In the last 50 years the food system, like most other industries, has leaped, bounded and thrusted itself into the future. Fertilizers, insecticides, mega-farming and genetic modification have created a miasma both literally, in the fields and waterways of our country, but also figuratively, in the minds of people worldwide.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
It actually doesn't look all that bad. Although it suggests way too much water, a fine way to tax the kidneys in the long term. But I like the attempt at dethroning the miserable food pyramid. Sadly the diet seems to be a ruse to get rich folks in Boca to go through an expensive diagnostics regimen with the joyful inventor of the the diet scheme, Dr. Robert D. Willix Jr..
My suggestions? A bit more complicated, but some ballpark information can be found here, here, and here.
Friday, December 19, 2008
We drove down the long road adjacent to rolling pasture and a rickety looking fence on a cold saturday morning just before thanksgiving. The Brook Farm Project is a farm which sits directly under the imposing and vast cliffs of the Mohonk Preserve in New Paltz, NY. We decided to visit the farm with the hopes that they might be able to supply some of the food for our wedding. The farm actually sits on the Mohonk property, and is used by lease. Using their food would epitomize the local food movement we are trying to support and sustain.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
So many changes. But I love change, so all is well. Karina and I are getting married next year. I always thought planning a wedding would be fun, I didn't know it would be this fucking fun!
I have been working on the food. We are getting married at the Mohonk Mountain House, a colossal frankenstein of a hotel that sits in what must have been an edenic hideaway for the Mohicans 400 years ago. The house abuts a long lake, surrounded by rocky cliffs. The cliffs themselves are a maze of tunnels, caves, rockfalls, and dwarf pitch pines that have clung to these cliffs far longer then human memory.
Friday, November 7, 2008
"I was just reading an article in the New York Times by Michael Pollen about food and the fact that our entire agricultural system is built on cheap oil. As a consequence, our agriculture sector actually is contributing more greenhouse gases than our transportation sector. And in the mean time, it's creating monocultures that are vulnerable to national security threats, are now vulnerable to sky-high food prices or crashes in food prices, huge swings in commodity prices, and are partly responsible for the explosion in our healthcare costs because they're contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease, obesity, all the things that are driving our huge explosion in healthcare costs."
Friday, October 31, 2008
Think it is important to know the sources of your food? From the NY Times:
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Here it is. We have removed ourselves so completely, so decisively from our food's origins that the Federal Government has now stepped in to set things strait. Of course when approaching problems such as these, the grand gestures of bureaucracy more often then not have the greatest effect upon the least vital elements.
Friday, September 26, 2008
between the mets, the absurdity of politics, and moving into a new apartment, it has been difficult to think about writing. but i have returned. so fear not, new information is on its way.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
low ratio - low inflammation, strong bowel mucosa
high ratio - high inflammation, a host of other problems in the long run, such as atherosclerosis, etc.
Here's the problem: trying to get back to a healthy ratio basically requires traveling back in time to before industrial farming destroyed the fat chemistry of our foods. You can get good foods, but you must be vigilant.
If you are a strait veggie, invest in some flax seed oil (in the dark thick bottles) and have a teaspoon with dinner, or use it in dressing and the like. This should be kept back in the cupboard, as flax seed oil is touchy when exposed to light.
if you eat eggs, milk and meat, you must only eat from pastured animals (i.e. grass-fed beef/milk cows, and pasture chickens). When animals are fed grain their fatty acid ratio goes out of whack. Pasture raised, grass finished beef is the best, as it has a nearly perfect ratio, and it has a lot of great healthy fat.
a lot of people recommend good fish oil also, but this should probably not be consumed in high quantities. Or just eat some good fish.
From what I have read, problems with inflammation can be reigned in tremendously by simply altering the O6:O3 ratio.
So, if you have allergies, constant inflammatory conditions, atherosclerosis, etc etc, you may find some benefit to altering the diet to bring the Fatty Acids under control.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I was looking for studies on fiber and I stumbled on this one from JAMA. The framers of the study looked at 147 studies of diet and Coronary Heart Disease in order to come up with a picture of a healthy diet in terms of CHD.
One finding was that "simply lowering the percentage of energy from total fat in the diet is unlikely to improve lipid profile or reduce CHD incidence".
So eat up people. The total fat intake is not related, as we have been told for generations, to fat intake. There is much to be learned, as we must parse the types of fat to get a better picture.
i will drop some fat guidelines:
1. No hydrogenated fats (trans fats)
2. Cook with Saturated fats - butter, ghee, pork fat, beef fat, coconut oil are all high in saturated fat.
3. Use poly's, but don't cook with them - vegetable oils, avocado oil, sesame oil - great to use, but do not cook in them.
