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Books/Recipes: NOURISHING BROTH, Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD

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Books/Recipes:  April 14, 2015

NOURISHING BROTH

 

The “nourishing” genre of food/cookbooks has been enriched by one:  Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD’s NOURISHING BROTH.

You may recall that Sally Fallon Morell wrote NOURISHING TRADITIONS with Dr. Mary Enig, who fought the good fight to show how dangerous trans fats and vegetable oils are and how good for you saturated fats from healthy animals are.  And you may recall that Jennifer McGruther recently published NOURISHING KITCHEN and has a great web site that is a constant resource–as is the Weston A. Price Foundation’s web site.

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So, you cannot read this blog for long without knowing I am a big fan of and great believer in real, homemade bone broths.  Of course I ordered this new book anyway–and it is chock full of the science of bone broths, of why they are so good for us.  And, of course, the book tells you all the ins and outs of making bone broths and how to use them in all sorts of soups, stews, sauces, gravies, and so forth.

After reading the book, I have been defrosting my stored bone broths and heating a cup full for breakfast–instead of drinking tea.  I add raw milk and salt if needed, and am thinking of adding a beaten raw egg, such as you might find in a Chinese or Greek egg soup.  I am finding I have no need for coffee/tea after this gorgeous drink–one that feels good right down to my toes.  And look, ma, no sugar/honey in the morning.  Many cultures drink a hot bone broth soup for breakfast–while we are eating and feeding our children a nutrient nightmare of sugared cereal.  It didn’t take me but one morning to realize what I had been missing.

One of the many things that Morell and Daniel point out is that with the advent of fake bouillon cubes (which have no meat in them and are the beginning of the dangerous excitotoxin MSG), we lost the nourishment we were getting from bone broths that were the base of much of the food we ate.  Bone broths build…bones.  Bone broths are full of gelatin (if made right) and lots of minerals and good fats–all mixed up in a hearty hot broth.

So, in a restaurant, if you encounter a “homemade soup,” ask if the soup is made from bones/meat in the kitchen or if a “base” is used.  Avoid the base soup as it is all made from fake products.

Here’s a little video of Kaayla T. Daniels talking about bone broths and bones:

“Bone Broth” Builds Bone Not Because of Calcium.

Turkey Tracks: Soaking Nuts

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Turkey Tracks:  July 23, 2014

Soaking Nuts

 

All nuts and seeds need to be soaked, sprouted, or fermented in order to get rid of the awesome chemical packages they carry to protect themselves from being eaten before they can sprout and grow.  Some of these chemicals are phytates, and phytates can seriously inhibit your body’s ability to keep or use the minerals it takes in.

When I mention “soaking nuts” before eating them, the listener’s eyes glaze over, and I get slotted into the category of “weird woman.”

But, you know, it isn’t hard to soak nuts.  And they are delicious afterwards.

Here’s a bowl of walnuts soaking in my kitchen the other day:

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Basically you just cover the nuts with water and add some salt.  I used two tablespoons for this lot

After soaking for from 12-24 hours, I scoop them out and dry them in the dehydrator–which does not take all that long.

I put them in a Mason jar and they keep for a long time.  Now I have an asset to use as my heart desires.  All for less than 10 minutes of real work.

These are WALNUTS, which need to be refrigerated, so into the frig they went.

Not all nuts need refrigeration.  And some nuts, like cashews, need only about 6 hours of soaking–or they get mooshy, would be my guess.

For more information on good-food practices, I cannot recommend highly enough getting a copy of NOURISHING TRADITIONS, by Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Mary Enig, both of The Weston A. Price Foundation.

Written by louisaenright

July 23, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Turkey Tracks: Making and Eating Jennifer McGruther’s Vanilla Mint Ice Cream

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Turkey Tracks:  June 21, 2014

Making and Eating Jennifer McGruther’s Vanilla Mint Ice Cream

 

I am making Jennifer McGruther’s Vanilla Mint Ice Cream today.

If you have not heard about McGruther’s new book THE NOURISHED KITCHEN–or discovered her outstanding web site http://www.nourished kitchen.com–you are in for a treat.

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This homemade ice cream recipe uses real mint leaves, a vanilla bean, real cream, egg yolks, and so forth.  Here’s the url to Jennifer’s web site and this recipe.

Vanilla Mint Ice Cream — Nourished Kitchen.

I can’t wait to try the finished ice cream.  My cream mixture is upstairs cooling its heels in the refrigerator right now.

