Sorry to depart from Alternatives to GM Food Monday, but this couldn’t wait.
Before listening to “Science Friday” on November 29th, I didn’t realize how much food has been altered, even before the advent of genetic modification.(See the Resources section at the end of this post for the link to the interview). The alterations occurred over many years and the unfortunate outcome is food that is depleted of some incredible nutrients. However, the thrust of the interview with Jo Robinson author of Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health wasn’t about the bad news, but the good.
She has discovered ways to determine which fruits and vegetables are still powerhouses of nutrition. Some of these are shared in this relatively short (23 minute) interview. I was determined to find out more.
Ms Robinson also discusses food prep and how nutrients can be retained by following some simple rules. For instance, I learned that my usual way of adding garlic while cooking was only adding flavor to my food. Because allicin, the anti-bacterial/anti-fungal compound in garlic, is activated by damaging the clove by pressing or slicing. If the minced or crushed garlic is thrown immediately into a simmering pot, the enzyme needed to form the compound is destroyed. A simple remedy is to slice it and set it aside for 10 minutes to give the protein and enzyme a chance to form allicin.
The gardener in me immediately needed more information on which varieties are still more true to the original, wild plants from which they came.
I want to grow the most nutritious food. I bet you do, too. Not only that, it’s important that we save these nutrient dense varieties from the brink of disaster. We see what has happened to soy, corn, canola and yellow squash. We read about the plans for a GM apple. As more of these GM fruits & vegetables are unleashed, are we in danger of losing these old-fashioned varieties? Monsanto has been buying seed companies since 2005. This isn’t limited to the usual GM crops, but includes the seeds all gardeners rely on to put food on their tables. Isn’t it up to each one of us to save seeds from what we grow because we soon might have to rely on our seed stores and on each other for uncontaminated seeds of varieties that are no longer commercially available? Included in Robinson’s book is a section for the gardener to make wise choices when buying seeds. This is timely since most of us start planning our gardens soon.
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Eating Wilder Foods for a Healthier Diet the audio interview from “Science Friday”
Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson
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