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Life Changing Posts

Important concepts to master.  In the past couple of years, let’s see, we’ve talked about:

Milk and Lactose IntoleranceHow to prevent and reverse heart diseaseSodium and Salt.

How to properly set a table and  Is diet soda good or bad.

I introduced you to Matcha tea and tea in general.

I explained that there are things that you shouldn’t put in the freezer  and what

to stock your pantry with as well as your freezer.

I showed you my favorite carved pumpkins, my favorite blogs to read

and we talked about Grits.

We learned how to de-bone a whole chicken, how to can things, how to blanch and how to cook rice.

We also learned how to make pie dough from scratch and our own scratch pasta.  Then we studied

how to roast vegetables and how to make Kimchi.  We learned about the 5 basic sauces and how to modify them.

We even learned harder looking dishes like Beef Wellington and Sushi.

We studied nutrition and diets and why vegan isn’t a bad idea.  We now know that there are at least 12 foods that are bad for the

planet.

More Important concepts to master

You wanted to learn about fiber and calories as well as the superfoods to eat.   But most of all you wanted to know about

what is in your food and mistakes we make that make us fatter.  I showed you where I get my coupons and how the Kroger Store is laid out.

I warned you about chemicals and pesticides in our food and told you which food is better to be bought organically raised.

 

I’ve shared over 55 of the best recipes I could find.  Now I need to know what else you’d like to learn about.  Please let me know. – Jughandle

 

Sushi and how to make it

Sushi means “sour-tasting”.  At its most common denominator, sushi is cooked short grained sticky rice that has been “vinegared”.  It is also known as shari.  Wikipedia says, “The vinegar produced from fermenting rice breaks down the fish proteins into amino acids. This results in one of the five basic tastes, called umami in Japanese”

Many people think of raw fish when they hear the word sushi.  Actually, there are raw forms of fish in some sushi, but sushi can be anything that contains the vinegared rice- shari.  Some forms of sushi don’t have any fish at all.  Raw or uncooked fish is known as sashimi.  That is another story for another day.  Today we talk about sushi.

Sushi Rice

The only thing common to a sushi dish is the rice.  If you can’t find sushi rice at your local store, any short grained rice will do or you can buy it at the Farm Store here.

You will also need:

To Make The Sushi Rolls:

  • Bamboo sushi Mat – available here
  • Seaweed Nori sheets – available here or here
  • Plastic wrap to cover your mat

For the Vinegar Mix:

Heat and mix the following.  Cool to room temp before mixing into the rice

In every 1 cup of cooked sushi rice mix:

  • 1/3 c Rice vinegar
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Without A Rice Cooker

  • Rinse the rice until clear
  • cover the rice in the pot by one inch
  • bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook 20 minutes more – never take the lid off while cooking
  • remove rice to a bowl and cool to room temp
  • Fold in the vinegar mixture gently not to make the rice pasty

With a Rice Cooker – video

 

How To Make A Maki Roll- video

 

How To Make A Tiger Roll – video

 

How To Make A California Roll – video

 

 

Rice and How to Cook it

Wikipedia says

“Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima. As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world’s human population, especially in East and South Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the West Indies. It is the grain with the second-highest worldwide production, after maize (corn).

We are more interested in how we can prepare it and what nutritional value it has for us.  The most common type of rice in the US is white long-grain.

100g or 3.5 oz of raw rice has

Calories – 365

Carbohydrates – 80 g

Sugars – .12 g

Fiber – 1.3 g

Fat – .66 g

Protein – 7.13

 

GI of boiled long grain white rice – 64 where 0-55 is low, 56-69 is med and over 70 is high

Serving size is 1 cup = 36 g of carbs

GL per serving is 23 where 0-10 is low, 11-19 is med and over 20 is high maxing out around 60

How To Cook Rice

Most rice can be cooked by boiling 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of water for around 20 minutes.   The way I prefer is to use a rice cooker.  The following is a video of Jamie Oliver showing you how to cook rice.

 

The Glycemic Index and Load

 

We on the Fat Farm are interested in eating well but eating things that will keep our blood sugar in the 60-80 mg/dl range. That is the concentration of milligrams of glucose  in deciliters of our blood.  Rice is all over the Glycemic Index depending on which type you choice.  Before I get into the index values of the various rice types, I want to confuse you some more.