I’m not at all sure I had enough mint–when chopped it didn’t make a full cup.  I have had mint from my Georgia grandmother’s garden for over 40 years now–and brought the mint from Virginia to Maine when we moved ten years ago.  I almost lost it this winter, but have discovered a few sprigs coming along.  Thank heavens as this mint is unlike most I’ve seen–it’s really strong and full of flavor.  It used to be my job when I was little to run out to the garden to get sprigs of this mint for the iced sweet tea at dinner time–the main meal served at noon when we were at my grandmother’s.  For today, I supplemented with a package of mint from the store, and it was very disappointing as I think its “oomph” was long gone.   I also think I needed TWO packages…

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The long black strand is a vanilla bean cut in half and ready to go into the warmed cream.  You know, somehow I’ve never actually used a vanilla bean.  The smell in the kitchen after it steeped in the warm cream was…awesome!

I get local honey by the half-gallon, and it’s used as the sweetener.  There is no danger of using laundered, fake honey if you find your local bee keepers.  A recent story I ran across said that about 75 percent of the honey in grocery stores is laundered honey.  (See earlier blog posts on this subject.)  If you are buying honey in a store, look for these claims on the label:  raw, UNHEATED, and a geographical area that is inside the USA.  Be especially cautious if the honey comes from South America.

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Here’s my cream–after heating, it’s ready for the infusing ingredients, and after steeping, it will be strained and cooled.  Isn’t it the loveliest color?  It comes from local Jersey cows.  Wait until I add my egg yolks, which are soy free and a rich, deep color.

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I’m also adding a heaping Tablespoon of arrowroot powder as it’s good for you and helps make the ice cream even smoother.  That’s a trick I learned from Sally Fallon Morell, the recipe developer in the classic book NOURISHING TRADITIONS–a genre from which Jennifer McGruther draws, most likely, her title and nutrient-dense whole foods inspiration.

Hmmm.  Should I top this ice cream with a tiny bit of chocolate sauce???

YES!  And it was delicious!

So, see, making home made ice cream is not hard–especially when you have such a beautiful recipe.  Best of all, YOU control the ingredients and will be giving your family a nutrient-dense food that is beyond delicious as a special treat!!!

THANKS, JENNIFER McGRUTHER!

 

Books, Documentaries, Reviews: Jennifer McGruther’s THE NOURISHED KITCHEN

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Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  April 29, 2014

 

The Nourished Kitchen

Jennifer McGruther

 

WOW!

Here’s a terrific new cookbook that’s playing off of Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Mary Enig’s book Nourishing Traditions.  Morell and Enig are part of The Weston A. Price Foundation organization.

 

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My friend Rose Thomas, aka “Chicken Rose” to my family as there are others named Rose in my life, dropped by the other day for a cup of tea.  I told her that I had just gotten a really nice new cookbook, and as soon as I picked it up to show her, she said “I just got it too.  On my Kindle.”  But she had a lot of fun actually holding the book in her hands and said so.

So, it’s a book that’s “in the wind” on a number of whole-foods sites.

The author is from Colorado–in the mountains–and seems to have a kind of rural setting.  So there are discussions of foraging for strawberries, wild greens, and cooking wild game.  We might not be able to get elk, but we can get deer and rabbit here in Maine. And our berry gardens are superb.

There’s a terrific chapter on cooking and fermenting ancient grains.  And a resource section that tells where to buy them.

There’s an exciting chapter on fermented foods–with some exciting combinations of ingredients.

Indeed, what’s piquing my interest the most are the different combinations this cook is using in her every day foods.

The section on desserts have some healthy, interesting, delicious looking combinations.

This one is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

PS:  Those are salt-preserved Meyer lemons on the cover–an “asset” I keep in my refrigerator all the time.  I cover with a film of olive oil that is delicious drizzled over any kind of baked fish.  A  tablespoon of the chopped lemon and oil put into smashed potatoes with butter adds a delicious sparkle to the mixture.

Turkey Tracks: Learning to Love Liver: A Simple Chicken Liver Pate

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Turkey Tracks:  January 28, 2014

Learning to Love Liver:  A Simple Chicken Liver Pate

 

I like the Radiant Life Company.

I order Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil from them on a regular basis.  It’s the ONLY cod liver oil that has not been overly processed and had its vitamins added back–making those oils a human concoction based on guesswork.

Anyway, the Radiant Life Company has a blog now that is putting up some good recipes.

I love liver!

But chicken livers are probably my favorite.  Maybe followed by lamb’s liver.  And then, cow liver.  The cow liver I cook with onions and bacon and add in swirls of cream at the end to help make a sauce.  It’s important not to overcook liver.

And chicken liver pate—-for me, it’s divine if made right.

