Friday, October 16, 2009

Today's Meats: 16/10/09

Decided to fast through breakfast and lunch so that I could enjoy a generous serving of dinner - corned beef silverside, served with fried eggs and butter!

The beef turned out tender, moist, and flavoursome! My technique is awfully simple - place meat, 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1T cloves, 1T black peppercorn, and two bay leaves in a deep saucepan, and add water under meat is covered. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 90 minutes. Allow to rest briefly out of the water before carving. I used to serve it with gravy, and I thought about trying to make my first Hollandaise sauce, but decided to go with runny egg yolk and the butter I fried them in. Delicious!

Carnivore Cost Calculation:

Organic beef silverside - $17/kg, so my serving cost about $10 (300g cooked).
Eggs - $2

Total - $12

Well, this would have been a terribly brief entry, except that I have some more links to share with you...

First up, I recently watched a video recording of a lecture given by Dr. Chris Gardner, a director of Nutrition Studies and an associate professor of medicine at Stanford. He studied four popular diets, determining that (relatively) low-carb diets showed the greatest improvement in all bio-markers. Dr. Eades and Tom Naughton have both published write-ups about the studies, so they make great complementary reads, or will give you a good summary of the lecture if you don't have access to the video below:

To help explain why wearing Vibram Fivefingers is so good for us, I found this intelligent blog post by Anthony Johnson a terribly long time ago, back before my Vibram enthusiasm hadn't been tainted by damaged Sprints. To catch my non-Twitter followers up to speed, I had to engage in an epic struggle in order for the original retailer to respond to my messages of complaint, who then forwarded me to the US supplier, who then sent me back to NY Kayak, who then... And so on until I changed the tone of my emails from polite to, well, you know... Only then did the US supplier pull his finger out and get in touch with a 'local' store in Sydney, who would swap my faulty Sprints for a new pair. This took at least a month. I quickly sent off my shoes (another postage charge on top of the original International shipping of AU$45), and then headed to Thailand. Upon my return, I emailed the Sydney stockist to ask why the shoes hadn't been returned. Well, it turns out that the US guy never bothered to tell Sydney that my Sprints were fuschia, a colour not currently sold in Australia (hence why I imported them), and they had been trying to ring me while I was overseas to ask what colour I would like instead! I promptly sent an angry email to the US supplier, demanding a pair of fuschia Sprints or my money back. The US guy then told NY Kayak to refund my money. So they did - the cost of the shoes, and FIVE dollars shipping! Never mind that I paid FORTY-FIVE bucks and had been screwed around for two months! Sheesh... However, Sydney then contacted me to ask whether I would like them to repair my shoes since they couldn't get their hands on a new pair of fuschia Sprints... I was a little confused, since I thought the shoes would then be sent back to the manufacturer since I had been refunded, but apparently not! So I said yes! They have been fixed today, and Sydney has popped them in the mail - I should have them in my hot little hands early next week! Woohoo! It's been a painful struggle, but in the end I will have what are essentially free, slightly damaged but repaired fuschia Sprints to show off all summer!

I recently discovered Sheryl Canter's Normal Eating Blog, a lovely resource of articles detailing health and nutrition written in highly accessible language. I am planning to spread her post entitled Good Nutrition: Myths & Facts around my work and personal networks since it's such a straight-forward primer to the healthy eating habits I have discovered as well as an explanation of why we should only eat foods that supported us throughout the majority of our evolution. Another great article is her summary of Good Calories, Bad Calories. Sheryl's candour and non-threatening tone makes her writing quite soothing to read - perhaps an appropriate style through which to ease loved ones into deeper thinking and life-altering realisations when it comes to health and well-being.

Here's one for teachers and parents to think about - with all the information out there, what's most crucial and relevant to teach our kids so that they can make healthy choices? Every Kitchen Table has come up with their 10 Things We Should Teach Every Kid about Food. I'm certainly working it into the English curriculum, and am very proud that my Mum has a kitchen garden at her school and that the information I am passing to her about nutrition may be feeding to her tiny 6 & 7 year old students through that program.

Meanwhile, I hung out with a few staff members after school (they drank their booze and ate their chips, I supped on green tea, and no one made fun of me at all), and - like all conversations with me these days - we ended up talking nutrition, sustainability, and health. Apart from encouraging everyone to eat more roo meat (and already a few of the gathering of 15 do, so huzzah), we discussed why it's misguided for the daughter of one teacher to be pursuing the vegetarian lifestyle for ethical reasons. I only commented once that the soy faux-meat products that the daughter has been introducing into her family's dining routines are terribly unhealthy, before focussing the discussion on why it's incorrect to assume vegetarianism is better for the environment. I would love for each and every staff member to be given a copy of The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith (or at least give me one to share around - it's so pricey over here!), but in the meantime I was essentially espousing information like that of Lierre's quote below:

