Health, Nutrition and Food

Soy to the World!

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Written by ELIZABETH FIEND

I know, you wait and wait, eagerly anticipating your favorite time of the year, and suddenly, it’s here! April is National Soy Month, the most delicious month of the year! Now you no longer have to wait until April to enjoy soy.

Soy is one hell of an amazing plant, one that’s been part of the human diet for over 5,000 years. But it’s much, much more than just veggie burgers. The soybean is also used as food for livestock and it has all the properties of petroleum — except unlike petrol, soy is biodegradable.

Wow, doesn’t knowing that you could fuel up your car or feed your cow with it make soy even more mouth-watering, appetizing and desirable to you?

This bean’s potential is astounding.

Ben Franklin was so intrigued by the story of a “cheese” made from a bean he acquired some seeds, soybeans actually, and sent them to his West Philly homey John Bartram’s estate. Ben also sent along directions on how to turn the beans into curds, aka tofu.

Despite Ben’s efforts, soy never really caught on in Ye Olde America, and was primarily grown for livestock feedbutterfly.jpg and oil until food shortages during WWII stimulated interest in the plant as a source of food for human beans.

Tofu, which had Ben so jazzed up, wasn’t sold in an American supermarket until 1958. Not coincidentally, I made my own debut that year.

Franklin was only one great thinker (and eater) who was intrigued by the potential of the plant from Asia. Both George Washington Carver and Henry Ford donated a great deal of their lives to this marvelous bean.

Carver, the African-American educator and agricultural genius, began investigating soy in hopes it would become a crop newly-emancipated slaves might use to gain financial independence. His soy products include candles, soups, coffee, cheeses, ice cream, flour and oil. (click to see my and my own article on GW Carver)

Henry Ford also had a million projects going on involving soy and dedicated the last two decades of his life to the bean. Among other things, he unveiled a car made with soy-composite body parts in 1941 and was known to be out and about town in a suit spun out of soy.

As a food, soy can’t be beat. It’s packed with more protein than any other bean. In fact, the soybean is the only plant food source that contains ALL of the nine essential amino acids, making it equal to the protein from animal sources. But unlike animal products, soy has no cholesterol and is much lower in saturated fat.

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TECHNOLOGY, FOOD, ANIMAL RIGHTS, HEALTH:

I Scream Clone

Cloning won’t mean cute new little friends like these, what it means is the FDA approves farm animals for cloning.

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By Elizabeth Fiend 

In 1952 a special tadpole was born. It was the first animal ever cloned. After that breakthrough, scientists spent many years and many millions of dollars on unsuccessful cloning attempts. Then, in 1997, it was ‘Hello, Dolly,’ when this sheep became the first successfully cloned mammal. Since Dolly’s celebrated birth, scientists have cloned many different animals including goats, cows, horses, pigs, rabbits and mice. A guar (an exotic ox native to India) named Noah was the first endangered animal to be cloned, but unfortunately he lived only 48 hours.

There’s also been a big push to clone our beloved pets, for love and profit. The cat came first, then a dog. But it wasn’t easy and as it turns out, the cloning of pets wasn’t as profitable a business as some had hoped. Now the biotechnology industry has turned much of its attention to cloning barn yard animals for future human consumption.

The Food and Drug Administration has released an 800-page report which concluded that the milk and meat from cloned cattle, pigs and goats and their offspring is as safe to eat as the food we currently consume. They also added that they won’t recommend special labels for food from a cloned source, because the food from cloned animals is “virtually indistinguishable” from conventional food.

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CHEW ON THIS! [15 minutes]
Chew On This! is full of Philly food facts and fun fur hats, plus a visit from one of America’s greatest thinkers (and eaters) Benjamin Franklin. Part game show, part food show and all parts fun, this episode is a feast of eye candy and an earful of information.

We create our own quiz show by playing the games Dicey Dinner and Tic Tac Tofu in which host Elizabeth Fiend tests contestants’ knowledge of nutrition and food. Yes, there’s jumping up & down, there are hugs and an audience screaming out encouragement. But there are also velvet-lined pizza boxes, fuzzy dice thrown from a KFC bucket and a game board of cartoon food held by men with green hair. This show is bound to amuse as well as inform you about the value of a vegetarian diet, what color foods have the most antioxidants and much, much more.

Even special guest Ben Franklin learns a thing or two from Elizabeth while he charms her into making him a sandwich – a sandwich on a soft pretzel!

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SUNSHINE PASTA SALAD

Make this for the next barbecue!

