Sunday, 1 July 2018

July 2018: fast food








Fast food is bad for you. “I’m ok and I grew up on a lot of fast food” you may say. But today’s fast food is not the same [1]: it’s much much faster. It’s been getting worse all the time, in spite of so-called ‘healthier options', which now become fashionable in many outlets.
And the consequences of how we behave today, of the way we feed our kids especially, will be epidemic.
Fast food is bad for you. And here are the reasons.

Fast food often contains rubbish. Do aldehydes and acrolein, heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons sound good to you? Artificial dyes and preservatives? 
New research, just out this year, has shown that the more you eat: “mass produced packaged breads and buns; sweet or savoury packaged snacks; industrialised confectionery and desserts; sodas and sweetened drinks; meat balls, poultry and fish nuggets, and other reconstituted meat products transformed with addition of preservatives other than salt (for example, nitrites); instant noodles and soups; frozen or shelf-stable ready meals; and other food products made mostly or entirely from sugar, oils and fats, and other substances not commonly used in culinary preparations such as hydrogenated oils, modified starches, and protein isolates”, the more likely you are to get cancer [2]. For every 10% more ‘ultra-processed’ food eaten, 12% more cancers follow. Even the ‘potential cancer-causing’ packaging gets into the food. The grease-repellent cardboard and paper products it comes wrapped in, tend to contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals which are associated with cancer, developmental toxicity and immunotoxicity, just for starters. High temperatures and use of emulsified fats significantly increase their migration into your meal [3]. 

And then there are the antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is one of the main health threats facing us. As if we don’t use enough of those ourselves, many more enter the food chain via our meat. In 2011, 80% of all antibiotics distributed in the United States were sold for use in food-producing animals. The majority of these were given to completely healthy animals, to increase weight gain and prevent disease in the crowded, unsanitary industrial farming conditions. England’s chief medical officer warns that the world faces a "post-antibiotic apocalypse" after which routine medical operations would become too dangerous to perform because of the risk of infection [4].

And I’m not even talking about the destruction of the environment involved in producing all this. Heavy packaging - none of which recycled, of course - and transport over enormous areas, take their toll. So does the factory farming, which creates significant methane emissions and water pollution through excessive fertilization [5].

As Michael Pollan says in 'In Defense of Food: an Eater's Manifesto’:
“Avoid food products containing ingredients that are
A) unfamiliar
B) unpronounceable
C) more than five in number, or that include
D) high-fructose corn syrup” [6]. 

It’s not easy, I know. Harder still for our children, who don’t even have memories of how you could live on potatoes and three veg, without ever dropping in at McDonalds's for a burger.
But can’t we just try a little bit harder? Against the onslaught of ever more clever advertising? Against the subtle wiles of those who want to make money at all costs at the expense of our very lives?
Baby steps, as always, are excellent. And for some of us, maybe even a clean break could be possible?

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EAT:
veg: beet, broad/french beans, carrots, chinese leaves, globe artichokes, kohlrabi, cauli, cabbage, (sugar) peas, beans, lettuce, sweetcorn, turnips, courgettes, broccoli, spring onions, squash, radish, tomatoes, samphire, spinach (beet), chard, endive.
fish: mackerel is at its best in July, cheap and an invaluable source of omega 3. Otherwise: dab, black bream, crab, mackerel, clam, dover sole, megrim sole, grey mullet, flounder and American signal crayfish.
meat: lamb, rabbit, wood pigeon.

SOW:
beet, calabrese, carrots (early July), mini cauli, chicory, chinese cabbage, coriander, french beans, kale, lettuce*, pak choi, (mangetout/sugar snap) peas, black and white radish (mooli), perpetual spinach, chard, turnips.
End of the month: corn salad, endive, kohlrabi. Sowing kohlrabi late in July should supply them well into the winter. They will stand in the soil until needed.
Plant: kale, sprouts, leeks, winter cabbages, broccoli, calabrese, cauliflower.
*Remember: only crisp lettuce (little gem, cos, webb) germinates well when the soil temperature goes above 25C. 



RECIPES


KOHLRABI with CHEESE

4 kohlrabi, 2tblsp butter, 2tblsp flour, 1 cup milk, 120ml grated cheddar,  parsley, 1/8tsp nutmeg, salt.
You don't have to peel kohlrabi, but since the outer layer can be tough, you may prefer to do so. Before you peel it, cut off any leafy greens attached. You can use those in salads if tender, or sauté or steam them as you would other greens. Then chop the bulb into 1-2 cm pieces. Cook till just tender, drain, but keep the cooking water. Melt butter slowly in a small saucepan. Add flour and stir well until blended. Gradually add milk, cooking water and cheese, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted and the sauce thick. Add kohlrabi and heat through. Garnish with parsley and nutmeg.

