Smarter Than Pancakes

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hello world!

Filed under: Opinions — shaye3 @ 4:33 pm
Tags: , ,

Word press started my first post for me, so I decided to keep the title they gave it. Works for me.

I’ve decided to start a dedicated blog about food that will include recipes, pictures, and my own personal food musings.

I’ve been cooking since I was about eight years old, and I think I’ve become pretty good at it. I am fascinated by recipes and nutrition. I read cookbooks for fun. (What a geek!)

I don’t have Photoshop, so when my pictures look more like a snapshot that some woman took in her kitchen, (as opposed to something created by food stylists and photographed by a pro,) please keep that in mind.

I find that food as a topic of conversation is almost as risky as politics and nutrition now a days. You have the low-fat people, the low-carb people, the slow-food people, the restaurant people, the cook-from-scratch people, the cook-from-cans-and-boxes people, people who eat to live, people who live to eat, and lots of people in between! And it seems like people frequently express stronger opinions about food than they do religion or politics.

I’m no exception to this, so I’ll tell you that I’m a cook-from-scratch person for the most part. I tend to follow the teachings of Michael Pollan when he says “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” He espouses trying to eat real foods, and avoiding food-like substances that are mostly made of highly processed chemicals. I have so many friends who think that is a really hard thing to do, but with a little planning is really isn’t that much harder than cooking from mixes.

People sometimes think that opening a cake mix is so much easier than baking one from scratch, but when you have a good recipe it is so worth it to spend the extra five minutes measuring out the ingredients rather than opening a box. And I realize that it is a little more involved to boil some noodles and make a quick white sauce and melt in real cheese for your mac and cheese, as opposed to opening a package of florescent orange cheese-like powder–but can you really compare the two when it comes to taste and nutrition?

Another thing I’ve learned from Michael Pollan (and my doctor) is to avoid high-fructose corn syrup when at all possible. According to my doctor’s research, most of the type II diabetes, pre-diabetes and obesity that seem to be running rampant in our population can be traced directly back to hfcs. My doc told me that when we eat or drink something with hfcs in it, our blood sugar spikes sky high. Almost as quickly, our pancreas starts pumping out the hormones like insulin to counteract, and our sugar bottoms out. As soon as we bottom out, we mistakenly start to think we’re hungry again, so we go back for another snack–that probably also contains hfcs if it’s processed food. Our blood sugar starts to have levels that look like they’ve been created by a high-bounce ball, and our poor pancreas spends so much time counteracting all of the hfcs, and our bodies eventually start to wear out. And if you don’t think you consume much high-fructose corn syrup, you’re so mistaken. Pick up almost every processed thing you eat, and it’s there. I’m sure you immediately think it’s only in the sweet stuff like soda–and you’re right. Hfcs is second only to carbonated water in non-diet sodas in the U.S.

Because of corn subsidies in the United States, hfcs is much cheaper than sugar for food processors to use, so it’s in almost everything sweet you can think of like candy, cookies, and cakes; but it’s ALSO in things you’d never realize like bread products, cereals, Stove Top stuffing, most sweetened drinks and juices, toaster waffles, most condiments (ketchup, salad dressing, bbq sauce, pickles, jelly, syrup, steak sauce, Miracle Whip and light mayo), crackers, and soups. Trust me when I say it is NOT easy to avoid.

Another soap box with my footprints on it is the one that supports eating local and organic when feasible. In my opinion, eating local is much more important than looking for the “Organic” seal. Most of the food that you might find at your local farmers’ market was probably produced in a pretty organic manner, but the folks growing it just didn’t bother fighting the government red tape to become officially certified. I find that the person I’m buying from was usually the same one who tended the garden, and can tell me in pretty good detail how the food was grown. And before you start thinking I’m one of those west coast, crunchy granola people–I should tell you that I live in a small town in central Indiana! You can find farmers markets in every state over the summer, you just have to do a little homework to figure out where! (I googled to find mine!)

As far as organics are concerned, you can bet that our family can’t afford to eat everything organic, but I do believe that produce grown with chemical fertilizers can’t possibly be as nutritious as produce grown using natural fertilizers like compost. I understand that scientists have figured out that certain chemicals make plants grow, but I don’t believe that scientists know everything there is to know about nutrition and how foods work within our bodies. I also don’t believe that just because a plant is growing with chemical fertilizers means is as well nourished or as nourishing as one grown in more traditional ways. Not only that, but think about how much better veggies fresh from the garden taste compared to grocery store veggies. There’s nothing like a late Summer tomato–especially not those nasty red rocks they try to pass off as tomatoes in my Kroger over the winter. Bleh!

Milk is the one thing that I always buy organic. We can taste a real difference, and I’m really trying to avoid the hormones and unnecessary antibiotics that come with non-organic milk. I think it’s nutritionally a wash though, since the organic milks are usually ultra-pasteurized. It’s nice that my milk doesn’t go bad for months and months in my fridge, but I’m not sure that the extra heat doesn’t kill off everything beneficial while also killing the bad guys.

I understand perfectly if you don’t agree with me on some of my hot-button issues. Trust me when I say that one way or the other, you’ll still probably find something that looks pretty good to you once I get started posting.

I intend to spend some quality time in the next few days trying to figure out all of WordPress’s tricks, and then I’ll become a recipe posting fool!

Please stay tuned!!!

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5 Comments »

  1. Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

    Comment by Mr WordPress — Tuesday, April 15, 2008 @ 4:33 pm | Reply

  2. LMFAO…Hi, this is a comment. HAHAHAHA! Hi there sweet girl! I can’t wait to see what you come up with on your brand spankin new site!!! MUAC!!! 🙂

    Comment by canarygirl — Wednesday, April 16, 2008 @ 12:26 pm | Reply

  3. I’ve found you! I’ve found you! Yay! I’ve brought you over to the darkside of wordpress! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    ((((hugs))))

    Lauren

    Comment by lsbabies — Wednesday, April 16, 2008 @ 11:35 pm | Reply

  4. Thanks girls!!

    Nik, Mr. Comment cracked me up, too. I could have deleted it, but I thought it was so funny!

    Lauren, you totally brought me over to the dark side! lmbo (And I have to say that wordpress rocks compared to Vox!)

    Comment by shaye3 — Thursday, April 17, 2008 @ 10:04 pm | Reply

  5. Hey! ::waving:: I just found your blog and I love it! We’re almost like neighbors. I’m from a small town in central Indiana too! Can’t wait to finish looking through the rest of your blog!

    Comment by Teresa — Tuesday, August 12, 2008 @ 10:25 am | Reply


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