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Thread: Scrutinizing the scrutiny of organic food.

  1. #1
    Abandon ship. Duckman's Avatar
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    Scrutinizing the scrutiny of organic food.

    On a number of "science" FB groups I have often noticed the same topic come up in a number of different groups. Fairly recently the value of organic food came up for question.

    I pointed out that the food business has many armchair critics but these people have no idea what a complex and confusing business the food business is. I also pointed out that with breakfast cereals other than porridge, in terms of nutrients, you get poor value for money. Much of the time you are paying for packaged air. To top it all, Kellogg's Corn Flakes was the original "health food".
    Skeptoid that is about highlighting urban myths, bad science and consumer rip offs agreed with me.

    Another group I was banned from. See here,

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    It would seem there is an unwritten rule that Thou Shalt Not Take Shots At The Big End Of Town.
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    We all lead different lives.


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    Not just porridge; wholewheat bulgur is a cooked cereal that has quite good food value. (So long as you aren't bothered by gluten).
    And of course muesli, which we sometimes have with fruit juice for a treat.
    But generally, as you say, the more refined a breakfast cereal is, the less food value it has. Even worse than Corn Flakes are crap like Sugar Puffs; not only little food value but an excess of sugar too! But straight out of the packet and into the bowl with a swill of milk means convenience and quickness.
    Some kids around here never get breakfast; a few sweets or a bottle of energy drink on the way to school is their breakfast...
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    Originally Posted by OldKeith
    Not just porridge; wholewheat bulgur is a cooked cereal that has quite good food value. (So long as you aren't bothered by gluten).
    Thanks for that. I will look into whole wheat bulger. I used to make Tabbouleh when I working in Sydney many years ago.

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    Originally Posted by OldKeith
    And of course muesli, which we sometimes have with fruit juice for a treat.
    I don't mean to sound puritanical but neither fruit juice nor muesli out of a packet can really be labeled healthy. Consider this . It takes you a while to go through five shop size apples, but it only takes 30 seconds to drink the juice of the same apples. Far too much fructose.Muesli out of a packet usually contains skimmed milk powder. Dried fruit will stick to your teeth and cause tooth decay. Dried fruit can be nutritionally useful if soaked.

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    Originally Posted by OldKeith
    But generally, as you say, the more refined a breakfast cereal is, the less food value it has. Even worse than Corn Flakes are crap like Sugar Puffs; not only little food value but an excess of sugar too! But straight out of the packet and into the bowl with a swill of milk means convenience and quickness.
    I remember as a kid having some Quakers brand cereal that were capsules of air. A total rip off.

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    Originally Posted by OldKeith
    Some kids around here never get breakfast; a few sweets or a bottle of energy drink on the way to school is their breakfast...
    Disgraceful in developed countries init.?
    We all lead different lives.
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    Originally posted by Duckman:
    "I don't mean to sound puritanical but neither fruit juice nor muesli out of a packet can really be labeled healthy. Consider this . It takes you a while to go through five shop size apples, but it only takes 30 seconds to drink the juice of the same apples. Far too much fructose.Muesli out of a packet usually contains skimmed milk powder. Dried fruit will stick to your teeth and cause tooth decay. Dried fruit can be nutritionally useful if soaked."

    You are thinking fruit-rich packeted big-name muesli? We get the very basic stuff, cereal grains crushed and rolled with the odd few bits of dried fruit and nuts. Cheapest and best; not even any milk powder, so even a Vegan could touch it
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    .

    No sugar, either. What the store calls 'basic muesli' , for po' folks, I guess. As for fructose, enough orange juice to wet the mixture and soak it once in a while don't bother me none. Quantity is about that of two hand-squeezed oranges. Now if I saw a habit of a pint of orange juice before breakfast every day, like one or two folks I know, that would get me a little worried....

    As for the poor kids, it's not often a dire poverty thing, as folks might think, it's more just because the damn parents can't be bothered, or Mom has to be off to work and got up late again, so here's a quid for an energy drink or a few sweets on the way to school.
    No wonder some of these kids - I get told by teachers - fall asleep at their desks or lack concentration when the energy rush falls off badly after an hour or so. Some modern ADD - which is on the increase - may have its origins in lack of a breakfast, I guess.
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    Ummm, it's good to see people interested in the nitty gritty of food. For some reasopn breakfast is my least favourite meal of the day. The options aren't that great. Today I had a nectarine. And then for lunch I will have a 'proper' meal - sourdough bread, some olives, sardines . . .

