20 May, 2008

Food Do, Food Don't.

An article on the "future of food" - I look on this with the same kind of horror as I do when I see lists of additives (as you can find in the Body Friendly Zen Cookbook in the appendix) and or these mushrooms served by a supposedly healthy restaurant.

Why? Pasta that cooks in 90 seconds is either being subjected to sterilising type heat or else is made in a different way to permit full cooking in a minute and a half. Either way it's not going to be an ideal food. And the sauce is in a sachet, totally brilliant idea except that - well, it needs to be preservatived up beyond belief to prevent lawsuits, and is not likely to be good for you either.

And no, I'm not advocating raw vegetables as a basis for diet - our ancestors first started cooking and processing certain vegetables for a good reason. They were KEEN observers and noticed that certain foods were just better for them when heated or processed in some way. Or lasted longer, or had some other survival benefit. Notice our ancestors had to be survivors or we might very well not be here today... %)

In fact, this article documents a few points I've already made in The Body Friendly Zen Cookbook, namely that we NEED certain processing and certain foods. Once again fats emerge as a key concept, and I can expand on the following paragraphs, where the italic smaller font is my comments:

"Studies at Ohio State measured blood levels of subjects who ate servings of salsa and salads. When the salsa or salad was served with fat-rich avocados or full-fat salad dressing, the diners absorbed as much as 4 times more lycopene, 7 times more lutein and 18 times the beta carotene than those who had their vegetables plain or with
low-fat dressing.
" (There's a bit more to this, of course. A full fat dressing can be any of a range of oils, but in my research, olive oil has always been of the most benefit generally, and an oil rich in vitamin E such as grapeseed oil, about 2 or 3 times more effective again, than just vegetable oil. The best oil for extracting the lycopene, for example, is 1/4 grapeseed and 3/4 olive oil, used for cooking instead of other fats. It's also possible to add another fat for specific flavouring, but the base should always be that olive/grapeseed mix.)

and that's just for one group of compounds... I've found that almost three years after my win over prostate cancer, where I used the diet exclusively to reverse my prostate cancer, and then stuck loosely to the principles of the diet ever since, my PSA levels first dropped from 4.2 to 0.8 and have never climbed above 1.0 again since. That puts my prostate health at around the late 20's to mid 30's - and I'm 51.

So if just a bit of consideration of your diet can do that much for you, think what you can achieve if you put just a bit of effort into it. And avoid 90second pasta dispensed by some grotty machine on a street corner...

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