Monday, December 31, 2012

Don't eat the garnish!

That was the warning given to me by my future mother in law back in 1979.  "Don't eat the garnish."  Actually, as I found out later in my relationship with her daughter, it was a command, not a warning.  I was unaware at that time that it was meant to inform me that she, and therefore anyone with taste and quality, thought the garnish was just that, garnish, and not to ever be considered food.  Sadly, I informed her that the restaurant that she had chosen to bring her daughter and I served food in which I was quite certain that the garnish was the only thing on the plate that had much in the way of nutritive value.  Big mistake.
My wedding photo at my mother's house.  From left, Jim, then Sarah, parents of the bride, Julie to my right, then me, then my mother.  Weird, I am the only survivor from the photo.
My future mother in law and her husband did absolutely nothing with wedding plans for the two of us.  My mother held and paid for the wedding, and in fact, as my bride was in my mother's room getting dressed for the wedding, her mother was in there with her attempting to convince her to not go through with the wedding.  Sigh, 19 years later on her deathbed, the woman told me that I was not what she wanted for her daughter and was always disappointed.  Oh well, you can't please everyone, or even some people.  I am the same I guess, I will never be pleased by anyone that closed minded. 

All that introduction just to talk about garnish.  Not much to talk about, I still eat all the garnish on my restaurant dinners, and only thought about that command from the queen because I am sitting here in my hospital room eating a plate of chopped vegetables that was served with ranch dressing that believe it or not, did not contain HFCS in the ingredients.  Or canola either, so I did eat some of it.  Plain vegetables, a steamed cod filet and white rice.  Lunch.  I ate the garnish. 

I wish I was Monsanto, and could do no wrong, and never be held liable

Yep, it's true.  If the wonderful Congress of these here United States Of America here pass the wonderful bill before it right now, H. R. 5973, then my favorite company in this here world, will be given absolute total immunity from prosecution by absolutely anyone that is killed, hurt, deformed, given cancer, is proven to contract any number of degenerative diseases, loses their eyesight, hearing, ability to think, remember, concentrate, or becomes sterile as a result of contact or consumption of any of the untested products that Monsanto markets, and makes billions of dollars on; CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE FOR ANY HARM THEY DO!!!!!

I want that kind of blanket protection.  How much does it cost in bribes to get such a thing?  Our wonderful Congress right now, this very day, is working to figure out a way to pass legislation that it was told it needed to pass over a year ago, in order to keep up the appearances that the working middle class people are getting to keep tax breaks given to them by Mr. Bush ten years ago.  Those breaks expire on New Years Eve, and now, those hard working sons of bitches are all goin' crazy acting all righteous and blame the other guys for not passing something that will put more of the burden on the middle class, and take a little tiny bit more from the rich.  They have their hands full, but never the less, each and every one of you needs to contact your representative and tell him or her to STRIP THE MONSANTO RIDERS FROM H.R. 5973!

Think about it!  Would you want to go to the store and buy a carton of milk that came from cows that the dairy knew had serious viral infections.  You let your kids drink it, and all your neighbors let theirs drink milk from the same batch, and poof, thousands of them die or are left paralyzed by viral meningitis.  And you and other parents go to sue the dairy, because they admit it; but congress granted them immunity because they were providing a needed product, milk.  How would you feel about that?

Liability is what keeps businesses honest.  Monsanto has no desire to be honest.  Their actions speak for themselves, the company is a regular target of my blog entries here.  Monsanto regularly gets products into production with little of no testing by virtue of hiring top FDA and USDA officials AFTER they make top policy decisions.  And of course, Monsanto people move into those same positions in what is referred to as the "Monsanto Revolving Door" on the internet. (search for that and you get lists of all the people that have revolved)

This rider to an otherwise basic continuing farmer bill is based on Monsanto's loss to the Supreme Court ruling in the Monsanto vs Geertson Seed Farms case in 2010.  The Supreme Court ruled against Monsanto, sort of.  They stated that Monsanto couldn't start to have farmer's plant Roundup Ready Alfalfa without an actual Environmental Impact Study being done that would show that planting a Genetically Modified production crop in a production setting that pollinates by insect and wind would not contaminate crops planted elsewhere with the GM genes.  Geerstson Farms grows organic alfalfa for seed so other organic farmers can grow organic alfalfa.  And they would not be able to sell their seed as organic if contaminated with GM genes.  Monsanto decided that the best way to get around an Environmental Impact Study that would show that it was impossible to contain the genes, they would just pay off their House connections and get this rider attached to a rather innocuous farm bill.

Monsanto was sued by Geertson Seed Farms in 2005.  The case went to the Supreme Court in 2010, and was the first case heard by the Supreme Court involving Genetically Modified plants.  Monsanto has yet to do an Environmental Impact Study on ANY of their Genetically Modified plants that have been approved for human consumption by the FDA.


Let's tell our representatives that NO COMMPANY should get liability exemption!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Choosing a doctor, what you need to know!

This is probably one of the most difficult things for most people to do.  There are a large number of criteria that most people look toward in the selection process.  Many are in fact important, but none can come close to the most important aspect of medical treatment, knowledge of nutrition.  ANY physician that refuses to recognize the relationship between what we eat, and how healthy we are, should be taken out of consideration.

Serious disease that are directly related to diet, (and lack of exercise as well) are responsible for 3 out of 4 deaths in America today.  (Factoid)  The lack of nutrition training for doctors is ridiculous.  Most medical schools require one semester of basic nutrition.  Many require none.  The AMA, (and well let's face it, the FDA as well) do not EVER want to show that there is a link between diet, and health.  If they did, then 75% of their business would be GONE!  Most people can heal themselves just by altering their lifestyle, eating habits, and moving around.

The reason for today's post results from conversations with family, and friends.  Let's just say that I am a big man, I am overweight, and not very healthy, overall.  There are certain extenuating circumstances regarding my health (black mold, MRSA infection from hospital, long-term Avascular Necrosis, recurrent pulmonary embolii, and just having survived modern medicine's best efforts to kill me)  but I am surrounded by persons that are of a health situation that is of their own making.  When questioned, they tell me things like their doctor has told them that eating carrots is bad as it carrots are full of sugar.  Diet soda is a good alternative to sugar soda.  Potatoes are a bad choice for a diet, and the big one, meats are good.  REALLY!  Yes, I am informed by a number of people that these are the things that their doctor tells them, when taking time to talk to them.  Of course, doctors rarely take time to talk to patients.  As most of us have found, doctors take a standard tact as dictated by the AMA guidelines for treatment.  Basic info puts you into a number of columns based on your symptoms.  Treatment is then a guesswork plan based on AMA guidelines regarding those symptoms alone, and have little to do with what your specific needs might possibly be based on your individual lifestyle, and body type.

One of the things that scares me is that doctors everywhere still recommend that their patients drink diet soda.  Aspartame is a known toxin, is interferes with the body's actual ability to recognize that it is full and to stop eating, and the stuff breaks down into methanol, and ultimately formaldehyde.  The destruction that this stuff induces within the body are well documented, and horrific.  Any doctor that suggests that someone drinks this known poison should be barred from practicing medicine.  Any doctor that tells you that processed foods, white bread, white rice, a high protein diet consisting of supermarket meats and processed meats like bacon, sandwich meats, and any with high nitrite or sodium content are good for you; should be barred from practicing medicine.  Any doctor that tells you that sitting in a chair all day is ok, and that you should drop weight before starting an exercixe program; should be barred from practicing medicine.  Any doctor that tells you that ANY vegetable is not a good thing to add to your diet, should be barred from practicing medicine.  And yes, potatoes are good for you, fries are not.  Sour cream is not a condiment, neither is supermarket ketchup.  AND, if a doctor tells you that high fructose corn syrup and products made with it are okay, then they should be BARRED from practicing medicine.

