November 2007 Archives
Yet another study shows whole foods cut the risk of cancer. In this case, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found "reduced risk among adults who ate two or more servings of whole grains each day compared with those who ate less than one serving a day. They also noted about a 35 percent reduction in risk among individuals who ate the highest amount of fiber (26.5 grams per day or more) compared with those who ate the least (15.6 grams per day or less)."
All organic cauliflower is healthy and loaded with fiber, folate and vitamin C. Most people think of cauliflower as having white or off-white curd. But more nutritious varieties are available in orange, green and purple colors. Orange cauliflower comes in "cheddar" and "orange bouquet" varieties (this picture shows the "cheddar" cauliflower I bought this morning at the farmer's market), and contain 25 times as much vitamin A as white cauliflower. Green cauliflower is available in "alverda" and "green goddess" varieties. Purple cauliflower is available in "graffiti" and "purple cape" varieties, and contains the antioxidant group anthocyanin. (Note that true purple cauliflower is different from a vegetable sold as "purple cauliflower" in the UK, which is actually a variety of broccoli.)
Here's how to keep cilantro (also known as coriander) fresh for two weeks: Cut the bottom off the stems, rinse and place in a glass of water. Cover it loosely with plastic, but not so tight that the leaves can't dry, and place in the refrigerator. Change the water every few days.
I learned a bit of tomato trivia this morning from my favorite tomato farmer at the Santa Barbara Farmer's Market: The Saturday after Thanksgiving is the nation's biggest tomato-buying day of the year. Why? Because just about every family is making sandwiches with Thanksgiving left-overs, and they need tomatoes for the sandwiches.
I told you back in April that the USDA imposed new rules that require all almonds grown in California to be pasturized with either heat or toxic chemicals, a rule that threatens to wipe out organic almond farmers (California produces some 80% of the world's almonds). But look what I found this morning at my local farmer's market -- raw, whole, organic, unpasteurized California almonds! It turns out that farmers who sell directly to consumers are exempt from the pasteurization rule. So if you live in an almond-growing area, check the farmer's market for unpasteurized almonds.
Baked sweet potatoes make a delicious snack all by themselves, or can be pureed to make an ingredient for baking. Bake in 350 F oven. Wash and scrub well. Use a piece of parchment paper big enough to wrap around sweet potato once just like wrapping a hard candy with the ends twisted. Place in oven and bake from 35 to 50 minutes depending on size but until completely tender. Allow to cool and remove spoon and mash. To store for later use, store sweet potatoes in the refrigerator without removing the parchment paper. They make delicious snacks.
A recent article written by Sean Armstrong, the husband of the co-owner of Wild Chick Farm provides a revealing account of what's really behind "organic" egg labels. Although organic egg production is definitely a step up from conventional egg production, there is a huge disparity between what misleading labels imply and the awful conditions organic hens are subjected to. For instance, even when not raised in battery cages, tens of thousands of hens are still crammed into large warehouses where they cannot practice their most basic natural animal behavior. Hens go crazy and undergo extremely painful debeaking. Up to half of the chickens' beaks are cut off with hot knives to keep them from eating each other. Additionally, labels such as "natural," "hormone free," "free range," and "cage free," are far from what any consumer might imagine from the false images implied by phony labels and even the names of companies. Many people become vegetarian because they don't want to endorse animal cruelty but the sad reality is that eating eggs and dairy products supports an industry where animals greatly suffer and live painful and tortured short lives and cruel deaths. But most consumers are clueless about factory farming (organic and conventional)—it is what greenwashing is all about. Read the full article to find out some of the specific companies you might be buying your eggs from, their awful practices and how they cheat and lie to you.