FRENCH BEANS with ANCHOVIES
Cook French beans in salted water. Sauté a large clove of garlic, chopped fine, in olive oil. Add a small handful of anchovies (or small tin). Sauté them, crushing with a wooden spoon, until they “melt”. Add more oil as you need to lightly coat all the beans. Drain beans, add to the anchovies, mix.
And French beans you can also: 
toss in a little butter or olive oil; sprinkle with flaked almonds
or mix with boiled potatoes, flaked tuna, black olives and vinaigrette for a salade niçoise. 

CHARD
I like sautéing chard (or endive  - or even bolted lettuce I'm afraid) in oil with garlic, raisins and pine nuts. Add the garlic late, as it burns easily. Good with peas. 


LAMB CHOPS with BROAD BEANS, PICKLED CAULI and POTATO SALAD
1 cauliflower, 4 lamb chops; potatoes and broad beans for 4, ½tsp cumin powder, 100ml olive oil, 30ml cider vinegar, salt, pepper, 2tbsp toasted pine nuts, 2tbsp chopped parsley.
Break the cauli into large florets. Blanch in boiling salted water until just cooked (about 5 mins). Drain and while still hot, mix with oil, vinegar and cumin. Cook the potatoes and add the broad beans for the last 5 mins. Drain and let cool. Season and cook the chops. Remove them from the pan and rest. Finish the salad by adding pine nuts and parsley, check the seasoning.
Leftovers will still taste fine the next day. 

For more July recipes, see other years. Or go to https://thoughtforfoodaw.wordpress.com, which still has eight recipes for this year. 
We also have an alphabetical index of subjects, which you will see if you click on this month, in the top right hand corner.
Next month: What's wrong with carbs?
To see this now, go to https://thoughtforfoodaw.wordpress.com and scroll down.




https://aufsi.auburn.edu/fooddefense/2017/02/21/are-fast-food-wrappers-dangerous/
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/junk-food-affects-children-5985.html
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/researchers-have-found-an-alarming-new-side-effect-from-eating-fast-food-a6985931.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/fast-food-truths_n_4296243
http://www.who.int/features/2014/uk-food-drink-marketing/en/
[4] https://www.thealternativedaily.com/your-fast-food-hamburger-contains-antibiotics
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibiotic_use_in_livestock
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/farms-antibiotics-healthy-animals-stop-use-who-world-health-organisation-a8044056.html
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/antibiotics-resistance-apocalypse-warning-chief-medical-officer-professor-dame-sally-davies-drugs-a7996806.html
[5] http://planetmattersandmore.com/environmental-issues/environmental-impact-of-development-and-factory-farming/

alphabetical index of subjects

alcohol                       Dec 17:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/december-2017-drink.html                 
                                  Dec 14:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/december-2014-drink-drank-drunk.html
antibiotics                  Sep 15:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/september-2015-antibiotics.html
                                  Apr 17:      https://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/april-2017-biotics-pro-or-anti-pre-or.html
arthritis                      Apr 14:      http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/april-2014-arthritis.html
brain food                  May 13:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/may-2013-brain-food.html
bread                         May 10:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/may-2010-slow-down-your-bread_30.html
                                  Oct 16:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/october-2016-bread.html
breakfast                   Jul 10:      http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/july-2010-breakfast.html
                                  Aug 12:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/august-2012-breakfast-cereals.html
butter                         Feb 12:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/february-2012-joys-of-butter.html
                                        Apr 10:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/april-2010-tub-spreads-or-butter.html
calories                      Jan 12:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/january-2012-calories.html
chocolate                  Jun 13:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/june-2013-chocolate.html
cholesterol                Nov 13:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/november-2013-in-praise-of-cholesterol.html
                                 Apr 11:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/april-2011-cholesterol-eggs.html                         
                                 Mar 10:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/march-2010-cholesterol.html                                       
coughs                     Nov 14:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/november-2014-throats.html
cravings                   Jun 12:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/june-2012-cravings.html
dairy                         Oct 17:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/october-2017-please-have-your-dairy_1.html
death                        Feb 17:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/february-2017-death.html
diarrhoea                 Aug 15:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/august-2015-diarrhoea.html
diet                         Jan 15:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/january-2015-dieting-dangerous.html
                               Jul 11:       http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/july-2011-diet.html
drink                        Dec 17:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/december-2017-drink.html
                                Dec 14:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/december-2014-drink-drank-drunk.html 
eggs                        Jan 17:      http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/january-2017-eggs-is-eggs.html
eyesight                   May 18:  http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.com/2018/04/may-2018-our-precious-eyesight.html
fast food                  July 18:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.com/2018/06/july-2018-fast-food.html
                                Jun 10:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/june-2010-fat-is-bad.html 
faeces                     Sep 17:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/september-2017-number-two.html
fever                        Dec 15:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/december-2015-fever.html
fish                          April 18:   http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/april-2018-fish-forever.html
                               Jul 12:      http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/july-2012-to-fish-or-not-to-be.html
insomnia                  Apr 15:   http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/april-2015-insomnia.html  
milk                          Oct 17:   http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/october-2017-please-have-your-dairy_1.html
                                Sep 11:  http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/september-2011-milk.html
salt                         Oct 15:   http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/october-2015-salt-ii.html
                               Oct 11:   http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/october-2011-salt-1.html
soy                         Aug 13:  http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/august-2013-soy.html
stress                     Jul 14:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/july-2014-just-relax.html
sugar                     May 17:   http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/may-2017-sugar-slavery.html                     
                              Jun 15:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/june-2015-sugar.html
                              Jul 13:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/july-2013-sugar.html
throat                      Nov 14:  http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/november-2014-throats.html
vitamins                  Mar 13:  http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/march-2013-vitamins.html 

