tagged w/ Healthy Eating
A kitchen garden is as much an act of self-expression as a means of growing food. But not all of a garden's expressiveness is intentional. In the same way that pets and their owners can grow to resemble one another, gardens can reflect their gardeners' personality, especially how fastidious, lazy, or greedy they are.
It would be a stretch to accuse me of being overly tidy, and the same can be said for my garden. But lazy and greedy? Guilty as charged. And when I allow these tendencies to play out in the garden, the target result is high output with minimal input, to indulge both my great expectations and my, shall we say, hands-off approach.
At the core of my low-effort, high-return gardening style is a practice I call throwing seeds at the garden. This technique is exactly what it sounds like: After preparing the soil and deciding what I'm going to plant in a given plot, I blanket the area with seeds cast by the handful. These aren’t seeds for the plot’s designated crops, but seeds for a supplementary blanket of leafy plants to cover the space between the crop plants.
The seeds, usually a mixture of greens and carrots, grow into an edible, living mulch. I look at it as a bonus crop, as it grows in space that isn't normally planted. And, like nonedible mulch—e.g., straw, leaves, or grass clippings—my green carpet carries out an important function in the garden as a ground cover.
I often toss seeds at the garden multiple times in a season. This year's first tossing, just the other week, was a mix of seeds for curly and flat-leafed endive, tall and round radicchio, escarole, lettuce, cilantro, spinach, chard, basil, and whatever else I could scrounge together in the old seed bag. I even threw in sunflowers, nasturtiums, and beets. I simply dumped all my old seeds from last year's garden in a bag, walked outside, and tossed my seeds at the empty brown garden by the handful, like I was seeding grass.
The garden had been put to bed last winter with early season seed tossing in mind, so it was ready. I raked the ground before and after seeding, and then watered in the seeds really well. Already the edible mulch has begun to grow, making the ground look like it’s dusted with green confetti.
The fact that my garden is basically one big garlic patch works well for my practice, because garlic is a great crop to throw seeds at. Garlic plants grow vertically, both above and below ground, so there is no conflict with other leaves or roots. Garlic doesn't need much tending in general, so you won't be stepping much on your greens and carrots. Also, garlic likes mulch, and if I wasn't using this edible living mulch I'd have to mulch it with something else, like straw. After the garlic is harvested in July, it's off to the races for the scattered carrots and greens, which suddenly have the place to themselves.
Other crops that work well intercropped with edible mulch are similarly lanky, nonspreading plants like corn, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, to name a few. Tomatoes, strawberries, and other slow-spreading plants can work as well. After all, tomatoes don't really fill in until July. You can grow a lot of greenery in the space between in the meantime. You can also train tomatoes vertically to allow more salad space between plants.
Even if you don't know what main crop you want to plant yet, you can start your garden as soon as the ground has thawed enough to be worked, by throwing seed mix at your blank garden now, and planting into it when the occasion arises. Say you're at the farmers market and see some beautiful eggplant or pepper transplants to buy. You just take them home, clear a space in the salad and carrot patch, and pop them in. While the transplants are still small you may have to "weed" the neighboring mulch plants to make sure the new starts don't get smothered by salad.
It's well-known that eating green leafy vegetables offers multiple health benefits. In addition to the dietary advantages of edible green mulch, it's also a basic part of my zero-tolerance policy toward exposed earth. Any piece of ground that I can glimpse between plants is a place where sunlight is being wasted. Every squandered photon is a missed opportunity for edible plant growth, and can actually hinder progress if it strikes bare earth. Sun and wind both allow moisture to escape the ground. Sun can heat the ground and bake it, while wind can blow topsoil away.
My edible mulch discourages such damage by forming a thick green mat that captures the sunlight and shields the ground from the elements. It holds the soil in place, tempers the daily extremes of hot and cold, and fosters an active bacterial presence in the soil, which can make a big difference in the garden's yield.