Unfortunately, my generation is probably the last one that actually eats liver.  It’s been so demonized.  And that is a real loss as we are no longer eating nose to tail with animals.  We’re eating their muscle meat, a habit which has its own set of problems.  Liver is so chock full of good things for the human body.  But, of course, you want the livers of animals that have been pastured and grass fed, etc.

If all else fails, put dessicated liver tablets–found in any supplement store–into your diet.

But, take a chance and try this recipe and see if you don’t like it…

Radient Life Company:  Learning to Love Liver: A Simple Chicken Liver Pate.

http://blog.radiantlifecatalog.com/bid/69319/Learning-to-Love-Liver-A-Simple-Chicken-Liver-Pate

Written by louisaenright

January 28, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Turkey Tracks: Lacto-Fermenting Project

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Turkey Tracks:  December 7, 2013

Lacto-Fermenting Project

 

I got it into my head that I needed to make a good bit of lacto-fermented foods right away.

Thursday saw me buying a huge bag full of cabbages (red and white), leeks, turnips, rutabegas, and parsnips.  I already had a big bag carrots.  And the garden is full of kale.

Veggies to Lactoferment

Here’s the spread:

Veggies on counter

And the kale from the garden.  I also brought in handfuls of the last of the sage, which is a bit more winter hardy than the other herbs:

Kale from garde

On Friday, I started food processing.  I had two projects:  to make a new batch of the root veggies I LOVED over the past few months.  The first batch was just turnips, carrots, garlic, and sage.  This batch would have also parsnips (very sweet) and rutabegas and red onion.

I don’t know how to describe the taste of this turnip mixture.  It does not taste like turnip.  It does have a bright, fresh taste that is delightful–much as Sandor Ellis Katz promised in his book WILD FERMENTATION.

The second project was some mixtures of cabbage (red and white), leeks, onions when I ran out of leeks, kale, carrot, one had a turnip, more garlic, and sage.  I decided to do at least two mixtures of just cabbage, carrot, and caraway seeds–the traditional mixture from NOURISHING TRADITIONS (Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Mary Enig of The Weston A. Price Foundation) with which I started this journey.

The project went rather well:

Lactofermented veggies, 4 gallons

There is a gallon of fermented cabbage in the crock.  I transferred it to jars this morning.  So I have almost 4 gallons of delicious food.

The orange is the root veggie mixture.  The cabbage mixtures will turn bright rosy pink in a few days–from the red cabbage effect.

The kitchen was a mess when I was done.  (You should have seen the floor.)

veggies, kitchen wipeout

But it cleaned up quickly as no grease was involved:

Kitchen clean-up

Hint:  the jars will be so pretty with a red ribbon and a Christmas Card attached, don’t you think?

Shhhhhh…..

And I’m not giving away the big root veggie jar or the jar with the hinge.  They’re for ME!!

Turkey Tracks: How to Feed Your Gut

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Turkey Tracks:  October 15, 2013

How to Feed Your Gut

 

More and more information is appearing daily about the importance of keeping your gut healthy.

You may recall from other postings on this blog that I compromised my gut health over the years–and have paid a pretty hefty price for doing so.  It turns out that I have a genetic sensitivity to gluten–tested by a reputable lab sanctioned by the government with a fecal test.  (Blood tests don’t often catch these kinds of food allergies.)  The hefty price is that when I harmed my gut by eating gluten and other foods that let the opportunistic gut flora and fauna we all carry get out of control–read sugars and too many carbs here–they perforated the walls of my gut and food particles began to escape into my bloodstream–which, in turn, created conditions where my body thinks it is being attacked and produces a classic histamine reaction.  My blood pressure drops, I lose all muscle control, and I pass out and have to be hauled off to the hospital where I recover in time.  It takes days to get my brain fully functioning again.

This falling domino sequence did not happen overnight.  It took years.  And I ignored all the warning signs:  reactions to red wine, allergic runny nose and sneezing after eating a food my body did not like, irritable bowel reactions that could strike without warning, the yo-yo effect of constipation followed by diarrhea, weight gain, and on and on.  I didn’t stop until I started passing out and my list of foods that would set off the reaction began to grow and grow until I was afraid to eat anything for fear of setting off an attack.

You can’t take a pill to “fix” this kind of thing.  The only way out is to heal your gut.  And to do that, you have to stop eating any kind of processed food and to start eating nutrient dense whole clean foods that nourish your body.

