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Eating Outside the Industrial Box
On this blog, we’ve been talking about whole food, so I thought we should also look at the idea of whole water.
Just like industrial food does not contain all the nutrients and other aliveness factors that make wholefood so enlivening, so too does industrial water—from the tap or the bottle—not contain the minerals, oxygen, and other factors present in the water found in natural ecosystems.
Tap and bottled water does contain nutrients that are naturally occurring minerals/electrolytes, but the problem is, they are mixed with contaminants. Improperly water treatment techniques (reverse osmosis, distillation, de-ionization) strip the nutrients out.
The difference between wholewater and tap water is astonishing.
We live in a climate known as “coastal” where it’s pretty termperate most of the year. We often wake up to foggy skies or the fog comes in late in the afternoon, but in the spring days are cool even during the sunny part of the day.
Last week suddenly it was HOT and I was unprepared for the dehydration. But I should have been ready. It was right at the change of season from Spring to Late Spring/Early Summer.
I really wanted to drink something cold and sweet but I didn’t want a soda or iced tea with any kind of sweetener.
What came to me was what I am calling “frozen fruit water.”
Larry and I just had to share this sandwich with you because we were enjoying it sooooo much!
All the ingredients except the mustard are from our own Sonoma County and even the mustard is from our home state California.
The bread is from an amazing local bakery called Revolution Bread which does not have a retail store but appears at two of the local farmer’s markets on the weekend. So I can get this bread on a Saturday or a Sunday. I am hoping the baker will allow me to come visit soon and write a post. He uses many ancient and unusual grains and mills the grain himself to make flour for bread. This baguette in the photo is made of purple barley (!)—oh-so-good and slightly lavender. We also had a molasses spice cookie made from this same purple barley and two other unusual grains, plus about ten spicy spices that gave this cookie such a depth of flavor. We love these cookies seem to be able to split one between us with no effect on blood sugar.
This is a seasonal update of this post.
Green Garlic (Garlic Scallions)
The first time I ate green garlic, I followed the advice of a farmer selling it on how to prepare it and it was so strong I never wanted to eat it again! So I didn’t buy it last year, but this year, now that I understand it, and I love it.
Green garlic is the young version of the plants that will eventually produce the heads of garlic that you see in the grocery store. It is usually available at farmers’ markets starting in March in warmer climates and into July in cooler areas. It looks like a green onion, but the green end has flatter leaves.
It can be used like a green onion raw in salads, dressings, or sauces, and can also be pickled, roasted, grilled, braised, or added to other dishes in place of garlic.
Wholefood Cuisine has as it’s focus the idea of eating whole foods instead of industrially processed foods.
But there is more to it. Because you could eat a whole, unprocessed ear of GMO corn sprayed with pesticides and grown in soil enriched with synthetic fertilizers that have no nutrients, and technically that would be “whole” because it is fresh and not processed. Or you could eat an ear of corn that is an heirloom variety, grown organically in soil enriched with organic matter that would be full of nutrients, and that would really be whole.
The unprocessed ear of GMO corn sprayed with pesticides and grown in soil enriched with synthetic fertilizers that have no nutrients is an industrial food product.
The ear of corn that is an heirloom variety, grown organically in soil enriched with organic matter that would be full of nutrients would be a lifely product.
I’ve written a whole post on this subject at LIFELY: The Continuum of Products & The Journey to Lifely Products.
In this post, I am applying the basic principles from that post to food.
I have observed a steady progression of products that have more and more lifely characteristics. Market sectors have emerged with names that identify certain beneficial characteristics: nontoxic, natural, organic, and green.
What’s new here is recognizing that this is the path out of industrial food and into wholefood cuisine. I went through this path myself and so have many others as the marketplace opened up with better and better products.
Below I will explain each. You can see where you are and what the next step is to move up in the quality of food you eat.
When we are evaluating food products, the first thing we need to consider is that we only see one aspect of the whole food—we see it when it’s sitting on a plate or in a bowl, all beautifully prepare to delight our senses. But this is just one facet of the whole lifecycle of the food, from the seed that takes form to the decomposition back into the Earth.
I’ve written about lifecycle at length at LIFELY: The Lifecycle of a Product so there is no need to repeat that here. Please go read it there. It even contains a comparison of the lifecycle of an industrial salad kit versus a fresh homemade salad. You’ll really see the difference once you know about product lifecycle.
You probably have heard of, if not eaten, Pasta Primavera, primavera being borrowed from the Italian alla primavera which means “in the style of springtime.” Going back even further, prima is italian for prime or first, and vera comes from the Latin verus, which means “of spring.
Pasta Primavera is generally pasta, of course, with a mixture of vegetables in a light sauce, or simply sprinkled with parmesan cheese. Looking at recipes I see that today’s recipes call for vegetables that are not particularly “the first of spring,” so…
Here is my take on a primavera made with chickpeas (a nod to the italian) and actual vegetables of spring.
Over the weekend, one of Larry’s sisters came over to bring Larry a gift.
She said, “I would have brough chocolate cake, but I thought you would prefer fruit!” And she handed him a tray of an assortment of fruits, cut into bite-sized pieces.
Well, in fact, as much as we love chocolate cake, we really appreciated that she brought us fruit that would support our dietary choices instead of hinder our goals.
This reminded me of Edible Arrangements, which I have known about for years but never pursued. I had an idea that I might want an edible arrangement for my birthday, so I looked them up. It’s too commercial for me. Not organic. And instead of being just fruit there are all types of goodies mixed it.
Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese art that began over 100 years ago as a way for fishermen to keep a record of the fish they caught. They would apply sumi ink to one side of a freshly caught fish, then cover the fish with rice paper and rub to create an exact image of the fish. The ink was non-toxic and allowed for the fish to be processed for eating, while preserving records of fish species and sizes.
These utilitarian prints were incredibly life like. When done properly they retained even subtle patterns and textures of the fish. The relatively simple black ink prints later developed into an art form that added rich colors and environmental details.
– SMITHSONIAN: Education Uses of Gyotaku or Fish Printing
Last week while Larry and i were off on a trip celebrating his birthday, I came across a beautiful book on fish printing in a state park bookstore.
This blog is about eating “whole food” that is really whole and about creating a style of wholefood cuisine that comes from the inherent flavors and qualities of the foods themselves, rather than trying to make familiar industrial-style foods from whole ingredients.
To eat in this manner is not only enjoyable, it also benefits health and the environment.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, our industrial food supply is crumbling fast. And we still need to eat. I’ll show you how.