"The environmental movement has taken up the plant-based diet as the way to save the planet and they’re wrong; they are not wrong in their basic values; to repeat justice, compassion, sustainability are the only values that are going to get us towards the world that we need. But a plant-based diet is not the way to do that and that’s because agriculture is an inherently destructive process. It is in fact the most destructive activity that people have done to the planet. Agriculture is carnivorous and what it eats is entire ecosystems; the only hope we have to save this planet is to restore the perennial polycultures, so [the native] grasses, the forests, the wetlands: it has to be restored and we humans have to learn to take our nourishment from inside those living communities instead of imposing our food across them. When we do that imposition, we destroy and what we leave behind us, is Desert. We’ve Got to Stop! The hopeful moment here is that if we took all the agricultural land essentially east of the Mississippi, and we turned it back into grassland, to the perennial polyculture that it desperately wants to be, the US would immediately become a net-carbon sink. That’s how much carbon would be sequestered … and that’s with everyone still driving their SUV’s around all the way to hell! If everyone on the planet did it, if we took all the agricultural land in the world, and we let it return to whatever it used to be (grassland, forest, wetland)? … It would take 9 to 10 years… to sequester ALL of the carbon that’s been released since the beginning of the Industrial Age.”

One of the other topics that arose during the afternoon was whether or not science should be involved in treating infertility, etc... I made the point that a lot of perceived infertility today is linked to diet and yet doctors aren't making those connections - they want to treat the symptoms with drugs and invasive procedures rather than pick up on the lifestyle problems. I was shouted down by one of the science teachers who asserted that infertility is normal and that there are many natural genetic mutations etc that cause infertility. So it was nice to come home to a new post on The Nourished Kitchen that supported my point completely: How the foods you eat are keeping you from getting pregnant. That's not to say that the science teacher was wrong, it's just that I think it's more of an issue that a significant 'symptom' such as infertility is just one in a growing list of 'ailments' that are treated these days, rather than prevented where possible. I felt like pointing out to this teacher, who is also the mother of the vegetarian I mentioned earlier, that soy is a big player in the growing infertility rates, so maybe she shouldn't be feeding it to her three kids if she didn't know whether tofu was fermented or not... But I chose to play nice. :) For now...


Penty said...

"was shouted down by one of the science teachers who asserted that infertility is normal and that there are many natural genetic mutations etc that cause infertility. "

When you decide to not play nice: simply point out that since they beleive infertility is 'normal'" from a genetic standpoint then like all other normal things shouldn't be treated.

If you want to be kinda nice: As I'm sure you know remind them of the difference between genetics and genetic expression.

StephenB said...

Many people use Nike Free's as trainers for their other running shoe, but I use Vibram 5-fingers as trainers for my Nike Frees. My feet are not strong enough yet to go a long distance in the 5 fingers on pavement, but the 5 fingers are positively delicious for running in the grass.

Penty said...

BTW, love the granola recipe.

Anthony said...

Very cool blog, and thanks for the link! Hope you enjoy the Vibrams.

mellie said...

I thought Lierre's quote about desertification caused from agriculture was very interesting! I never thought of it that way, but it really hits the nail on the!!

Jezwyn said...

Haha, thanks for the comment Penty! I actually responded to the assertion that we should not treat infertility by "innocently" asking whether then she believed that we should not treat cancer? And the answer, indeed, was "probably not". So that was interesting. I don't think it's truly possible to have an objective position on the ethics of treating conditions, "natural" or not. No one knows what they really think until they're subjectively involved - if it were your child, would you really stand firm against it? So I remain open-minded, focussed on prevention and non-invasive improvements/cures.

Hi Stephen! I walk in my VFF's along asphalt and concrete, with a stretch of gravel and dirt as I pass through a patch of bush. I've hit a few sharp stones in my time, but usually the surface isn't noticeable. Lately, all I have noticed have been tiny twigs that find their way between my toes... Three times on one trip, though it had never happened before! How odd... So hopefully, when I'm ready to work up a sprint routine once or twice a week, I'll be able to handle the paved track, and if not I'll have to keep an eye out for flat stretches of grass...

Thanks Anthony! I love my KSO's, so I'm sure I'll love my Sprints - they're so much cuter!

Have you read any of her book, Mellie? I finally appreciate why so many in the farming community where I grew up spoke out against the blue gum plantations that started buying out and taking over vast areas of the previously sheep-raising land. I thought it was great that they wouldn't have to chop down forests anymore... So innocent! I now understand that the land used for the trees will eventually be too dead to support any more trees, and will be left a desert, having caused all kinds of erosion and eco-system destruction... So sad! I'm so glad my parents didn't sell out when the blue gum folks made them on offer on our property!