So, guess what is one of the very best things you can do?  Eat lots of lacto-fermented foods EVERY DAY at EVERY MEAL.  This food has more probiotics and enzymes than any probiotic product you can buy in a store.  Lacto-fermented foods are changed in ways that make them even better than they were when raw.  It’s how people used to store foods before canning and freezing came along.  And, note that canning kills foods and freezing is an energy drain.  I reserve freezing real estate for things like meat, local fruit, and roasted tomatoes, where it takes many tomatoes roasted down to fill a pint jar.

But, first, let me explain that “lacto” is from the wild ingredient that lives in the air, lactobacillus.  Cultured milk products also contain lactobacillus, so that’s where you might have first heard that term.  And I learned all that and how to make sauerkraut first from The Weston A. Price Foundation’s Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Mary Enig’s book NOURISHING TRADITIONS (a must have in your library).  Then, I built on that knowledge after a few  years with Sandor Ellis Katz’s book WILD FERMENTATION.

Katz was the Maine Organic Farmers’ and Gardners’ Association keynote speaker at the Common Ground Fair this past September.  He has a new book out that is more comprehensive than WILD FERMENTATION.  The new book, I think it’s called THE ART OF FERMENTATION, includes fermenting meats–like corning beef, for instance–which is something I really want to try.

Thus, Katz was in our region, and that sparked other programs on lacto-fermentation.  One such was given by Ana M. Antaki at the Belfast Library–and Margaret Rauenhorst and I went.

Here’s Margaret outside the library–we got to the program a bit early.  Belfast had all sorts of clever benches done by various local artists and placed all over town.

lacto-ferm, Margaret, Belfast library

Margaret is important here because her recipes differ a little from mine–and it’s important to realize that there are different ways to lacto-ferment foods.  For instance, I first learned to lacto-ferment cabbage into something we call sauerkraut (which bears little resemblance to cooked cabbage that’s fermented) from NOURISHING TRADITIONS–the excellent book from Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Mary Enig of The Weston A. Price Foundation.  That recipe uses some whey drained from yogurt along with a bit of salt, whereas Katz does not use whey.  And Margaret, who does not refrigerate her sauerkraut at all, says the whey makes it go softer quicker.

And Ana Antaki uses glass jars with a bailer and rubber seal (Fido jars) to lacto-ferment, whereas Katz uses mostly crocks.  Ana likes the bialers and seals as she says they let out gasses that form but do not let in outside air.  I use, in addition to jars with rubber seals and bailers (FIDO jars) and crocks, half-gallon Mason jars because that’s what I have on hand and because I have the refrigerator room to store them so they stay cool.  The crocks require a bit more attention to keeping liquid levels high enough.  The Mason jars maybe need to have the gases inside let out from time to time if the jars are in places that are not cool enough.   I do have questions about the glass Fido jars not letting in enough “wild” organisms not so much to help ferment the foods, but to let even more of the “wild” of nature do even more work.

Ana and her husband Roy put up ALL of their produce from their Weeping Duck Farm every year using methods like lacto-fermentation and dehydration.  They do not buy any fresh produce all winter.  And it’s important to realize that the food inside the jars/crocks stays as fresh and bright as the day you put it into the container.  Ana has kept lacto-fermented jars for as long as five years before eating the contents.

Lacto-fermentation takes only two ingredients:  salt (real sea salt please) and water (no added fluoride or chlorine).  How simple is that?

And there are two methods:  one for foods you want to cut or grate into small pieces and one for foods you can preserve in larger chunks.

Both methods could not be simpler to make and are delicious.

Sauerkraut and Sauerruben (a mixture of grated root veggies) put grated veggies into a bowl.  One then adds salt and whatever spices or herbs one wants.  (Ana adds less salt than Katz, but Katz says to use salt to your own taste.  Ana adds 3 tablespoons of sea salt to about 5 pounds of veggies.)  NOURISHING TRADITIONS adds 4 tablespoons of whey dripped out from yogurt and 1 tablespoon of salt.  (I don’t know if the whey from commercial, processed yogurt would work–it is a dead food.)

Here’s a bowl of grated cabbage with bits of carrot–you could also fine-cut the cabbage with a knife.

Lacto fermented cabbage started

I started using a pestle to bruise the cabbage enough until it started rendering its liquid–until I saw a 6-minute video Katz put on utube that showed him using his hands to squeeze the cabbage.  That seemed to work a bit better.

Once the cabbage renders enough liquid, one just packs it into a jar and lets it sit.  I turn mine upside down a few times a day and refrigerate it after a few days as that slows down the fermenting action.  I still use 4 tablespoons of whey and maybe only one tablespoon of salt, but I don’t stress about it.  I add things like some caraway seeds.  Garlic is good in anything.  You could add some herbs from the garden.  Use what sounds good to YOU.