If you are ever unfortunate to experience a hospital stay, then your recovery will be based on your participation, as hospitals do not ever attempt to follow any sort of dietary plan that would in any way be considered healthy.  The SAD, Standard American Diet is practiced by nutritional counseling in every hospital in America.  Using outdated (and outlandish) concepts of nutritional requirements.  Just try to get things like REAL whole grain products (brown rice is considered taboo), unpasteurized yogurt, or for that matter, yogurt that doesn't contain High Fructose Corn Syrup poison.  Everything coming out of hospital cafeterias is laden with additives, made with processed basics like bleached and bromated white flour, white rice, potato flakes, and let's be real, the packet of honey you get for your hot tea has HFCS as the first ingredient, then honey.  Eating food like this, will not in any way make you recover.  No wonder so many people that enter hospitals, leave with greater problems than they went in with.  Me included, I now have MRSA, antibiotic resistant bacterial infection that believe me, is so far, impossible to get rid of.  And contracted in a hospital.

So, what do you do?   Ask questions.  Ask your doctor what he thinks of diet soda.  Whole grains.  Supermarket meat.  Salt.  If you are unfortunate to go to a hospital, have friends and family bring you your  meals, or at least make sure you eat the basics only.  Good luck with your searches for a doctor that has any training or understanding on the relationship of health and diet, it isn't taught, and more importantly, it isn't even backed by the AMA. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Supplements are BAD for you!

Well, according to the FDA.  Well, sort of, actually big pharmaceutical companies want to make Americans think that supplements are bad, new drugs, are GOOD!  Even drugs that are being developed using the same technology that supplement companies have used to simplify the way the human body absorbs and metabolizes Vitamin B6.  Medicure, one such big pharma company has petitioned the FDA to stop non pharma companies from using vitamin based technology.  In their petition they ask:
"Pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs must be protected from companies that may seek to market the ingredients in those drugs as dietary supplements. The marketing of such products has the potential to undermine the incentive for the development of new drugs because many people may choose to purchase the supplements rather than the drugs."


I have talked about this in the past.  I used to take coumadin, a compound that was used as a rat poison.  It is a blood thinner. It has horriffic side effects.  Now, newer drugs such as Plavix are on the market.  Plavix reduced the risk of stroke in patients down to 6.78 per 100,000 people.  Then, I found that taking one baby aspirin a day would drop the risk of stroke to 6.97 per 100,000 people.  Aspirin, a dime.  Plavix, six bucks a pill.  Yet, now that doctors are allowed to prescribe Plavix for anyone at risk for stroke or any blood clotting event, the money is just pouring in.  A bunch of deaths and a few lawsuits are as well, but let's be realistic, they are just the cost of doing multi-billion dollar business.

Supplements though, they are a bit different from drugs.  Most of them are natural.  I mean I can go out to the desert and find plants called Mormon Tea that will provide me with a decent dose of epinephrine, which the FDA banned a few years ago.  And that one probably was a good reason to ban, a lot of idiots out there looking for the "Magic Beans" for weight loss, sports performance, and just to get high, were overdosing on the purified stuff.  But of course we know that never happens for prescription drugs, so banning was a good idea.  The main part of the FDA program though is the threats that they are putting out there to vitamin and supplement manufacturers that claim certain health benefits from taking any specific vitamin or supplement.  Anytime a manufacturer lists any benefit to a person taking their product, such as anti inflammatory, anti diahretic, anti anything, then the FDA considers that as a MEDICAL claim and supplements are not and cannot be considered medicines.  Even though willow bark contains natural aspirin, and a whole list of other natural herbs and things are the actual basis of a number of modern drugs, suppliers of willow bark can't claim that it will relieve pain or reduce inflammation without invoking the MASSIVE ire of the regulatory agency that has been tasked with keeping Americans healthy.  

The FDA has never actually had the welfare of plain old American citizens as part of their initiative for some time now.  Big business has been the driving force for nearly all of policy decisions since the sixties.  Back in 1958 director George P. Larrick, in a move heralded by the burgeoning agribusiness industry, instituted the program of GRAS.  Generally Recognized As Safe.  And on the list, he added cyclamates.  The first of many additives that even with inadequate testing, were approved and placed on the GRAS list so that profits could be made.  And George went on later to be a rather high paid CONSULTANT to agribusiness. The first of many to make the transition.  And the list of poisons on the GRAS just keeps getting bigger as well.  Aspartame, Canola, Erythritol, BHT, BHA, oh sheesh, a whole bunch of stuff that has been shown to not be healthy stuff.  And the really fun part is that the GRAS list does not anywhere contain stevia.  Stevia is that wonderful plant that tastes sweet, but has no sugar.  For years, it could only be sold as a supplement, the FDA would not allow its use as a sweetener, and therefore any claims on the labeling of any stevia product was dealt with harshly by the FDA.  However, now there are 4 separate steviol glycoside derivatives on the GRAS list for agribusiness to make money on.  I believe that I have went over this before on this blog on the Truvia entry how the Coke patent for making their version of refined stevia has over 40 steps in it and uses some rather harsh chemicals (stevia substitute) and yet the same wonderful FDA that won't allow the word "Sweetener" on labels of unprocessed stevia leaves allows the term "ALL NATURAL" to be used on that horrific treasure trove of chemicals in the processed stevia.   

There are going to be a lot of changes in the supplement business in the near future.  The FDA is already cracking down and soon many other manufacturers will feel the full wrath the FDA will rain down on them for the simple act of trying to sell healthy products.  Fruitfast, a company that markets Cherry juice, was COMMANDED by the FDA to stop producing their product, because they labeled it as helpful for gout, which it is. (Cherry)

Only a matter of time and there will not be any vitamins on the store shelves, nor supplements that aren't made by big pharma companies and the cost of these things that will probably contain all sorts of residues of dangerous chemicals will be exorbitant.  And it will all be at the behest of the wonderful FDA helping big business make billions and billions, and keeping that revolving door of employment open so more and more heads of departments can get high paying jobs in big pharma and agribusiness.  All bow to the almighty buck. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

I'm wrong, and I'm learning.

Yup, it's true, I, a man, am admitting that I am wrong about something.  I would still be married if my ex would admit to such a thing.  But let's move on.  What I am wrong about is whole grains and the role that they play in human physiology.  WHAT!!!!!  Yes, it is true, I am amending my stand about whole grains and how a diet in whole grains is both healthful and beneficial for virtually every known health problem out there.

I'm not saying whole grains are bad, I am saying that I have learned a lot these past few days and have done a lot of research into how to improve the already healthy diet of whole grains even more by doing some simple steps in the preparation of the grains themselves.  These simple procedures GREATLY increase the available nutrient absorption and allow for the grains to rise to the top of the food pyramid as the transporters of nature's bounty of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats.  Did I leave anything out, not really, I think that grains deserve to be at the top of the nutrient dense food list.  The problem is that most grains contain something called phytic acid in the bran layer of the grain.  This phytic acid is what actually is there blocking the absorption of a lot of the minerals and vitamins.  It actually binds up with many of them and thus reduces the nutritional content.  Heat breaks down much of the phytic acid, and that is why baked bread has a lot of nutritive value.  But, during all of my research into Celiac for my previous article, I learned how to get rid of most of the phytic acid not just in wheat for making bread, but also for my other favorite grain, brown rice.