    With breakfast, partly the problem is I don't like the same option. I don't want to have a full breakfast of bacon, beans and eggs every day. For some reason, though canned beans are easy, I have gone off them. It's not really that I have to have an 'easy / quick' breakfast either - I like preparing food. I used to always have yoghurt - it's probably still my favourite, but I don't have it every day.

    I can get a bit bored with porridge every day, even with its spoonful of honey. (Oh, honey!) Cuz of what you guys say above I've looked at my muesli - it doesn't have added sugar or dried milk (but what's wrong with dried milk?). Thanks for making me look. It's always worth looking at the small print if you have a magnifying glass, it's a bit of a pain, but then the knowledge stays with you and you can eat better. For instance Morrisons do a pack of butter where they state they give 15 pence to the farmer. Yes, it sort of annoys me that it's left to the consumer to pay this to the farmer (obviously the supermarket should ensure the farmer gets his fair whack regardless), on the other hand if this is the way to get the farmer more money just do it . . . anyway, I happened to look at the farmer butter and it had more fat, which is of course good (we need to remind ourselves of that in these lean times), it means the butter is creamier!

    Having asthma as a child made me aware of ingredients from an early age - I have always avoided E additives. You have to watch those supermarkets . . . Last thing, In Turkey their breakfasts are tomatos, feta, olives, their standard white bread (which is a nice loaf), plain white yoghurt, with honey if you want and orange juice. Oddly, this Turkish breakfast suits me OK, but even that I would get bored with. I could have it one or two times, then I'd need a break - and what I'd go for is Baklava and milk. That is the perfect breakfast. (If you can get the baklava made with honey rather than sugar syrup that's the best.)

    Enjoy your breakfsts!
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    Off the beaten track .... Maxal's Avatar
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    Duckman - I'm not on Facebook so can't get onto that link (I don't join those twitterfacebookthings).

    As for the subject matter: "organic". I like the eithics of organic, proper crop rotation and the work of the soil association, but I don't buy organic apart from carrots (the taste is definitely better, carrots can vary a lot). I've also heard that organic mushrooms could be worse than non-organic - because of some kind of virus or bug or something that you could get on the organic one (can't remember the exact details). I understand the potential benefits of organic, for instance, cows like to eat herbs and things that grow naturally with the grass - it's good for the cow and also makes for tastier produce. So, natural pasture is best. However, organic on everything is so expensive, also, how does the customer know what organic means? Ideally, if organic is better, then everything should be produced that way (I suppose I am making an excuse there).

    I don't drink coffee. Organic chocolate is ridiculously expensive. But the chocolate industry is a racket, so much stuff with hardly any cocoa in it - it's difficult to find decent chocolate. Similarl with fruit jucies, all those concentrates, with additives, hardly any real juice. It's easier just to stick to water, and every now and then squeeze a lemon into it.

    Fairtrade is a separate issue, and that I do go for.

    The politics of food is difficult. I don't like elitism in food, as soon as a food is a "super food" it's a great shame. Food should all be super - it keeps us alive. I used to drink a 100% pure pomegranite juice that I got in a carton from the Turkish area near me. Bliss. It used to have a bit of bitter residue at the bottom that I loved (I think it was pip sediment), suddenly pomegranites were labelled a "super food", the price was doubled and my product disappeared - the fruits must have gone to a different producer or became repackaged. The worst thing, the product changed! No bitter residue, which I liked. Result? I rarely drink pomegranite juice now. Potatos are going in a similar direction, it can be hard to get a decent, plain potato.
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    Hi Maxal, I'm about opposite you with the breakfast! Like a good breakfast, but hardly ever eat much at midday. (Makes me sleepy in the afternoon. Beers at lunchtime used to have the same effect!).

    What's the problem with potatoes? I would have thought you could get several varieties if you have a market near you? We love Desiree, especially good for baking, and makes a lovely waxy mash with a bit of butter, or equally as good with Vegan olive oil if you're that way inclined. We grow Cara as well on our allotment; this is not so waxy as Desiree, and packs on size during the late summer early autumn rains. A late maincrop variety, usually a decent cropper.

