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Best Food To Eat In Winter

Food For Winter

Winter food.  Winter is a time to refit.  To assess the foundation and structure of our body and make adjustments if necessary.  The first and most important thing to look at is our diet.  If you are the type of person that eats the same things year in and year out or even worse, Monday is salad night, and Tuesday is pizza night, etc.  You are causing a number of problems with your health.  Like any organism the body adjusts to the stimuli that confront it.  Food is a very powerful stimulus to the body.  Did you know that you can lose or gain weight eating exactly the same food, but eating it in different combinations or at different times of the day?

Surprise

Surprise your body.  Make it adjust to different foods and different schedules.  It is good for you.  God forbid that you might have to actually think about it!

winter landscape

Winter

Back to winter.  Everything slows down in the winter.  Your body’s metabolism slows to maintain the fat you have stored in case food becomes scarce.  Your immune system is compromised by the lack of water soluble and sunlight provided vitamins, such as B-complex and C which are not stored by the body and must be replaced every day and while Vitamin D, is stored by the body, it is also harder to come by in the winter because our main source is sunlight.  That is why you are more likely to get a cold or the flu during the winter.

Serotonin, a powerful neurotransmitter in the brain, is lost during the winter causing a winter depression.  All of these negative factors are all increased when you stay on your warm weather diet.

limes

Pile_of_Oranges

Winter Foods

If you can’t find sunshine to get your Vitamin D, you can get it in abundance from fresh fish not to mention omega 3 fatty acids:  The following is from Ask DrSears ranking seafood by nutrition:

  • Best sources of omega 3 fatty acids: salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout, Alaskan halibut, sardines, herring.
  • Highest in protein per serving: tuna, salmon, snapper, swordfish. Most fish are similar in protein content. Best source of protein in grams per calorie of fish are: lobster, shrimp, tuna, cod.
  • Highest vitamin B-12 content: clams, mackerel, herring, blue fin tuna, rainbow trout, and salmon.
  • Highest in iron: clams, shrimp, mackerel, swordfish.
  • Lowest in iron: orange roughy, snapper, sea bass.
  • Highest in zinc: crab, lobster, swordfish, and clams.
  • Highest in calcium: canned salmon with bones.
  • Highest in total fat, saturated fats, and calories: mackerel.
  • Lowest in total fat and saturated fat: lobster, orange roughy.
  • Highest in cholesterol: shrimp, mackerel, lobster.
  • Lowest in cholesterol: yellowfin tuna, albacore, tuna, snapper, halibut, grouper.
  • Most risky fish for pollutants: wild catfish, shrimp, lake trout (warm-water fish and those in lakes from agrochemical run-off).
  • Least risky fish for pollutants: deep-water ocean fish, salmon and tuna.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Most important to eat daily are the foods containing your water soluble vitamins, B-complex and C.  Not only are they important to maintain your energy levels, they contribute to your appetite, vision, blood and nervous system.  The following is a table from the Colorado State University extension site about Water soluble vitamins.

Considerable losses during cooking.Uncommon due to availability in most foods; fatigue; nausea, abdominal cramps; difficulty sleeping.

Table 1: Water-soluble vitamins and their characteristics.
Common food sources Major functions Deficiency symptoms Overconsumption symptoms Stability in foods
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, melon, green pepper, tomatoes, dark green vegetables, potatoes. Formation of collagen (a component of tissues), helps hold them together; wound healing; maintaining blood vessels, bones, teeth; absorption of iron, calcium, folacin; production of brain hormones, immune factors; antioxidant. Bleeding gums; wounds don’t heal; bruise easily; dry, rough skin; scurvy; sore joints and bones; increased infections. Nontoxic under normal conditions; rebound scurvy when high doses discontinued; diarrhea, bloating, cramps; increased incidence of kidney stones. Most unstable under heat, drying, storage; very soluble in water, leaches out of some vegetables during cooking; alkalinity (baking soda) destroys vitamin C.
Thiamin (vitamin B1 )
Pork, liver, whole grains, enriched grain products, peas, meat, legumes. Helps release energy from foods; promotes normal appetite; important in function of nervous system. Mental confusion; muscle weakness, wasting; edema; impaired growth; beriberi. None known. Losses depend on cooking method, length, alkalinity of cooking medium; destroyed by sulfite used to treat dried fruits such as apricots; dissolves in cooking water.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
Liver, milk, dark green vegetables, whole and enriched grain products, eggs. Helps release energy from foods; promotes good vision, healthy skin. Cracks at corners of mouth; dermatitis around nose and lips; eyes sensitive to light. None known. Sensitive to light; unstable in alkaline solutions.
Niacin (nicotinamide, nicotinic acid)
Liver, fish, poultry, meat, peanuts, whole and enriched grain products. Energy production from foods; aids digestion, promotes normal appetite; promotes healthy skin, nerves. Skin disorders; diarrhea; weakness; mental confusion; irritability. Abnormal liver function; cramps; nausea; irritability.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine)
Pork, meats, whole grains and cereals, legumes, green, leafy vegetables. Aids in protein metabolism, absorption; aids in red blood cell formation; helps body use fats. Skin disorders, dermatitis, cracks at corners of mouth; irritability; anemia; kidney stones; nausea; smooth tongue. None known.
Folacin (folic acid)
Liver, kidney, dark green leafy vegetables, meats, fish, whole grains, fortified grains and cereals, legumes, citrus fruits. Aids in protein metabolism; promotes red blood cell formation; prevents birth defects of spine, brain; lowers homocystein levels and thus coronary heart disease risk. Anemia; smooth tongue; diarrhea. May mask vitamin B12deficiency (pernicious anemia). Easily destroyed by storing, cooking and other processing.
Vitamin B12
Found only in animal foods: meats, liver, kidney, fish, eggs, milk and milk products, oysters, shellfish. Aids in building of genetic material; aids in development of normal red blood cells; maintenance of nervous system. Pernicious anemia, anemia; neurological disorders; degeneration of peripheral nerves that may cause numbness, tingling in fingers and toes. None known.
Pantothenic acid
Liver, kidney, meats, egg yolk, whole grains, legumes; also made by intestinal bacteria. Involved in energy production; aids in formation of hormones. None known. About half of pantothenic acid is lost in the milling of grains and heavily refined foods.
Biotin
Liver, kidney, egg yolk, milk, most fresh vegetables, also made by intestinal bacteria. Helps release energy from carbohydrates; aids in fat synthesis. Uncommon under normal circumstances; fatigue; loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting; depression; muscle pains; anemia. None known.

 

 Bottom Line

If you want to get the message without doing the reading, eat the following in larger quantities during the winter months:

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Water – stay hydrated year round
  • Chocolate – has many mood elevators
  • Citrus – especially oranges, limes and lemons
  • Nuts and Seeds – they contain selenium which will help you avoid the winter blues
  • Whole gains – remember whole grains
  • Cultured Yogurt – will help maintain your digestive system
  • Dark Green Vegetables – spinach, peas, kale all have iron which will help your blood
  • Legumes
  • Turkey
  • Cranberries
  • Winter Squash

 

Eat healthy and feel better.  Click on the highlighted links above for much more information on each subject and as always please ask me anything you’d like – jughandle

 

 

Cross Shrimp Off Your Party List

I just read a disturbing report titled “5 Reasons To Never Eat Shrimp Again” From Prevention Mag’s blog.

Shrimping has changed

Mostly gone are the days of Bubba Gump’s shimp boats with nets.  Now, picture huge nets in the ocean supported by colorful plastic boxes, or even more commonly, dozens of rice paddy like ponds filled with shrimp.  Easy catch, easily processed by hundreds of underpaid, government subsidized workers.

shrimp-farm  Shrimp farm aerial original.jpg  shrimpfarms608

This process is known as shrimp farming.  Farming shrimp began in the 1970 and has grown rapidly mostly in Asian countries such as Thailand.  Here in lies the problem.  The majority of shrimp purchased in the US has been imported from these overseas farms.  Because the shrimp are “farmed” in foreign countries, the US has little or no control over the conditions the shrimp are raised in and ultimately the quality and safety of the shrimp.

