Monday, May 20, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I always wondered how baby carrots were made. Are they grown like that, or they purposely cut into that shape? So I decided to research more about them. First, baby carrots were invented in the 1980’s by a farmer named Mike Yurosek, who wanted to give a solution to all the carrots being wasted after harvesting. Because not all carrots were proper to sale due to some imperfections, they were being discarded. So, Yurosek, with the help of an industrial cutter and peeler, were able to create the baby carrots like we know today in order to diminish waste.
Today, baby carrots are very, very popular that it led to an increase of 30% of carrots consumption in the United States. Because of its popularity, farmers today, grow a specific kind of carrot to purposely become a baby carrot. This carrot is smaller, tender and sometime sweeter than regular sized ones. After harvested manufactures cut about 2 inches of the top of the carrots and peel them to look like what we know as baby carrots. The peeled skin and the top parts of the carrots turn into cattle feed, shredded carrots or carrot juice so that minimal waste is generated. Carrots are then soaked in a chlorine solution for sanitary reasons to prevent the growth of unwanted microorganisms such as E.coli and Salmonella. Afterwards, the carrots are cleaned in a fresh water bath to reduce the chlorine content and then packed to distribution. The chlorine solution used to clean the carrots is claimed to be less the amount approved by the FDA and similar to the amount found in regular tap water (4.4 parts per million).
So, if you use filtered water at home, I recommend washing them before eating just to get rid of any remaining chlorine residue. However, if you don’t have a filter at home, there is not a lot you can do to reduce the chlorine content in baby carrots. But don’t worry, having carrots with little chloride residues is better than not having carrots at all. We in New York, drink far more chlorine from tap water than from carrots. So if baby carrots is your snack choice, go for it.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
I was reading today on the New York Times an article called Pay People to Cook at Home by Kristan Wartman that touch on this topic and she suggests an amazing proposal to once an for all implement good eating habits at home. If the only way for people to be eat better and live a healthy life is by cooking their own food, Wartman has the solution.
Below is the most interesting paragraph from the article that will make you think that we really need better, honest, humble people in the right place in congress. I know this proposal might sound unfeasible, but in fact is not. It will only be unreasonable if we don't believe is possible!!!
Here's a simple recipe of a vegetable pie that you may use tomorrow to impress your mother, grandmother or even your mother in law! hahaha
- 1 cup brown rice flour (if not making gluten free, you can use whole wheat, spelt, teff, buckwheat, etc)
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/3 olive oil
- 1tsp sea salt
- Pre-heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
- Mix the flour, salt and oil and add the water little by little until the dough reaches a crumbled texture. Add the dough to 4 individual tart pans (3-inch).
- Pre-bake them for 8-10 min, and let them cool.
- 1/3 head of green cabbage
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- pinch of cayenne pepper or black pepper
- 5-7 baby portobello mushrooms
- 3 eggs
- sea salt
- soy sauce
- Sautee garlic in olive oil, when its brown, add mushrooms and soy sauce. Let it cook until soft, add the cabbage, salt and pepper and cook until cabbage is soft, 3-5 min. Turn off heat and leave it a side.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the 3 eggs until homogenized.
- Mix the egg into the vegetable and add to the pre-baked crust.
- Put the tarts in the oven and let it bake for about 30 min or until the egg is firmed.
Friday, May 3, 2013
Last week, one of my clients showed me this very interesting iPhone app called Seafood Watch. It is a good app to have if you are a fish or seafood eater in general. It allows you to become a more conscious about the impact of our eating habits in the environment by showing the different kinds of fish that are going extinct. You can do a search by name or by sustainability categories such as: "Best Choice", "Good Alternative" and "Avoid". They also give a summary of the seafood including where it comes from, how it is raised and harvested (farmed or in the wild), etc.