    Quite agree about the 'superfoods' bullshit. Once anything gets 'superfood' status and a few prats on commercial web sites discover it's supposed to be good for you, and publicise it to death, prices go sky high for awhile, and lots of prats who know sweet FA about nutrition pay high prices for something quite ordinary, for awhile. After a few months they discover to their surprise that they are no nearer being Superperson, so gradually drop it again.

    Quite another thing that makes me laugh is these prats of TV cooks, who cut things up into little chunks or slices, and then bake them to death in the oven, so the outside is dry, and the inside of the little chunks is chewy-chewy. Fug that for a game of soldiers! If I bake vegetables, I bake them whole mostly, unless they're in a casserole. Baking whole keeps in the moisture, makes the item taste rich and fleshy and moist and delicious. (Wow!). A good example is sweet potatoes. A relative wrecks them by cutting into thin slices and baking them into something like thick chewy chips. Disgusting! Bake them whole, make a slit when they come out nice and soft, just starting to ooze juices, and put a bit of butter, olive oil, or cottage cheese into the slit. Absolutely bloody delicious! Butternut squash is another thing these people wreck by cutting up small. Cut in half longways, or quarters if it's a big one, and baked in a foil tray or light baking tin, it truly lives up to its name!
    Vegetable cooking rant over, you can all come out now!
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    Heavenly Creature verticalis48's Avatar
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    As for the poor kids, it's not often a dire poverty thing, as folks might think, it's more just because the damn parents can't be bothered, or Mom has to be off to work and got up late again, so here's a quid for an energy drink or a few sweets on the way to school.
    No wonder some of these kids - I get told by teachers - fall asleep at their desks or lack concentration when the energy rush falls off badly after an hour or so. Some modern ADD - which is on the increase - may have its origins in lack of a breakfast, I guess.[/QUOTE]

    yeah......there's work being done now though to use meditation lessons and vit/mineral supps to help kids out of the shit our super civilised western culture has done to them.......very encouraging:


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    Heavenly Creature verticalis48's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Maxal;1597255]Duckman - I'm not on Facebook so can't get onto that link (I don't join those twitterfacebookthings).

    I don't drink coffee. Organic chocolate is ridiculously expensive. But the chocolate industry is a racket, so much stuff with hardly any cocoa in it - it's difficult to find decent chocolate. Similarl with fruit jucies, all those concentrates, with additives, hardly any real juice. It's easier just to stick to water, and every now and then squeeze a lemon into it.

    Once tried to land a graphic design job with Thorntons (Chocolate people) so I did loads of R&D before the interview......looks like top quality product is cost effective because you don't need much - so it lasts longer (well in theory anyway
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    ) this mob look interesting:


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    BTW - yeh, love the lemon wheeze as well - smarts ..... I also just started making water kefir - that's refreshing, with a squeeze of orange or lemon/lime or in fact any zapped fruit. I use one of those nutribullet blenders - you can make fab smoothies using pineapple+banana and even green smoothies using spinach and kale with fruits......sounds gross but they're blooming gorgeous.......then you can also freeze the smoothie into lollies. I call the green ones my frog blends !
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    Oldkeith - I tend to eat more as the day progresses. I tend to wake up, not wanting to get out of bed, and then at night, I'm snacking and don't want to go to bed. That might be the perils of being single (no rules).

    You obviously know your potatos, I'm impressed. You sound like my mother (half French and loved cooking to bring the family together), she'd say which were good for what you want, and I think I remembered a bit about it. Waxy v fluffy, but it can get confusing when supermarkets bring in all the new names and those tiny, pristine potatoes all over the place - salad potatos - as though people eat potatos mostly in salads. The Turkish stalls around me do a decent Cyprus potato when it's the right season for them, and then the supermarket (good for most other things), can be hit and miss with potatatos.

    You're right, I should try walking down to the market which is a bit further. You end up going all over the place, but of course, I'm lucky being in London (round the corner from me I can buy a violin if I want, more down to earth, there are at least three fantastic bread shops). Well done growing your own - vegetables benefit from that. Morrisons do a "Wonky" range, at a good price. You have to check them, sometimes they're a bit manky, but other times . . . I bought a bag of onions, I swear they were the best I had in my life, rockard-firm, and the white of the flesh had lines of pale green, it's amazing to see the high potential of a vegetable.