Chemicals

In order to increase the profitability of the farms, shrimp are packed into shallow ponds while ingesting their own waste materials.  Complete “crops” of shrimp can be lost to disease or parasites.  To prevent these expensive loses farmers dose the ponds with high levels of antibiotics and pesticides.  These chemicals, many times, are ones currently banned for use in the United States.  If you are counting on the FDA to protect you, think again.  According to a 2011 report, only 1% of imported seafood is tested for these chemicals.

Feed Lots

Do these methods of growing protein sound familiar?  They do to me.  It is exactly like cattle fed lots and fowl houses.  Animals are packed into small areas where they graze, walk and even feed on their own waste.  When conditions cause disease, no problem, just dose them with antibiotics and when the feces attract flies, tics, fleas, lice, mites and other disease carrying pests, again, no problem, just spray them all with pesticides.

cattle-feedlot-002 cattle-feedlot-spray Chicken-farm-11-29-111 Chicken spraying

Global Warming

You may wonder, as I did, how shrimp farming can contribute to global warming.  It seems that since the 1970’s shrimp farming has proven so profitable that the major farming countries, Thailand, Ecuador, Indonesia, China, Mexico and Vietnam have been cutting down their mangrove forests to make room for more ponds.  Mangrove forests absorb more carbon dioxide than any other ecosystem in the world, including the rain forests.  Not only that, but mangroves are breeding grounds for all types of sea creatures and their extensive root system prevents erosion during storms.

The Wild-caught Alternative

So, I will just eat wild-caught shrimp, just as I only eat wild-caught salmon.  Not so fast.  Wild-caught shrimping is extremely wasteful.  For every pound of shrimp caught, there can be as much as 5 pounds of by-catch, which are other species caught in the nets.  Much is written about the endangered turtles being killed by these nets so I won’t go on.  Looks like I will be giving up shrimp all together.  Crayfish are almost the same thing and can be farmed in the US.  Crayfish are bottom feeders and live in fresh water.

We Need To Stop Eating Sea Food

My job is to point out to you the problems I find.  Your job is to prove me right or wrong or ask me enough questions to more deeply explore the problem.  I have pointed out that the problem is little or no regulation on imported sea food of all kinds to this country.  I’m telling you to stop eating all imported and wild caught sea food.  Your turn. – jughandle

Do your own research, prove me wrong, please prove me wrong, because I’m seeing this as a serious problem!

 

 

staph in meat | Bacteria-Infused Meat Found in Grocery Stores | Rodale News

This isn’t another push for you to buy organically grown meats, or is it?  You be the judge.  Just the one fact that chickens, pigs, cows, turkeys and other food source animals are injected on a regular basis with antibiotics and other drugs to make them healthy should make you join the parade.  Those are the same antibiotics we use, and when we eat them in our food we they become useless to us over time.  Read on – jughandle

 

Bacteria-Infused Meat Found in Grocery Stores

I’m sorry for this image, but I need to get your attention

 

 

 

  MRSA antibotic resistant staff infection

 

BY LEAH ZERBE

Handle with care: A study found that supermarket meat can house bacteria that could infect your skin.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Previous studies have detected nasty, food-poisoning bacteria in supermarket meat, but a study published Friday in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases sends the queasiness factor to a whole new level: Half of the U.S. supermarket meat sampled contained staph infection bacteria, including the hard-to-kill and potentially lethal MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection.

The researchers ID the overuse of antibiotics in industrial agriculture as a factor in the rise of superbugs in our grocery store food.

THE DETAILS:

Researchers tested 136 total samples (80 different brands) of ground beef, chicken breasts and thighs, ground pork and pork chops, and ground turkey and turkey cutlets purchased from 26 retail grocery stores in five U.S. cities: Chicago; Washington, DC; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Los Angeles; and Flagstaff, Arizona. Although previous studies have found a strong link between antibiotic-resistant germs and factory farms, this study traces the dangerous bacteria into the food chain. Nearly 80 percent of the turkey products sampled contained staph bacteria; 42 percent of the pork harbored staph, while 41 percent of the chicken and 37 percent of the beef suffered staph contamination. Nearly all of the contaminated meat harbored staph bacteria resistant to at least one human antibiotic.

