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Thread: Scrutinizing the scrutiny of organic food.

  1. #97
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    Yes, we generally steam the carrots, chopped up in chunks, toward the end of, and over the top of, cooking potatoes.
    Also nice chopped small in a casserole with other veg, or sometimes mashed in with the potatoes with a bit of butter or olive oil.

    We often eat them raw, grated quite fine, (My teeth are almost as old as me!), with a salad, or in the salad portion of a meal. They make a nice salad veg in winter, when cheap salad stuff is harder to find. I am told they eat more of them in France like this, than we do.
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  2. #98
    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Dont buy carrots from supermarkets.You can still buy them.in net bags or sack from.some farm shops,still grubby. Supermarket veg is unnaturally clean.and almist polished i wont buy the stuff.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...
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  3. #99
    Off the beaten track .... Maxal's Avatar
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    I saved a couple carrots yesterday, that were just starting on the black mould stage: scraped the stuff off and put it in a curry. I seem to be OK . . .
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  4. #100
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    We use them like that too, if the mould hasn't rotted through under the skin. The mould seems to spread pretty quick, once one or two have got it, even in the fridge. One time we used a whole batch with black patches of mould just on the skin, and once the potato peeler had been over them, the rest of the carrots cooked and ate fine.
    But sometimes the mould infects underneath, and the carrot changes colour, and goes soft, and doesn't smell too good. Only useful for the compost bin.
    (We rarely use the peeler on potatoes, by the way, unless there are cuts or gashes to the skin. Even after boiling, we eat the skins).
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  5. #101
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    Oldkeith - That made me chuckle. I bet you and the rest of your tribe have loads of furry black spots all over you.

    No, I don't peel my potatoes. I don't peel my carrots usually either, unless they have furry black spots. I once read that the skin of veg has more natural chemicals which keep insects
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    off (it's own kind of pesticide - of course not as toxic or effective as the man-made poisons), very often this natural protection is more bitter tasting (or more flavoursome, if you prefer a positive slant). These more bitter bits are actually better for you, they boost your immune system: that's what I read. It also went on to state: you shouldn't discard the outer leaves of cabbage / lettuce as they are better for you tastier. It's something that really stuck in my head and shapes my approach to how I view veg.

    Chemicals are weird. In small doses they can be medicine, larger, they become poison? Zinc is good for the hair - have too much and your hair falls out. What you said about potatoes made me think of something I remember about green potatoes, having toxins in the skin - so I looked it up and found the below article (it's worth reading). It mentions the property I mention above - the bitterness - but in a negative sense.

    "Another good rule: if it tastes bitter, don’t eat it. Unlike Dr. Seuss’s entree, this green meal would not have a happy ending."

    So, I have a contradiction of FACTS in my head.

    I wish they wouldn't generalise like that, what a stupid thing to say. The vagueness in itself is misleading and really offputting. My mother would trim all those sharp leaves off asparagus because they are sharp and more bitter. I LIKE THEM and it seemed a waste to throw them away even if they are small - it all takes time to grow. [And taste is something you can acquire / change as you see fit.] And what about quinine in bitter lemon or tonic water if you like it?

    This is the full article:


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    At the end of the article it says you'd have to eat 16 ounces of a fully green potato to have a bad case of solanine poisoning, making you sick. I suppose it's best to know these things, but a lot of the time when they tell you things like this, they don't tell you the critical bit that gives you the confidence to make your own judgements: that you need a pound of green mash to get sick.
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    Scuse me, but my mash has never been green - wot are you on about? Anyway, keep your potatoes in the dark . . . and I am NOT going to take that generalisation about bitterness seriously.

    This is a good life example of where you have to develop your own kind of translator for facts, what you believe / how you interpret things.

  6. #102
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    Fully agree about needing to develop your own kind of translator for stuff, whether you read it on the internet, in magazines and books, or even in the Daily Mail. It's a bit like trying to have moderation in all things, even the ones you like.

    Some folk don't feel it's 'nice', but I tend to have something of an analytical attitude towards ideas, philosophies, religions, and stuff I read, as well as people and situations. It has stood me in very good stead on many occasions, and saved me getting in a mess a few times, I guess. It has sure saved me one helluva lot of time, and probably money too, over the years.

    Getting back to food, solanine poisoning can affect some people much worse than others; some people are allergic to even the very small amounts in potatoes, tomatoes, and other members of the Solanaceae family. So take the idea of needing to eat 16 ounces of green potatoes before getting sick with an ounce of salt.

