodies and spirits.

The Natural History of the Chicken - 2001-NR-55 minutes
Although chicken is a staple in the diet of most Americans, the history of this tasty bird has yet to be really explored -- until now. Poultry is as popular as ever as an entrée choice, and this tongue-in-cheek documentary sets out to uncover the truth about the bird that has touched the lives, and stomachs, of so many. Included are amusing and often surprisingly touching stories that will forever change your view of the flavorful fowl.

Life Running Out of Control (Leben ausser Kontrolle) - 2004-NR-94 minutes
Since the mid-1980s, the science of genetics has exploded, offering hope for medical researchers and biologists seeking to feed people, as well as deep concerns for proponents of organic foods and activists worried about human gene manipulation. This documentary explores the powerful ways in which biotechnology affects our lives, from the sale of genetically altered salmon to the obtaining of consent for unwitting donors of human tissue.

Food, Part 2