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Brewer’s Yeast – A Powerhouse of Nutrition, Is It Safe?

So I was reading the label of my Solgar Brewer's Yeast this morning to find out how much iron it has. To my joy I saw that it has 33% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of Iron in just two tablespoons!  Now, the RDA is different for adults, children, males and females.  Where a woman of chlid-bearing age requires much more iron than an adult male.  Growing children also require much more.  Nevertheless, the package stated that two tablespoons contain 5.6mg of Iron, I am supposed to get 8mg of Iron per day.  This specific brand of Brewer's Yeast that I normally purchase from the health store is made by Solgar, in Leonia, New Jersey.  That is actually pretty close to New York City! Talk about local?  Here is a picture:

 

Solgar-Brewers-Yeast-033984003804

The reason it is called "Brewer's Yeast" is that it is normally created as a by-product of the beer-brewing process, which results in a very bitter tasting product.  Solgar, however generates its' yeast powder from beet molasses, and this is my cause for concern.  If you are familiar with something called GMOs, otherwise known as Genetically Modified Organisms, you would know that most Corn, Beets, and Cotton created in the United States is GMO.  Since the label does not claim to be free of GMOs or to be organic, well, guess what, we now have a problem.  There is a good chance that the beet molasses used by Solgar to create this Yeast Power is GMO.

So I headed over to the Solgar website at http://www.solgar.com and did not see any mention of Organic or non-GMO in their Yeast products.  What I did find however, was a "Contact Us" page.  I sent them an email inquiring about the organic/GMO status of their products today, I am sure they will get back to me soon.

Although their product is likely GMO, I do not suggest that you stop taking Brewer's Yeast as a morning supplement because although GMO products have been linked to cancer and many other health issues, it still is a very nutritious product and I suggest you contact Solgar and ask them to remove any GMO ingredients from their food while you search for a viable alternative brand of Brewer's Yeast to purchase.

Their email is here:

productinformation@solgar.com

I suggest you send them an email asking for them to respond to whether or not they use GMOs in their products.  This link will create a new email in your default mail program containing the message body filled with the text below: 

productinformation@solgar.com

Dear Solgar,

I am a user of your Brewer's Yeast product and am concerned about the use of any non-Organic or GMO ingredients in the production process of your Brewer's Yeast product.  I understand that using organic/non-GMO ingredients will increase the cost of production of this product and I want to state that I am ready to pay a premium for quality, as my health is worth more than all the money in the world.

Please consider the use of non-GMO/Organic ingredients in your products, and if you already do so, please let me know this status and tell me why your labels do not indicate this.  If the FDA makes it very difficult for you to do so, I will assist you by writing a letter to my congressman/congresswoman to assist the Health Foods market to become stronger.

Sincerely, 

A Health Nut

How Do You Sleep?

Sometimes I sleep and sometimes I pass like night.  But typically I don’t sleep.  I leave the television on, sometimes I put the timer to shut off the television before the morning.  One time I slept to the looped 30 minute biography of Conrad Hilton and woke up the next day ready to write his biography.  John once told me the importance of darkness when sleeping.  The idea sounded boring to me and so I continued with my failed habits.  Then I heard about Circadian rhythms on the HBO show Bored to Death and I thought, cool I need darkness for good sleep.  So I did, I drew the dark curtains of the hotel room, closed all doors, turned off the television, set my alarm clock and fell asleep.  I slept really well, so well that I overslept!

Trip to the Butcher Bar

Seeking good BBQ in New York City for the well traveled may seem ridiculous; why not go for Italian, Asian, or French?  I could just wait until my next trip.  But even then, the so called really good BBQ places in places like Texas, Kansas City, St. Louis, or Oklahoma [many of which I’ve been to] may not always be keen on having grass fed meats.  It’s either good sauces or grass fed, but rarely both.  I’ll never forget some of the BBQ places in Kansas City, which as good as it tasted, was advertised as “corn fed.”  Really?  Was this menu printed in the 90s?