    The idea of bitter stuff being 'bad' for you is, as you say, not to be taken seriously. I remember being told this about anything bitter as a kid in the country; the idea was to stop you eating berries and plants which you weren't sure about. But young dandelion leaves are slightly bitter, and make a good little salad veg when there's not much else about. Some kales and chards can be a little bitter, but they are healthy veg, especially when only gently steamed. And what about beer? I'd not want to give up the occasional pint of bitter, just because it's bitter
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    Another bitterness item: a friend of mine reckons he has felt much better and healthier after taking a couple of small glasses of fresh lemon juice every day for the past twelve months. He's a fruit and veg trader, so he has plenty of lemons handy! Sometimes he dilutes the lemon with other juices, or just water.

    Quite interesting about the outer leaves of lettuce and cabbage being the best. Yet you read that the 'Iceberg' lettuce is Britain's favourite lettuce, more sold in supermarkets than any other kind. But it rarely has green outer leaves, just a tight ball of almost white crispy water. We usually prefer the Cos varieties, or something with nice big green leaves.
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  7. #103
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    Dont know if anyone else has noticed this but ive had the same 'black mould' issues with potatoes from supermarkets...vis the large superclean 'baked potato' packs.Potatoes will keep for many months in a sack and longer still in an earth or peat clamp but from a supermarket seem to decay purely for the fun a few days after purchase.I guess the answer is dont buy them from supermarkets.
    Ive justbgot to the bottom a 25kg bag of local spuds i bought in very late winter this year and i think ive thrown only half a dozen away because of rot.

    I dont think 'bitter' is particularly reliable test.Many leaf and salad leaves like rocket have a bitter or peppery taste,in fact that quality is very desirable in some instances.
    Seriously unpleasant or mouldy is something else and probably a very good/more reliable indicator that it belongs in the trash.

    Years ago we had no 'use by' or 'best by' dates,it was either useable or fit only for the bin/hogs/compost..Sometimes good bits cut off bad bits and salvaged.
    Thats how i tend to use my veg and some other produce still, regardless of where it comes from and the stuff that lasts longest and best tasting is always from someones allotment or garden or specialist producer and almost never from a supermarket.
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    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...
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  8. #104
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    Organic stuff doesn't last so long in my experience as it has fewer chemicals.Supermarkets however do not seem to understand or allow for this in storing,packing or sell by dates.I used to think we pay more for organic stuff to allow for wastage with pests etc to the suppliers.Wrapping any plant in stupid polythene may sanitise the ex[perience of eating ground grown veg for those who live outside reality but the veg of course produces moisture,in warm environment mould just loves it.The black mould slime wrecks most carrots in a poly bag.I wash dry put in the air soon as home.The best thing I ever eat is eggs from an old lady up a lane with hens that are not bounded by any fence and roost in a bush outside her house.finding the eggs is diy but lovely eggs.the market projected image is "we care,our produce is best for you and the planet"...a big fib to keep their money coming in.They do not give a .
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  9. #105
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    We've noticed supermarket potatoes go off quick, too.
    Yet ones from the local market last until you eat them, and the ones we grow in the garden or allotment, harvested in September or October, last well into the next Spring, stored in a cool place. One year, after a bumper crop, we ate them right into the following May, until we finished them.
    So it does make you wonder if the supermarket's short life produce is deliberate and intentional, so you have to buy more next week. Amazing how all the wonders of modern technology result in short-life natural food, and long-life junk food, isn't it?

    Which brings me to something else to grouse about:
    I have noticed that there are few opportunities now to buy large quantities of anything; you really have to search around. Never seen a supermarket with a bargain 25 kilo sack of potatoes, for example. Or any other root veg in large quantity. Or fruit like apples. But you can get a sack of potatoes from the local market, if you order from the trader in advance. Or even a box of English apples, and other long-keeping stuff. Farmer's markets sometimes do stuff by the box or sackful, too. But often you have to go out into the country some way to be able to buy stuff in sacks, so you can keep it as a standby all through Winter, like we did in the fifties when I was a kid.
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  10. #106
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    When I was young we just went and collected apples and plums from the old abandoned orchard near us.I remember the plums all dribbly with juice and the smell of the apples all laid oud out in the attic all in thyeir own paper nests.Thanks oldkeith for reminding me.x
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  11. #107
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    Originally Posted by oldkeith
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    We've noticed supermarket potatoes go off quick, too.

