When I first got into Traditional Food nearly 14 years ago, I pretty much had to make anything and everything myself because there were few companies (and none in my local area) that made the type of food I was seeking – let alone understood what I was even talking about!
Nowhere was this paradigm disconnect more apparent than the art of breadmaking.
“Isn’t using yeast the proper way to get bread to rise? Isn’t this the way it’s always been done?” they would blankly ask.
“If the bread is organic, isn’t that good enough?”
Uh, no, no and no!
Yeast for breadmaking is relatively new in the grand scheme of human history. In fact, when baker’s yeast was first introduced as an alternative to true sourdough starter in France in the mid 1600’s, it was strongly rejected because the Renaissance scientists of the time knew that this quicker, more convenient approach to breadmaking would negatively affect public health.
Oranges are the most commonly grown fruit tree in the world. A hybrid of ancient cultivated origin, possibly the pomelo and the mandarin, the orange is widely grown in warm climes with Brazil and the United States (California and Florida) predominant.
The elementary school I attended in Dunedin, Florida happened to be located only a few miles from a Hood’s orange juice factory, now owned by Coca-Cola.
Many days, my classmates and I could smell the distinctive aroma of burning citrus peels from the belching smokestack. While the smell didn’t bother me too much, many of my classmates found it nauseating with some even choosing to stay indoors for recess on days when the wind was blowing in the school’s direction.
While burning citrus peel waste may not seem too problematic, the process of extracting the juice from the oranges in a factory setting definitely is. Read more…
Whey in its liquid and whole food form is the ideal starter for probiotic rich, health enhancing fermented foods and drinks.
Liquid whey is most easily and economically obtained from raw milk that has naturally soured, or clabbered, on the kitchen counter. Clabbered milk is a very useful item for the traditionally minded cook and has the consistency and taste of drinkable style yogurt. In this video, I show you how this process works.
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to raw milk which may seem to preclude the use of unprocessed, liquid whey for fermentation purposes as it is not commercially available.
Who doesn’t love tortilla chips? That enjoyable salty crunch is irresistible especially when paired with a quality salsa for dipping.
The problem is that the modern tortilla chip has strayed from its healthy heritage and become more of a junk food than the nourishing, traditional, food it should be.
Even the tortilla chips served at Chipotle are made from genetically modified (GMO) corn and fried in sunflower oil, an omega-6 vegetable oil that absolutely cannot be heated without the creation of free radicals that damage cell DNA when consumed.
Organic tortilla chips from the healthfood store are not a good idea to eat on a regular basis either. While the corn used is nonGMO in an organic chip, a survey of the popular organic tortilla chip brands indicates once again that the oils typically used (safflower, sunflower, canola) are not appropriate for high heat frying or even baking given the high concentration of delicate, heat sensitive polyunsaturated fatty acids.
No need to write off tortilla chips, however. Make them the old fashioned way and you can eat them knowing that you are being nourished and not harmed in the process.
Investigation of the culinary practices of Ancestral Societies from around the world reveals that nearly all of them utilized various types of fermented foods and drinks to assist digestion, maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria and keep immunity strong.
Of course, these cultures did not understand the science behind the benefits of fermented foods; they only observed anecdotally that by eating these foods regularly, vibrant health was more easily maintained and chronic disease avoided.
We now know that traditionally prepared fermented foods contain an abundance of beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and nutritional co-factors not present in the unfermented version of the same foods. Regular consumption of traditionally fermented foods makes it far more likely that you and your family will sail through flu season with nothing more than a mild sniffle or a brief fever if even that!