I have heard of Ezekial bread before, but the stuff that I had someone bring to me from Whole Foods was coarse, dense, and rather nasty in texture.  It is a sprouted grain bread.  When grains are sprouted, then the phytic acid breaks down and allows the nutrients in the grain to be more readily absorbed.  The same thing happens when grains are soaked in water for a day, or in the case of corn. for a couple weeks.  So from what I have learned, if I soak my brown rice overnight, it becomes even more of the super food than it is without soaking.  We all know that soaking helps out legumes, I honestly had no idea it also worked for grains.  Hey, live and learn.  I do learn things everyday and I do, admit when I am wrong.  Back to wheat, if you soak wheat in water overnight, then put it into a jar used to sprout it, in a couple days, you have sprouted wheat.  Here is where things vary and recipes as to what to do with the grain differ depending on who you talk to.  I think that the heavy bread I tasted was made with this soft sprouted wheat and other grains that are then just put into a blender and ground up into a paste.  Then bread is made with that.  There are a lot of recipes on the "net" using Vitamix, blenders of all sorts and different grains.  Then there is also the other method, where the grains are then put into a dehydrator and dried.  Then the dry grain is ground in a grain mill just as usual and you get a much finer grain texture and therefore a finer crumb in the final bread product as well.  This of course is my chosen method as I have all the equipment to do that.

If any of you have any knowledge of brewing, then the process might be pretty familiar to you.  It is called malting.  What happens is that the starches in the grains begin to convert into malt sugars in a natural process that allows the germ to have at the ready, all the energy available for it to grow.  When we do the same thing, sprouting the grains, we are mechanically doing a process that nature has perfected.  And son of a gun, if it doesn't make it taste better as well.

There is another method of making bread that I have in fact used before, and have even wrote about here on this blog in the past.  It is a technique that works to make a better, lighter, fluffier textured bread, and now I have found out that it also allows the natural phytase enzymes to activate and to breakdown the phytic acid and thus frees up the nutrients locked within.  This technique is long term rising.  It basically is like soaking, the grains are ground, then mixed with liquid and left to sit and soak overnight.  A sponge can be made with some yeast, water and flour; then allowed to grow overnight.  The phytic acid is reduced, and the bread feels better, tastes better, and is better for you.  Sheesh, all this time I was just being lazy and letting it sit overnight and yet I was making the bread healthier than I ever thought.

I do learn.  I do make errors, and learn from them.  And I admit when I am wrong.  But not today, whole grain products are good for you.  And now I learned how to make them better.

Good eating to you.  

Celiac and the untold possibilities

Not so long ago I when I was selling pasta and teaching healthy cooking at my store in Austin, I did receive a few requests and questions about Celiac. And also a lot of requests to make gluten free pasta.  It sure seems as though the gluten free rage has become huge and more and more people are wanting to remove gluten from their diets so they can live a healthy life.  I only wish that it was all true and that everyone that gave up gluten would live a better life.  Research is dispelling a lot of the mystery around Celiac and the Celiac Hype as I call it.  If you go to and read their information, you will see how the numbers of people that have Celiac have risen dramatically over the past thirty years.  From what was diagnosed to be 1 in over 500 to now being 1 in 133 people having Celiac.  That is quite a few.  But where are they getting those numbers, as every other website has differing numbers.  And it is true that the incidence of Celiac in those of Northern European descent may be that high, but in the general population, it is about 1 in 2,500.  (Scienceblog)  There seems to be a discrepancy in numbers here.  Part of it is the method of measurement.  The Celiac people use the blood test for Tissue transglutimase antibody to determine if a person has Celiac.  The truth is that presence of the ttg antibody does not in fact mean a person has Celiac.  The only positive way to determine if a person has it is to perform a tissue biopsy of the small intestine to see if there is damage.  Ttg intibody shows a person to have a propensity for Celiac, not the actual disease itself.  (Testing)   The Celiac people use the propensity for having a disease is a lot like saying I can get a woman pregnant, therefore all pregnant women have been impregnated by me.

The problems that are there for me are that research is showing that people with the propensity for Celiac are coming down with actual Celiac in greater numbers, and at later ages than originally thought.  Meaning that it is not a childhood onset disease, but one where human beings that have a genetic marker that forms a specific protein MAY develop an autoimmune disease that is heightened in the presence of gluten.  (Scienceblog)  So why is this happening?  And also, in a related thread of thought, why is it that so many people out there claim to have  symptoms of gluten intolerance?  Are they related, and in fact related to Celiac?  To me, I believe that the increase in the numbers of age related onset of actual Celiac, as well as the incidence of gluten intolerance are because of the human body's inability to process toxins and additives put into processed foods.  There has to be a trigger that causes people having the markers to suddenly begin to exhibit full blown Celiac.  Science rages on, and more research will be done to determine what it is that occurs and the actual processes involved.

When I was teaching at my store, some of the people that wanted the gluten free pasta, and also wanted to attend my gluten free bread baking classes, told me about their gluten intolerance problems.  I always ask, what did you eat that produced those specific symptoms?  The usual answers were always the same, bread.  Again, my questions are direct and an attempt to narrow down the problem, what kind of bread, what was on the bread, what else did you eat at the same time as the bread.  Most people tell me the same thing, I don't know, bread.  Sheesh.  Commercial bread has a whole host of toxins added to it, L-cysteine, chlorine, potassium bromate, sodium steryl lactalate, azodicarbonide, sodium metabisulfide, and worst of all, tons of hydrogenated fats and high fructose corn syrup.  I truly in my heart, believe that more people have allergic reactions to these chemicals than ever have to gluten.  Coupled with what people eat within the bread itself, they consume a huge chemical storehouse of toxins.  By that I mean that the simple chicken sandwich from the fast food place is chock full of stuff that is frighteningly toxic.  Commercial chicken, coated with salmonella and the associated toxins from their waste that accumulate when improperly stored, the coatings on the chicken, the mayo, ketchup or sauces that contain huge amounts of HFCS, a veritable cornucopia of chemicals and additives, and lastly, lettuce that is processed and packaged then held in storage and shipped all over the country.  The numbers of produce items recalled by the FDA for salmonella or lysteria contamination is incredible.  (food recalls)  This FDA site is updated daily with food recalls.  So taking all that into account, it is not surprising that people get a tummy ache when they consume bread.  And then blame it all on gluten intolerance.

I don't want anyone to think that I am in anyway being disparaging to all of those people of Northern European descent that have actual Celiac disease.  And there are also a number of other people out there that have been shown to have Celiac and are of other heritages.  This is in fact a problem.  However, I feel that the Celiac Foundation is showing these huge numbers in order to garner ever more financing for research.  Not a bad thing actually, the Feds have shown themselves to be rather poor guardians of the revenue they collect.  But to continue to promote Celiac as the cause of so many unrelated symptoms of a degenerative food supply is wrong.  People everywhere are removing gluten from their diets and thinking that this will cure all that ails them without ever looking at their overall intake of the SAD as the cause of their problems.  SAD = Standard American Diet.  And as the SAD grows and spreads to countries all over the world the problems continue to grow, cancers, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, ADD, ADHD, mental health problems, and a whole host of other problems and diseases grow in proportion to the acceptance of the SAD.

Look at what you buy.  Look at what you eat.  Make healthy choices.  Living a long disease free life should be the right of every person, don't let big business take that away from you for their scrambling to make extra profit at the expense of your health.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ode to a Cheerio, deception and awakening.