You can start to eat any of these foods after a few days.  But the longer they ferment, the more they “develop” interesting flavors that are richer and deeper.  Refrigeration slows the reactions.

Here’s the sauerkraut packed into a jar:

Lacto fermented cabbage

After after a few days, I was able to put the contents of the half-filled jar into the full one…

If you use a crock, you need a plate you can push down over the top of the veggies  to make the liquid rise and cover them–and a weight to keep it pushed down–like a Mason jar filled with water–and a clean dish towel or cheesecloth over the top–tied around so fruit flies that are very present this time of year don’t get inside.  You want this food to be able to breathe.

The other method involves cutting up veggies, adding spices and or herbs (I put whole garlic cloves into everything as it is a great immune builder–and I eat them as I go along) and pouring some brine over the mixture until the jar is full.  Ana uses wooden popsicle sticks pushed down into the neck of her jars to keep the liquid covering the food–and that works really well.

The brine is simple–you can mix in 3 tablespoons of sea salt to one liter of water.  Katz uses about 6 tablespoons for about 8 cups and replenishes evaporated liquid with a mixture of 1 tablespoon salt to one cup of water.  You just put the salt into cold water, stir it around, and pour it over the veggies.

Here are my mixed veggies:

lacto-fermented mixed veggies 2

This batch has eggplant cut into chunks, carrots, beans, salad turnips, green peppers, red peppers, and so forth.  Green beans are delicious done this way.  And, of course, Katz has a recipe for New York garlicky pickles that is delicious!  I can’t get enough of them.

It’s wise to always put a fresh jar/crock into a pan or a container so that if there is overflow, it won’t ruin anything.  Especially with the crocks and especially if they are fullish.  With the jars, you will see bubbles rise to the neck of the jar and when you see a ring of bubbles–or bubbles rising if you pick up the jar and shake it–you know all is well.  Again, putting a jar into a cool place slows the reactions.

Remember that the veggies are in an acid environment–so will not go bad.  And remember if using a crock, it’s entirely normal for the top of the liquid to “bloom” with white bits and blue bits.  Just skim those off.  They don’t hurt anything any more than the white and blue bits in blue cheese.  It’s normal.  It’s WILD.

I just tasted a crock I did two weeks ago of grated turnips (about 4 pounds) and carrots (1 pound)–with added sage from the garden.  It is DELICIOUS!  It has no “turnipy” taste at all–is just clear and fresh and lovely.  I’m going to transfer it to a glass jar and think about doing it again and adding in some parsnips…  And, maybe, rutabega as I have some.  I might have grated in some Daikon radish and I did add garlic…   How healthy is that?

So, here’s a picture of the New York garlicky pickles this summer–lots of garlic, grape leaves to keep the pickles crisp, some peppercorns, and fresh dill:

Sour Pickes in crock

And a summer favorite–a bacon, lettuce, tomato (from your garden), slivered onion sandwich with homemade mayo and with a pickle on the side:

Sour Pickles

Interesting Information: A Horror Story

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Interesting Information:  September 24, 2014

A Horror Story

I can tell this story now that my niece (and namesake) has delivered her beautiful second son and is home safely.

To tell this story before this event would have scared my niece to death.  Though she had chosen to use a midwife and to have her son in a birthing center, the birth still took place in a hospital.  And hospitals are not places one wants to be in these days.

Heather Ann (Woodward) Nichols, 29, grew up in Owls Head and Rockland.  She met husband Matt in Portland, and they married int he spring of 2011.  Heather went to one of our best state hospitals to have her first baby in early August.

The baby’s room was all ready, the couple was so excited about the birth of their first child, and the birth apparently went well.  Heather had an episiotomy during the birth process.  Heather went home with her daughter, Ruby Ann, and in a matter of hours, starting experiencing a lot of pain.  She went back to the hospital and died a few days later.  She had picked up a flesh-eating bacteria through the episiotomy–A Streptococcus, or necrotizing fasciitis.  These bacterias LIKE living in hospitals.

NPR’s Diane Rehm has had many programs on the overuse of antibiotics over the many years I’ve listened to her radio show.  She had another one last week (September 2013).  But, the herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner says that it’s way too late now to try to cut back on the heavy use of antibiotics–most of which are used on the animals in our food supply–to promote growth in overcrowded conditions.  The barn door is already open, and we can’t go back.  Worse, there are no magic drugs in the pipeline that can control the super pathogens that we now face.

