Coconut Myth

December 19th, 2014

A new study on coconuts reported by Australia’s ABC found that health claims about coconuts and coconut water have been exaggerated:

It is moderately rich in potassium and also contains small amounts of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. However, both the banana and the potato carry roughly the same amounts of potassium — and you don’t see potatoes being endorsed by celebrities and sold as the next crackpot Superfood.

Coconut water sales reached almost half a billion dollars world-wide in 2013. On supermarket shelves, in yoga studios and gyms it’s being heavily pushed as a rehydration liquid for athletes and lovers of natural food.

Sure, when you sweat, you lose water, sodium and lots of minerals. But studies have shown that coconut water is about as good at rehydrating you as generic sports drinks or, wait for it, water out of the tap. The false marketing claim that it is superior as a rehydration liquid to sports drinks was withdrawn in the USA after a 2011 class action lawsuit.

But what about the elite athletes who push themselves for more than an hour every day? In that case, coconut water does not have enough sodium to do a good job. And if you drink large amounts of coconut water to get enough sodium, you’ll soon realise that coconut water does have a laxative effect — which, to put it mildly, is not good for replenishing your bodily fluids. Another problem for the elite athletes is that because coconut water is not formulated in a factory, its ingredients can vary enormously from batch to batch.

But as a refreshing occasional drink, coconut water is fine. Just don’t waste your money filling your pantry with it, thinking that it is health-giving.

So what about coconut oil? It also has celebrity endorsement ranging from Olympic champions to movie stars like Angelina Jolie to Miranda Kerr, who claims she eats a spoonful every day. Its loudly trumpeted health benefits include controlling sugar cravings and your weight, as well as relieving stress and boosting your immunity. There is no compelling evidence for these claims.

One of the odd features of coconut oil is that it is rich in saturated fats — quite different from practically all the other oils that come from plants. It’s about 91 per cent saturated fats and only 6 per cent mono-unsaturated fats — virtually the opposite from olive oil which is 14 per cent saturated fats and 72 per cent mono-unsaturated fats.

From a storage point of view, saturated fats have an advantage. They make coconut oil resistant to oxidation and turning rancid – so you can store it for a few years before it goes off.

But from a health point of view, saturated fats have a big disadvantage. They are very strongly associated with bad blood cholesterol levels and heart disease. This is the overwhelming majority view of bodies such as the United States Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organisation, the American Heart Association, the American Dietetic Association and many other professional medical and dietetic organisations. There is a minority view that saturated fats are good for you, but let me emphasise that this is very much a minority view.

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How To Grow Ginger

December 19th, 2014

Ginger is a great plant to grow indoors. Ginger takes about 10 months to grow and does not tolerate frost. During the winter months it should be brought inside. Another reason why it is a good plant for indoors is its ability to grow in partial sunlight.

There are several plants that usually grow well that can be purchased at your local grocery store. Ginger (onions, horseradish, potatoes, garlic, cherry tomatoes and others) can often just be planted in the ground or a pot and covered with soil.

Plant a piece of root horizontally in a shallow pot after soaking it over night. Pieces can be cut off for cooking, brewing tea, or herbal remedies.

More on edible plants.

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GMO And You

November 13th, 2014

Another big misinformation problem I’m seeing in posts has to do with GMO. After all, aren’t you a GMO?

People are just fear-mongering these days. Years ago, burpee did a bunch of stuff right in Bucks County … with the lima bean. [He basically resurrected the lima bean which is one of the more nutritious uses of land]

I’m not saying there aren’t risks with GMO’s. I’m saying there needs to be a reasonable debate about the risks — http://www.washingtonpost.com/…/40e4fd58-3132-11e3-8627…

I’m also saying — in order to make an educated statement on growing food, one should grow their own food. if someone is that afraid of GMO’s, don’t grow them… but don’t force your unfounded views on others.
http://www.theguardian.com/…/genetically-modified-foods…

New genetically engineered food products have been…
I grow 400 species of edible plants… none of them are GMO. Here are a few to help get people started — http://membrane.com/food/

FREE FOR ALL — listing of plant foods that are naturally good for you to eat, provide health benefits, offer wellness and illness prevention or help cure ailments with alternative medicine. Nutritional information and organic folklore remedies. These plants are being grown in the Pennsylvania, Unit…
http://membrane.com/synapse/library/health/diet/

membrane.com
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/The-purple-tomatoes-double…

dailymail.co.uk
I’ve been growing a variety of “colored” tomatoes, potatoes, carrots and beans. Here’s a song I wrote about it… from the album “blooming idiot” (of the six album box set “food for thought”), the single “color me dumb” — http://membrane.com/…/blooming…/Z27_Color_Me_Dumb.html

Dm / Abdim / G NOTES From The USDA New Carrots Offer Colorful Surprises–and Health Benefits By Erin Peabody November 15, 2004 Researchers with the Agricultural Research Service may have found the best way to entice consumers to eat their veggies: Surprise them.
membrane.com
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Hagis Recipe

September 27th, 2014

For those of you who have been unfortunate enough to never have tasted the “Great Chieftain O’ the Pudden Race” (i.e. haggis) here is an easy to follow recipe which results in a dish remarkably similar to the above mentioned
protected species.
Ingredients:
1 Sheep’s Pluck (heart, lungs, liver) and bag
2 teacupsful toasted oatmeal
1 teaspoonful salt
8 oz. shredded suet
2 small onions
1/2 teaspoonful black pepper

Scrape and clean bag in cold, then warm, water. Soak in salt water overnight. Wash pluck, then boil for 2 hours with windpipe draining over the side of pot. Retain 1 pint of stock. Cut off windpipe, remove surplus
gristle, chop or mince heart and lungs, and grate best part of liver (about half only). Parboil and chop onions, mix all together with oatmeal, suet, salt, pepper and stock to moisten. Pack the mixture into bag, allowing for
swelling. Boil for three hours, pricking regularly all over. If bag not available, steam in greased basin covered by greaseproof paper and cloth for four to five hours.

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Traditional Medicine

August 29th, 2014

The World Health Organization definition:
Traditional medicine (TM) refers to the knowledge, skills and practices based on the theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures, used in the maintenance of health and in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness. Traditional medicine covers a wide variety of therapies and practices which vary from country to country and region to region. In some countries, it is referred to as “alternative” or “complementary” medicine (CAM).

Traditional medicine has been used for thousands of years with great contributions made by practitioners to human health, particularly as primary health care providers at the community level. TM/CAM has maintained its popularity worldwide. Since the 1990s its use has surged in many developed and developing countries.

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