Modern technocrats have found lots of ways to ruin our food—like rapid heating of milk to 160 or even 230 degrees, zapping with microwaves, irradiating with radioactive materials, spray drying at high temperatures, extruding at high temperatures and pressures and embalming with sugar. Now a new technology has come on the scene: ultra-high pressure applied to a variety of foods for humans, pets and babies.
Chocolate is all the rage these days, consumed by the health conscious as well as junk food junkies, because everybody “knows” that chocolate is good for you. In fact, fantastic claims for chocolate’s medicinal powers have accompanied its spread—from an exclusive beverage for the Aztec elite to sugary snack for the masses—right up to the present day.
We know that excess carbs like sugar and white flour can make us gain weight, but there are other culprits lurking in the food supply.
Last year the Weston A. Price Foundation launched its 50% Campaign, urging consumers to purchase at least 50 percent of their food directly from farmers and artisan processors. This helps build a local food system, creates food security and ensures prosperity for our farmers. But there are many other reasons to avoid industrial meat and obtain the animal products you need directly from a farmer you know.
As many of you know, the problem of toxic soy ingredients in prison diets has concerned the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) for many years. It began in 2003 in the Illinois prisons when Blagojevich became governor. He repaid his political debts to Archer Daniel Midlands (ADM) by eliminating meat from the prison diet and replacing it with soy—soy nuggets, soy patties, soy sausage and even soy flour in the baked goods. Since an Internet search for “soy dangers” immediately brings up the Weston A. Price Foundation, we soon began receiving desperate pleas for help from Illinois prisoners.
Southern Maryland, where I live, used to be a premier tobacco-growing region. Then in the 1980s, as the risks of tobacco smoking became clear, the state of Maryland instituted a tobacco buy-out program. Tobacco farmers received a large payment for ten years in a row to never plant tobacco again. The problem is that what replaced the tobacco was mostly soybeans—a crop that is far more carcinogenic and dangerous than tobacco. Fields-of-lung-cancer became fields-of-every-kind-of-cancer.
Years ago I wrote an article called “Be Kind to Your Grains. . . and Your Grains will be Kind to You,” noting that grains are very difficult to digest without proper preparation such as soaking and sourdough fermentation.
A final fake meat product to hit the shelves recently is the Impossible Burger, made from genetically modified soy protein concentrate. Impossible Foods CEO and founder Pat Brown makes his commitment to GM soy and his long-term agenda clear in a recent press release:
Recently I wrote about lab meat, a product that uses bovine fetal serum (BFS)–blood extracted from living fetal calves–to feed meat protein molecules grown in a laboratory.
Now let’s turn our attention to two other imitation meat products new to the market, which the press has heralded as breakthroughs in fake meat: the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger. Will these new products overcome the observation that veggie burgers are “tasteless pucks?”
The rhetoric for plant-based diets has ratcheted up to a shrill pitch in the EAT-Lancet report, released with much fanfare a couple of weeks ago. The document is the result of “more than two years of collaboration between thirty-seven ‘experts’ from sixteen countries,” lots of frowny faces telling us that we need to eat lentils because the earth is getting warmer and we are running out of everything.
Laboratory-produced meat or lab meat—sometimes called “cultured meat” or even “clean meat”–is in the news these days, with gushing articles in the Washington Post, the New York Times and many magazines. The publicity machines are whirring at high speed, and all the chic arguments are on display. “Save the planet bite by bite,” is one of the slogans. If we eat lab meat instead of real meat, we’ll save the land from the desecration by cattle, cut down on water use, protect the air from cow farts containing methane and forestall global warming. Lab meat would be kinder also, because no animals would be killed.
Recently I participated in the 2018 Long Island Food Conference, the lone meat eater in a lineup of speakers espousing “plant-based” diets. The keynote speaker was Francis Moore Lappé, whom you will recognize as the author of the very influential Diet for a Small Planet, the 1971 book that convinced many to embrace a diet of grains and beans.
Flavored milks are highly sweetened beverages made with powdered skim milk—they are actually the dairy industry’s way of getting rid of all the skim milk left over from the production of butter and cream, mostly for ice cream. Since Americans are huge ice cream eaters (and since Americans are eating more butter these days), there’s an enormous amount of this waste product that the industry needs to get rid of.
Recently I attended the 2018 Global Food Forum, organized by the Wall Street Journal, held in the Intercontinental Hotel in New York, and sponsored by Pratt Industries (maker of recyclable packaging), the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, US Soy and The Australian (news coverage).
A few weeks ago, on a trip to British Columbia, I ate in a local restaurant. When eating out, I always try to order something simple, without a gravy or sauce, since these sauces are bound to contain MSG. So I ordered a plain crab cake with rice and vegetables—no sauce, no mayo. Boy, did that crab cake taste good! About midnight I knew why. I woke up with a dry mouth, a terrible thirst and a headache. The next day I felt sore all over, like I’d been in a fight. My hands felt like they had arthritis.
Most Americans have never heard of Nutella even though world wide it is one of the most popular processed foods, with sales of eleven million jars annually in one hundred sixty countries.
An article in the Washington Post (January 27, 2018) describes riots at the French Intermarche supermarket chain when the retailer slashed the price of a 35-ounce jar by 70 percent.
I often get questions about all these new—even new-fangled—oils like grape seed oil, rice bran oil, hemp seed oil and argan oil. Other oils new to the scene include avocado oil and camelina oil. Do they have any health benefits, and should we use them in cooking and food preparation?
“Broth is the new juice,” is the saying on the street. Indeed, interest in genuine bone broth is taking off, thanks not only to my book Nourishing Broth, but also to several other great books on the subject. And the number of artisan companies making broth is growing, as a quick look at the Weston A. Price Foundation Shopping Guide will show.
Early in 2005, we received a telephone call at the Weston A. Price Foundation office from an Illinois prisoner, Larry “Rocky” Harris. Mr. Harris had a tough, desperate-sounding voice, and something told me I needed to listen carefully. Larry is a “prison lawyer” who helps fellow prisoners write grievances and complaints and advises them as to their legal rights.
I’m happy to report that my new book, Nourishing Fats, will be out this coming January (2017). The book began as a few notes and a hasty table of contents jotted down over a dozen years ago, after many conversations with my mentor, Mary G. Enig, PhD. We agreed on the need for a popular book addressing the subject of saturated fats, one that would do more than acknowledge the notion that they “might not be so bad,” but explain why they are essential to life. Needless to say, the inspiration for this book, and the basic knowledge on fats and oils, came from her. Nourishing Fats is dedicated to the memory of this courageous biochemist, who sacrificed research grants and a prestigious career in order to warn the public about the dangers of trans fats.