    But then you have to maintain that standard: firm beets, a nice, flavorsome carrot. Oh and celery! The variety, from joy to dire. Some you can get with a kind of woodlands-fresh smell, do they keep it white, is it stingy etc. A while ago there seemed to be a lot of good celery, but now I feel like not buying it. Celery when it is good, can give a lot of flavour. There doesn't seem to be much appreciation of the humbme celery, but I don't want to point it out to the managers for fear they will create a superfood out of it. (Waitrose already do "ltd editions" of celery, and to tell you the truth soome are good others not to my liking.) Yes, I know what you mean about squash - I tend to cut it in slices, but then am careful to only cook it for a few minutes before it turns to mush. It propbably is better in the oven as you do it, but mainly I use the rings of the stove. You must be a good cook then?

    A little thing: I looked at the label for sugar snaps and compared them to mange tout. Sugar snaps had a lot more protein in them and I prefer them, the snaps cost a little bit more per weight, but now I know they are better for me, they are worth it.

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    Off the beaten track .... Maxal's Avatar
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    Verticalis48 - I agree with you about the chocolate. With a good dark chocolate, you 'need' less. With a good chocolate, you don't have to stuff it all in yer face and you feel better for it. There is a tasty milk chocolate that I like, with crunchy hazlenuts, and I find it hard to top eating it. There is a dark chocolate version of the same thing, and I love it - I don't have the same problem of not being able to stop - 100 grams is fine.

    Thornton's are a bit of a dissapointment for me. I remember when the 'Viennese' truffle came out (in the 80s). I think it marked the descent of their chocolates. To this day my brother loves them, he can eat a whole quarter bag, so, yes, it's a matter of taste. But perhaps this is the point where the chocolate wars commence battle. The majority of people prefer sweet chocolate, others prefer a darker chocolate. If market forces prevail, then you get masses of sweet milk chocolate confection. To the point where it was discussed whether some should not be called chocolate, but 'vegolate'. Then the finer chocolate makers somehow divide and don't have to compete for price - they sell at higher profit margins. One exception is supermarkets doing some good dark chocolates at fair prices. One very good one is Divine, it's fair trade. The limtation is that these are bars, but at least they exist.

    With the viennese chocolate, Thorntons then grew massively they brought out new ranges, with sweet moussy fillings and their company grew exponentially. [To my taste:] They used to be a very good sweet shop with their "continental assortment" alpinis, hazlenut slices, diplomats - now I think they have even sweetened the recipes of that original range. Kit-kat have changed - they used to have hazlenut in them. Black Magic have changed - they used to be superb and did a perfect orange cream - their prices were good, so it goes to show, quality can be affordable. With 'clever' marketing we begin to take it for granted that certain things can command a certain price. Like the superfood thing already mentioned. When this kind of acceptance enters the market, standards can drop.

    That rawrchoc you selected - yes, it looks very good. It's quite expensive for a 60 gram bar. My mother and I tried a Mast Brothers bar of chocolate - I think it was about 8 for a tiny bar. (We definitely hesitated before purchasing it! I don't know why we succumbed.) We didn't think it special, it was a disappointment considering we were looking forward to a treat. Then I came across this, it's fascinating, though obviously I disagree that Hershey is great . . .


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    "It is just too perfect an example of the Emperor's New Clothes phenomenon that plagues our silly world."
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    It points out well this whole argument of the consumer having to be hyper-aware of market mechanics - and interestingly your slant as you mention graphic design above. The Mast Brothers were stationers before they took on the guise of chocolatiers.
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    The Mast brothers' loud claim was to be impassioned bean to bar chocolatiers and apparently they were buying a couverture (Valrhona) and melting it down to create their bars - so it's misleading the public. They didn't create their own couverture at all, and hence wasn't worthy of their exorbitant price (surpassing prices of some genuinely great chocolatiers' chocolate).