Enter Butcher Bar located on 30th Avenue in Astoria, Queens.  Half butcher, half BBQ, fully fresh, locally sourced, grass-fed meats, this is our new favorite place!  While our food was being prepared we were given a tour of the kitchen and the patio in the back.  No freezers or deep-fryers guarantees that food isn’t frozen forever to be eaten whenever.  Reasonably priced and open for a little over a year, this is one of the top rated BBQ places in New York City.  They’ve been in the NY Times and other newspapers.  They are Michelin recommended in case the opinion of a French tire company is important to you.  But take our word for it and go in for the burnt ends, the brisket, pork belly, or some of the cane-sugar sodas!  And right now it’s a BYOB so bring in your favorite IPA or wine…

All That Fits to Print… for Big Agra

The New York Times put out an article called "What You Think You Know (but Don't) About Wise Eating" on New Years Eve, December 31st, 2012.  It is a free article and can be seen here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/31/what-you-think-you-know-but-dont-about-wise-eating/?smid=fb-nytimes.

This article did not have any content and was mostly full of fluff, its' author, Jane Brody made many accusations that were of the classic FUD type, Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.  A tactic that is commonly used by salespeople and headhunters to scare you into submission of taking a low paying job and working lots of hours.  Jane is akin to the people holding whips making Jews work on building pyramids for the ancient Egyptian Pharo.

I honestly thought that she would at least reference some research put out by the "scientific community" to support her claims, but she did not make even one such argument.  I will go over each of her arguments and summarize her points:

Cured Meats

The article criticizes those who avoid meats cured with nitrates and nitrites, who opt for meats that are cured in a natural way using herbs and spices as being more risk-prone to contamination to bacteria.

Well, first of all, those who are health conscious do not eat cured meats in the first place, they eat meat less frequently than others, and do not eat meat that comes from the other side of the world.  So eating meats that are cured "naturally" isn't part of a wise diet in the first place, nor is it sanctioned by the organic-food eating community.  What the author simply did was take a rare event and say it is mainstream and somehow try to link it to "eating organic" food, sorry, simply not true.  And yes, if your meat is cured using herbs in India or China, and then shipped to the United States, well, then yes, you have a high chance of contamination.

The article also says that many of these meats that are labeled "nitrite and nitrates free" still contain nitrites and nitrates.  Well, you can blame the FDA for its lax food labeling requirements for this one, not the organic food community.  Many food producers aka "corporations formerly known as farmers" pay lobbyists in Washington, DC to push for those standards!  (And of course those same lobbyists pay writers and newspapers for placement of articles in media and movies that further their agenda.  And if you don't think that movies don't have product placement, tell me, how many movie characters are smokers?  Mr. Heisenberg from Breaking Bad "Has cancer, but he never smoked"… think about it)

Meat Glue

The article says that the enzyme transglutaminase, also know as meat glue is classified by the FDA as "generally recognized as safe".  And that means that any concerns with its use in gluing meat together is warrantless.

Okay, yeah, perhaps it is safe, but what about the fact that meat glue is used to take the meat that is sitting on the floor of a slaughterhouse to be "glued" together to make your burger? The problem with that kind of meat is that it is dirty and is not your typical grass-fed beef cut.  So yeah, perhaps "transglutaminase" may be safe, that is only analyzing a small part of the story when looking at products that have been "glued" together using "meat glue".  Again, not hitting the actual problem.

Oh, and if you eat artificial crab meat, you might as well eat gummi bears.  Wait, they feed that to cows because they cost less than GMO corn.  Still think Organic is a hoax? Sounds like the author is using a little bit of projection in her article.

Trans Fats

Yeah, trans fats are not good for you, we know that, but what does this have to do with eating organic food?

Organic or Not

The article says:

I find an ever-widening array of food products labeled "organic" and "natural."

First of all, a product labeled as "organic" is completely different from a product labeled as "natural".  You can thank the FDA for this discrepancy and read more about it here on the FDA website.  Look for the word "Natural" and "Organic" on this page: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Meat_&_Poultry_Labeling_Terms/index.asp

The article says:

Might manure used today on organic farms contain disease-causing micro-organisms?

Yes, might is the right word, because we don't know unless the farmer keeps a clean feed and does things the right way.  However, we do know that GMO and non-organic farms do have pesticides and other chemicals in their feeds and fertilizers.  And we do know that chemicals and pesticides increase levels of cancer-causing agents in our food.