I think that at times people that deceive others on a regular basis have no concept of what they do and how it affects the real world, and people in it.  Let’s take a look at that.  It makes more sense when we look at real world examples, ones that shows so well just how insulated from reality leaders of agribusinesses actually are.  First, I am talking about Cheerios.  Yep, hard to believe, but those little round “O’s “ that virtually every parent has used to help their child develop eye hand coordination, are in fact not the cute little wholesome and nutritious morsels that the bigwigs at General Mills believe, or perhaps, want us to believe.  The real world eye awakening took place at the beginning of December when General Mills set up a Facebook page in the hopes that millions of consumers would go to the site and log their own personal thoughts about how wonderful Cheerios have been for them personally.   The whole deal sort of backfired when less than forty-eight hours of the Facebook app going live to take comments and for consumers to draw their favorite little sayings using the Cheerios background; there appeared, totally unexpected by management, over a hundred thousand complaints about General Mills use of Genetically Modified products in the manufacture of Cheerios.  And many were just out and out condemnation of General Mills for the company stand on defeating the California law that would require labeling of all Genetically Modified foods.  Forty-eight hours.  Over one hundred thousand complaints.  Wow.  I think that was a shock to management. 
But then what do you do when you know that you are deceiving your customers, you know the products that the company that you are leader of are not what you purport them to be?  How do you justify looking in the mirror every morning when the products that you make are PACKED with sugar, which is made from Genetically Modified sugar beets, corn starch, which again, is all Genetically Modified, and neither of which can in any way be considered part of a healthy diet for children.  Again, money makes any possible guilt invisible.  Cheerios is and has been a staple in American households for generations.  The company bigwigs must still believe that their place is sacrosanct, unassailable.  How wrong they are finding that to be.  I don’t know how many boxes of the stuff they sell annually, but I bet their market share is dropping.  That is why they began this campaign on the internet.  To get public opinion supporting their products, and capitalize on it.  
Looks can be deceiving, the makers of 7up have found that out.  They make fruit flavored 7ups.  However the Center for Science in the Public Interest has taken exception to the labels that 7up puts on the bottles of the fruit flavored 7up.  The labels actually show pictures of little fruits prominently displayed there on the label, with the assumption of the consumer that there might actually be fruit in the stuff.  I mean why else would they have pictures of fruit there. The Center sued 7up.  And won.  Beginning in February, all new artificially fruit flavored 7up's will not have pictures of real fruit.  The company stated that they complied with all labeling guidelines when those labels were designed, the ingredients were listed on the back, and there was no mention of fruit, real or otherwise.  So were the FDA guidelines too open, or did the company interpret them in a way that was sort of deceptive?  Again, I am not sure how the head honchos at 7up can look in the mirror every morning.  It is scary indeed that people with power look the other way when making money is concerned.  

Let's take a look at a small scale example, my ex wife.  My ex has no scruples at all.  And back in 08 when we decided to no longer be a married couple, she offered to buy the Pasta Business from me.  Ok, I was fine with that.  At that time we had been buying pasta from a guy in Tempe Arizona shipping it to Austin and putting our own labels on it.  Not illegal, in fact it is called co-packing.  Actually a big part of the food industry.  Who do you think makes the off brand Cheerios in the bags on the bottom shelf of the cereal aisle?  Well General Mills does, usually with the same or close to the same ingredients.  Packed for the generic market.  Same principal.  However, when at court for the divorce, the ex told me she didn't feel like she should pay me anything for the resale business, and so told the judge the business was of no value and didn't have to pay me.  I'm not a dummy, I told the judge it had value and offered to buy it from her.  The judge was pleased, I was pleased, the ex, was not.  I bought all new equipment to manufacture my own brand of pasta and did so quite successfully for several years.  In the meantime, the ex needed to sell pasta and sought other packers.  There is a company in Ohio that makes an okay product.  They just use eggs and powdered vegetables.  The ex started to buy their product, slapped her labels on them and never once thought to add eggs to the ingredients.  And in an effort to try to outsell me, (we did some of the same events) she would then tell customers that she used to own my business, but wanted to make a better product and now made her pasta with all organic ingredients.  How can she look herself in the mirror when everything you do is an out and out attempt to deceive the consumers?

I don't know the answers, I mean really, how can I, a humble old man with integrity ever begin to understand how the quest for ever more money makes a person do things that are questionably legal, honest or even wholesome?  It is beyond me, my mind doesn't work that way. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chef Roy is unlucky number 13

So Chef Roy, if you really only eat good healthy food, take all of those supplements, avoid all the poisons and toxins you talk about here on your blog; then why are you sick all the time?  Man, a really good question.  I think that is one that has no specific answer, it just has to do with me being unlucky, in the wrong place at the wrong time and suffering the consequences of that misfortune.  I suppose that for me, life began when my mother met my father and they decided to further the human race by starting a family.  My mother, whom I respected and loved, did me an injustice by marrying a common man and not a rich one.  I have never forgiven her for that, she took away from us children the silver spoon that so many people feel is the magic beans of life that would provide for them an unending and stress-free life of luxury and endless gratification.  Oh well, I was, after three siblings, conceived.  My mother then in late June went to the new, at that time, St. Joseph's Hospital to deliver me.  She delighted in telling me the story that I was the thirteenth baby born in that new facility.  Sigh, not a great start for me.  And all done under a huge deception on my mother's part.  She chose the pretense of Christianity with which to perpetrate her fraud.  The actual details are not all known to me, but I have found that my mother, coming from German Jewish parents that came to America in the 1890's to escape the pogroms against the Jews, never practiced their religion here in order to avoid any form of recognition.  I firmly believe that my father went to his grave not knowing that he was married to someone that his upbringing would never have allowed him to acknowledge as even being, well, of equal in humanity.  My father was a bigot in the extreme sense.  Poor mother, a cute little Jewish girl in the den of the lion trying desperately to raise her unlucky broken children.

So I made it through the major problems of youth and the teenage years, drank too much in my early twenties, went overboard and in 1976 gave up weed, booze, meat and white flour.  Married the woman that I fell in love with on first sight, raised a young son, and in 1992 bought a house out at 103rd Avenue and Camelback road.  At that time, it was on a golf course, surrounded by fields of corn.  That first winter they planted broccoli and cauliflower.  The next summer, they planted cotton.  Cotton is about the dirtiest crop ever.  They spray Agent Orange on it so it will drop its leaves and they can harvest the cotton bolls with big vacuum harvesters.  When running them, the cloud of toxic dust hovers everywhere.  For 5 years each autumn my childhood asthma became horrific and I was in danger of losing my job because of illness.  I finally moved to Mesa and got better.

I guess now would be a good time to add that I have totaled three vehicles in my life.  Every one of them ended up with me not able to sue anyone for the accident.  Sigh, just not lucky.

Then in 2002 my wife decided to trade me in for a new model, and as she said she had never dated anyone other than me, anyone would work.  I on the other hand, married the first woman to say yes to me.  Big mistake.  Oh well, she wanted me to move to Austin TX, and so I did.  Our lives changed dramatically and I grew exponentially there in the happiest place on earth.  As we grew apart in many ways, I no longer possessed the one trait she required in a mate, obedience!  So we parted ways, and that was in fact, a good thing.  Except, I moved into an apartment with black mold in it.  Didn't know it at first, just got sick.  And then got sicker.  Went to a holistic allergy specialist and he did allergy tests, and blood hormone levels.  I was suffering from low testosterone.  Or so he said, I didn't have the usual problems associated with that condition.  In the meantime, I was so sick that I was on massive doses of steroids, both oral and intravenous, and such massive doses cause Avascular Necrosis.  Death of the joints.  Oh well, as my many doctors told me, at least I was able to breathe.  I did for a while take a testosterone cream, and then developed blood clots in my lungs. (NOW, a known side effect)  So, more steroids and the rat poison, coumadin as a blood thinner.  By the time we found the mold in the apartment, the damage was done, and I had impacted sinuses, needed a hip replacement, degenerative death of most of my joints, and my cat died from sinus and breathing problems as well.