Herbal Antibiotics

Here’s a quote from Buhner’s HERBAL ANTIBIOTICS (13-14):

The thing that so many people missed, including my ancestors, is that all life on Earth is highly intelligent and very, very adaptable.  Bacteria are the oldest forms of life on this planet and they have learned very, very well how to respond to threats to their well-being.  Among those threats are the thousands if not millions of antibacterial substances that have existed as long as life itself.

One of the crucial understandings that those early researchers ignored, though tremendously obvious now (only hubris could have hidden it so long), is that the world is filled with antibacterial substances, most produced by other bacteria, as well as fungi and plants.  Bacteria, to survive, learned how to respond to those substances a long time ago.  Or as Steven Projan of Wyeth Research puts it, bacteria “are the oldest of living organisms and thus have been the subject to three billion years of evolution in harsh environments and therefore have been selected to withstand chemical assault.”

What makes the problem even more egregious is that most of the antibiotics originally developed by human beings came from fungi, fungi that bacteria had encountered a very long time ago.  Given those circumstances, of course there were going to be problems with our antibiotics.  Perhaps, perhaps, if our antibiotic use had been restrained, the problems would have been minor.  But it hasn’t been; the amount of pure antibiotics being dumped into the environment is unprecedented in evolutionary history.  And that has had tremendous impacts on the bacterial communities of Earth, and the bacteria have set about solving the problem they face very methodically.  Just like us, they want to survive, and just like us, they are very adaptable.  In fact, they are much more adaptable than we ever will be.

What does the overuse of antibiotics look like?  Buhner quantifies the overuse in this way (7):

In 1942 the world’s entire supply of penicillin was a mere 32 liters (its weight? about 64 pounds).  By 1949, 156,000 pounds a year of penicillin and a new antibiotic, streptomycin (isolated from common soil fungi) were being produced.  By 1999–in the United States alone–this figure had grown to an incredible 40 million pounds a year of scores of antibiotics for people, livestock, research, and agricultural plants.  Ten years later some 60 million pounds per year of antibiotics were being used in the United States and scores of millions of pounds more by other countries around the world.  Nearly 30 million pounds were being used in the United States solely on animals raised for human consumption.  And those figures?  That is per year.  Year in, year out.

Buhner also notes that most of these antibiotics pass through animals and are excreted into the various waste stream systems where THEY NEVER GO AWAY.  And, “hospital-acquired resistant infections, by conservative estimates, are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.  And that doesn’t even include the death toll from infectious diseases in general, the same infectious diseases that were going to be eradicated by the year 2000 (11).

Buhner argues in HERBAL ANTIBIOTICS that our only solution is to return to plant-based medicinal strategies.  This book is daunting in its scope.  I feel like I did when I first started reading NOURISHING TRADITIONS with all its information and new ways of handling food.  But, by now I have waded deeply into traditional food ways and into sourcing local foods and into thinking about and researching alternative medical strategies.  So, I will begin with baby steps with finding ways to use herbal antibiotics–remembering that all the most powerful medicines are located in plants, which themselves organize through chemicals.  That would lead to Buhner’s THE LOST LANGUAGE OF PLANTS, which was an eye-opener for me and which I will write about in a separate post.

And, what can we do about this very serious problem of antibiotic resistant diseases–which are part and parcel of ALL the superbugs we have created with our greedy and stupid practices that have ignored the powerful interconnectedness of nature?

Stay out of hospitals if at all possible.  I, for instance, am done with getting blood tests unless I need one because I’m sick.

If you are pregnant, watch the excellent documentary THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN.  You will be shocked to discover how much of pregnancy and birth in the United States has been colonized by practices located in making money, rather than in practices grounded in science.  And, yes, I will write a separate posting on this documentary.  For the moment, note that something like 85 percent of births across the rest of the world are overseen by midwives–and the survival rates are much higher than those in the US.  Note, too, that most OB/GYNs have NEVER SEEN a natural live birth.  These doctors are highly trained surgeons, and we are so lucky to have them if trouble develops, but have them attend normal births is a super, and expensive, overkill.  So, do some research on your own.  Learn for yourself what the issues are.  And make your birth choices not out of fear, but out of knowledge–like my niece recently did.

Mainely Tipping Points Essay 43: Part III: Paleo Diet: What’s Wrong With Legumes?

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Mainely Tipping Points Essay 43:  November 16, 2012

Paleo Diet, Part III:  What’s Wrong With Legumes?

 

To recap from Parts I and II, Paleo Diet advocates argue that humans are genetically wired to eat meat, foraged vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.  Paleo peoples, they argue, did not eat grains, legumes, or dairy and were superbly healthy.

 But, what’s wrong with beans and peanuts, also known as legumes?