    What gets me is they obviously had some knowhow about chocolate (they published an elaborate chocolate cookbook to support their claims / magnify their image). They had everything necessary in this crazy capitalist day and age where launching a food product into the market costs at least a million: the making of it, all the equipment and premises, money, everything - even the new oh-so-fashionable beards (!!!), and a brothers-from-Iowa story to romanticise / sell it. Then they take one of the best couvertures in the world, Valrhona, and create infrerior chocolate bars, beautifully wrapped and sold at exorbitant prices - and get caught.

    Wonderful.

    [Can I have my money back please?] I guess it goes to show you can't expect to jump into the top ranks of a profession so easily.

  12. #12
    Off the beaten track .... Maxal's Avatar
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    I love the Thornton's jellies.
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    Originally Posted by Maxal;[Can I have my money back please?
    I guess it goes to show you can't expect to jump into the top ranks of a profession so easily.
    Maxal.....well impressed by the breadth and depth of your gastronomic intelligence....fookin sizzling analysis of the "chocolate" issue. I agree, Thorntons have pretty much sold out to large volume retailing via supermarkets........always a bad sign when you see their Easter Eggs piled high with gimmicky graphics and mainstream decorative cliches. We still have "Bettys & Tayors" here in Yorkshire, who do some truly wicked chocolate and preserved fruits confections - and rich fruit cakes and pastries etc. but it's more artisanal......not mass production...that's the same with everything I guess. Always better to buy from the indie makers.....whilst swerving the hipster knobheads who are all marketing and no substance of course.
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    Was it having a French mother (who was doubtless an excellent cook) from whom you learned your core skills ? Love the conversation about potatoes....unfortunately I have had to cut them out of my diet to heal my gut and skin problems (no nightshades anymore
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    also taking slippery elm, turmeric and american saffron tea) - but we used to luuuuuurve the Pink Fir Apples - could make a whole meal of them with courgettes n beans, good butter, coarse black pepper and French grey sea salt......nice xxx


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    Off the beaten track .... Maxal's Avatar
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    Hi Verty.
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    Yes, definitely my mother (departed and my best friend) is the source of my interest in food. I would stand by her whilst she was cooking; passing the salt, helping sometimes and always watching. We had many good times making fudge, brandy snaps, or just delicious dinners.

    That's interesting what you say about Betty's I've never heard of them, but will try to remember the name in case I come across it. "Sees" (very strange name) is a good American one, I mention them here because above I 'pretend' I don't like the sweeter chocolates - Sees are very sweet, but the recipes are amazing - I wish you could get them here. The Americans can be great at producing junk.

    That's weird having to cut out potatos, I wouldn't have thought they could do harm. I hope your herbal remedies are working, but take care, balances of things like that can be key. (I suppose you know that). I think zinc is good for hair, but if you take too much you can lose your hair. Saffron, I always wonder if it is the real thing, so I haven't bought it for a while. For Turmeric I buy the actual root now - pennies at a lovely Indian shop around the corner. Do you buy it in root form or powder? I mean the fresh root. (You can also buy it in dried root, but then it is VERY hard.) The taste of the root is fresh a bit gentler. One thing is to slice it and put it in the rice to boil. It's a bit of a pain in the ass to peel as the yellow stain can get everywhere, but I wouldn't want to cut it out of my diet. You can get boxes of surgical gloves quite cheap if you don't want to stain your hands, but I didn't like adding to the plastic pile. Turmeric is in the ginger family, but I think you probably know that too if you are eating weird things like slippery elms.
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    enjoy your food, and may it bring you good health and cheer.

    * One thing I heard about food alergies is that you can get them because you overeat something. Then if you stop for a while, you can go back to eating that thing as long as you don't overdo it. That might apply to you and maybe you can look forward to having your furry pinks at some point? You can't beat a good balance.

    What's the "nightshades"?

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    Turmeric root


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    Originally Posted by Maxal
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    Hi Verty.
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    Yes, definitely my mother (departed and my best friend) is the source of my interest in food. I would stand by her whilst she was cooking; passing the salt, helping sometimes and always watching. We had many good times making fudge, brandy snaps, or just delicious dinners. * One thing I heard about food alergies is that you can get them because you overeat something. Then if you stop for a while, you can go back to eating that thing as long as you don't overdo it. That might apply to you and maybe you can look forward to having your furry pinks at some point? You can't beat a good balance.