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RECIPE BY ELIZABETH FIEND
Serves 4, Time: 45 minutes

Category: Vegan / Vegetarian Recipe

With the arrival of summer you’ll really enjoy this cold pasta salad which capitalizes on freshness. This tangy, light pasta salad features the color orange. It will brighten your outlook and your look because it’s made with a dressing that contains lots of healthy herbs and spices, but no fat! The spices used in the dressing weren’t chosen randomly. They taste good and have health benefits. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that increase circulation, give energy, alleviate aches and pains and help reduce symptoms of allergies and sinus congestion. Mustard fights stress as it is a good source of magnesium, a calming mineral. Garlic is an immune system booster.

Salad Ingredients:
1/2 lb thin whole wheat spaghetti
4 tablespoons parsley chopped
2 carrots grated and diced
1 orange bell pepper cut into thin strips
3 oranges peeled and cut into bite size pieces
½ pint grape tomatoes cut into quarters
1 cup pecans broken into halves

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VEGAN COLE SLAW with Maple-Lime Dressing

written BY ELIZABETH FIEND

Category: Vegan, Vegetarian Recipe

This is one of the recipes I made when I was a guest on the Food Network’s “ROKER ON THE ROAD” TV show starring weather man Al Roker.

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I developed this recipe to not only give you the health benefits of turmeric (to learn more about turmeric click here), but the added benefits of another “warming” spice, cayenne pepper.

This recipe packs even more of a punch with the vitamins and antioxidants found in red cabbage and carrots and the minerals found in seeds.

It’s also low-cal and it tastes so refreshing!

VEGAN COLE SLAW with Maple-Lime Dressing (and turmeric)
GOES GREAT WITH BBQ!!!!!

Serves 4, Time: 15 minutes

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Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup soy milk
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

Slaw Ingredients:
2 carrots, grated
1/4 head red cabbage, grated
4 teaspoons sunflower seeds

Directions, Easy as 1-2-3:
1.) Mix up dressing (use a container with a lid and
shake it up baby)
2.) Pour dressing over grated carrots and red
cabbage
3.) Top with sunflower seeds right before serving

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3 GREAT HERBS 4 u 2 GRoW

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Article and Photo BY ELIZABETH FIEND

SALAD BURNET makes an awesome home-grown herb because it’s practically evergreen. Do you realize the implications of this? Well, the pilgrims did when they brought it to America from its native Europe. It means you can grow something GREEN to eat practically year round, even in cold climates. It tastes yummy, like chicken. Oh, no that’s rattlesnake. Salad burnet is tangy with a hint of cucumber. It makes an attractive edging plant and is easy to grow.

PERENNIAL CHIVES is a must have herb not only for cooking but also for the garden as it’s a great companion plant which repels problem insects. In the Middle Ages chives were used to ward off evil spirits. Today we appreciate their high content of vitamins A, B and C plus the minerals iron, potassium and calcium. Like all alliums, chives reduce blood pressure. The purple flowers are edible and very good tasting. Sprinkle some snipped chive stalks and a crumbled chive flower over rice, or other food, and you’ll have a strikingly beautiful presentation of green and purple confetti.

FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY is a biennial herb that’s easy to start from seed. Parsley contains more vitamin C than an orange! Because if its high chlorophyll content, parsley gently clears toxins from the body thus combating inflammation and high blood pressure. The ancient Romans gave parsley to gladiators to promote their fighting skills.

TO GRoW Salad burnet and parsley are biennials, which means the plant has a two year lifecycle. They’ll grow like gangbusters the first year and you should harvest plenty. The next year they’ll “bolt” or “go-to-seed” producing flowers, than seeds and then they commit suicide. It’s a good idea to “deadhead” or pinch off the flower head and replant the seeds. Plant new seeds every year to ensure a steady supply of these nutritional powerhouses. Chives come in many varieties. I recommend a perennial chive which will live forever, giving you more bang for your buck. There are also flavors of chives like garlic chive (you can recognize it by its flat leaf). Buy plants or seeds. Reseed and make more plants as needed.

TO HARVEST For salad burnet and chives, simply cut off the stems about 1 inch from the ground. Parsley grows in individual stalks. Cut them right above a set of leaves. Always make sure to leave at least 1/3 of each plant intact. Best eaten fresh (not dried).

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FLOWERS AND BOMBS

Edible Flowers

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Article and photo by ELIZABETH FIEND 

The first time I ever ate flowers, they were served to me by a man who just moments before had uttered the command: “Don’t smoke in this room, this is where we make our bombs.” He then pointed out the window, where on an overhanging roof rung with barbed wire I spied rows and rows of Molotov cocktails, finely crafted in Heineken bottles. The bombs were needed in case the police came a-knockin’. Or as I found out first hand, several hours later, when they don’t knock. The cops actually come a-bangin,’ with a battering-ram. And they dress in full riot gear — shields, helmets, batons.

Welcome to the world of European squats.

