I am not a dietitian, I am a Research and Development Chef with a Nutritional Concentration. This site is based on opinions I've formed through my research and experience working for manufactured food processors.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Food for throught: Genetically Modified Foods

Affectionately referred to as Frankenstein food, genetically modified produce is a topic of much debate. Supporters cite the benefits of genetically resistant foods as an answer to harmful pesticide use and ultimately higher crop yields. Unfortunately, GMO's are effectively proving to be just as dangerous a threat as pesticides for our bodies and ecosystem. Many scientists consider GM crops partially responsible for the disappearance of honey bees. Others are finding that foods with built in insect resistance could lead to human resistance to some types of antibiotics. Scary stuff.

Personally, I haven't found a tasty GM tomato to date. Ditto for strawberries, raspberries, peaches, or oranges. Additionally, pesticide pears are equally as unappetizing to my palate. As we march forward towards inevitable extinction, one may ask what can I do to survive? Buy local, know your farmers, and grow your own tomatoes. Trade some tomatoes for your neighbors cucumbers, maybe the guy down the street has some strawberries. Free yourself from grocery store dependence, buy those little ugly bumpy apples and dirty beets from the farmer's market...savor the flavor of real food.

P.S. If you have any bees that are bugging you, find your local honey-bee rescue source. Bees are our friends, not our enemies honey.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gadget of the Week- Chroma Utility Knife

This is one smooth ride. Check out the lines on this Chroma Type 301 Designed By F.A. Porsche. I can attest to this 5 inch utility knife's greatness. If you feel like taking it for a test drive, click here. 

End the War...because it's so annoying

Meat Eaters vs. Vegetarians
All proteins are not created equal. Animal proteins are complete proteins, as they contain all of the essential amino acids the human body needs. Vegetable proteins are not complete. This does not mean than a vegetarian diet is insufficient, it merely means that vegetarians need to eat more than one plant source to obtain all essential amino acids. “Complementary proteins are two or more incomplete protein sources that together provide adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids”.(1) This can be accomplished by consuming legumes with grains, such as beans and rice, pea soup with whole grain bread, roti’s with dal, tortillas with refried beans, or simply a peanut butter sandwich made with whole grain bread.

We are omnivores...peace.

(1) Center of Disease Control and Prevention, Protein. http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/protein.html

Take Care of Your Cooking Fat

Does this sight look familiar to you? This is what happens when your oil gets too hot and burns in the frying pan. Unfortunately, the bitterness does not end there. When oils are heated to or beyond their smoke point, they become oxidized. Oxidation creates free radicals (potential cancer causing molecules). Saturated fats have high smoke points, therefor they should be used when cooking hot food. Polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats are less stable and reach their smoke points at lower temperatures. 

The moral of the story, don't use olive oil for everything. Use appropriate oils for appropriate cooking methods. Saturated fats like clarified butter, ghee, lard and coconut oil are great for high temperature cooking.

Oils may also experience increased oxidation from sitting out exposed on your counter top. To reduce rancidity, refrigerate your polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats or keep air & light out. This means putting your sealed olive oil in the refrigerator or cupboard.

To learn more on oxidation and free radicals read here and here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Crop to Cup Coffee

I'm sure you've probably heard about the ugly stuff going on in the coffee trade. If you haven't, trust me it's not pretty.  I'm not going to regurgitate the horrors of the coffee industry here today, but if you are so inclined on educating yourself on the heartbreaking stories of slavery click here or here. FYI, unfortunately these inhumane, unethical practices don't stop with coffee, chocolate and banana industries have similar sad stories.

Now onto brighter pastures. I picked up some Crop to Cup Coffee from the Green Grocer. Crop to Cup is... (drum roll) *hint new buzz word* TRACEABLE. What a concept, knowing where your food comes from, who grows it and how. 

This morning the E. African French Roast was the talk of the house, this cup of Jo's flavor is divine. Coming from a condo full of coffee snobs, connoisseurs, and junkies this is akin to being nominated for an academy award.
Up for best traceable coffee...Sam Kauka Family Farms: