Monday, June 29, 2009

Good news, bad news & a saving tip.


Turns out that, just because you grow something yourself in a sustainable manner and free of pesticides (or you buy it keeping in mind the same principles), it does not make it good for you.

I am sure many of you already knew what I am about to say, but I didn't and this is why I am posting about it: SOY BEANS ARE NOT GOOD FOR YOU, unless they are fermented. (This means real tofu is kosher to eat.)

Some sources say that as long as the beans are cooked with wet heat (e.g., boiled) they are okay for human consumption. You decide for yourself, but after going over all the studies I read, I choose to steer clear of it altogether and stick to the traditional tofu (not the tofu crumbles that resemble meat one may find in the frozen foods area of the super).

Here it is straight from the horse's mouth. An excerpt from Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food:

The soybean itself is a notably inauspicious staple food; it contains a whole assortment of "antinutrients"--compounds that actually block the body's absorption of vitamins and minerals, interfere with the hormonal system, and prevent the body from breaking down the proteins in the soy itself.

While searching online, I found out numerous cases of people with inexplicable illnesses that some good doctors where able to trace back to high soy consumption. These were not people popping edamame like candy. The majority were folks who did not even know they were eating soy. See? The stuff is everywhere (probably because it is one of the most highly government subsidized crop, together with corn, it is cheap, and it can be engineered to became a host of different thickeners, sweeteners, blah blah blah), so-I don't mean to scare you- but read your labels carefully. Became familiar with the many names soy is disguised under. Be particularly mindful of it if you buy bread at the store (vs making it yourself) as soy is found in almost every loaf.

Quick fact: More than 90% of the U.S. soybean crop contains a gene patented by former DDT manufacturer Monsanto (source Vegetarian Times magazine, July/August issue).

Here are some great articles if you want to learn more:

** Soy, The Dark Side of America's Favorite "Health" Food
** A study on Nonisoneflavone Soybeans Anti carcinogens (possible adverse effect of soybean anticarcinogens.


Kudos to the city of Gainsville, FL! As they've become "the first U.S. city to adopt a feed-in-tariff program to promote green power. Under FIT, solar panel owners sell the electricity they generate back to the grid at a fixed, above-market price-in this case, 32 cents per kilowatt-hour--guaranteed for the next 20 years." (Source: Vegetarian Times, July/August issue). Perhaps more cities will take the same initiative, eh?


Straight to the point: want to stop throwing out overly ripe bananas? (if you don't compost, that is). When your bananas achieve the desired point of ripeness, put them in the fridge. This will cause the skins to look bad (dark and blotchy), but the cold will slow the ripening process as "the enzymes that convert starch into sugar work more slowly in the cold." The key is not to put green bananas in the fridge, remember, they have to be already ripe or almost ripe. (Source: an old issue of Gourmet magazine, author John Willoughby).
Of course, you can always freeze them for smoothies, dehydrate them, or make banana bread...

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