4. Mono-unsaturated is likely the healthiest - Beef, pork and chicken are high in mono, as is Olive Oil. I have been told not to cook with olive oil, but I still do. I am thinking of switching over to Ghee, but I have to learn to properly make it.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I am currently on vacation in the mountains of central Washington State. Our house for the week is nestled between pear orchards, creeks, and towering mountains.
Monday, August 18, 2008
When are we going to get the picture? Stop eating the fucking industrial meat people!
The store that makes us all feel really good while shopping, Whole Foods, has just issued a massive recall on several of its Beef products. Whole foods is not the only store to issue a recall on beef, several supermarkets across the country have responded to the recall by overall craptastic Nebraska Beef bringing the total to over 1.2 million pounds of beef.
One reason is politics. Ben Nelson, the distinguished Senator from Nebraska, received a few bucks from them, $14,000+ in 2006 alone. Nelson also sent about $7 million in tax breaks to Nebraska Beef while he was Governor in 1998.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
"Diabetes Diet Myth 3: Carbohydrates Are Bad."
Carbohydrates have the greatest effect on blood glucose levels, which is why you are asked to monitor how much carbohydrate you eat when following a diabetes diet."
"The increase in the internal energy of a system is equal to the amount of energy added by heating the system, minus the amount lost as a result of the work done by the system on its surroundings."
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Every four months I get a couple weeks to chill, Acupuncture school is 3 years, 9 semesters, and the 2-3 week breaks we get are never quite as long as I want them to be. That said, they do afford me the opportunity to catch up on Top Chef.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Dare you come down here with me? It is all starting to come clear. But it is a complicated picture.
That bastion of hope for local food systems, community food production and dinner table eating, Slow Foods International, have completed plans for their first major American Event, Slow Food Nation '08. It will take place in San Francisco from Aug. 29th - Sept. 1st. With a tasting pavillion, a community marketplace, various talking events, music and more, San Francisco will be alight with tasty local food.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Anybody who has had a conversation with me in the last month knows that I am on a crusade to vilify refined sugar and flour. I am working on eliminating these elements from my own diet, and I am telling anyone who will listen to do the same.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
How much sugar, what kind of sugar, fuck it, it's too confusing.
Friday, July 11, 2008
I have been at this for several months now, and I think I finally have some baseline diet recommendations.
Of all the hubris, bad science, politics, hand-wringing, strident talk of saving lives and etc that went into demonizing saturated fat and cholesterol in the name of reducing the risk of heart disease, the one that gets me the most is this:
Probabilities Pts 2-yr - Men, ages 35-74, chance of CHD event (heart attack or stroke)
0 0% 14 1% 28 17%
2 0% 16 2% 30 24%
4 0% 18 3% 32 32%
6 0% 20 4% 34 43%
8 0% 22 6%
10 1% 24 9%
12 1% 26 12%
Thursday, July 10, 2008
“The purpose of the recordkeeping provision of the Bioterrorism Act was to support going back to the origin of food after people have gotten sick when you are trying to find out how the biological agent got there,” said Michael Taylor, a professor at the George Washington University and a former F.D.A. official. “But the provisions are of little or no value with respect to trace-backs of fresh produce because of the amount of shoe leather and time it would take.”
This is from today's NYtimes which reports on the now 1,000+ people in this country sick from a nefarious salmonella outbreak. The problem is that we cannot find out where the food is coming from. Why? Because nobody knows, and the FDA does not require a label of origin on food.
Last week I ate carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, onions and garlic from Madura Farms, Middletown, NY, and chicken from JohnBoy's Farm, Pound Ridge, NY. I have had sausage and eggs this week for breakfasts, the sausage from Mountain Products Smokehouse, LaGrangeville, NY and the eggs from Tello's (local greenmarket).
If I have any problems I know exactly where each farmer is located and I can go and complain. This kind of transparency separates small farmers from large agribusiness. If John Boy's chicken got me sick he would know about it right away, because I would trek over to Pound Ridge and give him a piece of my mind.
Well, not exactly. But one conservative writer, a philosophy student at Berkeley, has called on conservatives to embrace the Slow Food International ethics for food culture. He talks about a nice old hippy in berkeley who is bringing farming and cooking into her local middle school. I love it when conservatives come around to these kinds of causes, smug bastard that I am.