 Rob Wolf, in “The Paleo Solution,” puts it simply:  “dairy and legumes have problems similar to grains:  gut irritating proteins, antinutrients…protease inhibitors, and inflammation.”  Antinutrients, like phytates, bind to metal ions, like magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, and copper, which make them unavailable for absorption by our bodies.  Protease inhibitors prevent the breakdown of proteins which means your body cannot “effectively digest the protein in your meal” (98-99, 93).  In other words, antinutrients and protease inhibitors cause malabsorption and disease.    

 

Nora T. Gedgaudas, C.N.S., C.N.T., in “Grains:  Are They Really a Health Food?:  Adverse Effects of Gluten Grains” (“Well Being Journal,” May/June 2012), notes that “legumes typically contain 60 percent starch and only relatively small amounts of incomplete protein, and they also contain potent protease inhibitors, which can damage one’s ability to properly digest and use dietary protein and can also potentially damage the pancreas over time, when one is overly dependent on them as a source of calories.”  (Gedgaudas’ web site is http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com.) 

 William Davis, MD, in “Wheat Belly,” notes that the carbohydrate in legumes contains amylopectin C, which is the least digestible of the amylopectins—which leads to the chant “Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart, the more you eat ‘em, the more you…”.  Yet, the reality of the indigestible matter is not so funny:  “undigested amylopectin makes its way to the colon, whereupon the symbiotic bacteria happily dwelling there feast on the undigested starches and generate gases such as nitrogen and hydrogen, making the sugars unavailable for you to digest” (33).

 Davis goes on to note that amylopectin B is “the form found in bananas and potatoes and, while more digestible than bean amylopectin C, still resists digestion to some degree.  Remember that wheat has amylopectin A, which is the most digestible form of the amlopectins and, thus, can raise blood sugars more than eating a sugar-sweetened soda or a sugary candy bar.  The lesson here is that “not all complex carbohydrates are created equal….”   And Davis cautions that as the carbohydrate load of legumes “can be excessive if consumed in large quantities,” it’s best to limit servings to about a ½ cup size (33, 213). 

 Wolf is less compromising when it comes to combining plant-based foods, like beans and rice, to obtain essential amino acids—which we must eat as we cannot make them on our own.  The eight essential amino acids are “plentiful in animal sources and lacking to various degrees in plant sources.”  Wolf notes that “many agricultural societies found that certain combinations (like beans and rice) can prevent protein malnutrition.”  But, relying on the work of anthropologists who have compared them, Wolf notes that “most vegetarian societies…are less healthy than hunter-gathers and pastoralists.”  That’s because “plant sources of protein, even when combined to provide all the essential amino acids, are far too heavy in carbohydrate, irritate the gut, and steal vitamins and minerals from the body via anti-nutrients.”  Wolfs’ final assessment:  “Beans and rice, nuts and seeds, are what I call “Third World proteins.’  They will keep you alive, they will not allow you to thrive” (208-209).

 Wolf cautions that unless you are lean and healthy, don’t eat fruit.  He adds, further, that “there is no nutrient in fruit that is not available in veggies, and fruit may have too many carbs for you” (214)

 Dr.  Natasha Campbell-McBride expanded on the 1950s Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) of Dr. Sidney Valentine Haas and created the “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” (GAPS) diet.  (That history is in my Mainely Tipping Points Essay 31 on my blog:  https://louisaenright.wordpress.com.)  Haas recognized the connections between diet and disease, especially in the debilitating digestive disorders, and put patients on a diet that eliminated dairy, grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables, like potatoes.  (Dairy is slowly added back after healing has started, beginning with cultured forms, like yogurt.  But, some patients are not able to tolerate dairy permanently.)  Haas’s SCD diet emphasized bone broths, meat stews that included animal fat, vegetables, and some fruits.  The results were, and are, amazing. 

 Dr. Campbell-McBride was one of many now, like Wolf and Davis, who made the further connection that too many starchy carbohydrates foment conditions in the gut that allow out-of-control yeasts to degrade the gut lining—which allows food particles to escape into the blood stream and trigger autoimmune reactions.  Campbell-McBride is one of the first to realize that these out-of-control yeast populations produce toxins that affect the brain and create problematic behavior.  Conditions like autism, for instance, might not really be autism, but effects of inappropriate diet and malfunctioning body systems. 

 Sally Fallon Morell and Mary G. Enig, Ph. D. of The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) hold a place in their 1999 “Nourishing Traditions,” for most legumes—if properly soaked and cooked so that phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors are destroyed and difficult-to-digest complex sugars are made more digestible and if legumes are cooked and eaten with at least small amounts of animal protein and animal fat. 