Later that night, while I was performing there with my band More Fiends, I told the crowd that this would be our last song. I looked down and a second later when I looked up, the room was totally deserted.

Huh, I thought some weird Danish custom? Nope, the place was under attack by the politi and everyone had fled upstairs to their defensive positions.

No Molotov cocktails were thrown that night. Instead, they activated Plan B, the lobbing of fist-sized chunks of asphalt via sling-shots – the super industrial kind that are sold for ‘hunting.’ The asphalt chunks were kept in cascading mounds in each corner of a room that was down the hall from the bomb making room. Helmets with face masks were hung on hooks down one wall, the sling-shots on the other.

You could smoke in that room, no problem.

While my bandmates and I stood alone in the back hallway watching the double doors bend inwards with each assault of the police battering ram, some moments of uncertainty passed. What should we do? But I did know one thing for sure, edible flowers would have a place in my future.

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Dangerous BPA Lurks in Canned Food

High levels of a dangerous chemical, BPA, are being found in the urine and blood of people who eat canned food. BPA is used as an epoxy to line cans. As of now there’s only one brand of canned foods, Eden, that doesn’t contain this hormone-mimicking, possibly cancer causing chemical.

See two articles below, the first about the dangerous of canned foods the second from the company Eden detailing how they’ve solved the BPA problem. Posted By Elizabeth Fiend

Source: My Health Daily News.com and Eden Foods

Soaring BPA Levels Found in People Who Eat Canned Foods

Eating canned food every day may raise the levels of the compound bisphenol A (BPA) in a person’s urine more than previously suspected, a new study suggests.

People who ate a serving of canned soup every day for five days had BPA levels of 20.8 micrograms per liter of urine, whereas people who instead ate fresh soup had levels of 1.1 micrograms per liter, according to the study. BPA is found in many canned foods — it is a byproduct of the chemicals used to prevent corrosion.

When the researchers looked at the rise in BPA levels seen in the average participant who ate canned soup compared with those who ate fresh soup, they found a 1,221 percent jump.

“To see an increase in this magnitude was quite surprising,” said study leader Karin Michels, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The levels of BPA seen in the study participants “are among the most extreme reported in a nonoccupational setting,” the researchers wrote in their study. In the general population, levels have been found to be around 1 to 2 micrograms per liter, Michels said.

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Cranky? Thirsty? Slurp some lettuce or melon
Water content of fruits and veggies helps the hydration equation.

Written by: By Carolyn O’Neil    Posted by: Elizabeth Fiend

Source: ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

When the mercury hits 90 and above, tempers can get pretty fired up, too. But another glass of water or a slice of watermelon might help, because irritability is a classic side effect of dehydration.

The first physical sign is thirst, of course. But other symptoms are more subtle. You might get a headache. You can become cranky, forgetful, tired, and dizzy, and your skin appears dry and wrinkly.

Remember the old admonition to drink eight glasses of water a day? Well, in 2004, the Institute of Medicine issued new general fluid recommendations indicating women should drink 11 cups per day and men 15 cups.

These amounts include the water in all food and beverages we consume. Iced tea, fruit juice, and even hot coffee and soups all count as hydrators. It turns out that 80 percent of our water intake is from drinking water and other beverages, and the other 20 percent is from food.

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What to do with A Sh*t-Load of Vegetables

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How I Ended My Summer Vacation

Article by Elizabeth Fiend

Upon returning from my vacation I was greeted by my two charming 20-something house sitters. They did a great job holding down the fort and loving my big orange cat Hurricane. They bashfully asked me if it would be okay if they left the remainder of their CSA Farm Share in my fridge. Like many people, seems they’re trying hard to eat right but are at a loss as to how to actually pull it off.

Can you image asking ME if it would be okay to unload a bunch of organic fruit and vegetables?

I made them squirm bit and then hastily accepted. In my book, there’s only one thing better than a fridge full of organic produce, a fridge fill of free organic produce.

I quickly went through the bonanza. In the crisper tomatoes tightly wrapped in a plastic bag were immediately removed to a plate and set on the counter.

Fresh corn was out on the counter seemingly left there for days. What were they thinking, pop corn? That had to go to the composting heap. But everything else was salvageable.

The two pints of blackberries were on the verge of extinction. To save them I popped them in the microwave for three minutes. I added a touch of maple syrup to remove the tartness, which I’m assuming is why the house sitters didn’t eat them. I drained some of the dark purple, almost black actually, juice off and drank it right then. The blackberry compote would be perfect for weekend pancakes.

Giant bags of beets and carrots did seem a bit daunting as they were still covered in farm dirt. But not to worry, I have a vegetable scrubber.

There was also a bag of Swiss chard as big as a house, eggplants, tomatoes, tomatillos and the obligatory oodles of end-of-summer-zucchini.

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