July 2017: the immune system



OUR BEST FRIEND - THE IMMUNE SYSTEM





Our immune system is responsible for preventing and fighting infections, germs and cancer. Located throughout the body, it includes, amongst many others: the thyroid, adrenal glands, and the intestinal system. The appendix, generally thought to be useless, in fact is made entirely of immune tissue and contains the best and most useful bacteria for the gut.

Symptoms of immune disorders are: frequent sickness, allergies, tiredness and fatigue; blood disorders, inflammation or infection of the internal organs; digestive issues, delayed growth and slow development.

Reasons why the immune system may not be functioning properly are, for instance: emotional stress, poor sleep, viral or bacterial infection, drug therapy, blood transfusions, surgery, overtraining, UV and other forms of radiation. Also: smoking, alcohol, excessive use of medicines (antibiotics), a sedentary life, obesity. 
And of course: bad diet!

How we can help
The state of our immune system is of vital importance for our wellbeing - and we can do a lot about it ourselves. 

FOOD
Even small changes will make a big difference. 
Try ditch processed foods, the usual culprit. Sugary snacks, soda, fried foods and red meats are best avoided. See [1]. 
Most lists of immune-boosting foods contain yoghurt, garlic, honey, mushrooms, tea, coloured vegetables, chicken soup and Ceylon or true cinnamon - see for yourself [2].

CLEANLINESS
We tend to be too hygienic! Both advertising and peer pressure make us clean ourselves and our environment far more than necessary. Not only do we damage the natural protection of microbes on our skin, we also add dangerous substances like triclosan, a carcinogenic pesticide which disrupts our hormone system and normal breast development. It is now found in practically all cleaning products [3].
For children in particular, it is important to come in contact with dirt. If you have been exposed to a variety of germs in your early years, you are far less likely to get allergies and asthma later [4]. 
And do we really need a shower every day? More and more, experts are coming to a different conclusion. 
Some researchers think that by washing our skin on a daily basis we could be scrubbing off a natural shield. The harmless bacteria on our skin help form a barrier against microbes that are potentially harmful, says Elizabeth Grice from the University of Pennsylvania. They protect us, they educate the immune system, modulate the immune and inflammatory response and don't allow pathogenic or opportunistic bacteria“ [5].
As well as getting a tiny bit dirtier, what else can you do? Lemon, cooking oil, vinegar and baking soda are just a few multipurpose cleaning items you may find in your closet. For how to use those, see [6].
As to shampoo - some do it differently. Heard of the No Poo movement? It's not what you think ... [7]. 
And those of us who dislike the smell of Febreze type 'air fresheners' are absolutely right. Like so many similar products foisted upon us by the clean brigade, it produces a fragrance which is both highly poisonous and impossible to get rid of [8]. 

Habits are very important, they keep us together in this life. But change is possible - and babysteps work! 


To read New Scientist article 'Immune Retune’: click
on the right hand side of this page, below July 2017. 






