Tag: big agra
Over the last year we’ve brought you tips on keeping your primal eating strategy in line with your budget. It’s been a tough year after all. First, gas prices (among other influences) sent food prices soaring, and lately we’ve all been living under the cloud of an economic downturn that seems to be settling in as comfortably as an unwelcome, clueless house guest.
But as the country shores up for hard times ahead, the “recession” analysis has found its way beyond the money section and into the lifestyle pages. According to some experts, the economic trend has done more than alter grocery shopping habits; it’s spawned a dietary drift worthy of pop cultural commentary and a classification all its own: the “recession diet.”
Thanks for the great topic suggestion, Son of Grok. It is interesting that as we rid our body of waste, we seem to do the same for the planet. Funny how that works out. The reduction of artificial wastes and packaging materials is probably the most tangible benefit to the environment, but following the Primal Blueprint to a tee can be incredibly green-conscious in many other ways.
For running a blog committed to following in Primal man’s footsteps, we Bees were initially all abuzz at the news that the FDA would be reviewing the prospect of introducing genetically engineered animals into the US system. We’re all about kickin’ it old school, as it were, so we weren’t too sure if eating super steaks was going to be in line with our philosophy. But it seems our trepidations might be a bit premature. While genetically engineered meat sounds bad to a Primal eater, there’s a possibility the stuff might actually be healthy, let alone dangerous.
Thanks so much to everyone for their comments and emails on last week’s “Farmed versus Wild Salmon” post. The response, both posted and personal, was amazing. It’s what I love about doing the blog – getting you, our MDA readers, the information you want and the resources you can use. Keep those comments and suggestions coming!
I wanted to follow up on a few questions in particular. A number of folks, including David, wanted to know if you could tell how “wild” salmon was from the label. Also, what other kinds of fish would I recommend if salmon, for financial and/or personal environmental commitments, is off the table? Finally, readers like Brett were interested in knowing whether other canned fish like mackerel and sardines were necessarily wild and healthy alternatives.
Last week I noted in my podcast with Jimmy Moore how expensive genuine wild salmon can cost. Since then, I?ve received a healthy number of emails asking for more info, tips, and the real benefits behind buying ?wild.?
What exactly are salmon ?farms?? How does the farm setting change the nutritional content of salmon? Is there really that much of a difference? Is farmed salmon even worth buying?
First off, salmon farms of some kind make up about 80% of salmon on the market today. (In the United States, the number is higher ? 90% by some estimates.) Thirty percent come from traditional hatcheries, and the remaining 50% are raised in aquaculture or ?open pen nets? just off shore. Farms can ?raise? up to a million salmon at a time. I?ll throw in a visual.
Following the recent tainted spinach controversy, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month ruled that food manufacturers can now irradiate fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce to kill bacteria associated with food-borne illnesses.
Huh? Exactly. Essentially food irradiation refers to a process whereby food is exposed briefly to a radiant energy source (usually in the form of a gamma ray or electron beam) that is thought to kill harmful bacteria, thereby reducing the risk of contracting a food-borne disease. The FDA also contends that blasting your food with radiation can reduce the bacteria responsible for spoilage, kill insects and parasites, and delay ripening in certain fruits and vegetables. In fact, while we?re on the topic, it should probably be noted that the concept of irradiating foods is far from new: In 1999, the FDA began reviewing irradiation and has approved its use in meats, certain shell fish, produce, certain egg varieties, flour, spices and unpasteurized fruit juices. These foods, however, must bear an internationally recognizable stamp, known as a radura, to signal that the food has been irradiated.
Though many of us here tend to frequent farmer’s markets or CSA co-ops for a lot of our regular shopping, we inevitably end up at the grocery store for a few miscellaneous things. Comparing the experiences of the market versus “super”-market has become an interesting exercise in consumer research. Besides the strange and overflowing array of boxed or bagged, artificially flavored wonders that fill the aisles in the average grocery store, we’ve all agreed that there’s something else rather “twilight zone”-esque about our forays into the supermarkets. Specifically, has anyone noticed the mammoth size of fruit sold at the grocery store? What’s more, this Amazonian “beautiful” fruit just doesn’t taste the same, does it?
A few of us here grew up in farmland or at least had close relatives whose farms we visited. Most of us had something growing in our childhood backyards, and the same goes for our yards today. As a result, we’ve seen (and tasted) fruit in its natural and often wild state: Mark’s memories of small, tart and succulent Maine blueberries, others’ wild blackberry bushes, local strawberry “self-pick” farms, grandparents’ backyard apple orchards. Seriously, are conventional farmers all doing the Miracle Grow challenge or what?
I’m interested in a list of all the manufactured foods that contain high fructose corn syrup. Also, is HFCS also used in wine making?
Thanks to reader Cheryl for this question. First off, let’s talk a bit about high fructose corn syrup. HFCS, as it’s known, is an omnipresent sweetener and preservative found in many/most processed foods. After corn is soaked and separated, sugar present in the cornstarch is processed (with the use of enzymes) to increase fructose content. Corn syrup is then added. The resulting HFCS contains some proportion of fructose to glucose depending on its intended use (typically 55:45 for soft drinks, 42:58 for many baked goods).
As reports of tainted food continue to roll in, more Americans are questioning the safety of a now largely imported food supply. Add to these fears the lack of disclosure and labeling laws for foreign and domestic genetically modified foods, and consumers feel as though they’ve been hung out to dry by the food industry and the government agencies they expect will protect their families.
In the face of these concerns and in keeping with the recent trend toward “eating local,” CSA (community supported agriculture) farms present a reasonably priced alternative to grocery store fare. Consumers become “members” of the farms, buying a share of the annual yield, which can include not just vegetables and fruits but meat, poultry, eggs, coffee, and dairy items. Members often pay a fraction of what they would at the grocery store, especially for organic/grass-fed items. Deliveries come every week to two weeks and extend through the region’s growing and harvest season. Some CSAs offer special winter packages or holiday baskets.
Oh, the food supply, the food supply. It’s impossible to miss the media stories on the risks of food-borne illnesses like salmonella and E. coli. Meats, eggs, fruits and vegetables always seem to be the most insidious culprits. (But that Little Debbie snack cake, you’ll be relieved to know, is on the safe list.)
We’ve all heard that it’s important to diligently wash our produce and thoroughly cook all meats. But more and more, we’re hearing that these measures just aren’t enough. In contrast to two washing practices, a recent study organized by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service shows that irradiation kills more than 99% of many microbes, including salmonella and E. coli. Irradiation was compared with three minutes’ submergence in water and three minutes of cleaning with an unidentified chemical treatment. The water bath was ineffective at killing or removing E. coli, while the chemical treatment didn’t have significant effect on E. coli in tested spinach leaves and was not quite 90% effective when it came to lettuce.