Friday, March 06, 2009

How lucky am I?

First of all -- I think I need a new name for the blog. I need to stop referring to myself as "fat." I'm so much more than that -- it's really the least of all the things I am. 
But change the name to what?  That's a mission for you my readers -- help me think of a good name...

Anyway -- back to my life. 
The other day I got so hang out on the farm -- for the first time in a long time -- all I had to do was stuff for me... errands, chores -- it was great!
So I stopped by the dairy office to pick up a couple of things and ended up with a bag full of fresh potatoes: one of the farmers we work with had dropped them off. I got a bucket full of oysters -- since my brother-in-law had just returned from the coast.  Then I tootled off to my barn where I picked up some fresh eggs and grabbed a whole chicken out of the freezer. It's one I'd raised and butchered myself (with the help of some friends).  I came home and put the chicken in the 'fridge to defrost and then cooked up a nice fresh wilted spinach with some shrimp and pasta. Yummy!
The thing is -- it's such a joy to eat fresh whole food. It's even better if it's home grown.
The greatest part  is that I have a great relationship with food now.  I can eat without guilt most of the time and revel in the joy of cooking and then eating great food. 
This country has demonized food -- to the point very few people can truly eat without guilt. What's more, very few people truly understand where their food comes from. Too many consumers seem to think it comes from the grocery store -- and that's where the process stops.
I think the times are changing -- there are some upsides to the economic downturn -- more and more people are taking a closer look at where their food comes from, growing it themselves and buying locally. 
With luck -- people will become better informed. Here's a great example I found the other day.
I am always disappointed to see anything labeled  "made from cows that haven't  had rbst." - First of all bst has been illegal for a while now, so no milk has "rbst" in it. Then there's that nasty little point that it's a naturally occuring hormone anyway... Futhermore, what gets labeled organic is often misleading. How organic is defined varies within the industry and with consumers. Here's my opinion: if something like milk is labeled "organic" -- but is ultra pastuerized and shelf safe -- well that's just not really organic to me... Something organic should be able to sit out for a day or two without spoiling. But -- that's just me.
I found this article the other day in a farm industry magazine. It's by Trent Loos ( I knew this but didn't have the specific numbers.
"It is important to recognize that many common foods naturally contain estrogen (or phyto estrogen in plants) at levels hundreds or thousands of times higher than the levels in dairy or beef products that come from animals given estrogen hormones. In addition, estrogen levels in dairy and beef products from treated animals are essentially the same as products from untreated animals.

4 oz. beef from steer given hormones: 1.6 nanograms of estrogen
4 oz. beef from untreated steer: 1.2 nanograms of estrogen
4 oz. beef from non-pregnant heifer: 1.5 nanograms of estrogen
4 oz. raw cabbage: 2700 ng estrogen
4 oz. raw peas: 454 ng estrogen. 
3 oz. soy oil: 168,000 nanograms of estrogen
3.5 oz. of soy protein concentrate: 102,000 nanograms of estrogen. 
3 oz. of milk from cow given rBST: 11 nanograms of estrogen
3 oz. of milk from untreated (non-BST) cow: 11 nanograms of estrogen

Average level in a woman of childbearing age: 480,000 nanograms/day of estrogen

Average level in a pre-pubertal girl: 54,000 nanograms/day of estrogen

Average soy latte (one cup of soymilk): 30,000 nanograms of estrogen 

Interesting huh?  
Let me know what you think.

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