    What's the "nightshades"?
    thanks again Maxal (sad for your mum passing, sad to lose special people, but she'll be near). Yes you can go on elimination diet and when healed, then slowly re-introduce things. The things I'm doing are for healing leaky gut lining, so permeability is stopped, blood stream cleared and skin is healed. Got it from an experienced physician with excellent track record for mending sever skin disorders: Dr. John O.A Pagano - turmeric (anti inflammatory), slippery elm (Slippery elm has been used in North America for centuries. Slippery elm naturally contains mucilage; a substance that becomes a gel when mixed with water. American Saffron isn't saffron ( American Saffron. Its Latin name is "Carthamus tinctorius." It is also known as "Dyers' Saffron" or "False Saffron." all good for healing tissue walls. Nightshade family is potatoes, tomatoes, chilllis, aubergines, peppers - don't know why they are bad for certan people skin problems.....but case histories prove it.

    Am a great believer in food as medicine and always like to use whole fresh spices where possible
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    so bit by bit, getting a grip xxx

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    Nice to see you guys discussing food so enthusiastically and learnedly - this is turning into a gastronomic thread, if it wasn't one to start with!

    I probably started doing a bit more cooking - mostly simple stuff - since I retired. The O/H still works part-time, so we kind of agreed that I do the cooking when she has a workday, so as to have something ready for her to eat when she gets back, especially in winter. I'm slightly more adventurous than she is, so do curries and lots of one-pot stuff, even bake different breads in the cooler weather.

    I think doing a bit of cooking makes you appreciate the big differences in the same kinds of food, like Maxal was saying about celery. I tend to avoid celery from warmer countries like Spain, because I was always told as a lad (In horticulture) that celery was best in colder weather, crispy and more tasty. Some of it is grown in hydroponics now, though, but still needs to be kept in cool growing conditions. A lot of lettuce are grown that way too, in almost sterile hydroponic conditions. Crispy and fresh because of quick growth in all that water, but sometimes not a lot of taste. (Much of the taste in stuff comes from the mineral and trace element content).

    Interesting about the Nightshade family of plants having adverse effects on some people. Could be due to the fact that most members of the genus Solanum, or at least the ones we eat, are fairly new arrivals in the UK and Europe, so most natives of these areas haven't had hundreds or thousands of years in which to have gotten accustomed to them.
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    Heavenly Creature verticalis48's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Maxal
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    Turmeric root
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    turmeric is a very groovy plant I'm planning to experiment using it as a dyestuff too - that amazing powerful glowing colour - stains everything it comes anywhere near. Has huge spiritual significance in Hinduism too, as a healing and protective element. Used for dyeing cords to be worn on body at special occasions like wedding rituals:


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    Originally Posted by Maxal
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    Turmeric root


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    Morning Guys, Trying to get more Turmeric into my diet, but apart from curries I am struggling, tried to make a tea using the root , not for me any other ideas
    Keith, I pulled that elephant garlic, they were bigger than a snooker ball and full of flavour, just got one left hanging up
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    Heavenly Creature verticalis48's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Levey
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    Morning Guys, Trying to get more Turmeric into my diet, but apart from curries I am struggling, tried to make a tea using the root , not for me any other ideas
    Keith, I pulled that elephant garlic, they were bigger than a snooker ball and full of flavour, just got one left hanging up
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    Yeah, know what you mean Levey.....it's only quite severe health problems that have forced me into radical action - basically choosing to make huge changes in my diet rather than give up and die - simple as that. Wish I'd had the self discipline to do it earlier, but hey - better late than never.

    So I put a teaspoon of turmeric (mixed with linseeds, slippery elm, ginger, celery seeds and a tsp of supergreens) in a glass of water - stir the evil looking brew well.....hold my nose and throw it down my throat........gets easier the more you do it ha ha ha ha ha

    Obviously you can just do the turmeric bit. I also put turmeric in anything I can think of.....coming into the season of homemade soups, channas etc - it'll go in them.