 Morell and Enig write that soybeans, however, should only be eaten sparingly and only after fermentation into miso, tempeh, and natto because the chemical package in soy is so powerful and so dangerous (495-496).  A  commercial method has never been fully developed that renders soy completely safe.  But, more on soy in Mainely Tipping Points 44 .  (Note that tofu is not a fermented soy food.) 

 Morell and Enig are careful to caution that “vegetable protein alone cannot sustain healthy life because it does not contain enough of all of the amino acids that are essential.”  Indeed, “most all plants lack methionine, one of the essential amino acids” (495-496).  Further, both Morell and Enig have made clear repeatedly in the WAPF journal “Wise Traditions” that the current government support for plant-based diets is dangerous and unscientific.          

 In the end, what Paleo diet advocates are asking is why, in the first place eat foods with such high carbohydrate loads, inferior protein, and so many dangerous chemicals —especially when a diet of meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds supplies nutrients in dense, safe, satisfying forms. 

 This Paleo question is especially good to contemplate if one is overweight and experiencing the attendant health issues that accompany that condition and are trying to make changes.  Or, if one has ongoing digestive disorders which really must be addressed. 

 

Turkey Tracks: Preserving Garlic

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Turkey Tracks:  February 2, 2012

Preserving Garlic

Some of our garlic is starting to go soft and to mold–especially the really big bulbs.  It’s that time of year.

Last year, I jollied the bulbs along by putting them into the refrigerator.  I swore then that I’d take the time to clean them and do SOMETHING with them next year.  For those of you who don’t grow things, one plants garlic in the fall, it winters over in the ground, sprouts in the spring, grows all summer–giving you fresh garlic scapes just when you’re hungry for fresh garlic taste–and one harvests in the early fall when the plants start to turn brown.  After pulling up the bulbs, one dries them in a warm dry place, which makes the true, strong garlic taste develop.  After that, one cuts off the stalks and stores the bulbs.  They need cool, dry storage.

Also, EAT GARLIC!.  It has the most amazing chemical properties which can build up your immune system, drive off colds and infections, and keep you generally healthy.  It didn’t get the reputation for vampire protection for nothing!  If you start coming down with a cold, mash a fresh garlic clove into some butter, spread it over a cracker or something like that, and eat it.  Salt helps.  Three times a day.  You’ll notice that help is occurring almost right away.

So, this year, I brined a jar of garlic, which took care of about half of our crop.  You can see what I have left to do.  You can also see the dusky blue light outside my kitchen window

I used a recipe from NOURISHING TRADITIONS since it uses whey.

Brining Garlic

In a quart Mason jar, place the peeled cloves of about 12 heads of garlic.  (If you roll them under your hands or in a towel, the cloves break free easily–all except for the pesky little ones.)

Add 2 teaspoons of dried oregano (I used a savory herb mixture with a Mediterranean base), 2 teaspoons sea salt, 2 Tablespoons of whey.  If you don’t have whey (you drip it out of yogurt), use another 2 teaspoons of sea salt.  Add water to cover, but leave a good inch free at the top.  You’ll notice I have my jar sitting in a saucer to catch drips if the fermentation process gets going in earnest and bubbles start going over the top.

Leave the jar on the counter for about three days, turning it upside down and shaking it a few times a day to distribute the juices.  Then, put it in a cool place.

You can use the garlic like fresh.  The juice is great in salad dressings.  Or, I suspect, a little would jive up soups.

I’m also going to make some GARLIC ELIXIR–from a recipe in WELL BEING JOURNAL, Jan/Feb 2012.  They took it from Doug Oster’s TOMATOES, GARLIC, BASIL:  THE SIMPLE PLEASURES OF GROWING AND COOKING YOUR GARDEN’S MOST VERSATILE VEGGIES.  Sounds like a good book.

Garlic Elixir

1 cup of garlic cloves, peeled

1/4 cup parsley

1 teaspoon salt (sea salt please)

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

Olive oil (1/2 to 1 cup)

1 tsp. black pepper

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

optional:  chopped black olives or capers to taste

Process garlic and parsley in a blender until chopped fine– put optional ingredients in first before blending the garlic and parley if using.  Place in a mixing bowl.  Add salt, vinegar, pepper and lemon juice, stir in olive oil.  Place in a glass jar and cover with thin layer of olive oil.  Will store in refrigerator for up to a month.

Wow!  I’m guessing some of that added to salad dressing would make some fabulous salad dressing.  Wonder if one could freeze it…

Push the cloves do

xxx