3 posts categorized "Nutrition"


Make Your Own Way (or cobbler, in this case)

Tuesday is my day to cook. I spend most of the afternoon chopping, frying, baking, and jotting down ideas for later in the week or that weekend. This Tuesday I made chicken salad, fresh pear cobbler, and a new recipe for a raw protein cookie I got from a friend by the time I wrote this post. I am waiting for the cobbler to get out of the oven even as I write this sentence. It is possible I will fit one more thing in before Jake, my long-time boyfriend, comes home to sample the day's work.I spend all day in the kitchen for a few reasons, the main ones being because I love it, and because I live a gluten free life, or at least try to. Eating out can be difficult at best, and I find cooking and baking my own meals not only is cheaper, but it tastes a lot better, too!

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My Thoughts Eggsactly

With the recent start of many of our area's Farmer's Markets, I feel the need to dispel some myths. However, I spent a great deal of time looking for on-line sources that were reliable that could back up my claims here, and fell short of locating anything but a bunch of opinion forums, being forced to rely on my Food Science education, my 10+ years of working in the restaurant business, and my lifelong experience growing up around chickens. So you can take this post with a grain of salt, I suppose. Perhaps you'd like to take it with a few grains of salt and a few grains of black pepper, 'cuz we're talkin' 'bout eggs! The perfect food, the perfect packaging, and widely available from your favorite local farmers anywhere. In fact, eggs are probably the easiest thing to switch over in your diet from that icky stuff in the grocery store to the delicious tasting, glorious food that is the pastured, farm-raised egg.


    Labeling in stores these days is tricky- if it says 'organic', 'farm-fresh', 'pastured', or even 'cage-free', it could still mean the hens that lay the eggs are kept in close, dank quarters with no sunlight or fresh air available to them. My suggestion to you on buying eggs from sources that are what they claim they are is to talk to the farmer. Ask them about their birds, their living conditions, and visit the farm if you can. Seeing first-hand what the birds look like in their true element will be a great indicator of the truth in the label on the carton.

 A popular myth that is is about as old as the question of "which came first" is that eggs need to be refrigerated. I am sure that many people have some type of chemical reaction when they hear that eggs are perfectly fine on your counter or in your cupboard, and they will go scrambling (pun intended) to find some type of proof that either I am nuts for suggesting it or that the idea is of some old, hippie standard- but for the truth one need only to consider an era only about a century ago in which no electricity existed. Farmers kept chickens for eggs and meat, a much needed source of protein when you spent your days plowing, cooking, and tending livestock. They didn't own Frigidaires or Kenmores, they kept the eggs in a cool, dark place and knew they would still be good the next week. Generations of humans have survived on eggs that were not refrigerated; my thought on it is that I can, too.

Another myth is that you can get Salmonella from raw eggs. The interior of an egg- the raw part- is actually sterile. When eggs are handled or cooked improperly, this can result in the bacteria being ingested and causing illness. Consider, also, that conventionally raised birds have less effective immune systems due to their poor diets and living conditions, and therefore may be more likely to carry the bacteria that causes Salmonella than birds raised in a more healthy, natural environment.

At my house, I keep eggs in my fridge because I have no counter space and annoying, misbehaving cats that will tip over anything left on the counters. If I get some out and forget about them, I still eat them the next day. I don't wash them unless there is obvious dirt or other stuff stuck to the shells, and ALL of my eggs come from a local farm where the birds run around in the sun, eating bugs and kitchen scraps, like chickens should. As for that question, though, of who came first...I might have to sit on it for a while ;D


Freaky 'Sandwich' from KFC Not as Cool as The Bearded Lady

    I don't watch much TV. I know, I know, it puts me in a bit of a minority and makes me a little bit of a freak. To be honest, I never watched much TV growing up, either. When I was about 13, my mom threw our television out- literally, out the back door into the yard. So TV has always been a bit of a novelty to me, and on the rare occasion that my boyfriend and I catch something on cable, it feels a little like seeing the Bearded Lady at the carnival: we're disgusted and enchanted at the same time.

    Recently, we caught a commercial for KFC's new sandwich, the Double Down. You can see it on their site at www.kfc.com, since it dominates the home page and is accompanied by a slick, funky bass line that Bearded Ladywill loop over and over unless you turn your sound off. Now, I love sandwiches. But the Double Down is not really a sandwich, since it's just 2 chicken slabs with bacon and pepper-jack cheese in the middle. And, like the Bearded Lady, the Double Down is enchanting for a few moments as you sneak peeks, mouth agape, taking in its freakishness.   

    But like all good carnival tricks, the wonderment will give way to disbelief, which will give way to the utter ridiculousness of the idea of eating a greasy, fried hunk of hyper-processed meat for your lunch or dinner. The sandwich has around 500 calories according to the data supplied on the KFC site, which might seem relatively low considering its contents, but remember that the USDA suggests most adults with moderate levels of activity follow a rough 2000-calorie per day diet.

           Double Down
This would make that Double Down 1/4 of ALL your calories consumed in a day. And the truly freaky part? The sodium content is near the TOTAL of what the American Heart Association recommends daily for a healthy heart and to reduce risk of hypertension (high blood pressure). When more than 30% of adults in the USA over age 20 have high blood pressure, it stops being a little freaky and becomes more than a little frightening.

    I'm not saying that everyone shouldn't have the chance to indulge in greasy food we know is bad for us every now and then. But indulging in  a novelty once in a while is OK- eating this type of food every day is not. And using our common sense in regards to these decisions will usually help guide us towards a better choice...like a salad, or some fresh veggies, or heck, a plain old peanut butter and jelly!

Anna Kaschner

This week in NOISE


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