WHAT IT MEANS:

At the end of 2010, the Food and Drug Administration released a first-of-its-kind agency report, finding that factory farms use a whopping 30 million pounds of antibiotics each year. But even before the release of that report, scientists and doctors had been waving red flags regarding the overuse of antibiotics in farming, and how that, in turn, is threatening human health. In 2009, Prevention magazine published a special report, “The Superbug in Your Supermarket,” which found similar problems with your standard supermarket-bought meat. While MRSA was previously linked to hospital-acquired infections, a new source emerged in 2008, and it was linked back to huge hog farms. The good news is that cooking meat kills MRSA. The bad news is just handling the raw meat can give you a serious skin infection, particularly if you have a cut on your hand. And nose pickers, take heed. Wash your hands well after handling meat because MRSA loves to hang in your nasal passages.

Find out more about how to protect yourself from superbugs in food.

• Steer clear of CAFO meats. CAFO stands for concentrated animal-feeding operation, a nicer word for factory farm. These industrial facilities often use antibiotics to speed growth and prevent disease in their crammed conditions, which is what scientists say accelerates the rise of superbugs. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that industrial farms account for 70 percent of the antibiotics used in this country. That heavy use is making vitally important antibiotics work less well on humans.

To find safer forms of meat, check out our Guide to Buying Grass-Fed Beef, or visit LocalHarvest.org or EatWild.com to find organically raised, pastured meat. It’s likely more expensive, but it’s also more nutritious. If you’re strapped for cash, pastured eggs from hens that ate organic feed is a great option—way cheaper than buying four grass-fed Porterhouse steaks!

• Practice nontoxic, commonsense food safety. No matter where your food comes from, it’s always in your family’s best interest to practice good food-safety advice. However, don’t turn to toxic antibacterial soaps and sprays to disinfect. They’re also linked to the rise in superbugs. These stories contain safer alternatives:

via staph in meat | Bacteria-Infused Meat Found in Grocery Stores | Rodale News.

Killing to Eat

I never really intended to write a post about killing animals for food, but while perusing the blogs I like to read, I came upon a great article written by one of my favorite bloggers, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook’s, Hank Shaw.

Hank’s blog discusses in detail the natural way of procuring his food.  Hank is “old school” in that he hunts, fishes, gardens and forages for his food.  Hank doesn’t waste anything.  His recipes include vegetarian dishes, because naturally we don’t always have game around and we need fiber in our diet too.

As you might be aware for almost 3 months I’ve been experimenting with a completely plant-based diet with some success.  As I try to explain to curious meat eaters that question my choice, I am not doing this for any reason other than my personal health.  There are a number of reasons to not eat meat, from religious to ethical and I even know a person who doesn’t eat anything with a bone in it or attached to it because they are just plain grossed out by it.

I wanted to pass along Hank’s article on killing, because, as he points out, 98 per cent of the people who eat meat have never killed anything larger than an insect unless it was an accident. Many don’t consider that they are killing by proxy when they eat meat from the store or drive there in their car with leather seats or even put on their leather shoes or belt.   I’m not a hunter, but I’ve done my share of fishing and I don’t have a problem with killing animals for food.  I do detest sport killing though.  I have a feeling that animals were a gift to mankind and should be respected and treated as a gift, not to be abused or wasted.

Come to Grips

On Killing” deals with the emotional aspect of killing an animal.  A smart hunter does not kill without thinking about the consequences of their actions.  My wife’s family and extended family are big hunters, but not one of them takes it for granted.  A skilled hunter is in touch with nature and knows the game laws and knows that “harvesting” game is important to the welfare of the species.  The days are long gone when teams of men would shoot buffalo from the windows of a passenger train and leave the animal to rot on the ground.  The hunters I know thank the animal and God for providing food for their table and family.

The Blog

by Hank Shaw

UPDATEI want to thank everyone who has responded to this post, both below in the comments section and to me directly via email. More than one of your responses has been so moving it’s stopped me in my tracks. And Zane from Cleveland, your letter choked me up pretty bad. It is rare for me to write about such things; doing so feels like opening a vein in public.  I am glad to know that I am not alone out there. Thank you.

I have been dealing a lot of death lately. I’ve hunted five of the past eight days, and have killed birds on each trip. My larder is filling, and Holly and I are eating well. Lots of duck, some pheasant and even a little of the venison I have left over from the 2010 season. That is the good side of all this, the side of hunting that most people can embrace. I hunt for a lot of reasons, but for me the endgame is always the table.

It is the journey to that table that can sometimes give people pause. What I do to put meat in my freezer is alien to most, anathema to some. In the past seven years, I can count on one hand the times I’ve had to buy meat for the home. This fact alone makes me an outlier, an anomaly. And that I am unashamed — proud, really — of this seems to cause a lot of folks I meet to look at me funny: I am a killer in their midst.

Not too long ago, I was at a book signing event for Hunt Gather Cook when a young woman approached me. She was very excited about foraging, and she had loved that section of my book. Then her face darkened. She told me she’d also read my section on hunting. “How can you enjoy killing so much? I just don’t understand it. You seem like such a nice person, too.” It took a few minutes for me to explain myself to her, and I am grateful that she listened. She left, I think, with a different opinion.

A few weeks later, I was at the University of Oregon talking about wild food to some students. When I mentioned hunting, I could feel the temperature in the room drop. It occurred to me that no one there was a hunter, nor were they close to any hunters. I called for a show of hands. One guy raised his. I asked him briefly about his hunting experience, and it was obvious that it had been traumatic for the poor kid. I let the topic slide and moved on to mushrooms.

When I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I spoke with more than 100 diners during my book dinner at Craigie on Main. Only four were hunters, although a few more wanted to start. Over the course of the night, I fielded weird question after weird question from diner after diner. Have I ever shot someone? Did I actually eat what I shot? Wasn’t I afraid of diseases? It was a stark show of ignorance. Not stupidity, mind you, just an utter lack of knowledge of what hunting is all about.

To be sure, these encounters were in college towns among a certain set of people. I had some book events, notably those in Montana, Pittsburgh and Austin, where most everyone who attended either hunted or was at least familiar with it. And in most places I could be assured of a healthy smattering of fellow hook-and-bullet types or farmers, who are equally familiar with the death of animals.

But the fact remains: Most people reading this have never killed anything larger than an insect, and among those who have it’s usually a been fish, or an accident — like running over someone’s dog. Most people have no idea what it’s like to take the life of another creature, let alone why someone would actively seek to do so. Let me try to explain to you the way I did to my young foraging friend on book tour. Let me tell you what it means to kill, at least for me.

To deal death is to experience your world exploding. It is an avalanche of emotion and thought and action.

Armed with a shotgun, it is often done without thought, on instinct alone. A flushing grouse gives you no more than a few seconds to pull the trigger before it disappears into the alders. A rabbit can leap back into the brambles in even less time. Unless you are perfect in that split second, the animal wins. And being human, we are far from perfect. Even with ducks, where you often have plenty of time to prepare for the shot, their speed and agility are more than adequate defenses. We hunters fail more than we succeed.

This is why we will often whoop it up when we finally bring a bird down: We are not being callous, rejoicing in the animal’s death. It is a hard-wired reaction to succeeding at something you have been working for days, months, even years to achieve. In some corner of your brain, it means you will eat today. This reaction can look repulsive from the outside.

Should you arm yourself with a rifle, you then must wrestle your conscious mind. Buck fever is real. A huge set of antlers will hypnotize the best of us, man and woman alike. Even if the animal lacks antlers, as mine often do, you have to contend with The Twin Voices: On one shoulder sits a voice shouting, Shoot! Shoot! You might not get another chance! On the other shoulder sits another voice, grave and calm: Be careful. You must not put that bullet in a place where the animal will suffer. Better to pass a shot than wound an animal.  A wise hunter does not kill lightly.