Got one hip done, and moved into an apartment where I met the most beautiful maiden in the world.  She and I became quite close, but within a year, she was offered a huge promotion and ended up in Seattle.  To this day we are good friends and talk and/or text all the time.  I miss her.  She was a spark of sanity in my life. After a while, I went to the hospital to get the roto-rooter sinus surgery and guess what, I now have MRSA, apparently I picked that up in the hospital when getting the hip done.  A whole new set of problems there.  I don't know, maybe that is what caused the loss of the ability to feel hot or cold.  That one I don't think we will ever know, but I do know that as my sinuses were impacted with an antibiotic resistant bacterial infection that I am finding cannot be gotten rid of, my sense of smell and then taste disappeared.  Here I was, a man trying to make a living manufacturing the world's most flavorful pasta, and I never tasted any of my products.  I developed all the recipes based on the Beethoven method of creativity.  I knew what it should taste like, so I tried a recipe, asked others if they liked it, and if they did, used it.

But in an effort to improve my health, I sold the store, moved to Arizona as doctors thought that the VERY high concentration of airborne mold was irritating my lungs to the point that it continued to cause horrific problems.  Didn't work, even after moving to Arizona, I continue to be plagued by sinus problems (MRSA NEVER goes away) and recurring pneumonia, asthma problems and lack of money caused by inability to get good insurance.

So, yes, it seems that I do indeed eat well, take supplements, and am sick all the time.  I am the quintessential number thirteen.  Unlucky in life,............  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sandy Hook, tragedy that may affect far more than ever thought possible

Watching the TV and attempting to imagine the horror of having to deal with the aftermath of the carnage dealt out to children, teachers and a parent by a troubled young man.  I am unable to, it is just such a tragedy.  But sides are already drawn on both sides of the issue, and Facebook is filled with opinions about how guns didn't kill them all, a gunMAN did, or the troubled youth could not have done this without access to the weaponry.  And et, al, ad infinitum.  Every one wants to ensure that this never happens again.  As do I of course, but I also want to propose another problem, one that doesn't get any press, and yet may indeed be the underlying problem altogether.

SAD, the Standard American Diet.  We here in America fill our bodies with processed foods devoid of actual nutrition and packed with additives and toxins along with heavy metals and all contribute to altered mental and physical conditions that make young people that were loners like this man into potential ticking time bombs.  I hope that the coroner's report comes out and is made public, and that proper attention is made to it.  Will we find in the toxicology that there were heavy metals like mercury present?  Was his sugar incompletely controlled and his hormone levels screwed up?  Did he slam down ten or more Mountain Dews every day as so many youths in America do?

What will happen if these things are shown to be part of the autopsy findings.  These and so many more.  I think that we, as Americans, need to look long and hard at what is going on with the nutrition of our youth.  The horrific side effects of long term consumption of foods with heavy metals, toxic additives, high fructose corn poison, antibiotic residues, pesticide, herbicides, insecticides and a whole array of cumulative poisons all singly and in our society, in conjunction with each other, all begin to manifest themselves in behaviors that lead to this exact tragedy.  Look at my blog from last week about HFCS -- TRAGEDY-- And see the list of behavioral traits that are caused by the SAD and are so prevalent in American youth today. 

I have tried to look up the toxicology results for Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris and have been unable to find them online.  I get the autopsy reports, and in there the remarks were made about sending out specific samples for toxicology.  Yet the results are elusive.  There are mentions of anti depressants, but no actual results.  And do they even check for heavy metal contamination?  Toxic residues?  Pesticide residue? They should.  The question of course is whether or not they will check because at this time no one has ever thought to connect nutrition to behavioral changes.  It is all too easy to blame gun control, parental control or lack of, discipline, schools, bullies, or anything else other than what in fact may be the real cause.  And one that would undermine the very foundation of our existence, the SAD.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Okay, let’s get to the MEAT of the matter.

What, ol’ Chef Roy is only vegetarian about 95% of the time.  Why?  Okay, let’s talk about meat.  I really don’t have anything against meat itself, I do eat meat from time to time.  I just have a thing against modern meat.  Supermarket meat, the stuff that in reality has as little nutritionally to do with real meat as Cheeto's does to cheese.  Supermarket meat is pretty cheap, all things considered. Really it is, when you consider the alternative, it is really cheap.  Take a look at free range organic chicken: whole, 4.59/lb; breasts, boneless, skin on, 9.49/lb; grass fed organic beef, rib eye, 8.00/lb, ground chuck, 4.50/lb.  Stuff like that, good stuff, costs more to raise, and in actuality, the farmers that raise those products are not making tons of money.  I had a chance to buy a forequarter of a organic hog back in Austin, approximately 90 lbs, in whole form, 380 bucks.  And I know for a fact that the price was not enough to cover the cost of raising the pig.  

So what is going on, why is good meat so much more expensive than supermarket meat, and is it really any better?  Well, that is a tough one.  I could tell you all about the Consumer Reports findings about how 69% of all pork in the coolers of supermarkets is contaminated with a strain of bacteria called Yersinia enterocolitica, which causes fever and gastrointestinal illness with diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. A full 70% of supermarket chicken is contaminated with Salmonella of various species.  All of those are just as bad in this area, causing many of the same symptoms, and in many many cases, death.  The worst part of the findings, a large percentage of the bacterial contamination were of strains that are now antibiotic resistant.  Yes, cooking to proper temperatures does kill the bacteria, but improperly handled and stored meats in fact allow the bacteria to grow and their waste products are toxic, and are what in reality cause the illnesses when you consume the live bacteria.  And of course when you eat the live bacteria now, modern medicine (remember, those guys are just practicing) are hampered in their efforts to help you since the live bacteria are resistant now.  If the meats were improperly stored, then there could be enough toxins present to cause similar reactions.  

That's not so bad right?  Well, sure, a little of the Hershey squirts after eating a chicken sandwich is okay.  However, let's look at some of the real reasons that supermarket meat is cheaper.  Ractopamine.  When fed to pigs and cows, the animals put on lean muscle faster than similarly fed animals not given the drug.  It's cheap, and makes the animals bigger, thus, more profit.  There is that rather nasty side effect where the cows and pigs become so disoriented and sick that they are unable to walk after being dosed with the stuff.  California passed a law that stated that it would be illegal for slaughterhouses to kill animals to process for human consumption if the animals were too sick to walk.  I mean, makes sense to me, bse, some nasty other cns problems, bacterial infections, and just a whole host of problems can make livestock so ill that they can't walk.  Many of those problems can be transmitted to humans.  So, made sense, right?  Except to ranchers and big agribusinesses, they went to the Supreme Court and got the law declared unconstitutional.  Those ranchers have the right to slaughter sick and diseased animals for you to consume.  It's their right!  The Ractopamine that is fed to all of these animals, is destined to remain in animals to be consumed here in the US.  The rest of the world doesn't want the stuff in their food, and have outlawed it and banned any imports of meats from the US with any Ractopamine residue in it.  The rest of the world it seems has RIGHTS as well!  More than Americans it seems.  