The article says:

Also questionable is whether organic foods, which are certainly kinder to the environment, are more nutritious.

Really? Well, organic foods are certainly kinder to the environment, but saying it is "questionable" that they are more nutritious is not really saying anything.  Almost anything can be classified as "questionable", however, unless you provide any research from the Industry funded University system we cannot "know" for sure, or even make a good guess.

The article also attacks organic food producers, aka farmers saying that they disavow genetic modification which improve's a crop's nutritional content, enhances resistance to pests and diminishes its need for water.  How about the fact that GMO corn causes cancer? Remember that research that just came out on rats being fed GMO-corn for their entire natural lives got cancer? See the research paper here: http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm  Yeah, I know, some "scientists" came out and refuted the study saying it was flawed.  Did you read their accusations?  Among them was that the study was flawed because they used rats with a higher tendency of getting cancer.  But those rats were still shown to get Cancer because of the GMO Corn at a much higher rate than those of the control group! Don't believe me? The link is a few sentences before this one…

Genetic Modification

You mean shooting a bunch of seeds with radiation and selecting a few that have some "good" properties is beneficial to us? Or shooting the DNA of an insect into a tomato is somehow healthy to us? What happens when you mix a horse and a donkey? You get a mule, and what is the characteristic of a mule that everybody knows? They are STERILE.  That's right, if you mix two different animals of a close species together you get a sterile animal, imagine if you go even further and pick two different organisms that have completely different DNA? Think… words don't lie, don't be a jackass and eat GMO!

Farmed Salmon

Go over to the PETA website and watch some of their videos to see what "fish farms" actually look like.  Saying that most of the salmon consumed nowadays is farmed is like saying most of the beef consumed in this country is at McDonalds.  Yes, it is probably true, but that doesn't make it a good thing.  In my life I have learned that if something isn't good for you, then don't eat it.  Yes, that means eating less, but higher quality foods.

http://www.peta.org/tv/videos/vegetarianism-general/1539199788001.aspx

go to minute 1:50, and listen to how they describe the "conditions" for fish in farms and see them for yourself!

See more of an actual fish farm on this video describing "Kosher" fish.

Conclusion

I did not hear any convincing arguments against organic food in this new york times piece.  Of course, the title was very provocative, and most people never really read an article, they only see the title and tell their friends "I heard that organic food is no better for you than GMO food", they don't say "I read an article blah blah blah".  Try it for yourself, ask one of your friends what they think of GMO, then ask them, "what scientific study can you cite to support your arguments?"  I don't know about you, but I can cite many studies to support my arguments, and most of those studies can be correlated with actual individuals that I have met and known in my life and are usually spot on…

 

I’m Upset… not Depressed

So I was reading, or rather listening to an article on Natural News about fingernail health and after hearing about something called “ridges” on one’s nails, I decided to take a look at my nails and I saw that I have vertical ridges on my nails!  Although these ridges are very small and hard to see unless you look very closely, I got a little upset thinking that I might be anemic.  So I went and read about the symptons and one of them was fatigue, which can lead to one feeling depressed!  So we have a little bit of a chicken and egg complex here… I was sad because I found out I am iron deficient, and one of the symptons of iron deficiency is a form of depression…

 

So anyway, I decided that I should take the necessary precautions and advise my readers how they can avoid getting an iron deficiency, which according to the Natural News article is a possible cause for anemia, which is a cause for ridges in ones nails.

 

The culprit: Tea drinking

Drinking too much tea, which is what I have been doing since the summer of 2012 is the culprit for decreasing your body’s iron absorption, which in turn leads to anemia, which leads to ridges in one’s nails.  This however only applies to non-HEME sources of iron, which means if you eat very little or no meat and drink a lot of tea you are risking low iron levels in your body.  So the advice I found on the internet is a bunch of lists of foods high in iron, and the advice was to not to drink tea right before, during or after a meal.  The tannins in the tea bind to the iron and prevent your body from absorbing the iron.  There are many ways to still drink tea, even herbal tea and to avoid these poor effects, but the best advice was to:

  • avoid tea with meals
  • add milk or lemon to your tea
  • get Vitamin C with your iron
  • get your iron from meat sources.

