Whew!! The holidays "roared in" and "roared out". It was fun but I'm ready for a holiday from the holidays. I try so hard to keep up with having something fresh to "chew" on here at Food For Thought. If you've read any of my previous posts, you probably know that I strongly encourage all food consumers to take a personal initiative to educate yourself and those in your own circles and to take every opportunity to engage the food production industry with your own food activism. I came across a good site that offers those kinds of opportunities. I hope you'll give it a look and pick a link that you can give some attention. It's the voice, vote and dollar of the food consuming public that will change the quality of food that we are offered in the general marketplace. Remember, many people do not have the education or the means to affect such a change. If any of us are blessed to be in a position where we can say or do something, I think it becomes our responsibility to do so, otherwise, we will continue to become a failing nation of underachievers and malcontents and poisoned/poor quality food could be a significant contributing factor. (Poorly nourished children have a full range of mental/physical maladies due to improper nutrition.) Better food = better health.
The "seeds" we plant today are the "harvest" of tomorrow!
Often, fresh nutritional food is spoken of as "fresh from the garden". I want to bring to your attention that there's food in "them there woods". On one of our trips to France, I have a fond memory of going out looking for chestnut trees on the side of the road with my husband, Chef Roland, and his parents. It was a wonderful experience for all of us and a great reason to go for an outing. They are in their late 80's and you could tell they really enjoyed being our guides to a choice spot and that they were able to "pass down" part of their food culture to me, their American daughter-in-law who had never harvested chestnuts in the wild. It was beyond a Kodak moment. After we located and gleened the chestnuts from a quaint country French farm road, we took them home where Chef Roland's mother cooked up a scrumptious chestnut soup for part of our evening meal. That experience beat out anything else France had to offer! Since I've not been diligent to post anything for the holidays, I will make this my contribution because ,really, it's about family and memories. So, I've posted a link for a nice chestnut recipe. Unfortunately, they are a little expensive in the store. However, you can contact the Missouri Department of conservation and purchase a bundle of chestnut trees for a nominal cost and start your own chestnut orchard!!
Merry Christmas & Bon Appetit!
Many of you have probably seen that dorky commercial that involves a person eating something and that food item becomes animated and starts thrashing it's ingestor. I hate that commercial, it's UGLY! But, it is true, your food can hurt you. Many people suffer from food allergies, digestive issues and other possibly related illnesses. It's imperative that every food consumer understands that they have a responsibility to themselves and those that they serve, know safe food handling and practice those proceedures. You can save a life and it might be yours!
Okay, now that I've provided you with my public service announcement....I want you to take the time to really read over the following information on the link I provide you today. It's one thing to practice your own safety standards but, "who's minding the store", so to speak. If the food is entering the market already contaminated and the public is non the wiser, what then??? There SHOULD BE REAL SAFEGUARDS in place but, maybe that's just being naive. Who is REALLY protecting our food market safety? What is being done? What is not working? Who even cares? Food consumers, nowadays, must be knowlegable and proactive, otherwise, we're fair game for exploitation and fraud. And, I personally, do not believe the NEW FOOD SAFETY bill is just about protecting us, the consumers. When you can, get a copy and read the thing. The people who signed it into law probably DIDN'T read it at all!!
New food term - "nanomaterials", doesn't it sound delicious? It sounds like something a robot would eat, if you ask me. But, no, thanks to the "new food" science, which some people like to call "Frankenfoods" (because they are reminded of Frankenstein), we now should be worrying about the little microparticles that can possilble do HUGE damage to your body's physiology. And, trust me, that is something you don't want to hurt.
I thought this was an interesting quote from the link I'm sharing in this post:
"In contrast to FDA's approach, all food ingredients that incorporate engineered nanomaterials must be submitted to regulators in Canada and the European Union before they can be marketed."
When I read of situations where the FDA is NOT regulating something that is a true health concern to every man/woman and child, like GMO's or nanomaterials but that they are having people arrested and taking their farms because of raw milk, I really want to cry. Would someone like to give their thoughts on how they perceive the FDA to be, or not to be, actually protecting our food safety issues????