    Yet ones from the local market last until you eat them, and the ones we grow in the garden or allotment, harvested in September or October, last well into the next Spring, stored in a cool place. One year, after a bumper crop, we ate them right into the following May, until we finished them.

    So it does make you wonder if the supermarket's short life produce is deliberate and intentional, so you have to buy more next week. Amazing how all the wonders of modern technology result in short-life natural food, and long-life junk food, isn't it?
    Exactly. And they are more expensive as well. You don't mind so much, if the supermarkets do their job with care - and with every product. Potatoes used to be a cheap product and when they are grown properly they are delicious cooked in so many different ways. What happened to the big, fluffy baked potato? I don't know . . . this is going to sound Science Fiction: notice how they are flat now? What's up? You can't get a standard round baked potato? Is this simply odd - or perhaps we should be annoyed. Because not only that - I've not had a fluffy one for ages, the inside texture of the potato is more resilient, there is almost a translucency to it. (And of course I do my baked potato the same way - in the oven, not micro-waved.) And a nice crispy skin: it's harder to achieve now.

    In fact there seems to be more of a art to the whole potatoe purchase. The potatoes are expensive, and you look at them carefully, even suspiciously, well, we're not in Kansas anymore are we, these are not normal potatoes. It used to be there would be a range of different potatoes, waxy or fluffy according to what you wanted them for - but all potatoes: you KNEW what you were getting, a cheap and reliably high qulaity product, unless for some odd reason there was a bad crop.

    I hardly ever throw food away. I've got some 'new potatoes' at the moment, they looked fine to me, but the taste is insipid. Recently I'd bought some red potatoes from the Indian shop - they were really nice, fluffy and with a nice flavour. I went and bought some more red potatoes and threw the supermarket potatoes away.

    So, what I said above. No, it's not simply 'weird', and yes, I should be more angry. The supermarkets aren't always doing their job right. They have my money, but I don't have my potatoes. I couldn't be bothered to eat them. I wasn't enjoying them and I really resent not enjoying food that I take the time to prepare. Just a one off?

    These are products I am wary of buying at supermarkets: satsumas (flavourless or dry), Almeria Melons (I don't know if this is the right name) at my Turkish stall they always ripen properly, sometimes, and this is rare, they smell intoxicating - like a mango and the smell fills the room, you need tropically HOT weather for it to ripen in this way, if you scratch the top where the stalk would have been you can smell it if it's going to ripen in this way, supermarket ones are always dry.

    The satsuma diemna, I think I may have solved. Last year I stopped going for the 3 for 2 offer. If you look around there will be a more expensive bag and it says sweet and juicy (well don't brag about it - yes that's what they are supposed to be like). I get them and they are fine. For the 342 they should have a big sign, 'get your dry flavourless crud here at a bargain price'. 342 irritates me anyway - I don't want to be forced to buy a certain amount of something. I cam for one bunch of asparagus and that's it.

    The thing about tropical fruit is understandable - if they pack them when they are ripe then when you buy them in the shop they will be rotten. However, I always think, 'if the stalls can do it, then surely a super market can do it?' After all what does the 'SUPER' refer to? Can you sell me a decent fresh fig or not? But maybe supermarkets aren't that great.

    Supermarkets are big, therefore they have a huge range. Yes, true, there is a huge range of toilet paper. You can wipe away shit with quilted, tri-ply, aloe vera or waxy (if your mental). Detergents too - a whole aisle. Shampoos - what colour would you like? Grapes . . . oh no, this is where it comes to a grinding halt. You can't get those lovely sultanas anymore. Supermarkets can't be bothered with these delicate grapes which have a short season. Sultanas, when they have that gold colour can have an amazing taste. When supermarkets have a special grape in stock they go all berserk and put a huge price on it like it had to be packed in velvet or something. oooooohhhh, M&S have some juicy Muscat grapes at 10 a kilo or hard, deep purple cherries at a phenomenal price. I have been to Trabazon in North East Turkey where you can get these cherries by the crate. The true joy of these foods is that everybody can afford them as a treat, of course they are more expensive than, say, oranges, but not four or more times the price. Don't believe the supermarkets - these are not emeralds they are selling.

    An apricot, when it's juicy is a rare delight
    . (On the odd occasion, I have had a properly ripe, juicy apricot from a supermarket.) In hungary you get a cherrry that is bright red and soft, a tangy fruit that is amazing in pies and straight from the tree. It's understandable this particular cherry is not sold here, they are certainly more delicate than sultanas, are easily bruised and have a very short life. Maybe that's the way to go, if you can't sell the product at it's proper ripeness, don't stock it. And, yes, I know supermarkets do a decent job in many ways - but in some ways they are letting the public down big time (like the flying saucer shaped baking potatoes).

