Sunday, May 04, 2008
One of the more interesting new books regarding diet and health is Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto." Pollan calls for a return to eating real foods rather than focusing on what ingredients we have in processed foods. He argues that the collective wisdom of numerous studies on health and nutrition can be boiled down to this statement: "Eat Food. Not too Much. Mostly Plants." Makes a lot of sense to me, and resonates beautifully with the Word of Wisdom, given to Joseph Smith in 1833, which emphasizes plants as the basis of our diet (though meat is included, "sparingly").
Random thoughts: A food that played an important role for LDS communities in Utah and Idaho is the lowly beet. Americans often overlook the majesty of the beet in cooking. A variety of wonderful Spanish tapas include freshly cooked beetroot in various forms. There is so much that can be done with this healthy vegetable. For example, before going to Church, last Sunday, I tossed six beets into a crock pot and covered them with water. Into the water I sprinkled a lot of caraway seeds, a little cardamom, some garlic, salt, and a little basil (I'll use lavender today instead). When I came back, I poured in a couple ounces of vinegar and let them continue to cook for another couple of hours, though four hours is plenty, and I'm not sure the vinegar is best. They were so tender, juicy, and flavorful when we had them for dinner. And healthy!
I always include broccoli and watermelon at salad bars for their anti-cancer benefits, and use them at home regularly (watermelon when in season). And I'm glad that my favorite berries also have great health benefits. There are so many benefits to the amazing plants that the Lord has given us (with a little help from creative horticulturists and farmers). Oh, and have you tried broccoli sprouts? I recently interviewed the president of a sprout company and learned some amazing information about the health benefits of broccoli sprouts, in addition to getting the inside scoop on an incredible patent battle he won against Johns Hopkins University. Will be part of a book I'm working on - but I digress. Veggies, fruits, grains - so delicious! And really, who can remain an atheist after contemplating the mysteries and delights of the strawberry?
Yikes, it's fast Sunday, and I'm falling into temptation. I hope none of you are thinking about food right now.
By the way, while food prices are skyrocketing in recent months, canned tomato products such as spaghetti sauce and related products are often available at surprisingly low priced. A couple pounds of spaghetti sauce can be purchased at Aldi or some other places for $1 or less. Seems like a good item to add to food storage now. Just another random thought.
Posted by Jeff Lindsay at 7:40 AM