Here's the link on the nanomaterials: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/12/caution-urged-with-nanoparticles-in-food/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=111206
In this "new world" that we live in, it seems everything is suspect and calls for reevaluation. I've seen some articles where people are even asking for the dismantling of the Food and Drug Administration. The link I'm posting today gives good cause for that question to be raised. There is the possibility, it's just the proverbial "tip of the iceberg". It stands to reason that if greed and corruption can influence other regulatory agencies, why would the FDA be exempt?
I also believe that this link will demonstrate, once again, that it's really up to the consumers to do their own research to route out the truth, as best as possible. If we simply rely on the media or one source of information, we are probably going to end up with only a slanted side of the story that has a spin on it to protect whomever is giving the biased information. If a food controversy is followed over time, as well, the more factual story will eventually emerge. So, I'll use this opportunity to once again encourage you all to investigate, develop your own personal food choices and get proactive by contacting your representatives and any other entities where you can voice your own concerns because every voice counts! Remember: Food IS Political !!
Whether you want to admit it, or not, food is a science. Yes, I know it is also an art and a sociological event and cultural and all those other things that we can get so passionate about. But, it doesn't change the fact that you are messing with science when you are cooking. I'm sure there some cooks out there who just have a natural born instinct as to what to do in the kitchen. I am NOT one of those people, I told ya'll that in the beginning. But, I do want to share a couple of links with you that I think really give good information as to why you get some of the results that you do with your cooking projects. A little education never hurt anyone, right?
The first link is the one that initially caught my attention today and I searched for the link that takes you to my personally favorite cooking show, America's Test Kitchen. The teacher in me loves when things get explained and both of these links do that well.
What a honey of a mess! It's getting so complicated in the food markets to know what you are REALLY eating, or not. If you like honey, or if you are just interested on how complicated and tricky food distributors/producers can be......check this article out:
*Just to let you know, the following link may contribute to loss of appetite.
I apologize in advance. I came across an article that I think is important for all food consumers, us. Food articles, pictures, tv programs, classes, our friends and such tend to glorify food and elevate it to an almost iconic status where most of us "bottom feeders" don't even recognize it. I'm posting this link to help demonstrate that food is and always will be the sustanance that we draw our life energy from so that we can thrive and perform in this physical world. It can get pretty basic. With that thought, we need to always have in the back of our mind, a discerning standard of "is this or is it not, beneficial to my overall wellbeing?" That little check will always be on your shoulder to help guide you in developing your personal food culture. If you don't seek out information that helps that "little voice" to do it's job, you'll eat anything, with consequences!
Sometimes, information that you might "skip over" in the newspaper/magazines or on television or from alerted family and friends might be the fact that there is a local event of a salmonella outbreak, or an egg recall, or that some people feel we need to know what products are Genetically Modified Foods, or how can you tell something is Organic, or not. With that mission, I am sharing a little link to give you just a taste of how the Food & Drug Administration affects your food world. I highly recommend you use your own browser bar to explore other articles that will enlighten you as to what are our current Food Laws (yes, they affect you) and other insightful information.
The article I'm sharing is not for the sensitive stomach, so brace yourself:
Something I feel like I've known most of my adult life is that eating fresh food from your own garden is simply the best. Unfortunately, that's not how I have lived my life. Convenience, poor habits and temptation have been key factors in my developing unhealthy eating habits. I also believe what others, and myself, have believed to be "good food" has been a misnomer. When I was very young, I thought eating a whole bowl of artificial whipped cream was "eating good", at least until my mother gave me the opportunity to sit down and have the whole bowl to myself. Suffice to say, my concept of "all the whipped cream I could eat" was no longer on my list of "good foods to eat". Personal food culture, which can involve alot of different factors, including our emmotions, usually dictates what our eating habits and good food concepts are going to be. I posted a good 'common sense' article link today that I think gives a down-to-earth assesment of common sense eating.
I am thrilled to begin finding more and more outstanding articles that educate the public as to why Genetically Modified Organisms (molecularly modified foods) are such a risk to our well being and health. So many people aren't even aware as to what GMOs are and that they are being forced on an unaware public who have no clue as to how the food markets are being overtaken by these products. Please share this information with everyone that you know.
When Roland and I met, I was one of those people who opened the box or can and warmed up the family meal. After our marriage in 2005, I truely began to appreciate what food is really about, not only that it can taste very good, and be nutritious, but that it can be a celebration of who you are and the people that you share it with.