Saturday, 3 September 2016

September 2015: antibiotics


We keep hearing a lot about antibiotics. How they are overprescribed. How they deplete the good bacteria in your gut.
But what are the alternatives? And, if you haven’t been able to avoid them, how to follow them up so your intestines recover?

Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, certain fungal infections and some kinds of parasites. If antibiotics are used too often for things they can’t treat—like colds or viruses—they stop working effectively against bacteria when you really need them.
For viral infections they are worthless. On the contrary, antibiotics can make colds worse by killing beneficial bacteria and creating an environment more favourable to the cold virus. 
Overuse of antibiotics, too, is one of the factors that contributes towards the growing number of bacterial infections which are becoming resistant to antibacterial medications. [1, 2]

If you really want to avoid unnecessary antibiotics, you also have to be careful when choosing your meat. Use of them in the farming industry is rampant: about half of all Europe’s antibiotics are given to livestock, 350 tonnes a year in Britain alone. Between ⅓ and ½ of antibiotic resistance in human infections originates from agriculture. [3]

See also

What are the alternatives? Garlic, onions, cinnamon, ginger, raw honey, probiotics, echinacea and fruit and veg in general are all natural antibiotics. See  

And if you can’t avoid them, make sure you eat plain natural yoghurt, garlic, onions, raw honey, cabbage or any fermented foods during and after, to repair your intestines. See

For more extensive background info, see also the article in our archives for September 2014 (at the right hand side of this page, click on 2016 > September), taken from the New Scientist: "Microbe City".


And also: a new campaign hopes to persuade doctors from carrying out unnecessary – or even harmful – procedures and tests. See here what you should watch out for: Five Things doctors Do They Shouldn't.


Oyez oyez - last minute news: 
The Somerset Waste Partnership has started a new volunteering scheme to help others, reduce food waste and save money. See


Veg: broad/runner/french beans, marrow, squash, courgette, lettuce, turnip, peas/mangetout, aubergine, capsicum, spinach (beet), chard, sweetcorn, shallots, tomatoes, cauli, carrots, cabbage, beet, globe artichoke, cucumber, fennel, radish, kohlrabi, calabrese, chicory, endive, celery, broccoli, swede.
FishMackerel, seabass, black bream, crab, mussels, scallops.
Meat: rabbit, lamb, wood pigeon, duck, goose, grouse, partridge, venison.

spring cabbage, spinach, turnips, oriental vegetables, landcress, rocket, corn salad, winter lettuce, winter purslane. Plant overwintering onion sets, garlic.


Large courgette or some small ones, butter, olive oil, garlic, crème fraîche, mature grated cheese (white wine, tomatoes, onion, thyme)
Thinly slice courgette and onion, fry in butter and oil. Add crushed garlic, (thyme), fry a little more, add wine and tomatoes/puree, let reduce a little. Add crème at the last minute, just heat through. Finish with the cheese.
You’ll find more recipes for your glut of courgettes at It takes a while to download, at least on my computer!  

Green cabbage; red cabbage, cooking apple, onion, butter, bay leaves, and spices like caraway, ginger or the like.
Cook the green cabbage with some caraway seeds. Cook the red cabbage in a different pan with sliced onion and bay. Add the chopped apple to the red cabbage halfway through the cooking proces. 
When they are both done, mix together but not too forcefully: you should still be able to recognize the two cabbage types by their colour. Stir in some butter. Pretty - and very nice with 
any kind of meat.

Scallops, sour cream, spring onions, olive oil, butter, flour
Coat scallops in flour,. Chop spring onions, including the green parts. Heat oil and butter almost to smoking point. Stir in onions, sauté 30-40 secs till they smell good. Keep the heat high, add the scallops, brown them on all sides by constant agitation of the pan. When slightly browned, add 2 heaped tblsp sour cream, stir with a wooden spoon the until scallops are well coated. Serve over steamed rice/noodles or any other grain. 3-4 minutes total cooking time no longer!!

Though kohlrabi is at its most magnificent in soups or mash (with plenty of cream!), here is a recipe for
Serve as an appetizer, or several as a light meal with a salad. Top with crème fraîche for instance.
200g cleaned kohlrabi, 1 egg, 2 tblsp flour, ¼ tsp fine sea salt, oil, any herbs/spices you fancy. 
Peel kohlrabi well: the peel is tough and fibrous. Grate on the large holes of the grater. Put onto a clean kitchen towel, twist and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Crack the egg and beat, combine with kohlrabi. Add flour and salt, stir. Heat a generous layer of oil: batter dropped into the pan should sizzle immediately. Put spoonfuls of this in, flatten. Partially cover, and cook until browned on one side. Turn over, do the same for the other side. When completely tender, put on a towel to drain, fry the rest and serve.

1 chopped cabbage, 100g softened cream cheese, 2-3 tblsp milk, 1 tsp celery or caraway seed, salt, pepper.
Cook the cabbage until it starts to soften, drain well. Mix cream cheese, milk and seasoning. Stir this mix into the cabbage, serve hot.

3 ways of preparing PIGEON BREASTS:
I prefer my meat falling apart. And with a bit of fat! So pigeon breasts are not my cup of tea, but Mike liked them: 
1) Cut into thin strips. Soak in soy sauce, ginger, garlic, spring onions for couple of hours - even a bit of sherry? Flash fry; serve with noodles and stir fried veg.
2) Soak in olive oil, rosemary, crushed garlic, lemon juice, onions and salt overnight and then take them out and fry.
3) Shallow fry in olive oil with a bit of seasoning.

4 (150g) pollock* fillets 1.25cm thick, 3 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp butter, 4 minced garlic cloves, 2 tbsp chopped parsley
Drizzle fish with 2 tbsp lemon juice, season. Heat oil, add butter to melt. Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 min. only. Add fillets: cook covered, 3-4 mins per side or until they flake easily. Transfer to a plate. Stir the remaining tbsp lemon juice into the pan, drizzle over fillets. Sprinkle with parsley.
*or whiting, coley, dab or any firm white fish. Or the unsustainable cod if you must! 


Broccoli for 4, chopped into florets and small stems; 2-3 chopped garlic cloves, olive oil.
Sauce: 240ml coconut milk, 2.5 tbsp peanut butter, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp nice vinegar, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 pinch cayenne pepper
Carefully sauté garlic in oil for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add broccoli and turn up the heat a bit. Sauté for 3-5 mins until the broccoli is bright green and browning in spots. If you like your greens soft, add some water, put a lid on and cook longer.
For the sauce, put the ingredients in a small pan. Whisk together until thick and bubbly. Spoon over the broccoli - and rice if desired. Or stir in, if serving with noodles.