Sunday, June 21, 2009

A little History, Man

When you think about it, majority of all food starts in the ground. From our fruits, vegetables, grains that are grown for rice, wheat, and legumes. Even the beef and chicken that we eat receive their nourishment from plants that need to be nutritious for consumption.
When we started forming villages , staying in one area our food habits changed. No longer could we just take from the land as we passed it. We started to follow the seasons and to grow things close to us, developing crop rotations. There was still hunting close to home so we could bring it back. They started to breed a new kind of crop as well. When they would go out and collect the wild herbs and grains, they would keep seeds for planting closer to home. When we brought the grains out of the NATURAL form of production, it in turn started to rely on man and man in turn relied on the propagation of the crop. This was the beginning of farming villages.
When herbs and plants are allowed to grow wild, they actually have a greater amount of nourishment and healing properties. Even the animals that we hunted had a stronger life span and less diseases before man started to mass produce them. For they eat off the same wild plants and grains that were available.
In one regard we can see man is now bound to taking care of the land for a fundamental diet, but also he no longer needs to be digging and foraging through the wild. Man, farmer, had to take into account the amount of food to be eaten and stored throughout the seasons for times of no growth. If they were no longer able to produce or the game went away, then they usually migrated to another place to start over. This was just a little history, with a little research you can discover it's entirety.
So, think about TODAY. We hardly have a herb pot, let alone a small vegetable garden. What is closer to our homes usually are the fast food chains or a convenience stores. Typically the places are filled with processed food, stripped of vitamins, nutrients, and sugar filled items. I will agree most of these items taste great or they would not be selling. Unfortunately, those are more of a crop field to most people than a backyard garden. We have come a long way...but in which direction would you say that is...positive or negative?
The consumption in America is on the rise, just think about the statistics. A survey is done every ten years in every state across America, in random homes. In 1955 most families had a fundamental diet. In 1965, using the same guidelines it was down 50% for its nutritional content. This is when we saw the start of our era with convenient foods. Make it easier, make it faster. We have continued to decrease with more health problems through the years. Today's most popular American foods are the hamburger, french fries, small salad, coffee, and soft drinks. Since World War II the consumption of soft drinks have increased 80%, pastries are up 70%, and potato chips are up 85%. Things that have decreased are fruits and vegetables by average of 25%. The American Cancer Institute had posted that 24- 25% of children did not eat a single fruit or vegetable the previous day. With fruits and vegetables being the basis of most of our nutritional needs, we need to ensure that we get these into our daily diet.
I know we have farmers still today. I think its a great time to mention supporting your local farmers markets. It is the small farmers that still use old methods of farming, with less chemicals in food, giving a better product. These small farmers are going to become extinct in time, with the larger mass produced ones living on. So let's try to start a small garden in the backyard or on the window seal, and find were the local Farmer Market is near you. You will actually taste a difference in the food, it will have more flavor and nourishment.
Here is a book if you want to think about gardening. He puts things back to the beginning using "Four Season Harvest". You can have a small area and garden all year long. That is the idea also, to get produce according to the seasons, its when we eat out of season that we spend the most on food.

Something Sweet.... Lemon Mousse found in " Nourishing Traditions"

6 egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 raw honey
grated rind of 2 lemons
6 egg whites, room temperature
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

Place eggs, honey, and lemon rind in mixing bowl and whisk on med low for 10 minutes, until mixer thickens. I freeze my bowl to keep the mixer from warming up the mousse. Chill in fridge about 1/2 hour. Beat cream until stiff. In separate bowl beat egg whites with sea salt until stiff. Fold in lemon mixture into cream mixture and then egg whites into cream mixture. Spoon into individual glasses and chill before serving.
Great for a summer day.

Something Fresh

Summer Salad
Head of Green Leaf Lettuce, chopped
Crown of broccoli, chopped just under little crowns
Cucumber, sliced thin
I red apple, sliced thin
10 baby carrots, Juliane
1 green apple, sliced thin
Slivered raw almonds 1/2 cup
2 stalks of celery, chopped small

Mixed all together and serve with favorite dressing. I love the combination of the crisp veggies with sweet apples and the almonds give a great crunch. This is enough for a family of 6 for dinner and then some left over for lunch the next day. If you are a smaller group, make enough as you go, the apples will not brown until late the next day. Just add those as you eat the salad. But you will absolutely love the combination.

Have a Blessed and Healthy day.

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