And, anytime you want to have a salad or a stir fry, tear into that green mulch. It will eagerly grow back, which means that unless you're a total salad addict you can harvest as much as you like. When the garden has finally run its course come fall, make sure to dig up the carrots before the tops die in the frost. After that, the carrots will still remain happy and delicious in the ground—if you can find them. Without the tops to flag them, you won't know where to dig.
This is a Web-only exclusive of Flash in the Pan, a nationally syndicated weekly food column by Ari LeVaux.
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2013/03/edible_mulch_throwing_seeds_at_the_garden_is_the_ultimate_low_effort_high.htmlA kitchen garden is as much an act of self-expression as a means of growing food. But... more
This new series advises visitors and residents in the UK on how to behave appropriately in Britain and covers a broad range of useful topics. This first episode tackles the issue of healthy eating, which is becoming increasingly vital for the ignorant mass of fat UK citizens who have no idea what is good for them. With increasing obesity and NHS costs, this government-backed report provides all the necessary information to inform you about how to be truly British and have a healthy life.This new series advises visitors and residents in the UK on how to behave... more
Any road trip leads to the unavoidable stop at the QuikTrip, 7-Eleven, or one of thousands of other convenience stores across America. If you’re not watching what you eat, that can spell trouble. Lauren Antonucci, R.D., a nutritionist and the owner/director of Nutrition Energy in New York City, suggests looking for something with protein or fiber to keep you awake, plus a drink to keep you hydrated behind the wheel. If the store doesn’t have any of those options, hit the road immediately and look for a smarter choice next time you pull over.
No time to pack a breakfast? Antonucci suggests a protein-packed Greek yogurt like Chobani. If you need something heartier, some stores have eggwhite wrap sandwiches. “Just try to avoid the ones with sausage, cheese, and bacon,” she says.
Skip the fountain cappuccino, even if you think the jolt of caffeine might help you stay awake. Anything low calorie, like Propel or sparkling water, is the smarter choice. Those liquids will help keep your muscles and brain operating at their peak. “Since most of us aren’t race car drivers, we don’t need to worry about replacing calories,” Antonucci says.
Search for Fruit
Sure, it’s not Whole Foods, but sometimes you can find an apple or banana by the counter. “As long as it’s edible,” she says, “you can’t pick a better option.”
Craving something sweet? Ditch the candy bar and opt for an energy bar with at least 10 grams of protein, instead. (We like the Carb Conscious bars from Supreme Protein.) Feeling more savory? Avoid crackers and go for canned nuts or a bag of low-sodium jerky instead.
When you’re stuck in a car with an entire bag of chips or candy, no good can come of it, says Antonucci. In fact, studies show the longer you’re near junk food, the more likely you are to stick your hand into it. If you have to buy it, get a single-serving pack.Any road trip leads to the unavoidable stop at the QuikTrip, 7-Eleven, or one of... more
Healthy eating habits are not just about putting up the menu at your dining table, but it involves how you prepare a healthy meal to boost your energy, enhance memory, and boost mental alertness and active minds thereby helping you to better cope with daily stresses.Healthy eating habits are not just about putting up the menu at your dining table, but... more
Losing weight is an ongoing battle for many, but thanks to handy tools like the iPad, you can take your plan with you wherever you go. This weeds out the excuses for those who travel and are short on time for devoting to grocer shopping, calorie counting and keeping up with what goes into their system.
http://www.mastersinnursing.com/30-incredible-ipad-apps-for-weight-loss/Losing weight is an ongoing battle for many, but thanks to handy tools like the iPad,... more
Getting healthy can be a long road, but it doesn’t have to be hard or impossible. Learning what to eat and changing your lifestyle to accompany your end goal are just some of the components of getting healthy.
