Monday, February 6, 2012

on my mind monday 2.6.12

newspaper | photo: mconnors
Here we are, a new week, more news.  This is what I'm reading and thinking about.

You'll buy less junk food if you pay cash - Obviously I am not a fan of junk food.  Anything that helps folks learn to kick the habit is a good thing as far as I am concerned.  Learning to put away your credit card turns out to not only help you save money, but eat healthier.

Taco Bell Enters Breakfast Arena - Definitely not a good thing.  I'm not surprised at this move because I know they want to expand their market and make more profits.  But the healthiest thing you can do for yourself is to stay home for breakfast.  Eat something healthy, nourishing, with solid protein and a good fat, not over-processed, chemically-laden fast food.  I'm guessing most of you reading this are here because you wouldn't go there for breakfast in the first place.  Unfortunately, the ones who need to hear this message aren't reading it.

Update:  One of my readers felt this meant that you should never eat out for breakfast and this is something that she enjoys.  I did not mean you could never eat out for breakfast so I'd like to add the following food for breakfast is not a good choice  Breakfast at a restaurant where the food is freshly prepared and there are healthy choices is not unreasonable.  However, most of the people who would be willing to consider fast food for breakfast on a regular basis would do better to eat at home because the choices available at fast food restaurants are not really healthy ones.

Frying with healthy oil not linked to heart disease - It's important to note that this report only looked at two oils, olive and sunflower.  And these oils were not reused (which is an important distinction) and were certainly not hydrogenated or modified in any way.  Some questions were raised about the concept of which foods were consumed as all the participants in the study followed a Mediterranean Diet during the 11 year study, however it certainly indicates that the use of clean healthy oils can be part of a healthy diet.

I'm bummed because my Jerusalem artichokes did not appear to grow last year.  I've left the ground alone in the hopes that they are giggling amongst themselves and happily multiplying so that in a couple of months I will start to see their little heads poking above ground.  These are a delicious way to add prebiotics to your diet (prebiotics are essentially what the probiotics in your gut need to survive).  High in fiber, potassium, and iron, they also provide some niacin, thiamin, and copper (supports iron for the health of red blood cells and zinc for wound healing and immune system health).  My friend Merriweather has some great pictures and more information about Jerusalem artichokes on his blog.

Found in my latest edition of Winter 2011 Wise Traditions:  "Polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR) is a "yellowish, viscous liquid comprised of polyglyerol esters of polycondensed fatty acids from castor oil or soybean oil.  The anti-freeze-like slime has largely replaced cocoa butter inHershey's candy bars.  Meanwhile Hershey's is buying up small high-end chocolate producers, like Scharffenberger and Joseph Schmidt chocolates, and and changing these formulations by adding corn syrup."  To which I say read the label.  This is just one more reason not to buy Hershey's products.  These products include but may not be limited to:  Breath Savers, Ice Breakers, Bubble Yum, Jolly Ranchers, Koolerz, Pay Day, Zagnut, Zero, Care-free, Good & Plenty, Reeses, Take Five, York, Kit Kat, Almond Joy, Mounds, Twizzlers, Dagoba, Cadbury, Mauna Loa, Milk Duds, Mr. Goodbar, Rolo, Skor, Whoppers, and Whatchamacallit. Very sad that the small, high-end producers cannot withstand companies like Hershey's and their product suffers greatly for it.

Currently Reading:

I bought Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection at a conference a couple of years ago.  Every now and then I come back to it again, not just for the recipes, but for the wonderful information that the author provides about our food, our connection to our food, to the earth, and to the cycles of life.



Meg said...

Scharffenberger is not easy to get on the east coast and I've happily paid a premium for the best chocolate ever.

Not any more. Last time I ate one the "mouth-feel" was off and the berry after-finish missing.

It isn't "just" good health that disappears when food is treated as a factory product.

Sadly, I blame Scharffenberger for selling out as much as Hershey for ruining their chocolate bars.

Cindi said...

Living in Hershey now, I like to support my neighbors jobs by buying hershey when I do get the junk food craving. (i'm sure your cringing now). I think I'll mention your Hershey input to my neighbor who works in the nutrition area for them. I'm interested in her thoughts now.
Thanks for another great blog! xox

Mira Dessy said...

I look forward to hearing the feedback about this.