The GI compares foods at the same carbohydrate level, rating their ability to raise your blood sugar, with glucose being 100. This is the Quality of the food.  Since different foods contain various amounts of carbohydrates we need an index that shows the blood sugar effect by volume.  That is the Glycemic Load indicator. The GL measures the Quantity of carbohydrate in a food.  The GL is a much more accurate measurement of the effect of the food on our blood sugar.  The glycemic load of a food is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrate in grams provided by a food and dividing the total by 100.

Neither the GI nor the GL are easy concepts to grasp, but for the health of our pancreas it is important that we try.

Notice in the list below that Jasmine Rice has a higher GI rating than Glucose itself.  That means that Jasmine Rice will spike your blood sugar very quickly.

 

 Types of Rice and Their Loads

There are literally hundreds of different kinds of rice and most even very by country.  Here are a couple to contemplate.

Type
white Rice
Brown Rice
Basmati Rice
Jasmine Rice
GI
64
55
58
109
Serving Size
1 cup
1 cup
1 cup
1 cup
Carbs/serving
36
33
38
GL/Serving
23
18
22
46

To sum it up – Brown rice good, white long grain rice OK, Jasmine rice Bad.

Farm On You Fat Farmers.  Let me know if you have any questions – Jughandle

12 foods that are bad for the planet

Do you think you are green?  Thinking about trying to be green?  It is a nice concept but how many of us are really willing to do what is necessary to turn this planet around?  Here are a few of the major problems we face that MUST be dealt with immediately to even save the planet let alone turn it “green” again.

 

Farmers, I didn’t start this blog site to get all warm and fuzzy and tree hugging, but damn, I’m turning up some serious problems that are starting to worry me.  Let me know if I’m going over the deep end or if I haven’t even begun to see the tip of the iceberg yet. – Jughandle

 

1. Rice 

Rice is the major calorie source for half of the world’s population, but growing rice accounts for one-third of the planet’s annual freshwater use, according to Oxfam. Luckily, a new farming method known as System of Rice Intensification has been developed that enables farmers to produce up to 50 percent more rice with less water. Oxfam is working to get rice-producing countries to convert 25 percent of their rice cultivation to SRI by 2025.

via 12 foods that are bad for the planet: Rice | MNN – Mother Nature Network.

 

2.  Genetically modified foods

As with human health risks, it’s unlikely that all the potential environmental harms of genetically modified foods have been identified, but here are some of the main concerns about GMOs.

  • Lower level of biodiversity: By making a crop resistant to a certain pest, the food sources for other animals could be removed. Also, the addition of foreign genes to plants could be toxic and endanger the animals that consume the plant.
  • Spread of altered genes: Novel genes placed in crops won’t necessarily stay in designated agricultural fields. The genes can easily spread via pollen and share their altered genes with non-genetically modified plants.
  • Creation of new diseases: Some GM foods are modified using bacteria and viruses, which means they could adapt and create new diseases.

3.  Sugar

More than 145 millions tons of sugar are produced in 121 countries each year, according to the World Wildlife Fund, and production on such a scale takes its toll on the Earth. Sugar may be responsible for more biodiversity loss than any other crop, according to a 2004 WWF “Sugar and the Environment” report, due to its habitat destruction, its intensive use of water and pesticides, and the polluted wastewater discharged during the production process.

Thousands of acres of the Florida Everglades have been compromised after years of sugar cane farming — subtropical forests became lifeless marshland after excessive fertilizer runoff and irrigation drainage. Waters around the Great Barrier Reef are also suffering due to the large quantities of pesticides and sediment from sugar farms.

 

4.  Meat

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, if every American substituted one meal of chicken with vegetarian food, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off U.S. roads. Here are some of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization’s findings on meat and the environment:

  • 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock — more than from transportation.
  • 70 percent of previously forested land in the Amazon was cleared to pasture cattle.
  • The world’s largest source of water pollution is the livestock sector.
  • Livestock are responsible for a third of the nitrogen and phosphorus in U.S. freshwater resources.
  • Livestock account for about 20 percent of land animals, and the 30 percent of Earth’s land they occupy was once inhabited by wildlife.

 

5.  Fast food

Fast food is hurting more than just our waistlines. A typical fast-food meal often comes with overly packaged food, straws and plasticware, and an assortment of individually wrapped condiments. According to Californians Against Waste, less than 35 percent of fast-food waste is diverted from landfills even though most of it is recyclable paper and cardboard. So it’s no surprise that litter characterization studies have identified fast-food restaurants as the primary source of urban litter.