link: http://rntomsnonline.com/40-inspiring-websites-to-motivate-you-to-get-healthyGetting healthy can be a long road, but it doesn’t have to be hard or... more
Back to school is a big transition time for families, especially for moms! Dana Hilmer, The Lifestyle Mom, shows how to keep yourself and family healthy, no matter how packed your schedule is! Video from StarKist, ClifKid, Ragu, and Clorox.Back to school is a big transition time for families, especially for moms! Dana... more
As families everywhere head back to school, certified nutrition consultant, Janet Zappala, shares her health and nutrition tips for breakfast, lunch and snacking. Video from Carnation Instant Breakfast Essentials, Jarlsberg Lite Cheese, Whirlpool Corporation and Sam’s Club.As families everywhere head back to school, certified nutrition consultant, Janet... more
Tastes Like Chicken: The Quest for Fake Meat
By John Cloud Monday, Jun. 14, 2010
The desire to eat meat has posed an ethical question ever since humans achieved reliable crop production: Do we really need to kill animals to live? Today, the hunger for meat is also contributing to the climate-change catastrophe. The gases from all those chickens and pigs and cows, and from the manure lagoons that big farms create, are playing a part in global warming. So the idea of fake meat has never been more alluring. What if you could cut into a juicy chicken breast that wasn't chicken at all but rather some indistinguishable imitation made harmlessly from plant life?
This spring, scientists at the University of Missouri announced that after more than a decade of research, they had created the first soy product that not only can be flavored to taste like chicken but also breaks apart in your mouth the way chicken does: not too soft, not too hard, but with that ineffable chew of real flesh. When you pull apart the Missouri invention, it disjoins the way chicken does, with a few random strands of "meat" hanging loosely. (Watch TIME's video "Turning Powder Into Poultry.")
The vegetarian world is buzzing about the breakthrough in Missouri. "Along with ham, chicken has always been the holy grail," says Seth Tibbott, 59, the creator of Tofurky and the dean of soy-meat inventors. Tibbott's Oregon-based Turtle Island Foods has become famous for its surprisingly full-flavored fake turkey. But Tibbott says efforts to create a credible fake chicken have foundered because of chicken's unique lean texture and its delicate flavor. ("Turkey has a gamier flavor," he says, "and it's easier to match stronger flavors.")
Like his competitors, Tibbott is now investigating whether to buy the Missouri product. A meat analogue that not only looks like chicken but also works in your mouth like chicken has great market potential. According to the Soyfoods Association of North America, a Washington-based trade group, annual sales of soy products totaled $4.1 billion in 2008, up from $300 million in 1992. But $4.1 billion is, to use a food metaphor, just peanuts. Americans spend something like half a trillion dollars on real meat every year. A meaty-tasting alternative that could capture even a tenth of this market would make someone very rich. The University of Missouri team may finally have cracked the code.
For several years, Fu-Hung Hsieh — a biological-engineering professor who, at his previous job at Quaker, figured out how to use glycerin to soften the raisins in the company's granola — had wondered how to solve the fake-chicken problem. The answer was certainly going to be a combination of soy, wheat gluten, oil and water — the building blocks of most fake meats, including Tofurky. But in what combination? And how would you get it to transform from a congealed goo into a believable simulacrum of chicken? Hsieh, a slight man who was born in Taiwan and educated at Syracuse, worked on the problem in a concrete-floored lab with an unlikely partner, Harold Huff, a tall and gruff native Missourian who runs the mechanical parts of Hsieh's lab. (See pictures of what makes you eat more food.)
What has confounded fake-meat producers for years is the texture problem. Before an animal is killed, its flesh essentially marinates, for all the years that the animal lives, in the rich biological stew that we call blood: a fecund bath of oxygen, hormones, sugars and plasma. Vegan foods like tofu, tempeh (fermented soy) and seitan (wheat gluten) don't have the benefit of sloshing around in something so complex as blood before they go onto your plate. So how do you create fleshy, muscley texture without blood?
