Friday, September 16, 2011

On the health of your digestive tract

On of the followers of this blog made an observation in a previous post that got me more worked up than it should have and I posted a comment on my own blog (gasp!), but the point bears repeating in a longer thought.

Badscribbler said that he wouldn't drink something that had been sitting out for 2 months as a matter of principle. It got me thinking about our distance from food production and how little most people know about how food is made. Salami for instance is dried and aged in a cool, but not cold environment 50-60°F, an aged steak is in a similar environment and that white stuff on the outside of your salami (actual artisan stuff not the shit you buy in your local grocer) is a healthy kind of mold, Yogurt is filled with probiotics but ultimately these are bacteria. Cheese is made with Renet(stomach acid) and and active culture (more bacteria). The manufacture of food, and USDA's insistence that food last for an eon has lead to the introduction of preservatives or chemical additives that kill the healthy cultures that make up and make our food. Ever stop to wonder the reason blue cheese stinks? These are living pieces, and they help us digest and are vital to healthy systems. We used to eat much more fermented foods, but the funk fell out of favor for sweetened and murdered by processing food.

Now you will have to pardon me, because I am a tiny bit passionate about these types of things and they are a very big part of my hobbies. I haven't made cheese in a while because it really is pretty expensive and the preggo shouldn't eat it(listeria will kill the baby, even if it just makes her sick). But when compared to buying living and beautiful artisan cheese some of the amazing cured artisan meats around here the cost of my hobbies is surprisingly less than it seems like it would be. The reason it is less is they mostly take time, so if it is time you are willing to spend, then they are not as costly if you value your time in different ways then producing your own food is incredibly expensive. We have a immersion bath for making yogurt, and are waiting for my wife to not be pregnant to use it, I am saving to buy the meat grinder for the kitchenaide and will produce sausages in due time. My wife is disgusted by it, but I plan on making sauerkraut this winter in a Red Wing crock no less!

In short I think knowing where your food comes from is important, and I am working on being a locovore (eating food that is from near me) and for the things it doesn't make sense to make I buy and try to buy it from producers in my state. I cannot buy a Pineapple from Washington obviously, but temperature/climate sensitive items aside with a little work you can find things produced near you, and the premium is relatively modest now but as gas prices continue to go up I think you will start to see parity and even declining prices for locally produced foods.

10 comments:

  1. I agree there is deffinitly a disconect in some people regarding how food is made! They think if it came in a nice package it was made in that nice package! For people like that I recomend watching videos on how things are made!

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  2. That's why I grow all of my veggies, not only taste better, but I've been involved in every step.

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  3. I run into the same thing with people and plants, I'm even going to get chickens soon - obviously for eggs and meat - I grew up on a farm/ranch so this stuff is old news to me, but most people have no idea where their food comes from, or what it takes to get it on their plate, they think if it's not wrapped in plastic - its bad.

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  4. I didn't quite say I wouldn't always eat such things. It's more I wouldn't want to be the first as it seems a bit insane in the "hey bob that's rotting I bet you wont' eat it" sense. I'm actually from semi rural area and have been involved in quite a few food making procedures and even a bit of deer gutting. Though it is a point taken I'm surprised how few people know where their food comes from or are "Grossed out" by cow tongue or pigs feet as they eat their burger.

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  5. Being a locovore sounds like too much effort..

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  6. The whole locovore sounds very interesting :)

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  7. Interesting...
    alphabetalife.blogspot.com

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  8. I am intrigued simply because I DON'T know how a lot of my food is made, and I can admit that. However, as sub radar said, that's why I make a conscious effort to try to grow whatever I can so I can at least control that--no pesticides here, thanks.

    But trust me, you won't see me denying an aged steak any time soon...

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  9. You need to also read the Omnivore's Dilemma, I think you would dig it. One food thing we've noticed at my house is once the husband quit drinking soda it opened his palate up to a new world of flavors. Now he enjoys and tastes food that before was clouded by all of the fake sweeteners in diet/zero soda. The man will eat tomatoes now, raw! It's nuts. We even go the square foot gardening book (another I recommend you check out) after my mom recommended it to us and his brother had his own square foot beds growing in the back yard. I'm all for sustainable, local & organic whenever I can.

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  10. @ badscribbler - have you ever eaten kim chi?

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