In that moment when the game shows itself and you ready yourself to shoot, all that matters is that you do your job correctly. And that job is to kill cleanly and quickly. The animal deserves it; we would want no less were the tables turned. And make no mistake: A great many hunters, myself included, do this mental table-turning with some frequency. Seeing animals die so often makes us think of our own death, and I can assure you most of us would rather die with a well-placed shot than wither in a hospital.

sharptail grousePhoto by Hank Shaw

We also know all too well that we are fallible creatures. When we fail to kill cleanly, when we wound the animals we seek, it is our duty to end their suffering ourselves. If there is a moment in this whole process that breaks my heart, it is this one. Everything wants to live, and will try anything it can to escape you. We see ourselves in this struggle, feel tremendous empathy for the struggling bird, the fleeing deer. It is a soul-searing moment where part of you marvels at the animal’s drive to live — to escape! — at the same time the rest of you is consumed with capturing it as fast as possible so you can end this miserable business. This internal conflict is, to me, what being human is all about. A coyote or a hawk has no remorse. We do.

I am not ashamed to tell you that I have shed a tear more than once when I’ve had to deliver the coup de grace to a duck. I’m not sure what it is about ducks, but they affect me more than other animals. I always apologize to it, knowing full well that this is a weak gesture designed mostly to help me feel better. But it does help me feel better. At least a little. So I keep doing it.

As the moment of killing fades, death rides home with you in the back of the truck. Once home, you must transmogrify the animal you killed into meat. The transformation is a mystical one, and every time I “dress” game — such a pleasant euphemism, that — I marvel at how fast my mind toggles from hunter to butcher to cook.

It is a necessary process, and one that is vital to why I have chosen this life, why I am a hunter.

I look down at my keyboard and see death under my fingernails. I smell the fat and gore and meat of dead ducks upon me; it’s been a good week of hunting. And because I eat everything on a duck but the quack, I have become intimate with the insides of waterfowl. Over the years, I’ve gutted and taken apart so many animals that I know the roadmap blindfolded. And that road leads to meals long remembered. I reach into a deer’s guts without thought: I want those kidneys, and that liver. I turn my arm upwards and wrap my fingers around its stopped heart, slick and firm. It will become heart cutlets, or jaeger schnitzel.

Photo by Hank Shaw

Once plucked and gutted, I can take apart a duck in 90 seconds. Maybe less. My fingers intuitively know which way and how hard to pluck each feather from a pheasant’s carcass. I know just where to put my boning knife, sharp as lightning, to slice the tendons that hold a hog’s tongue into its head. I use the same knife to caress its hind legs, separating the natural muscle groups apart along each seam. Some will become roasts, others salami. Animal becomes food. The pop of a goose’s thigh bone disjointing from its body no longer sickens me; all it means is that I need to slip my knife under that bone and around the coveted “oyster,” the best bite on any bird.

Wasting meat is the sin I cannot forgive. When I kill an animal, its death is on my hands, and those animals to whom I’ve had to deliver the coup de grace are especially close to me. There is a bond between us that requires that I do my part to ensure they did not die for nothing. This is why I spend so much time creating recipes for every part of the animal. Nature wastes nothing, and neither should I. It pains me to know that some hunters do not share this feeling, that they care only for backstraps or breasts — and while I know that coyotes and buzzards will eat what we do not, I do not hunt to feed those creatures.

You might ask me that with all this, why bother eating meat at all? Why deal with all the moral and emotional implications? In the face of such constant death, is it not better to be a vegetarian?

For me, no. It is a cold fact that no matter what your dietary choice, animals die so you can eat. Just because you choose not to eat the flesh of animals does not mean that their homes did not fall to the plow to become acres of vegetables and soybeans, wheat and corn. Habitat, more than anything, determines the health of a species. The passenger pigeon may have been snuffed out by hunting, but it was the massive destruction of virgin forest — forest cleared to grow crops — that brought the pigeon to the brink. I have nothing against vegetarians, and the vast majority I’ve met understand what I do and respect it. But to those few who do not, I say this: We all have blood on our hands, only I can see mine.

It all boils down to intimacy. Hunting has created an uncommon closeness between the animals I pursue, the meat I eat, and my own sense of self. There is a terrible seriousness to it all the underlies the thrill of the chase, the camaraderie of being with my fellow hunters and deep sense of calm I feel when alone in the wild. I welcome this weight: It fuels my desire to make something magical with the mortal remains of the game I manage to bring home. It is a feeling every hunter who’s ever stared into the freezer at that special strip of backstrap, or hard-won bird or beast understands.

Meat should be special. It has been for most of human existence. And no modern human understands this more than a hunter. I am at peace with killing my own meat because for me, every duck breast, every boar tongue, every deer heart is a story, not of conquest, but of communion.

 

Conclusions

I conclude that Hank is a thoughtful conscientious human being and I wish more people would put the thought he does into their meals and where they come from and at what cost.  All of that is kind of the point of this blog. – jughandle 

Arsenic Alert

Arsenic levels in several of our common foods and drinks have recently been found to be very high.  I’m going to bring us up to date on the danger that might be present and what to do about it. – Jughandle

Arsenic

Arsenic is a chemical element found in nature.  It is a metal and is used in industry to strengthen alloys of copper and lead in car batteries as an example.  It is also used extensively in semiconductors.  The bottom line here and what we are worried about is that arsenic is a notorious poison and has been used in pesticides, herbicides and insecticides for years.  Arsenic in drinking water causes poisoning throughout the world.  Levels of 10 parts per billion are the standard for the World Health Organization as the maximum allowed.  Arsenic can cause cancer when levels reach 150 parts per billion.

In the US arsenic has been used as a wood preservative for many, many years but has recently been taken off the market.

Toxicity

The short story is that arsenic causes death from multi-organ failure, by necrotic cell death.  Basically you bleed to death from every cell in your body.  But that is just for ingesting a large dose all at once.  For long term exposure there is a marked increase in bladder, kidney, lung, liver and colon cancer.  For more in depth information go to Arsenic in Wikipedia.

 Treatment

Treatment of chronic arsenic poisoning is easily accomplished. British anti-lewisite (dimercaprol) is prescribed in dosages of 5 mg/kg up to 300 mg each 4 hours for the first day. Then administer the same dosage each 6 hours for the second day. Then prescribe this dosage each 8 hours for eight additional days. However the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) states that the long-term effects of arsenic exposure cannot be predicted. Blood, urine, hair, and nails may be tested for arsenic; however, these tests cannot foresee possible health outcomes from the exposure.Excretion occurs in the urine and long-term exposure to arsenic has been linked to bladder and kidney cancer in addition to cancer of the liver, prostate, skin, lungs and nasal cavity.

Apple Juice

Recently the “Dr. Oz” show did a report on a finding that 10% of apple juice and grape juice samples had total arsenic levels above the 10 parts per billion allowed in drinking water.  The FDA says that the current avg level of arsenic in these juices is 23 parts per billion, over twice what is allowed in drinking water.  As you may expect, US apple juice is generally made from concentrate, which over 60% in imported from China and China has a terrible track record on food safety.  The US Food and Drug Administration prevented over 9000 unsafe products from entering the US between 2006 and 2010 but only 2% of imported food is inspected.  Apple juice is considered a healthy staple of many children’s diets.  This is a serious long term problem.

Chickens

There is a shocking amount of arsenic in chicken, because there is arsenic in the chicken feed.  If you buy organic you will be getting food that has been produced under much stricter standards.

Rice

It has recently been found that the level of arsenic in rice is also way above the federal water standard of 10 parts per billion.  I have been eating much more rice on my plant-based diet.  Rice is grown in fields that are flooded and arsenic is found in the ground and ground water world wide.

Conclusions

This blog has been a short informational piece to make you aware of the problem.  I have by no means even covered the tip of the iceberg.  Please do your own research and let us know your findings.  Read the labels of your food.  Buy organic food from the United States when every possible.  Rotate the juices that you feed your children.  As always, filtered water is the best liquid to put in to your body.  Be safe Farmers – Jughandle

 

Links:

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Crow
I’ve been requested to eat crow because of my insightful Georgia-Auburn prediction this year.  I though that if I had to eat it I should provide a couple of good recipes for it.  The following are via Bert in Ontario

And buy the way, congratulations to the Georgia Nation for a game well played.  Good luck at the SEC championship. – jughandle