In addition, there is the Project FishMap, where you'll be able to share the locations of restaurants, sushi places and markets where you’ve found sustainable seafood. As the map grows, you’ll also be able to see what others have found near you. So hopefully, this can help us become more ocean-friendly! However, this app should not make you think that if you're eating a sustainable source of seafood, you could eat too much of it. Portion is key. As my father always said and I've already mentioned it in the blog a few times: "the difference between poison and medicine is in the dose". Eating too much of ocean-friendly fish, is of no help at all. The world is getting crazier day by day and money unfortunately still rules it. And profit is the only thing that men see right now, there will be an end. That end is soon, scientists state that by 2050, the stock of fish will come to an end. So if you are a heavy fish eater, you better eat less.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Just a brief intro about the protagonists of today's recipe: lemons & limes
All Illnesses start in an acidic environment. The human body is naturally slightly alkaline with a pH of around 7.35 to 7.45. Any deviation from this range can cause serious illnesses and death. However the human body is very smart and will not let an acidic diet high in processed food and animal products kill someone but it will ultimately cause unwanted illnesses such as cancer and arthritis. That's the importance of slightly alkaline diet to prevent diseases. And lemons are great blood alkalizers. The citric acid in lemons, when digested, are transformed into carbonates in the body, which help neutralize the blood and keep the blood within the right acid-alkaline range. This process helps the body be free of diseases and keep working at its fullest.
To keep in mind:lemon are only medicinal, detoxifying the liver and neutralizing body acids, when eaten fresh and purely. So even though this recipe does not have refined sugar (the most acidic food) it contains other forms of less refined sugars such as: maple and coconut sap. But they are still sugar!
I was never a big fan of lime pie when I was growing up in Brazil. I don't like the taste of milk and all lime pies in Brazil have milk cream in them. So only after moving to New York that I was able to try some vegan key lime pies that I discovered the great taste this sweet and sour dessert has!!!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
I haven't researched much on the subject of hospital's menu for cancer patients yet, but I'd like to write a little bit from what I know as of today. To start, I'd like to point out a few facts:
- Refined sugars raise the insulin level in the blood
- Insulin promotes tumor growth
Role of insulin: you secrete insulin in response to the foods you eat — particularly the carbohydrates — to keep blood sugar in control after a meal. Insulin takes the sugar out of the blood bring it into the cells. When you eat refined carbohydrates, including table sugar, the level of blood glucose rises and the pancreas need to pump out more and more insulin to keep up with the demand. And it is known today that insulin promotes tumor growth and therefore, the more insulin in the blood, better changes the cancer cells has to grow and multiply. With that in mind, let me share with you the menu for a cancer patient at a hospital shown in one of my nutrition classes:
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
A dear friend of mine sent me the article below written by Carlo Guglielmo, dedicated student of the a yin-yang philosophy for more than 35 years. The article is great and talk about a lot of the issues that I struggled with in the past such as the dilemma of eating meat or not and some issues that I'm dealing with today, such as the complexity of studying nutrition in a scientific institution. I'll leave the vegetarian dilemma for another post because the text turned out to be very long since I have a lot to talk about it. But I can talk a little about the dilemma in school!!!
I have a lot of healthy discussions in the classrooms because I try support and defend the alternative approaches for nutrition with my modest knowledge in macrobiotic and ayurveda, but I fail. I usually hear from professors that these traditional medicines are based on anecdotal knowledge and can't be supported scientifically. Unfortunately, for the modern nutrition community, every argument must be based on scientific studies. So I usually ask myself what about Darwin who created the theory of evolution based solely on observation? That theory would have been considered anecdotal if wasn't its publication and acceptance in the scientific community. So why can't we start open the eyes to the traditional medicines and study their principles? That answer is easy, the big health industry (health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and many doctors) won't allow it. Keeping people sick is too far more profitable than accepting a healthy life-style.
So the same way that I became more flexible to accept some scientific facts, I beg for the medical community to also accept or at least respect thee traditional knowledge. Because the way that modern society is acting today is not sustainable and will collapse sooner than later.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Still on the same note about food labels, I watched this video in one of my nutrition classes and I believe is worth sharing with my readers. In New York City today, all the food chains are required to label the caloric value of their food. But have you ever asked how accurate are they? If you didn't Casey Neistat the "Calorie Detective" did. He went to the streets and laboratories to check if the calories on nutritional labels and food chain posts were accurate.The results are surprising. So check out this 5 min film...
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Today I'd like to share a video and a website I was shown in one of my classes that I think they complement my last post about raw almonds and untrusting labels.
Shouldn't consumers have the right to know what they are buying?
If you are all confused about the hundred different labels found in today's produts such as: organic, grass-fed, free-range, GMO, etc. And if you don't know exactly what they mean, or if you know what they mean, but are not sure if the products really keep up with the label standards, check this amazing
Ted Talk by Urvashi Rangan and browse the greenerchoices.org website!!! You'll be surprised!!!