 

See this article on VeeTea.com for more information on how to deal with drinking tea and iron absorption:

http://www.veetea.com/site/articles/tea-and-iron

 

How I “listen” to natural news everyday:

I purchased a license to the IVONA Text-to-Speech Software (http://www.ivona.com) for around 79 US Dollars.  All you need is one voice, I got Salli, she sounds pretty good.  So I get an email each morning from Natural News and I simply select all the text, copy it and paste it into a large document in my IVONA Reader, then I simply press play and start my work!

 

See this article on natural news to learn more about fingernail health:

Fingernail health is an indicator of overall health and wellness – http://www.naturalnews.com/007750.html

“The Would John Eat It Diet”

It is the morning of January 2nd, 2013, and I woke up bright and early to go to work.  I still felt bloated and full from all the conventional foods that I consumed during the holiday season and decided to officially “weigh myself in” to see where I stand.  I weighed 210 pounds, with my height of 5 feet and 11 inches that brought my Body Mass Index (BMI) to 29.3, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention makes me “Overweight”, with a real close margin to “Obese”.  I will have to agree with the CDC here and say that yes, I am indeed overweight.  Regardless of how much muscle mass I may have, or how thick my bones are, I still am overweight and I am going to “practice what I preach” and will post my updates here following this new diet that I am creating, which shall be called “The Would John Eat It Diet”.

It must be noted that having a 6-pack in your abdominal area like those from the movie 300 is not healthy, nor is it intrinsically attractive to the opposite sex.  Your body is supposed to have some fat reserves that can help you get through a period of starvation, and having 6-pack abs means that once you skip a meal your body starts burning muscle, as opposed to fat.  As long as the amount of fat you have does not decrease your agility and stamina, it is okay, plus it helps keep you warm during the cold winter months… There is an article on this somewhere on naturalnews.com, but I don’t have the time to look it up right now.

So, for 2013 I will be regularly weighing myself using multiple scales, noting the time and location of each scale and will be posting the results here.  I will also keep a detailed “diet” log where I write down to the bet of my abilities everything that I eat.  Hopefully this will provide some usefulness of the efficacy of my own diet that can help you and others see its effectiveness.

Anyway, my diet guidelines are as follows:

    • Avoid Coffee
      • If you have any, get an iced coffee from Pret a Manger.  No Starbucks, no Dunkin’ Donuts.  Oh, and did I mention no sugar or sugar substitutes?  Only some half and half.  Yes, you heard me right, half and half is preferred, not skim milk, not soy milk.  Whole milk is okay.  Soy milk, by the way, often contains sugar!  And the soy milk at Pret a Manger contains sugar… so drinking soy milk instead of whole milk leads to your consumption of sugar without even realizing it.
    • Drink tea
      • When sitting at your desk at work, use a tea steeper to brew loose tea throughout your work day.  Never use sugar, never add milk, just straight water.  I am lucky that my workplace has a Poland Spring water cooler that produces warm water suitable for my tea steeper.
      • I purchased my tea steeper from Teavana.  It fits only one cup of water, which is good because it results in my taking many trips to the pantry for refills.  Here is a link to my specific tea-steeper:
      • I like a brand of loose tea called “The Tealogist” (see http://www.thetealogist.com). You can find that at upscale tea shops and health food stores.  You can purchase any loose tea you want, I tend to avoid the naturally caffeinated ones and the non-organic brands.
    • Eat raw, unfiltered honey
      • If you are drinking tea and want to add some “sweetness” to it, or if you are sick, buy raw, organic and unfiltered honey.  I like to get my honey from farmers markets, which means it is hard to find in cold weather.  So in the winter, go to an expensive supermarket and get yourself “raw” organic honey.  Sorry, only expensive supermarkets carry this because the “poor” are not entitled to organic food.  Write your senator and ask them to lower taxes on the poor to allow them to deduct organic food expenses… yeah, not happening, Big Agra won’t let it.
    • No grains
      • I like the paleo diet theory of avoiding any and all grains.  Of course the anti-nutrients in grains are mostly diminished if you properly prepare those grains (and legumes) in the proper method.  However, I have to analyze each grain and legume to make sure that it is properly prepared before adding it back to my diet.  So the paleo diet is for cavemen, but if you eat grains, you are a little bit more modern right?  Maybe this diet should be called the “Bronze-Age” Diet, or how about the “Minoan Diet”?
      • Avoiding grains means no bread, no whole wheat bread, no rye bread no bread of any kind.  The theory goes however, that rye bread and other types of “fermented” breads such as sourdough should be better for your health, because the souring aka fermenting process used to create these breads breaks down enough phytic acid making the effects of these anti-nutrients negligible on your body.  The only problem is that these breads are no longer lovingly made by a housewife, which probably did soak them for the right amount of time to break down the phytic acid, but instead they are made by a factory that is “farmer-owned” which has been optimized to produce as much sourdough bread in as little time as possible and to make sure that the FDA allows them to call it sourdough bread.
      • No corn, no potatoes.  Yes, I too was saddened when I found out that corn is a grain… Especially after I found an organic farm that produces non-GMO corn that tasted so good raw.  Also, you want to avoid corn at all costs because 99% of it is GMO and you don’t want to eat GMO products, especially if you are a female because they have been linked to many cancers and infertility that specifically target females.
    • No sugar
      • This should go without saying, you are not supposed to eat the amounts of sugar that we do in any of the civilized world.  From a creationist standpoint, our bodies weren’t “made that way”, and from an evolutionary standpoint, our bodies have not had enough time to “evolve to handle sugar” ever since we started consuming it 10,000 years ago.  So there you have it, no sugar, no sugar substitutes, no agave, no stevia you name it.  Just avoid it and all of a sudden you will start tasting the actual food you are eating, and not the sugar or sweetener that was added to it.  Ever have an actual carob? Or have you ever chewed on an actual sugar cane stalk?  They taste nothing like the products we derive from them.  And remember, we removed the fiber from your sugar products, they were meant to be eaten along with their fiber.
    • No chicken
      • Free Range, organic, all-natural, cold chilled are all words used by lawyers after successfully lobbying to make the FDA not regulate these words to mean anything that they are supposed to mean.  Free range chickens are as free range as a lady receiving counseling on how to raise children at Planned Parenthood.
      • Believe it, no chicken in this country is clean.  No chicken was raised in the outdoors, roaming free, eating small rocks and pebbles, flowers… etc.  Even chickens that are fed a “vegetarian diet” are fed a diet consisting mostly of grains.  Even if those grains are organic, chickens aren’t supposed to be eating them.  No animal eats grains, not even cows.  So eating that chicken will not only not help you lose weight, it will not taste good, will be dry and you will have to add a lot of sauce or some other kind of condiment to it in order to eat it aka make it palatable.
    • No meat during the week
      • I sometimes cheat and have meat on a friday, but my typical routine is to go to Whole Foods on saturday morning and find some nice cuts of beef or lamb that have been rated with a Whole Foods Animal Welfare Rating of 4 or 5.  Then along with some local and organic garlic, onions and mushrooms  I sautee them and make a nice simple stew.  The goal is to buy so little meat that I eat it all in one sitting without having to save any for a later day. If you do go to Whole Foods, notice that none of the chicken in poultry section has an Animal Welfare Rating that is greater than 2.  A grade of 2 means it is basically veal.  So either stop eating chicken or start eating veal.
    • Eat sashimi, not sushi
      • Sushi contains white rice.  Lots of it.  White rice is empty of nutrients and full of phytic acid and other anti-nutrients.  Sashimi served in a restaurant has to be “sushi” grade, which although I haven’t researched yet, is I am sure much better than your “frozen foods grade fish”, which probably means the fish can be frozen for 6 months and then it can be sold in your local market…etc
      • Sashimi also is typically served as a dinner dish in a Japanese restaurant containing a nice selection of various fishes.  This is good because each fish contains a lot of nutrients that the others do not.  Skip the salad, which has some sweet dressing, and ask for a Japanese Clear Soup instead of the usual Miso Soup.

Free Range

I once asked someone if they liked how the “free range” turkey they purchased for Thanksgiving tasted and if it was worth the “extra” money they paid for it.  They told me that it cost $20 and that is wasn’t worth the extra money and that the whole “organic” thing is just a fraud.  So I asked for clarification on what exactly they purchased and they told me “the turkey said it was natural and free range”.

I got news for you buddy.  Natural means that they didn’t inject the turkey with any colors to make it look more appealing to you, and free range means that they got rid of the cages and made a hole in the wall so that the turkey can have “access to the outdoors.”  The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), regulates the use of this term “Free Range” for poulty in the United States and defines it as follows:

“Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.”

As for the word “Natural”? Are you expecting anything better? Here is the actual definition “NATURAL”:

“A product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a statement explaining the meaning of the term natural (such as “no artificial ingredients; minimally processed”).”

So there you have it, if you want something that is really organic, you have to make sure that your food has as many of these organic-oriented phrases as possible.  If you don’t, well, remember, you are what you eat, and if the animal you are eating was raised in filth, the quality of its meat shall be filth, and then you will become sick! So eat right!

Before I forget, I was recently given an article to read from the Wall Street Journal titled “A Reality Check for Organic Food Dreamers”.  I read the article (link below), and noticed that the author argued against the labeling of “genetically modified” foods and said that instead of avoiding such products we should be applauding them.  He brings up many arguments, however, he leaves out a lot of pertinent information… i.e. he says that industrial farming produces more crops per acre than traditional organic farming.  Does he mention what happens to all the extra waste that is created? Normally a plot of land can handle a certain amount of waste naturally, but a “modern” farm cannot, and has to have its waste thrown into places like rivers… creating a problem for someone that is further down the river…  Anyway, check out this article and remember its author John R. Block, used to be the secretary of the Department of Argiculture from 1981 to 1985 and is a senior policy adviser at OFW Law in Washington DC.  OFW Law, has its website here: http://www.ofwlaw.com and appears to be a big law firm that helps large companies pass legislation to have words like “Free Range” mean what they currently mean.

 

If you really want to know what GMO and other “factory-farming” methods have given us, google the words “North Carolina CAFO”.  Notice that the acronym CAFO stands for “Consolidated Animal Feeding Operation”.  John R. Block, as per his biography (http://www.ofwlaw.com/CM/SPA/JohnBlock.asp) built a large and successful hog operation in his home state of Illinois.  Hmmm… I wonder what that means? Anyway, knowledge is power, so read about Hog Operations and draw your own conclusions as to whether or not GMO deserves applaud or abandonment.

Listen to the first 30 seconds… of this (John R. Block’s weekly radio address of Food Waste):

http://www.ofwlaw.com/CM/Audio/FoodWaste.mp3

 

 

Sources:

USDA Food Labeling
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Meat_&_Poultry_Labeling_Terms/index.asp

 

 

Wall Street Journal “A Reality Check for Organic Food Dreamers”

No More Goat’s Milk Until January 2013

So, Talitha of Edgwick Farms tells me that they stop milking the goat’s in the end of October to allow them to “dry off” before they start “kidding”, which in farmer-speak means let the goats have children and leave them alone while they nurse them after birth.  I guess this is the exact opposite of what happens on a regular CAFO (Consolidated Animal Feeding Operation) where once a farm animal is born it is immediately separated form its mother, denying it its mothers milk and placed into confinement so that its muscles do not grow and the meat is extra soft, which is sold at a premium price and is known as “veal”.  Of course, veal are raised in horrible situations, but if you think about it, all animals raised in CAFO’s are raised in a horrible environment that is a step away from veal, whereas a veal lives in a 2×2 cell, the rest of the animals live in a 4×4 cell… so if you don’t eat veal because it is “cruel”, well, then you should consider not eating any factory-farmed meat because that is also “cruel”.

So this morning I made my last trip until January 2013 to Edgwick farm with my father, who used to work in area power plants while a Mechanical Engineer for General Electric. It brought back memories for him and I finally got to show him where I get my milk from and what a real farm looks like.  Of course, being born and raised on the Greek Island of Crete, he already knew what a real farm looks like, but I just thought it would be a good refresher for him to see a real american farm.