    I'll even put a little in vinaigrettes (along with lime/lemon/cider vinegar/balsamic/dijon mustard/olive oil/garlic) as dressing for anything: salads, microgreens, steamed greens etc.

    xxx best of luck dude - stick at it, might save you a damn fine lot of future grief healthwise
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    Originally Posted by Levey
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    Morning Guys, Trying to get more Turmeric into my diet, but apart from curries I am struggling, tried to make a tea using the root , not for me any other ideas
    Keith, I pulled that elephant garlic, they were bigger than a snooker ball and full of flavour, just got one left hanging up
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    Hey Levey, you got any others left to plant for next year?

    Problem with elephant garlic is, everybody finds they taste so good lightly roasted or baked that they don't keep any to plant for the next season!

    If you need a few for planting I'll ask Herself if she's got any spare. They can go in the ground in October, so long as the land doesn't get waterlogged over winter.
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    Off the beaten track .... Maxal's Avatar
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    oldkeith - yes, it's great to have a Culinary Corner. What you said about hydroponics, I think it is more refined now and there is more of an awareness on the taste side. Strawberries and blueberries went through a number of tasteless years (and yes, you guessed it - I stopped buying them). A couple years back I noticed they are much better. Blueberries are delicious and strawberries have regained their intoxicating smell.
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    I remember being in a supermarket, maybe 15 years ago now, and a LITTLE girl appeared with a HUGE peach-sized strawberry! It was genuinely creepy, a bit like being in a horror film - Soylent Green or Midwich Cuckoos. The Frankenstrawberry made the girl take on monstrous characteristics. It's hard to embrace all this change to nature's offerings . . .

    Levey, as vertical48 says, you can put the turmeric in anything. The soup is an excellent idea, pumpkin, squash, tomato whatever soup you are making it would go well, that goes for casseroles, stews as well, it's not as though it is a strong taste as are many of the 'Indian' spices. Like I said, I boil it into my rice. I also had a pasta dish recently and made a cream sauce with finely grated turmeric (using fromage frais, but you could use yoghurt), it was delicious.

    There are also the other spices which have the antiseptic qualities (I think ginger is similar, and then cardamom and cinnamon?). Verty has had specific advice, so . . . If I have to look something up I have a couple of Books: Thomas Bartram's Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine (a bible), and The Herb and Spice Companion (very handy). In my Bartram's Verty, it mentions "bistort" for a bowel anti-inflamatory:

    "Because of the high amount of tannin content in the herb it has strong astringent (constricting) and anti-inflammatory properties. Bistort is actually one of the most astringent herbs there is. In addition to having astringent properties, it also has an antibacterial effect. Thus, the use of the plant can help in reducing the need for antibiotics. The dried rootstock, used in the form of extracts, a decoction or a powder, has been used to stop both internal and external bleeding. The herb may be useful as an herbal remedy for ulcers, gastritis, enteritis and
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    . Bistort is also used to treat urinary tract disorders such as cystitis and incontinence."

    Gosh, all those ailment names, it's putting me off making my dinner.
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    Turmeric (though a horror to use) is my favourite colour. The Krishna's are definitely onto something. Good luck with your dyes Verty
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    Only a nightmare if you don't like everything turning orange, I quite like it
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    If you're struggling with the flavour it may just be that you need to use a bit less. I find turmeric tips over very quickly from a subtle mustiness to overpowering if you have a 'whoops!' moment, as I often do when cooking, I like to measure by eye and foolishly tip everything straight in the pan.

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    Heavenly Creature verticalis48's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Alf M
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    Only a nightmare if you don't like everything turning orange, I quite like it
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    If you're struggling with the flavour it may just be that you need to use a bit less. I find turmeric tips over very quickly from a subtle mustiness to overpowering if you have a 'whoops!' moment, as I often do when cooking, I like to measure by eye and foolishly tip everything straight in the pan.
    Sounds good to me Alf M - yep, I'm the same, a bugger for just going with the flow......it's like playing at being an alchemist.....bit of this, bit of that....always got little bowls littered about with teaspoons in for tasting work in progress. I can follow a recipe and for that matter, write a recipe, but really enjoy the moment of every serious one pot cook. Love doing a big pan of something that can last 2 or 3 days.

    I'm loving this thread - there are so many enthusiastic culinarians and lovers of life and mother natures bounty - marvellous stuff. Come back Keith Floyd, there was nothing needed forgiving
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    xxx

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