But it’s not just the packaging that’s a problem.  A recent Hong Kong study found that a fast-food restaurant making four hamburgers emits the same amount of volatile organic compounds as driving a car 1,000 miles. If you calculate the carbon footprint of a cheeseburger, you’re in for a real shock: The greenhouse gas emissions arising each year from the production and consumption of cheeseburgers is roughly the amount emitted by 6.5 million to 19.6 million SUVs.

 

6.  Foods that contain palm oil

Palm oil is found in an estimated 10 percent of U.S. groceries — it’s in chips, crackers, candy, margarine, cereals and canned goods. About 40 millions tons of palm oil, which is considered the cheapest cooking oil in the world, is produced each year, and 85 percent of it comes from Indonesia and Malaysia. In these countries, 30 square miles of forests are felled daily, and palm oil plantations account for the highest rates of deforestation in the world. When the rain forests disappear, so does almost all of the wildlife, including orangutans, tigers, bears and other endangered species.

 

7.  Packaged and processed food

The majority of the food you’ll find in the grocery store is processed and packaged, which is bad news for the planet.  Processed food contains multiple chemicals and often involves energy-intensive production processes. Plus, all that packaging typically ends up in a landfill, where plastic poisons the environment and can take thousands of years to break down. In fact, in 2006 the U.S. generated 14 million tons of plastic through packages and containers alone, according to the EPA. Unfortunately, even those eco-friendly packaged items made from cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic. The solution? Buy local, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and buy foods like rice, oats and pasta from the bulk bins.

 

8.  Many non-organic foods

Organic produce is grown without pesticides, which keeps chemicals from entering the water supply and helps prevent soil erosion. Organic farming also uses fewer resources than traditional farming. According to a study by The Rodale Institute, organic farming practices use 30 percent less energy and water than regular growing.  In fact, a study by David Pimentel, a professor at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, found that growing corn and soybeans organically produced the same yields as conventional farming and used 33 percent less fuel. However, not all produce needs to be bought organic.

 

9.  Some seafood

Fishery analysts at the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization report that 70 percent of the world’s fisheries are fully or overly exploited, depleted or in a state of collapse.  Fish like bluefin tuna and Atlantic salmon are severely overfished, and environmental groups are working to get them endangered species status. The overfishing of a particular species doesn’t damage that population alone — it can have serious effects further up the food chain and decrease biodiversity. Check out the Environmental Defense Fund’s seafood eco-ratings to determine what fish is safe for both you and our oceans.

 

10.  White bread

It’s well known that whole grain and wheat breads are more nutritious than white bread, but brown breads are also less harmful to the environment.  Wheat flour must be refined and go through a series of alteration processes to make white bread, but whole wheat flour spends less time in production.  Any ingredient that requires extensive refining requires more energy and resources and has a greater impact on the planet.

 

11.  High-fructose corn syrup foods

High-fructose corn syrup is one of the most environmentally damaging ingredients for a variety of reasons.  Firstly, corn is grown as a monoculture, meaning the land is used solely for corn and not rotated, which depletes soil nutrients, contributes to erosion and requires more pesticides and fertilizer.  The use of such chemicals contributes to problems like the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, an area of the ocean where nothing can live because the water is starved of oxygen, and atrazine, a common herbicide used on corn crops, has been shown to turn male frogs into hermaphrodites. Milling and chemically altering corn to produce high-fructose corn syrup is also an energy-intensive practice.

 

12.  Much non-local food

Many people eat local for the freshness or to support the community, but the most widely touted benefit of local food is that it reduces fossil fuel consumption.  According to the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the average fresh food items on your dinner table travel 1,500 miles to get there.  Although there’s disagreement over whether “food miles” are the best measure of a food’s carbon footprint, buying food at your local farmers market is one way to guarantee that your food hasn’t traveled too far to get to your plate.

