Archive for October, 2008

Your daily diet is your medicine for life

October 27th, 2008

Scientific studies clarifying the relationship between diet and health have started to gain serious momentum in the past few years.  Wise men throughout history have explained Man as a result of his diet. Conscious food choices directly affect our health, happiness and how we relate to the world.

Dr. Weil has an article explaining why black berries have cut cancer rates by 50% in lab rats. (http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/WBL02028)  There are studies in Great Britain suggesting that addiction can be severely reduced by appropriate dietary changes. We are gaining some awareness of how to combat disease through diet.  But  how did we get to this place in time where obesity has surpassed smoking as the leading killer?  

I imagine the same forces that empowered cigarettes its deadly reign over humanity: popular culture and the loss of tradition.  It is not merely the control of agriculture by the fast food industry.  We have also pushed technology, including food technology, so hard that we have often times not adequately tested the long term effects on humans.This haphazard, free market approach to the creation of culture has provided many benefits, but has also resulted in much misery and sickness.

I say free market to explain that capitalism in general, and corporations in specific do not care about the health of a community other than as a factor in sales.  I don’t want anyone telling me how or what to eat.  But I would like to listen to people and learn what they have to offer about food and its relationship to us.

It seems to me that creating community is the first step in recapturing tradition and passing on health and well being to our children.

long life and health

October 20th, 2008

It strikes me odd that I often hear folks telling me that they enjoyed a meal, but that it didn’t agree with them internally.  There seems to be a disconnect there.

Luigi Cornaro was an Italian back in the 14th century who lived to be a healthy 102 years old.  He basically had two rules to live by:

1. Eat only what agrees with you (listen to your stomach and not your palate).

2. Eat as little as possible (quit eating while still a little hungry)

It seems this counsel has been forgotten in a nation where obesity is the number one preventable cause of death.  It seems to me we are not listening to our bodies anymore.

For more about Luigi Cornaro check out http.//chetday.com/luigi.html

World Food Day

October 17th, 2008

Sure, grain prices finally fell last month.  But the price of diesel remains high and the cost of total inputs is very high.  The world bank predicts that the amount of malnourished people will rise to 44 million this year.  That’s nearly 1 billion hungry people.  And we grow enough food to feed all the hungry Americans out there.

Here in the United States the folks  who are in the lowest quintile of  wage earners pay 37% of household income for food.  In other words, the folks who are struggling to make it face the difficult choice of cheap processed food and more nutritional raw food.

It seems to me that our agricultural policy is fundamentally flawed.  Much of the price hikes in grain stem from the congressional mandate to grow corn for ethanol production.  The creation of ethanol from corn is more expensive than gasoline, but because of government subsidies appears to be cheaper.

Not only are we investing hugely in the creation of inefficient fuel, but we are forcing lower income families to struggle even more to put food on the table.  It interests me that agricultural policy has not been discussed much by either candidate.

The smell Factor

October 1st, 2008

Ever smell something lovely coming from the kitchen and have long lost memories evoked.  Smell can sometimes trigger memory more so than any of the other senses. Sifting through  the film tapes of my dad cooking I can almost smell those foods bursting through the computer screen.

Dad has gotten old and doesn’t cook much anymore, but the little grand kids running around the house have to have taken in some of those fresh cooked fragrances.  And at least one bite.  Dad’s rule has always been that one must sample at least one bite of whatever we are cooking.

As I develop duckspoon it strikes me that the grand children may never get the chance to eat some of my dad’s cooking.  The only chance they may have is to see the film that I have captured of him cooking his favorite meals for duckspoon, my video recipe encyclopedia.  

If the kids want to, they can cook the meal themselves, coached by my dad from the computer screen. Touching history more intimately than mere reading.  Perhaps then the scent wafting up from the food may trigger old memories and remind them of a kind man who mastered good food.