And ... don't shun the sun! I just read in the New Scientist that they have finally discovered that sun is good for you. Unless you rarely venture outside and then, suddenly, go on a sunbathing holiday. But if you catch the sun regularly, you escape many other diseases from which even taking vitamin D won't protect you. 

So no need for all those nasty chemical sunscreens. See 'Don't shun the sun!' under July on the right hand side of this page.
And if you got yourself a bit burned, apparently there is always sage tea. See http://ourheritageofhealth.com/sage-tea-sunburn-remedy/. Who knew? 

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EAT:
veg: beet, broad beans, carrots, chinese leaves, globe artichokes, kohlrabi, cauli, cabbage, (sugar) peas, beans, lettuce, sweetcorn, turnips, courgettes, broccoli, spring onions, squash, radish, tomatoes, samphire, spinach (beet), chard, endive.
fish: mackerel is at its best in July, cheap and an invaluable source of omega 3. Otherwise: dab, black bream, crab, mackerel, clam, dover sole, megrim sole, grey mullet, flounder and American signal crayfish.
meat: lamb, rabbit, wood pigeon.

SOW:
Chinese/spring cabbage, calabrese, carrots, chicory, coriander, endive, florence fennel, kohlrabi, salad onions, (mangetout/sugar snap) peas, mooli, pak choi, turnips, black and white radish (mooli), perpetual spinach, chard, parsley, beetroot, french beans, mini cauliflower, lettuce*.
End of the month: corn salad, black radish, endive, kohlrabi. Sowing kohlrabi late in July should supply them well into the winter. They will stand in the soil until needed.
Plant: kale, sprouts, leeks, winter cabbages, broccoli, calabrese, cauliflower.
*Remember: only crisp lettuce (little gem, cos, webb) germinates well when soil temperature goes above 25C. 



RECIPES



FRENCH BEANS DIFFERENT, 2 servings.
250g French beans, stock, 2 tblsp fresh dill leaves, 2 tblsp chives, smallish onion, butter, pepper
Mince dill and chives. Bring stock to the boil, add beans for 10 mins or until tender. Meanwhile, sauté the onion in the butter. Pour the liquid off the beans, stir in chives and dill. Add the bean mix to the sautéed onion, stir for a minute, season. 

TOMATO and BERRY SALAD: an unusual combination, but both Mike and I liked it. 
2 tbsp sherry or balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 300g really nice, ripe tomatoes, 200g seasonal berries: raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, blueberries, white currants, chopped or left whole depending on size; 100g stale bread, 1 tbsp butter, seasoning. Fresh herbs like basil, dill, tarragon, parsley, chervil, chives, nasturtium.
Cut up the tomatoes, rather fine. Combine vinegar, soy and oil.
Gently toast the breadcrumbs in a hot pan, add butter and keep toasting until golden. Season, let cool. Mix tomatoes and berries with the herbs and the dressing. Scatter with crumbs. (Nuno Mendes, Guardian)

MACKEREL with BROCCOLI and SPICY ANCHOVY SAUCE for 2. 
Mackerel and broccoli for two; 3 anchovy fillets, 2 garlic cloves, 1 chilli (or powder), olive oil, (rosemary).
Chop three anchovy fillets, two cloves of garlic and one red chilli - mash to a near-paste. Melt the paste in a small frying pan with 2 tblsp of butter. Meanwhile, grill or sauté the mackerel in oil. Top with rosemary if you have it. Don’t add salt, because the sauce will supply that. Steam the broccoli, drain, then stir it into the anchovy sauce. Serve next to the mackerel.
Best with plain cooked potatoes, methinks.

LAMB’s HEART
A lovely cheap and easy dish, as long as you do the work beforehand. Every lamb has a heart, so if you ask your butcher he may well come up with one, if only from the freezer.
450g lamb or beef hearts.
For the marinade: 2 tblsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper and 1tsp thyme.
Trim the heart(s) and cut in 1.5 - 2cm cubes. Marinate for at for least 8 hrs. Grill, spreading out into a single layer, and let brown for a minute or two. Toss and let brown on the other sides for another minute; remove. Delicious.

For more recipes see July issues from former years - click on July 2017 on the right hand side. Or go to https://thoughtforfoodaw.wordpress.com (below August), which has more recipes for this year. 

Next issue: did you know?

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/5-foods-that-destroy-your-immune-system/
However: red meat is ok if you eat it with all the bits and pieces: organs and fat. It’s the 'steaks only' habit which messes you up, see http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dairy-fat-healthy-paleo-primal/.





and many others. Just search for ‘healty cleaning agents’. Or buy them from a wholefood shop.