Now, the question is, what do I do with the 3 gallons of Goat’s milk that I have in my refrigerator knowing that the next time I will get some will be in late January?  Well, I guess that is what makes something special, knowing that you only get it for a limited amount of time, and not to have it available every single day.  I have some rennet which I purchased from the New England Cheese Making Company (www.cheesemaking.com) along with some cultures for creating Chevre.  Now I know that cheese making is an art, and the most important part of that art is using quality ingredients.  So right away I have a huge edge against every single professional cheesemaker out there… and I have non-GMO rennet which is made by the New England Cheese Making Company itself, so that is yet another huge edge against every single professional cheese company out there.  So I guess I will try making some Chevre with a half a gallon, and I might as well try making the Greek cheese called “mizithra” with another half gallon.  Then I can use another half gallon for yogurt and retain the rest for drinking.

Now, for the past couple of days I have had a sour stomach, this sour stomach was brought on from a series of unfortunate meals.  On Tuesday I had some candy bars along with a gin martini and some beer.  On Wednesday they served us factory-farmed cheese burgers and gmo-potato french fries during a “celebratory” lunch at work. On thursday I met a friend for lunch at a diner where I had a bison burger with fries… and finally, on Friday my new manager took my team out for lunch to some Japanese place for some “menchanko”.  So… the balance between good and bad bacteria in my intestines have been disrupted by all of the antibiotics that the meat I ate was laced with, and the result is a bit of pain in my gut and some acid-reflux.  Now, here is the magical part.  I know that acid reflux is caused by an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your intestines and stomach, and I knew that once I would drink some raw goat’s milk everything would be okay.

On the day that I got my milk I came home really tired and was faced with the option of (a) go directly to sleep, or (b) drink a glass of raw goat’s milk and then go to sleep.  I chose option a, and after about 45 minutes of not being able to sleep, I went for option b and slowly but surely, my acid reflux and any gut pains went away… I hope that one little glass has provided me with enough good bacteria to last until January 2013!

If you are still a skeptic, I will say this, you must try raw milk sometime!  Head over to www.realmilk.com and see if there is any farm near you.

p.s. I hear that they milk cows throughout the winter, so my next stop is the Stap Family Dairy Farm in Pine Bush, New York, which is another farm that has a permit to sell Raw milk in the State of New York.  It will take me an extra 30 minutes to get there and I am sure it will be worth the drive.  Until then you can find Edgwick Farm at the New Amsterdam Green Market in Lower Manhattan.  Might I say, try their Cheddar Cheese!

Tito in the Raw

What do you get when you combine my favorite Yugoslav head of state, a Mad Men drink that makes a morning cameo, and our rawsomeness?  After pushing my Swedish meatball of an automobile to the mechanic, we felt that a reward was in order.  Stopped in the liquor store and picked up a liter of Tito’s Handmade Vodka.  Can I get a volunteer to go find out what the f— is handmade vodka?  Thanks.  Anyway, this is made by a geologist and geophysicist, as opposed to the rest of distillers who have distilling degrees.  I mean if it were made by a chemist, I guess it would appeal to the scientific side of me but I guess it’s good that it’s made by a man of science and his crack team of Mad Men found a story to tell.  I like Austin, Texas where this vodka is from, I have two friends who like to drink it, it beat out many high priced vodkas in competitions, so at $21 it’s also recession proof.  Sold!  We come home, fill dissimilar glasses with ice cubes, pour Tito’s into the glasses, and add legally obtained but socially defiant raw milk.  Not a fan of vodka per se but since this action produced a blog post, a smile on my face, and a frown on many others, I’m happy.

You are what you eat

I pride myself on my humility.  Back up, scratch that.  Ever see that big cheese ball who’s eating cheese?  He’d be lucky if it were cheese.  I just cracked an egg with one hand and dropped its contents in my mouth with two, some day it’ll take just one.  So many people fear the idea, the action, yet they consider themselves open minded.  Somehow they’ve been indoctrinated into being scared of these things.  They eat chicken, they eat tofurky, they eat what they eat and are what they eat what they are.  I think Oscar Wilde said that at a raw foods buffet or was it F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Not sure but I’m running out of ideas and this egg is rotting in my teeth.  Wasn’t the exhilarating experience I was expecting.  Eat everything once and then decide.  Eat everything more than once to make a conclusion.  Don’t talk the talk if you’ve never tried it.  I am fed up with that and you’re time is up.  Next!