Lastly, and most ghastly, is feed.  And feed lots.  Supermarket meat is raised in CAFO's.  Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, and that is a polite way of saying that they raise livestock to live on their own shit, lie and sleep in their own shit, and be subjected to the HORRIFIC bacteriological maelstrom of deadly microbial life that they are literally living on.  So, to combat the problem, antibiotics.  That is one of the reasons we have so many antibiotic resistant bacteria strains out in the real world now.  Then there is the food that is fed to the animals.  Cheap agricultural byproducts mixed with Genetically Modified corn, soy and canola meal.  Ground bones and offal from slaughterhouses and chicken feathers and chicken parts from chicken processors, and byproducts from.......  you don't want the whole list do you?  It gets even more disgusting than that stuff.  Hey, I am adamantly opposed to ANY Genetically Modified foods in any way being fed to animals, or to humans, so I am against the mainstay of foods for animal husbandry.  I wish that was the only problem with the whole thing, but it isn't.  

I don't know if you have ever eaten at a high end restaurant and ordered chicken.  If you did, and it was free range, then you probably wouldn't even recognize it as chicken if the only stuff you have ever had was production chicken from high output processors.  I ate some grass fed beef a couple years ago, and then some supermarket stuff.  It tasted metallic to me.  Nasty.  There is a difference, and it does in fact go beyond taste, it is the basic makeup of the meat itself.  So, I don't eat it much.  If most of us did the same, then perhaps the agribusinesses would get the hint and provide us healthy meats that are welcome in the rest of the world.    

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Doing a little catering. Chocolate Ravioli

 Well I am doing a little catering for my sister's monthly meeting of her sorority next week and so I told her I would do something special for her.  I have to make it all on Sunday, and she can just reheat it all.  Whole wheat rolls, Caprese Salad, white mushroom lasagna, and of course, chocolate ravioli.  So, here is the recipe I use to make them, I have made them plenty of times, but have just never taken any pictures.
 Take a bag of mini chocolate chips and mix in a large bowl with a half cup cream and half cup chopped pecans.  Set aside.  In mixer of food processor, put in 2 cups organic unbleached unbromated all purpose flour, 3 eggs, a half cup bittersweet cocoa, and three or so tablespoons vanilla.  Now, comes the sweetener.  I prefer honey, or organic evaporated cane juice.  About a third cup.  If you aren't into the natural thing, then cane sugar.  Oh well.   Whizz or mix and add enough water so that with the machine on, it forms a ball. 
 Take the ball out and cut it into 4 pieces.  Using a pasta roller and lots of flour, roll the dough out into sheets down to the second to thinnest setting.  Make sure well dusted with flour and fold into small sections and put aside, covered with a damp towel.  Repeat for remaining three sections.  Place the sheet of dough onto the ravioli press and push the nipple section into the press.

   Place a teaspoon of the chip mix into the dimple of the dough on the ravioli maker.  Brush the edges with water, then place another piece of dough on top.  Using a rolling pin, press down and cut and seal the edges.  Remove from the press and place on a rack in front of a fan.  Let them air dry for a while and then you can put into a bag and freeze the way they are, or cook right away in boiling water.  Cook for three minutes, then serve with the sauce.

Sauce, easy, melt 3 ounces in a cup and a half of half and half.  Add some vanilla, and pour over the cooked ravioli.  

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rejoice, the FDA is a failure at what they do!

Weird title isn't it.  I mean yeah, it is pretty self evident that the FDA has failed miserably at what they have been tasked to do, which is protect all Americans from food borne illnesses and contaminants.  So why rejoice?  Well, I am sure that was completely unintentional on the part of the FDA themselves, they are just after all, a bunch of government employees.  But the fact is that as part of the approval process for approving Genetically Modified Salmon, the FDA has already taken over two years to review the application.  The company that applied for approval of these horrific new abominations, AquaBounty, has run out of money.  They will have to declare bankruptcy in January because they don't have any new backers and no money.  And with the possibility of years of FDA stalling, no new investors are likely to pony up millions of their dollars just to be told down the road that they won't approve.

So is this something that we should celebrate?  No, of course not.  Maybe the end result of not having these horrific creatures loose in the environment is good, but the fact that the FDA didn't just deny the application from the beginning is frightening.  For more info on my opinion and facts about the salmon itself, see Salmon  on my blog.   I do so hope that the delays and reticence to approve these salmon will in fact stop any other companies from beginning, or if they have started, from continuing any more research into Genetically Modifying any other animals.  My biggest fear is that Monsanto won't buy up all the research from the bankruptcy sale of AquaBounty and then pay off all the department heads and director of the FDA as they have done in the past and get that elusive approval.  That would be scary indeed.

I don't know, I think that I am a lot like most people, back in the early 90's when the news came out about how gene tech companies were going to solve the world's problems with Genetically Modified plants that it was a good thing.  How wrong we all were.  In this aspect, I am like my holy roller brother, I believe that life is pretty complex.  It took a billion years for life to get to where it is right now.  Gene splicing is not a science, it is a hit or miss high tech game of darts.  When Monsanto and other gene tech companies talk about their work, they make it sound like they know EXACTLY what they are doing and they are taking SPECIFIC genes and placing them into predetermined places within the chromosome structure of the plant that they want to alter.  Well, it is all a load of CRAP!  Techs have through trial and error have isolated some genes that do what they want, ie, produce a BT like toxin, grow after being sprayed with glyphosate, generate high concentrations of growth hormone, etc.  They do have that part down, sort of.  They load into their tiny cannon the genes they think work, add the dna of certain viruses that they have found help to turn on the new gene, and then they shoot it into the chromosomes of a seed.  Then they grow that seed, and see what happens.  Of the resulting new seed of a hopeful modified plant, they get about 1 (ONE) out of every 2,000 attempts, to germinate.  Out of every 10,000 plants that germinate, they get 4 (FOUR) that grow into plants that somewhat resemble the plant they want.  Out of those four, I have not been able to find how many of those grow into plants that don't produce toxins, allergens, are able to reproduce and are exhibiting the traits that they require.  So, yeah, if Monsanto propaganda tells you they understand the science, it is a huge LIE.  Let's be realistic, they don't have a clue.  This is one of the reasons that I am so negative about the entire concept of Genetically Modified food now.  Monsanto has NEVER done long term testing on ANY of their Genetically Modified foods.  EVER!  The longest feeding study Monsanto ever did was 90 days.  And those studies were never included in any application to the FDA. 

Ever since private research facilities have begun doing independent feeding studies on Genetically Modified foods; their findings have refuted claims from Monsanto about the safety of their money making little abominations against God, and nature.  And yet, the FDA has yet to take any action.  They won't.  Anyone working at the FDA fully expects to join the revolving door and get to exit into HIGH, actually VERY HIGH paying jobs doing very little, at Monsanto itself, or any number of their associated companies.  Pretty scary.  But we all know money talks.  And we, the American public, are the losers. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

More on Canola Poison

I know that everyone out there has seen propaganda about how healthy Canola oil is.  It has the perfect ratio of saturated to unsaturated fats, and even has polyunsaturated fats in a great combination so as to lead everyone to believe that this stuff is the ideal product for the entire world.  Well, it is a great product for Monsanto, but for human consumption, not so good.  Let’s go back to the origins of canola and see where this stuff came from.  Rape is a plant that is in the Brassica family, which includes plants like broccoli, cabbage, and mustard.  Mustard is a pretty potent little plant on its own, and has a few interesting characteristics; however the poisonous gas from World War One, mustard gas, was not from mustard, but actually from Rape.  Rape is fast growing, and has the ability to produce more seed and therefore more seed oil per acre than any other plant around.  That is a good thing.  The oil has been used for industrial purposes for decades and it is cheap.  The problem is that it contains a toxic alkaloid called erucic acid.  Normal rape oil from native rape plants contains about 9% erucic acid by weight.  It is a neuro toxin, it is systemic, meaning it is absorbed through the skin, mouth, lungs, digestive tract.  Anywhere it touches the human body, it is absorbed. 