Pantry 101-General Goods & Condiments 1-6

General goods & Condiments
1. rice
2. dried pasta in different shapes
3. dried onion soup mix
4. tomato paste
5. tomato sauce
6. canned tomatoes
7. peanut butter
8. jelly
9. canned tuna
10. raisins
11. chocolate syrup
12. cereals
13. chicken or beef stock
14. canned soups
15. canned beans
16. olives
17. canned pears
18. canned peaches
19. applesauce
20. vegetable oil
21. olive oil
22. red wine vinegar
23. white wine vinegar
24. vegetable shortening
25. nonstick cooking spray
26. mayonnaise
27. ketchup
28. mustard
29. salad dressings
30. soy sauce
31. hot pepper sauce
32. Worcestershire sauce
33. barbecue sauce
34. salsa
35. honey
36. maple syrup
37. white wine for cooking
38. red wine for cooking

1) rice
A couple of important things to consider about rice are: Like any food the less processed the food the better it is for you. Brown rice is generally better for you than white. Long grain is generally better for you than short. Jasmine is higher on the Glycemic Index than Sugar. That means that when you eat Jasmine rice, your blood sugar is going to spike faster than it would if you ate sugar. Basmati rice is much lower on the index, meaning that it take much longer for your body to digest and break down the starch into the simple sugars your body uses as full. A longer digestion time means sustained energy over a longer period of time and no crash.

The largest collection of rice cultivars is at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), with over 100,000 rice accessions [16] held in the International Rice Genebank [17]. Rice cultivars are often classified by their grain shapes and texture. For example, Thai Jasmine rice is long-grain and relatively less sticky, as long-grain rice contains less amylopectin than short-grain cultivars. Chinese restaurants usually serve long-grain as plain unseasoned steamed rice. Japanese mochi rice and Chinese sticky rice are short-grain. Chinese people use sticky rice which is properly known as “glutinous rice” (note: glutinous refer to the glue-like characteristic of rice; does not refer to “gluten”) to make zongzi. The Japanese table rice is a sticky, short-grain rice. Japanese sake rice is another kind as well.

Indian rice cultivars include long-grained and aromatic Basmati (grown in the North), long and medium-grained Patna rice and short-grained Sona Masoori (also spelled Sona Masuri). In South India the most prized cultivar is ‘ponni’ which is primarily grown in the delta regions of Kaveri River. Kaveri is also referred to as ponni in the South and the name reflects the geographic region where it is grown. In the Western Indian state of Maharashtra, a short grain variety called Ambemohar is very popular. this rice has a characteristic fragrance of Mango blossom.
Brown Rice
Polished Indian sona masuri rice.

Aromatic rices have definite aromas and flavours; the most noted cultivars are Thai fragrant rice, Basmati, Patna rice, and a hybrid cultivar from America sold under the trade name, Texmati. Both Basmati and Texmati have a mild popcorn-like aroma and flavour. In Indonesia there are also red and black cultivars.
2) dried pasta in different shapes
The following site is great for showing shapes of pasta and what they can be used for. It’s nice to make your own pasta, but there are many times when a good dried pasta is better. For you health try to buy whole grain pasta, just as you would bread. Spinach, whole wheat, semolina, rice and others are all good types to experiment with.
http://www.ilovepasta.org/shapes.html

3) dried onion soup mix
Hold on Mittie, I only left this one on the list so I could say how nasty is is. I can’t think of a legitimate reason to use Dried onion Soup. It almost always has MSG and other chemicals in it, not to mention a whole lot of salt. Don’t buy this stuff to make your dips, or soups or casseroles. If you have an old recipe that you love that uses this stuff send it to me and one of us will fix it for you.

4) tomato paste

Tomato paste is a thick paste made from ripened tomatoes with skin and seeds removed. Originally it was an artisan product that is still made the traditional way in parts of Sicily, Southern Italy and Malta. The artisan product is made by spreading out a much reduced tomato sauce on wooden boards. The boards are set outdoors under the hot August sun to dry the paste until it is thick enough, when scraped up, to hold together in a richly coloured dark ball.

Today this artisan product is hard to find and most people use the industrial (much thinner) version. Depending on its manufacturing conditions, tomato paste can be the basis for making ketchup or reconstituted tomato juice. Its most common culinary usage is to enrich the flavour of sauces, particularly tomato sauce. It is most commonly available in tin cans and squeeze tubes.
Try to find a brand that is made in Italy if you can. As the article says, you can use paste for lots of things. It is great to thicken and add a tang of acid to a sauce.

5) tomato sauce

A tomato sauce is any of a very large number of sauces made primarily out of tomatoes, usually to be served as part of a dish (rather than as a condiment). Tomato sauces are common for meat and vegetables, but they are perhaps best known as sauces for pasta dishes.

