Thursday, June 2, 2011

First CSA Box

Last night I picked up my first box of goodies from Fifth Crow Farm. In it was: a small bag of popcorn, 1 pound of pancake mix from their home-ground flour, a basket of strawberries, a bunch of baby leeks, a bunch of white radishes, a bag of arugula, a head of butter lettuce, and a bunch of huge kale leaves. Plus 1/2 dozen eggs, an optional extra I decided to include, since their pastured eggs are so fantastic.

The salad I made for lunch has some of the arugula and one of the radishes. I think the kale will be fabulous for making chips in the oven. The pancake mix will require some experimentation: because it already contains baking soda or powder, I'll have to see how that changes the acid-base equilibrium for producing sourdough or soaking overnight in yogurt. I'm trying not to devour all the strawberries before my boyfriend can come over and enjoy them with me. I did eat one last night.

Today the USDA unveiled it's new visual representation for the dietary guidelines: It's triggering memories of my elementary school cafeteria, and a poster of the old 4-square guidelines. Why is nutrition so complicated in this country? In other places they just eat food. In the US, we have to have elaborate systems dictated to us by the government in order to eat "healthy".

It's interesting to see the biases present in the information on the website. There's the usual talk about eating only lean meat and avoiding whole milk and egg yolks because of "bad" cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. They consider butter having no nutrients, and as a "solid fat" it must be avoided, but soybean oil is in there with all the other "vegetable" oils, so it gets cleared through. No mention is made of GMOs. Despite the rampant diabetes in this country, there is no information on the grains page about how constant carbohydrate (especially processed carbohydrates) consumption can lead to diabetes. Of course they say that you should "limit" your intake of sugars, but they don't actually link it to disease.

In case I didn't post this before, here's an article from the journal Nutrition, from 2010, which discusses the scientific limitations of the dietary guidelines. Very interesting reading.

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