Back in the early 70’, some rape farmer thought that he could make more money if he could grow a whole lot of rape and if the oil could be consumed by humans.  A mighty impressive concept, and one that those with the time, money, and equipment decided to work on.  If you look at the Canadian Oil Council website it states that Canola as of today, was created by traditional breeding techniques to selectively remove the harmful erucic acid.  You might need to expand your definition of tradition if you believe that load of Canadian Crapola.  Canola was created through a pioneer genetic methodology that could only be produced in a laboratory.  If you read the Rape book, (Yes, there is an actual book written by the guys that did it) Canola scientists actually took the unprecedented move of using gas chromatography to identify the genes that controlled erucic levels in the rapeseed, and then they split seeds mechanically to germinate a half seed.  It wasn’t like they planted two plants and cross-pollinated the species over time. They developed a new procedure known as seed-splitting to accomplish the genetic determinism and the scientists who invented Canola were one of the first to use the technology.  The plants they used represented an international patchwork of trial and error for combining of parts.  That might seem a bit like the task of assembling Frankenstein, as opposed to gardening in the backyard.  The techniques indeed quite obviously paved the way for the total genetic engineering techniques that form the basics of Genetic Engineering today.  In fact, Monsanto’s GE crops were built on the back of the Canola plant, by the very scientists who created the Canola out of nothing but gas chromatography, split seeds and erucic content.

However, all the canola oil that is consumed still contains 2% of an extremely toxic substance.  This acid has been shown over and over again in numerous long term feeding studies that the cumulative effects of adding canola to their diet results in horrific degenerative problems.  That part of the story isn't going to go away just because the Canola industry is about 50 billion dollars worldwide. The facts are, money makes laws protecting consumers somewhat transparent.  And butt loads of money make those protection laws invisible. And we are talking about BUTT LOADS of money here, 50 billion dollars a year is the current worldwide harvest of this stuff.  I'm not saying that farmers should stop growing the stuff, I mean Canola biodiesel fuel is cheap, let's use it for that.  We keep hearing about the fossil fuel crisis, this is a great thing to help alleviate that problem.

One of the things that people have said to me is that it isn't even remotely the same thing when researchers feed rats a diet containing 20% Canola and then after two years they dissect the rats and find that their brains are like Swiss cheese and their bodies are littered with tumors and degenerative problems.  WE DON'T EAT THAT MUCH CANOLA they tell me.  So the same thing won't happen to humans.   Hmmmm, I never know how to respond to that argument.  The standard scientific procedure for testing long term exposure to any chemical is feed high doses of it to short lived mammals and that will simulate a lifetime of a human consuming normal amounts.  Is it valid?  It is a standard used worldwide.  If someone does not want to believe the findings of NUMEROUS studies that have done this very thing, then there isn't a lot that anyone can do to change their mind.  There are a lot of those people in the world.  They drink diet soda sweetened with Aspartame, eat their white bread containing potassium bromate, get a flu shot every fall, enjoy the wonderful benefits of low cost milk, beef, chicken and love to eat all those wonderful fresh strawberries loaded with arsenic and bromate insecticides and then can't understand why they get cancer, have heart disease, weight problems and can't remember where they left their car keys last night. 

So what are the alternatives?  Well, domestic peanut oil is a great substitute.  Don't get the stuff from China, that has been explained here before.  Then come the other great oils that are better for you health wise because they really are high in polyunsaturates and monounsaturates (Canola claims this, but it is a  lie, the tests are on unprocessed oil, not the stuff that they sell that has bee heat treated to get rid of the horrible smell it has) and they are fantastic for you.  Extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and the best is coconut oil.  All are more expensive than Canola, but they won't rot your gut or destroy your brain.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

That little old tamale maker, me

Oh but I love tamales.  Well made tamales that have flavorful masa, unique and interesting combinations of fillings, steamed to perfection and served with a sauce that is piquant, spicy and oh so heavenly.  The world of tamales is a lot more than the ones in the cans (YUCH) or the ones that are available at most Mexican food restaurants, purveyors of Hispanic foods and most every kitchen in the Southwest this time of year.  I guess that the typical pork, beef, green corn ones are okay, but i love to make and eat ones that break the culinary traditions.  I have always done that type of thing, and yeah, people have told me that I am crazy.  I don't care.  I like to do things like make Spanish rice with short grain brown rice, spread it on a sheet of seaweed, place shrimp, avocados, green onions and then roll it up sushi style and serve with hot sauce and chipotle paste and call it Mexican Sushi.  Some say that is odd, I say, "If it tastes good, enjoy it!"  So some of the cool non-traditional tamales that I have made in the past at home and at tamale class I held back at Austin Healthy Cooking.  I had a few die hard friends take the class at the beginning of December 2 years ago, then sign up and take it again with friends a week later.  We made smoked salmon tamales, mushrooms cooked in sherry tamales, candied citrus peel with brie and avocado tamales, and dried cherry, pineapple and pecan tamales.  I also make my world famous pork carnitas tamales where I marinate the pork roast in guajillo chilies, coffee and cumin for two days, then pressure cook in beer.  Take the liquid and refrigerate overnight before making the tamales, and the pork fat that rises to the surface you can use to make the masa.

 Today I just used leftover free range turkey from Thanksgiving, cooked some with green chilies and onions.  I took the bones and made a nice stock and used the stock to make the masa so that it had a nice flavor as well.  It is all pretty easy, soak some corn husks overnight in water, then drain.  Take 4 cups masa, add 1 tablespoon baking powder, a teaspoon sea salt, and mix in a half cup coconut oil.  (I use this as it gives great results)  Mix and add enough stock to make a paste.  Spread a 1/3 cup masa on a corn husk and spread it out thinly. 

 Add a couple tablespoons filling, cheese if desired, then bring the thin edge over to the wide wrapper side and make sure that the masa touches to seal in the filling. 

Stack into steamer and cover with extra corn husks so condensation won't drip onto the tamales.  Then steam for an hour and a half.  Serve them up and you won't ever buy plain old tamales again.  they aren't that hard to make and the flavor is incredible.

And then try something unique.  These pictured are made with that Turkey, green chilies, onions, and garlic.  I made some others with a finely diced butternut squash that I sauteed in olive oil then when good and browned, added a diced apple and some nice red curry.  I then added a can of coconut cream and cooked until it was all thick.  Added a handful of raisins and filled some tamales where the masa had curry in it for flavor.  Yummy.

High Fructose Corn Poison and the FDA, the Watchdog for YOUR Health!

I think that in the past, having been a food manufacturer myself, I understand the importance of containing costs; striving to get the ingredients needed at the lowest costs possible.  It is basic business economics, if you are selling a product that is the same or similar to your competitors, if your costs  are lower, your profit is higher.  Makes sense, right?  Of course it does, but the problem comes with a basic caveat, if the cheaper ingredients come with a pedigree that is questionable, possibly poisonous, is it right for the company to use those ingredients and then present their products to the public?  I personally don't think so.  In fact, I personally believe that companies that use ingredients that are proven to be carcinogenic, contain mercury contamination, promote obesity and all the associated medical problems; should be held liable for their choice to make more money at the exclusion of the health of their customers, the public.  It is pretty simple, greed should be punished.