Tomatoes have a rich flavor, low liquid content, very soft flesh which breaks down easily, and the right composition to thicken up into a sauce when they are cooked (without the need of thickeners like roux). All of these qualities make them ideal for simple and appealing sauces.

The simplest tomato sauces consist just of chopped tomato flesh (with the skins and seeds optionally removed), cooked in a little olive oil and simmered until it loses its raw flavour, and seasoned with salt.

Water (or another, more flavorful liquid such as stock or wine) is often added to keep it from drying out too much. Onion and garlic are almost always sweated or sauteed at the beginning before the tomato is added. Other seasonings typically include basil, oregano, parsley, and possibly some spicy red pepper or black pepper. Ground or chopped meat is also common.
Italian tomato sauces

The tomato has been central to Italian cuisine since its introduction from the Americas. Outside of Italy, this perception can be quite exaggerated: many people know little of Italian cuisine beyond pasta with tomato sauce. Italian varieties of tomato sauce range from Puttanesca sauce, seasoned with anchovies, capers, garlic, chili peppers and black olives, to Bolognese sauce, a predominantly ground-meat sauce which normally contains a small-to-moderate amount of tomato.

Most often, Italian tomato sauces can be switched with more authentic white sauces; cavatelli is best served with traditional Italian white sauces (consisting of mostly fresh parmesan and cream), and many other traditional ingredients. Some Italian Americans on the East Coast refer to tomato sauce as “gravy”, “tomato gravy”, or “Sunday gravy”, especially sauces with a large quantity of meat simmered in them, similar to the Italian Neapolitan ragù. “Gravy” is the literal English translation from the Italian sugo which means sauce.
Mexican tomato sauces

Tomato sauce was an ancient condiment in Aztec food. The first person to write of what may have been a tomato sauce was Bernardino de Sahagún who made note of a prepared sauce that was offered for sale in the markets of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City today). Then, Spaniards brought the use of tomato to Europe.

Basic Mexican tomato sauces are tomato sauce (salsa de tomate rojo o jitomate) and green tomato sauce (salsa de tomate verde). Mexican tomato sauces usually contain large portions of Corona Light or home brewed tequila. The tomato sauce is stock for spicy sauces and moles.
Tomato sauce in the United States

In most of the U.S., “Tomato Sauce” refers to a tomato purée with salt and small amounts of spices sold in cans. This product is considered incomplete and not normally used as it is. Instead, it is used as a base for almost any food which needs a lot of tomato flavor, including versions of many of the sauces described on this page.

Marinara is a US-American-Italian term for a simple tomato sauce with herbs—mostly parsley and basil—but, contrary to its name (which is Italian for coastal, seafaring) without anchovies, fish or seafood. In other countries marinara refers to a seafood and tomato sauce.

American supermarkets commonly carry a variety of prepared tomato sauces described as “spaghetti sauce” or “pasta sauce”. Common variations include meat sauce, marinara sauce and sauces with mushrooms or sweet red peppers.

Louisiana cajun and Louisiana creole tomato sauces

A spicy tomato sauce known as sauce piquante is common in Louisiana Cajun cuisine, that can contain any seafood, poultry, or meats such as wild game. It is typically served over white rice. In Louisiana Creole cuisine, there is a tomato sauce known as a creole sauce. It is similar to Italian tomato sauce, but features more Louisiana flavors derived from the fusion of French and Spanish cooking styles. They both usually contain the traditional holy trinity of diced bell pepper, onion, and celery.
Indian tomato sauces

Indian curry, especially as it has been exported out of India, is recognizable for heavily spiced sauces, often made from a tomato base.

Tomato gravy – (Tomato Gravy is Delicious!!-Jerry)

Tomato gravy, which is distinct from the term as used by northeastern Italian Americans when referring to tomato sauce, is a gravy common in most rural areas where tomatoes were a staple food. Tomato gravy is prepared in a method similar to white gravy. The cooked tomatoes, some fat (usually cured pork fat) and flour are cooked together until thick, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Typically, tomato gravy is served over eggs, toast and biscuits.
6. canned tomatoes
Canned tomatoes are an very important part of the pantry. The best by far is the home canned tomatoes that we get from Alabama every year. Unbelievably good!!! Next to that are the Italian versions. You can use canned tomatoes for anything from starting a sauce to Bloody Marie’s. Keep several on hand.

I’m going to stop here for today because there is too much to say about the next few items and I’ve got work to do.

bye,
Jug