    Went off on a tangent here, Old Keith's comment regarding potatoes set me off. There are a handful of products that I think are kind of sacrosanct food-wise because they are staples - for these it is imperative quality and price should be maintained: potatoes, butter, bread and milk. Supermarkets are a lot better with bread than they used to be so I needn't prattle on about that. But potatoes - X-Files needs to look into it - they've been taken over.

  12. #108
    I thought root veg simply needed a good coating of dry dirt to store well?????

    Supermarket root veg don't carry the requisite coating of earth and therefore don't last....I thought?

    Tatties were still available in an abundance of varieties and sizes and dirt covered too up until a few years ago......then seemed to fall out of favour.

    Have I missed the point?
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  13. #109
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    "I thought root veg simply needed a good coating of dry dirt to store well?????"

    That's right Zendaze - I should have just left it at that - you haven't missed the point. I put way too much ginger in my dinner last night and took it too far with the fruit etc . . . However, I think it is a bit more than that. I think supermarkets are encouraging growers to produce varieties of fruit and veg differently now to attain certain aesthetic requirements and then ignoring more fundamental aspects of what a potato is - the flat baked potato thing is odd and supermarkets favour those little bags of salad potatoes at extortionate prices too much.

    What you said about the solanine was interesting OK.
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  14. #110
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    The point about solanine allergy may be due to the relatively short time Europeans have been exposed to potatoes, tomatoes, etc. A few hundred years at most. South Americans have had thousands of years to become habituated to them, so are much less likely to be affected.

    Certainly supermarkets influence the type of fruit and veg they sell. It must be pickable unripe, with a long shelf life. It must have a hard skin for resisting bruising during transportation, and it must look clean, fresh, and presentable. Flavour is given a very second place. So a lot of the older, more delicious varieties don't get grown for the supermarkets. They'd like square tomatoes if the public could be persuaded to buy them; they'd pack more in a smaller box. Perhaps the flat potatoes are a stab in this direction - they take up a bit less volume for the same weight as round ones.

  15. #111
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    Oldkeith - are you a doctor or something? Some of the (scientific) things you say seem to flow off your tongue so easily - things that I have to go out of my way to find out. The below will seem a bit of a mish mash as they are just clashing ideas; some as hazy as 'live' spelled backwards is 'evil', may seem like conspiracy theories. But it's interesting because of the historical path humans have taken in relation to food / drugs and our place in the cosmos.

    You know how you might be looking into a subject for a while, and during that time, you pick up on so many references to it? Whether serendipity or because you are actively looking for certain references in things when you are consumed by certain ideas . . . At the moment I am reading The Philosopher's Stone by Peter Marshall in which he discusses alchemy being a quest for transformation in both the inner being (the pursuit for spiritual purity to attain immortality) and outside being (base metal, often mercury, into gold). Mercury is everywhere in the book. I know 'amalgam' fillings have mercury in them, so I had both mine taken out and replaced with white ones. However, I didn't realise 'amalgam' etymologically means 'alloy of mercury'.

    And the history of mercury is the fascination of mercury's properties; including it being a flowing metal where others are solid, it was thought to be uniquely transformative. The Indian word for alchemy is rasayana (the way of mercury), and mercury is seen as being the 'philosopher's stone' ('Taking about a rattika of this mercury if one feeds somebody on it with care, this person lives for ever'). This is horrifying, the idea of ingesting mercury. This silver metal which nowdays we see as epitomising poison, was once seen (and actually still is in some parts of the world) as a gateway to immortality.

    It struck me regarding man's history of the doctor, and going back the shaman taking ayahuaca etc, the history of medicines, herbs and indeed magic - the relations between poisons, medicines, herbs, food - borders can be very blurry. Shamans it seems have a history of deliberately taking, drugs, or what some would call poisons, to transcend into another state. Rasputin wouldn't wash and deliberately exposed himself to all sides of life good and bad, in order to purify. I saw a program last night about a woman who was studying bats in a cave and had been doing for decades, she constantly waded in guana full of microbes, and caught some potentially lethal viruses. The program pointed out this strengthened her immunity, and her ability to be resilient to a continued threat - part of the body's magical (transformative) development. Like what you say about some people's resistence to solanine. (It also makes me recall a small group of people, I think, in Greece where they had a different genetic make-up resisting heart failure and linked to high intake of olive oil.)