The real travesty here though is that all of what I am going to tell you about could have been prevented.  The FDA was made aware of the mercury contamination years ago, and did nothing.  The opportunity was given to the Federal agency to DO WHAT IS MANDATED TO DO!  Stop production of HFCS, recall all products made with the contaminated product, and keep the American public from exposure and consumption of Mercury.  The USDA, the EPA and Dept of Energy, all list Mercury as a Class 1 neurotoxin, one that is cumulative, and unfortunately, widespread.  And yes, the great and all powerful FDA also categorize Mercury the same way.  They give advisories to limit consumption of fish that may contain Mercury.  The FDA however, chose not to say one single word about the Mercury contamination POSITIVELY found in the manufacturing processes in making High Fructose Corn Syrup.  In 2005  a very public study was published identifying not only Mercury in HFCS but also in 45% of the products plucked from store shelves.  Source  

Mercury poisoning is not something to trivialize.  It is VERY serious.  The fact that the stuff is cumulative makes it even more serious.  Anyone that consumes large amounts of high on the food chain fish like Blue Fin Tuna, Shark, whales, Swordfish etc, are at higher risk of degenerative CNS problems.  Now, innocuous everyday foodstuffs and drinks are tainted with Mercury.  It is no longer a problem of a few upper class people that are able to afford to eat the fish species most at risk; it is now a problem for every person in America.  Some of the problems associated with  cumulative Mercury poisoning are:

  • irritability
  • anxiety/nervousness, often with difficulty in breathing
  • restlessness
  • exaggerated response to stimulation
  • fearfulness
  • emotional instability
    -lack of self control
    -fits of anger, with violent, irrational behavior
  • loss of self confidence
  • indecision
  • shyness or timidity, being easily embarrassed
  • inability to concentrate
  • lethargy/drowsiness
  • insomnia
  • mental depression, despondency
  • withdrawal
  • suicidal tendencies
  • manic depression
  • Unless I am mistaken, these are many of the symptoms that teachers complain that they deal with daily in their jobs teaching American youths.  Let's remember that Mercury poisoning is cumulative.  What you take in today, is always there, along with you take in tomorrow, and the day after and the day after that.  Anyone drinking soft drinks made with HFCS, eating processed foods made with HFCS, sports drinks, poptarts, jelly, cookies, Twinkies, some canned soups, candies, cakes, ice creams, well, just about every processed food out there.  They are getting tiny doses of Mercury.  And that stuff stays in your brain, and the stuff you ate yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that.   All from drinking coke, pepsi, mountain dew, and eating foods that the FDA could have saved you from, yet didn't. 

    The overall question is who is liable? And now, seven years after the initial report has anything been done to stop further contamination?  Not that I could find.

    The world is a complex place, and it should be simple.  I try to do what I can to limit my intake of toxins, the problem is that there are so many of them out there.  Money is the driving force for allowing poisons into our food supply, the revolving door between the FDA and private agribusiness and tech companies shows the willingness of those entrusted to protect and safeguard the American food supply to put their mandate ahead of personal gains.  

    Saturday, December 1, 2012

    Today's Brave New World! Let's test LSD on New Yorkers to get there!

    Ever hear about the LSD testing that the government did on the people of New York back in the 60's?  Well, actually it started in the late 50's and was "OFFICIALLY" curtailed in 1973.  They were experiments in mind control.  The CIA gave random people in the US and Canada LSD in attempts to learn what would happen.  I'm still not certain why these experiments took so long to do, when you give people hallucinogens they get high.  What else can you learn from that?  I mean the MAIN thing that we learned is that our government really does not give a crap about the people they are supposed to be caring for.  These so called experiments really did not have the health and well-being of the populace at their basis now did they?

    But let's look at this from a different perspective.  And this is purely hypothetical.  (wink, wink)  The CIA performed illegal experiments into mind control for nearly twenty years.  Then they stopped.  Is it because of the public outrage against being used as human lab rats?  Well, there wasn't a lot of outrage.  Most of the documents regarding the project were destroyed by the CIA director Richard Helms.  Not a whole lot happened after that, a few things were released.  A few fun anecdotes like how the CIA gave LSD to Fidel and all he did was smoke more.  You know, crap stuff.  But we need to look closely at what really happened, and think about other possibilities.

    Searching for a truth serum, pinpointing exact drugs for mind control, and manipulating foreign leaders were the express objectives of this little excursion into the bizarre.  The whole family of projects (over 150 individual ones) were scrapped, and buried.  What if though, they were terminated because they found what they were searching for?  There are many forms of mind control, and not all of them would give the type of control that Huxley proposed in his novel "Brave New World" that were achievable through genetic manipulation.  (But doesn't that in itself sound all too familiar in today's world?)  The elite, the Alphas are able to create, to live to their full potential, to express themselves; while the lesser beings, Deltas, Gammas and Epsilons do the drudgery work of keeping the society operating.  And all with no knowledge or ability to conceptualize that they are mere drones to the elite.  Wait a minute, doesn't that also sound a lot like "Animal Farm"?  Well, I suppose that the whole idea of lording it over lesser individuals is not a new one, look at Hitler, Stalin, Nixon, my ex-wife.  All had the same concept and vision of themselves as leader in their own personal Brave New World.  So what if the CIA actually found what they were looking for back in 1973?  And it had little to do with LSD.  Let's just say that those guys found the drug of choice to manipulate the population, to allow them to work as drones, to support the ruling class, (elected Alphas), and mindlessly work themselves to death and not speak or do anything detrimental to the status Quo that has been created by those ruling elite again, (Alphas)!

    A simple little chemical that has all those wonderful properties would be called "The Complacency Drug".  When added to every processed food made in America, the drones of the country would then begin to sit back in their Barcoloungers, sip sugary foods that made them feel good, and watch as the world unfolded around them and not really care about any of it.  Maybe it is just me, but that sounds all to familiar and so close to reality as to be a little frightening.  Americans everywhere just don't seem to care much about what happens to them anymore.  Americans everywhere have sat back and said okay to the Feds taking a larger and larger percentage of their hard earned paychecks in the guise of "Income Tax" to fund stupidity and malfeasance.  Americans everywhere sit back and "ENJOY" the benefits of supposedly healthy processed foods that have ingredients that are PROVEN to cause them harm and shorten their lifespans.  Americans everywhere continue to believe that the ruling class "Alphas" work toward providing a fair and equitable life for them and for every other American.  Nothing is further from the truth though.  Americans everywhere are under the influence of complacency.

    You don't have to eat all the crap out there on the market.  If you stop eating it, your mind will suddenly begin to think again and you will see the world for what it is.  You don't have to pay income tax, there are huge numbers of LEGAL ways to get out of paying the tax.  Learn about them, use them.  Basic economics, the more you tax people, the less you collect.  It's called the Laffer Curve.  Rich people pay less in taxes than the MAJORITY of Americans.  Let the Alphas fix the system, get rid of loopholes and let everyone pay a flat rate and those Alphas just might see an increase in revenues.  Except that in and of itself is contrary to the philosophy of the ruling class elite.  Indeed, The Laffer phenomena.  With the birth rate in America being the lowest EVER, with the cancer rate the highest ever and the highest in the world, with modern medicine being the LARGEST cause of death in America today, with the rate of obesity the highest in the world, Americans are becoming pretty complacent.  Aldous Huxley fantasized about a world where the elite class, the Alphas, lived a care free life supported by those genetically modified lesser humans that support them in their every whim.  Society is not exactly like that, but it is close.