I have gone back through the 364 posts and would like to share a few highlights with you.
First of all, I am very upset about the news that Beyonce has signed a deal with Pepsi Co. for 50 million dollars. Since it is reported that she already has 300 million, I am not feeling that she needs the money and the message that she is sending to the young girls that look up to her is now quite confused. Childhood obesity is at epidemic proportions and this is especially true in minority neighborhoods. Here is part of a piece from Jan. 3:
We have a serious health issue in childhood obesity. There was an article in the LA Times recently outlining the disparity between an affluent beach community and a Latino community.
While parental nutrition plays a major role in keeping our children healthy, I’m sure that the children of Manhattan Beach are not staying slim by drinking their mother’s diet soda. The jury is still out on whether Aspartame (the sweetener used in most diet drinks) is safe, but regardless of whether it is “safe” your children should not be drinking it. I’m pretty sure neither should you. Substituting one bad habit for another is never a great solution.
The eating and drinking habits established early in life are very hard to reverse. Hats off to all of the school systems that have eliminated sugary drinks from vending machines. We are moving in the right direction. Please be vigilant about eliminating ALL of the sugary drinks around your house. They are empty calories and cause a myriad of health issues.
My early thoughts on vegetarianism:
I have become somewhat of a weekday vegetarian. Like many, I have been influenced by “Knifes over Forks” and the overwhelming evidence that is out there about the benefits of a plant based, whole food diet. If you are not yet considering changes in your eating lifestyle you might enjoy Mark Bittman’s Ted Talk as food for thought:
Shopping with me at the supermarket can be an interesting experience. The first thing that one would notice is that I never go into the center isles (unless it’s for beer). There is nothing eatable between the toilet paper and the light bulbs. All of the fresh food is on the parameter. So, that means that I don’t go into the frozen food, cans, bread, or any of the other profit centers that specialize in packaged, processed food. There hasn’t been a reason to by frozen food since the 60′s.
We live in a country driven by supply and demand. The reason that there are so many cows being raised the way they now is not because some big corporation said so; it’s because we as consumers are demanding more and more meat, chicken and pork. This is not sustainable, healthy or necessary. You do not need to eat meat products, period! Protein is not meat. It is a nutrient that is in almost all foods. Vegans who eat no meat products at all do not lack this essential nutrient in their diet. In fact, the average American eats far more than the needed amount of protein to maintain a healthy, growing body. If you want to read more, check out the best food writer on the internet, Marion Nestle. http://www.foodpolitics.com/2012/01/peevish-about-protein/
And on Government:
Another article in The Los Angeles Times today was about the Food Stamp program and how states are starting to try to regulate the types of food that can be purchased. Already one cannot buy alcohol, tobacco or “hot food”. Both of these topics bring to light the same quandary. Do you want government involved in food? I welcome protection from mad cow disease, e.coli, botulism and a whole other host of risks associated with malfeasance on the part of greedy, or at least sloppy, suppliers of our food. I want my tax dollars used to keep tabs on and make laws about the safety of the food I feed my children.
And that was just highlights from January. I hope you enjoyed reading my rants, opinions and references to others in the food movement. I have tried to be fair and informative without just stating opinions that were not backed up with at least a modicum of research. There are so many events and actions regarding our food that it is hard to keep up. I hope you found my underlining of some of the issues useful. I feel that it is important to keep as well informed as possible on these subjects. Our food is at stake which means that our lives are at stake. It is no small matter.
I wish you a prosperous new year. There will be something here but not a recipe a day. The transition will be announced soon. I hope you come back. Tomorrow will be my last recipe.
Today, I give you an idea that originated from Ida Garten. This is a dish very similar to the one she enjoys on New Years Eve in Paris (the lucky gal).
- 1 Package of Dried Fettuccini (16oz)
- 1/2 Cup Meyer Lemon Juice
- Zest of 2 Meyer Lemons
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan
- Handful Fresh Chives, finely chopped
- Salt and Pepper
- As Much Black Caviar as you can afford
- Large Sauce Pan
- Large Saute Pan
- Fine Grater
- Measuring Cup
- Hand Juicer
- Put a large pan of water on to boil.
- When boiling, add salt then pasta and cook as long as package indicates, or until al dente.
- Zest two lemons. The meyer lemon skin is thinner than a regular lemon and therefore produces less zest.
- Squeeze 1/4 cup juice, careful not to include any seeds.
- Whisk in olive oil. Taste to make sure it has the right acidity. The lemons will vary and might require more or less oil.
- Melt the butter in a sauté pan. Add the olive oil/lemon mixture and cheese to it and stir together. Turn off flame.
- When the pasta is done, strain into sauté pan.
- Toss with a little pepper, lemon zest and the chives.
- Serve in bowls with a dollop of caviar on each. If you can find it, try the American Paddlefish roe. Only your wallet will know the difference.