    The difficult question is how do you test these things? The medicine man is at the forefront of danger having to try out these new things, how do you ever find out what dose of a new plant to try? How does the taoist approach deciding how much mercury is survivable? Many died on the way, and others perceiving that, remark 'they are now in eternal bliss'.

    Regarding food, you have discussed solanine. I have been reading about arsenic. Arsenic, like mercury, is a metal. It's important to perceive the difference between organic arsenic and then arsenic the poison - though I am not too sure what the actual difference is. An apple a day keeps the doctor away: so healthy. Then think of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge - I always wondered why a foodstuff we associate with health should be a symbol of the forbidden in the Bible. The seeds of an apple have arsenic in them. Arsenic is carried in water from soil, so it's not too surprising. Rice, another staple diet contains organic arsenic, some whole grain rices have even more arsenic in them. Other foods too . . . when I eat my apple now, I deliberately eat the whole thing (apart from the stem), perhaps I shouldn't chew the seeds as I do, but I'm thinking nature works in weird ways.

    Things aren't always easily evidenced. A BBC documentary, Trust Me I'm a Doctor, was going on about the level of arsenic in rice, it said if you soak rice for a day it gets rid of even more arsenic - they hadn't even established organic arsenic consumed in rice is bad for you. I've always eaten a lot of rice, and will continue to do so, and I won't be soaking it for a day. (I cook my rice with the lid firmly on and it absorbs all the water, thereby retaining all the arsenic I suppose.) The documentary stated rice has arsenic from two sources: organically through the soils natural occurence of arsenic carried in water. The second source is pesticides which contain arsenic. Apparently the US rice is higher in arsenic because of using such a pesticide. There I do sit up and listen - that is tampering with the level of arsenic we get (and it's not the organic arsenic, though, again, I don't fully understand the difference). I now stay away from US rice.

    We have been eating food for thousands of years and yet there are still so many things to learn.

  16. #112
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    In the East the history of alchemy and mercury are one. Mercury is still researched in various ways in Indian and Chinese universities. But also on the ordinary life level, mercury is everpresent. This picture sums it up great:


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    In haste I made some mistakes and omissions in the above. It's cyanide in the apple seeds not arsenic. The arsenic present in apples is present in apples as a whole (like rice) generally because of water carrying it from soil. (I always confuse these two.)

    I omitted a bit I meant to put in, sort of to do with the tree of knowledge. It's just conjecture carrying on from what we previously mentioned about any bitterness in a fruit / veg, skin / seed having the potential to be a deterrent to eating, ie being a kind of natural pesticide. So there are two distinctly opposed choices you can make. You might want to spit out a bitter tasting (apple) seed onto the earth and that would lead to it being saved, planted in the ground. Or, through the possession of a particular 'knowledge' you might want to eat the seed or skin, perhaps you are the one who is saved.
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    God must have known they'd eat the apple. Maybe we were supposed to eat the apple, gain independence from God, assert a true, free will and transcend sin. Note: I am not religious, my interest is in considering metaphor which can shed light on 'reality'.

    Then is the continued interest of what then happensif you do choose to eat that bitter seed. Whether positive knowledge can be gained from it: hallucinations, or other kind of transcendant / transformative effect, such as immuno-benefits or other types of healing. Or: negative knowledge through mistakes, vanity, death. (Yikes.)

    All reality (whether living or in matter) is about transformation. We may think some changes are more transcendant than others, but how can this be measured? Each instant is a moment of change. Paradoxically, the ever-present moment is The Constant One - full of this constant change, all of it more of the same, all of it different. We perceive it All as a strand of instants, but it is not. For one thing an instant isn't measurable, and together these immeasurable instants still only form the ever-present moment - ONE instant containing an infinity of instants.

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    I love the ordinary ridiculousness of this, its fallible infallibility. Fancy me writing this in a thread about food! (People hate it when I go on like this, why do I like it so?) Perhaps the only reason we can create paradoxes like this is because somewhere along the line we have made a critical mistake or assigned an erroeneous definition. For instance our idea of time could be totally wrong, ie, it doesn't really exist.

    Finally the apple pun: the latin for apple is malum, also meaning evil. I wonder what the etymology of banana is?

  18. #114
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    Originally Posted by Maxal
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    In the East the history of alchemy and mercury are one. Mercury is still researched in various ways in Indian and Chinese universities. But also on the ordinary life level, mercury is everpresent. This picture sums it up great:


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    Careful there, this is Mercury as a mythical figure, bearer of the caduceus and central to symbolism around medicine, healing... I think you may have the reasoning backwards as I guess the metal is named thus after th god.