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1993883,00.html?hpt=C2#ixzz0q7WOI19I
CONTINUED...PART ONE... http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1993883,00.html?hpt=C2... more
An interesting story examining the impact of phytates in grains on health. Many primal living adherents avoid phytates because of their stigma as anti-nutrients. Is it warranted?An interesting story examining the impact of phytates in grains on health. Many... more
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver on Wednesday called for an overhaul of America's food system, saying the country's poor decisions about what to eat are shortening life spans and increasing health care costs.
"My wish is for you to have a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, to inspire families to cook again and to empower people everywhere to fight obesity," he said in a speech at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California.
Oliver, who grew up working in his father's pub and restaurant in Essex, England, outlined a number of specific steps to help America get back to local and fresh foods and to combat obesity. Among them, he said:
• Every child in the U.S. should learn to cook 10 meals before leaving high school.
• Supermarkets should appoint "food ambassadors" to explain to customers how they can prepare local, fresh and seasonal foods.
• Food companies should make education a central part of their business.
• Food labeling should be improved to accurately warn people about unhealthy food. He called America's current food-labeling system a "farce."
More at the link.....Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver on Wednesday called for an overhaul of America's food... more
First Lady Michelle Obama has launched the Let’s Move: America’s Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids initiative to encourage American families to make healthier lifestyle choices. The campaign targets the topics of exercise and healthy food as the keys to fighting childhood obesity across America.
http://www.causecast.org/news_items/9577-first-lady-michelle-obama-launches-lets-move-americas-move-to-raise-a-healthier-generation-of-kids-to-fight-childhood-obesityFirst Lady Michelle Obama has launched the Let’s Move: America’s Move to... more
The earlier you start the ideas suggested in this article, the longer you'll live. Read full story here http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2619463/healthy_eating_habit_is_the_key_component.html?cat=5The earlier you start the ideas suggested in this article, the longer you'll... more
For many of us who are involved in the sustainable agriculture and food justice arena, Michael Pollan's presence has been so ubiquitous for so long that he's almost passé. He has served as the torch bearer for the sustainable food movement for most of the decade, and after his spring book tour for In Defense of Food and the release of Food, Inc. this summer, his message is quite familiar.
When I heard that he would be coming out with a new book, I almost doubted that he could possibly have more to add to the eco-foodie canon. However, when I picked up Food Rules: An Eater's Manual, I was impressed. READ MORE: http://www.organicnation.tv/blog/books-we-like-michael-pollans-food-rules.htmlFor many of us who are involved in the sustainable agriculture and food justice arena,... more
The perennial favourite takeaway dish has survived many fads, famine and wars to keep its place firmly in the nation's heartThe perennial favourite takeaway dish has survived many fads, famine and wars to keep... more
Jamie Oliver was yesterday awarded the 2010 TED Prize for his role in addressing unhealthy diets and reducing British waistlines.
The $100,000 (£60,000) purse that comes with the award will be used to enact a wish that will be unveiled by the Naked Chef on February 10 at the 2010 TED conference in California. The TED community of scientists, designers and other creative people will be invited to support the effort.
"We're thrilled to award the TED Prize to Jamie Oliver,” said TED curator Chris Anderson (a different Chris Anderson from American Wired's editor-in-chief of the same name). “His work directly tackles one of the most distressing issues the world faces ... the obesity epidemic.”$100,000-ted-grant.aspx Jamie Oliver was yesterday awarded the 2010 TED Prize for his... more
It was the broccoli that stopped Judith Jones in her tracks at the White House farmers market, and then again at a Whole Foods Market a half-mile away. "Look! Look!" she exclaimed. "You can buy just one branch!"
Jones, the legendary cookbook editor (and, most famously, discoverer of Julia Child), cares about such things because she lives alone and therefore on many nights cooks and eats alone. And nothing burns her up more than the insensitive-to-single-people attitude of too many grocery stores.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/10/AR2009111000761.html?sub=ARIt was the broccoli that stopped Judith Jones in her tracks at the White House farmers... more