There have been two different studies in the news recently that have caught my attention. The first, about the benefits of red wine is particularly close to my heart (pun intended). The most recent study shows that the amount of Resveratrol in a glass of red wine is so minimal that you would have to drink cases of wine a day in order to properly benefit from the naturally occurring chemical present in the skin of the red wine grape. This may or may not be true. The benefits of red wine have been widely proven over the years so in my book the jury is still out. There is no proof that resveratrol on it’s own is what causes or doesn’t cause changes in our system, nor is there any proof that there aren’t reactions between all of the food and wine that we eat and how we eat it that can have either detrimental or beneficial effects on our health.
This brings me to the next study released this week by Harvard regarding the consumption of red meat and mortality. Like the presumptions of red wine, this study is flawed. The initial hypothesis must be considered. This study was started in 1980. In 1980, the popular health belief was that a low fat, low cholesterol diet was good for your heart. When I was a teenager in the 1970’s my father had a mild heart attack. My mother was determined to do something so she read every book at the library and became a home expert. We didn’t eat red meat, eggs, cheese or anything that contained the slightest amount of dietary fat or cholesterol because that was the overwhelming word from “the experts”. It does not surprise me that a long term study based on this theory was begun. But like all surveys, the answers are in the questions.
We now know way more about the interactions of nutrients, the differences between carbohydrates and most importantly, the benefits of a plant based diet. We also know that the environmental issues play a large roll in what we should and shouldn’t eat. Above all, we know that the biggest killers are sugar, processed foods, stress and a sedentary lifestyle. Maybe Harvard should start a study based on all of these variables and in another 30 years we will know that we are still alive because they said so. In the meantime, eat whole foods, mainly plants and not too much. Stick to that 80% of the time and you will live a long and enjoyable life.
I do eat red meat from time to time. I try to eat small portions of meat when I do eat it and I have found the most successful way to achieve this is to use it as one ingredient in a more complex dish, using meat as more of a condiment than a main course. Here is a quick version of Beef Stroganoff that we love. The key to eating this dish is to have it with a salad or just simply don’t eat a large portion. It is rich and filling and does not require one to eat a huge bowl full.
- 1 Lb. Sirloin Steak, sliced
- 1/4 Cup Butter
- 1 Red Onion, diced
- 2 Cups Mushrooms, chopped
- 1 Cup Red Wine
- 1 Teaspoon Beef Base
- 2 Teaspoons Flour
- 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Lb. Egg Noodles
- 1 Bunch Italian Parsley, chopped
- Salt and Pepper
- Large Saute Pan
- Large Pot
- Chef’s Knife
- Fill pot 3/4 full with salted water and start to boil.
- Melt the butter in the saute pan.
- Saute onions until translucent.
- Add mushrooms and saute.
- Add steak and brown. Turn heat down.
- Add wine, beef base and flour and stir. Turn off heat.
- When the water boils add the pasta.
- When the noodles are just about done turn the heat back on under the beef sauce. Add the sour cream. Do not let it boil.
- When the noodles are done, strain and add to mixture and warm.
- Garnish with italian parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.