    Similarly it's easy to see words that look alike or reverse but this doesn't mean there's a meaning link, writing is complicated and not necessarily that'd closely tied to meaning!
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    I really don't dig deeply into historical metaphors, Maxal, so I can't be much help on those. But talking about the apple and Adam and Eve with a religious guy one time, he told me that some religious folks thought the apple was a polite religious metaphor for sex. The God portrayed in the OT made two beings, male and female, as an experiment, in the Garden of Eden. Just the two. But someone else came along, and either modified them, or just showed them how to get it together. So then they clothed themselves, and got rumbled, and got chucked out of the experimental garden before they started to multiply, which they have been doing here ever since
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    .

    Just a weird religious idea, but there are plenty of those. I found a guy once who told me that he figured the original Garden of Eden had been on Mars! Humans had been sent to the wild planet Earth for their sins, to survive or not as they could.
    Far out, huh?

    Getting back to food, fruits like apples may have seeds that contain cyanide or other bitter content for a very good reason, and that is protection of the seed. The rest of the apple is there for creatures to eat, and the core with the bitter seeds is cast away when the apple is finished, hopefully to fall into suitable soil to rot around the seeds which will sprout in due season, thus spreading apple trees throughout the area.
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    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Alf M
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    Careful there, this is Mercury as a mythical figure, bearer of the caduceus and central to symbolism around medicine, healing... I think you may have the reasoning backwards as I guess the metal is named thus after th god.

    Similarly it's easy to see words that look alike or reverse but this doesn't mean there's a meaning link, writing is complicated and not necessarily that'd closely tied to meaning!
    Mercury the mythical figure(Roman God) is even in the store logo. Mercury metal is named after him
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...

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    Oldkeith - yes, the garden of Eden has a lot of interpretations, I would have guessed the metaphor for sex must be a good contender, because it was after that bite that shame was imposed and A&E blushingly put on some clothes. It does make you wonder what would have happened if they didn't eat the apple. Time would go on and on . . . and on . . . things are still the same . . . the apple is still there. Surely they have to eat it at some point? (Similarly does Pandora's Box remain closed and dusty in a corner for all time?). There's no story if you don't eat the apple.

    The Garden of Eden on Mars is far out. I think bearing in mind what you said about the seeds, maybe I shouldn't chew on them. I wonder which is worse arsenic or cyanide?

    Alf M - I am careful. I'm not sure which point you think you are picking me up on.

    Of course I saw the picture of mercury there. I also know the image is of a pharmacy chain in the Philippines. I chose them because of all these references! The point is these things are linked in alchemy, they are all directly cross-referenced, which is the part of the beginnings of medicine. In alchemy, belief, astronomy, study of the elements, botany, biology were linked more closely and experimented on together. Mercury the planet was one of the visible planets and it was ascribed to have a symbolic reference to the element of mercury, to an organ in the body. All sorts of implications and links were made based on observation, beleif etc. No doubt some of it would be wrong, but these are the steps we made . . .

    Also, gods are often named after animals, plants or elements, because at that time people revered the world around them. It's rare a god comes along with a name that has no worldly reference.

    As I mentioned, mercury has a history of being used first within alchemy, then continually within medicine. Alchemy is a strong mixture of belief and medicine combined, so it's important to make a distinction, but it would be erroneous to separate them. Mercury is still used today in medicine, I mentioned amalgam fillings in dentistry, there is a whole list of other medications, alot now used less as they have been replaced by improved chemistry. My interest is the history of it and what that reveals. I do get carried away with my writing, (especially when I wrote that paragraph about the ever-present moment), but the alchemy and links to some etymologies, elements etc are founded on generally accepted history.

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    About the supermarket potatoes. I have freeganned many a bag of spuds, and they have lasted well beyond their (passed) sell by date. The trick is to take them out of the plastic and put them in a cardboard box.
    Also, when you unpack them, look at them and remove any bruised ones for cooking immediately. Keep checking for bad ones, specially in the summer.
    Farm Foods sell small 10kg bags of unwashed potatoes.

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    Unless you can womble them its a waste of time and money buying supermarket potatoes.I can get a 25kg sack for 6 squid from farm shop as opposed to 1.5kg for 2 squid which is just an owt for nowt rip off.I Only buy veg from supermarket when everywhere else is closed.
    Hebridean at heart..everywhere else is just somewhere on the way back there...
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