Three Crow Recipes

From Debbie, courtesy of her Mom’s WW II cookbookCrow and Mushroom Stew

3 crows
1 Tbsp lard/shortening
1 pint stock or gravy
2 Tbsp cream
1/2 cup mushrooms
salt and pepper
cayenne pepper

Clean and cut crows into small portions and let them cook a short time in the lard/shortening in a saucepan, being careful not to brown them.
Next, add to the contents of the pan, the stock or gravy, and salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
Simmer 1 hour, or until tender, add mushrooms, simmer 10 minutes more and then stir in cream.
Arrange the mushrooms around the crows on a hot platter.

Potted Crow:

6 crows
3 bacon slices
stuffing of your choice
1 diced carrot
1 diced onion
chopped parsley
hot water or stock
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup flour
buttered toast

Clean and dress crows; stuff and place them upright in stew-pan on the slices of bacon. Add the carrot, onion and a little parsley, and cover with boiling water or stock.
Cover the pot and let simmer for 2-3 hours, or until tender, adding boiling water or stock when necessary.
Make a sauce of the shortening and flour and 2 cups of the stock remaining in the pan.

Serve each crow on a thin slice of moistened toast, and pour gravy over all.

Crow Pie:

1 crow
stuffing of your choice
salt and pepper
shortening
flour
2 Pie crust mixes
2-3 hard-boiled eggs

Stuff the crow. Loosen joints with a knife but do not cut through.
Simmer the crow in a stew-pan, with enough water to cover, until nearly tender, then season with salt and pepper. Remove meat from bones and set aside.
Prepare pie crusts as directed. (Do not bake)
Make a medium thick gravy with flour, shortening, and juices in which the crow has cooked and let cool.
Line a pie plate with pie crust and line with slices of hard-boiled egg. Place crow meat on top. Layer gravy over the crow. Place second pie dough crust over top.
Bake at 450 degrees for 1/2 hour.

Collected by Bert Christensen
Toronto, Ontario

Fried Chicken and Corn bread

Doesn’t that sound good?  Since I’ve now been a flexa-vegan-tarian for 5 weeks now and counting, the fried chicken is making my mouth water like all get out.  I thought I’d treat the crowd who isn’t beating themselves with a stick (read going on a diet) with a couple of great recipes from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.  These are consistantly the best pan fried chicken and corn bread I’ve ever eaten.  The down side to these recipes is that like all great cooks, Beverly and Ella Ween don’t use a recipe, but cook by “feel” instead.  I’ll do my best to provide you with repeatable recipes.

Corn bread

Beverly’s corn bread is crisp on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside.  It smells great and is good with just about anything or nothing at all but a little butter.  She insists on using self-rising Martha White brand flour and self-rising White Lily brand corn meal and who can argue with perfection.  She coats the 9″ cast iron skillet with a heavy helping of Crisco shortening, but I bet lard would be good too.  The batter is a mixture of white flour and Corn meal but is heavily weighted to the corn meal side using 3 cups.  The wet ingredients are 2 eggs and a cup of butter milk.  She cooks it hot at 425-450 and it comes out with a crispy crust because of the Crisco in the skillet.

Click here for the full recipe

  

Pan Fried Chicken

Considering my new status as a non-meat eater, it is going to be hard to get through this post.  My mouth is already watering from the memories of crispy, tender, succulent fried chicken…  …Ok, I’m back now.  This chicken that my mother-in-law, Ella Ween makes is hard to describe, except to say I could easily eat a whole bird, piece by delectable, scrumptious, luscious piece.  Ella Ween achieves a great piece of chicken by removing the skin and generously seasoning the pieces with salt and pepper before dredging in a wet mix of egg and butter milk followed by a dry coating of seasoned self-rising flour.  I’ve seen that or done that before you might be thinking.  Yeah, you might have but did you use self-rising flour or follow that by browning the chicken on both sides in the hot oil, then lowering the temperature and covering the pan while simultaneously frying and steaming the bird?  I didn’t think so.  People, this is seriously good chicken.

click here for the complete recipe

  

 

 

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