I've really been enjoying the eggplant from our local farmers market lately. I've been making ratatouille, eggplant pizzas, and I am going to make a type of eggplant lasagna with potatoes. I cannot stress enough how important it is to eat locally if possible.
So you might be wondering about other organic products besides produce. A popular one I suppose would be dairy products. First let me start out by saying that diary products are very nutritious, if they eaten/drank the way that God has given them to us. Unfortunately, dairy is not what it once was in the beginning.
I remember going to school and learning about Louis Pasteur. Homogenization and pasteurization were treated like deliverance from Egypt. Sadly, it was more like deliverance from the Promised Land. These extreme high temperatures kill all of the beneficial and much needed healthy micro organisms, ie bacteria, that our bodies need from milk.
Along with killing the beneficial bacteria that our intestines so desperately need, those high temperatures turn the liquid formally known as real raw milk into infectious puss, which in turn gets bottled, and then sold at your friendly neighborhood supermarket. Did you know more people have died from "cooked" milk than raw?
As infuriating as it is on top of everything else, I don't even have a say so in what type of milk I drink. Forgive me if I go on a bit over this topic, but truly, it is insane. In the state of NC there are rows and rows of tobacco fields. Consumers can buy cigarettes all day long, but it is illegal for me to purchase raw milk. Please someone tell me how this makes any sense.
Raw milk has received such a raw deal. It is so nutritious, and it is looked at with scornful eyes by the uneducated. Allow me to educate you :) Anytime an animal gets sick there will be infectious bacteria, seems pretty common sense stuff right. The reason that most animals do become ill is due to improper feeding practices. Cows are supposed to only eat grass, and nothing but grass.
Commercial dairies, however, practice feeding their cows grains, usually genetically modified ones, which sometimes get mixed with animal feces, and flesh. Remember that cows are only supposed to eat grass. When the cows eat these grains it does terrible things to their digestive tract, and causes the poor animals to become very sick. The sell-out solution to treating these poorly treated, sick creatures is to pump them full of antibiotics.
Have you heard that pediatricians are now saying that most antibiotics are not working? ...Here's a huge part of the reason, our children have become immune to the antibiotics because they already have so many roaming around in their sweet little systems.
Another reason that cows become ill is due to the large amount of growth hormones that each one of them is pumped with on the farm. Commercial dairies do this so that the cows will become larger, and in turn produce more milk loaded with antibiotics, which is then homogenized and pasteurized to be turned into the puss that we buy at Super Walmart, or wherever else we buy our milk. Do you know what happens when we drink hormones in our milk? Our daughters grow breasts at age 7 & 8, and our sons grow facial hair at 8 & 9.
Now with all of that said I'm sure some of you are wondering, well, hey lady if dairy from the store is so bad for myself and my family, then how in the world am I going to give everyone the calcium and he and she needs?
What a great question-so glad you asked! It just so happens that a much superior source for calcium is dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard, and collard greens. You can also take a raw calcium supplement from a company called Garden of Life, Vitamin Code Raw Calcium. This available at numerous stores, as well as the Raw Life store on my blog. Please do not take Tums for calcium. In fact, don't take Tums. It contains calcium carbonate, a very difficult form of calcium to digest and absorb.
Another question lurking in your mind might be what do I do for a milk substitute? Maybe you like milk in your oatmeal, or you bake things with milk. If you've ever talked to me for even 5 minutes about health and nutrition, or you've read my other blog posts, then you know what I am going to say, do not switch to soy milk. I already discussed the dangers of soy consumption, read previous posts.
I'll tell you what I do. Let me be straight with you, anything processed, packed, and sitting on a shelf is not the best thing out there for you. There are better choices than others though, so if you will permit, then I will direct you that way. My preference is to make my own raw almond milk for drinking, cooing, baking, and for over oatmeal. Yes, I make my own, and no, it is not difficult. It just takes a little planning.
I go to Trader Joes and purchase a one pound bag of raw almonds for $4.49. If you order raw almonds in bulk, then they are probably cheaper. There are reputable places from which to order. If interested I can give you that contact information. I haven't done that yet, although I should to save some dollars.
At any rate take one cup of the almonds, place them in a glass bowl, jar, large drinking glass and fill just over the top with filtered water. Soak them in the fridge overnight. In the morning, in a stainless steel colander (preferably), drain them, and rinse them off with filtered water. Questions possibly in your mind...Why do I have to soak them? Why do I have to rinse them if they've already been soaked and wet?
Raw nuts have something in them called tannins. Tannins are compounds that can shrink proteins, amino acids, and alkaloids. Tannins can also inhibit the absorption of necessary nutrients from the foods. Certain people can become sensitive to the tannins, which in turn can cause things like bowel irritation to things severe as cancer. Soaking nuts, seeds, and legumes can limit the amount of tannins released, and help necessary enzymes needed for digestion to be released from the food. You want to rinse them in filtered water just for an extra measure of removing tannins that have surfaced.
Now that you've learned more about nuts than you probably want to know take your soaked almonds and place them into your blender. Add 3 cups of filtered water. Some times I add 1-2 teaspoons of raw, local honey. Blend until there aren't many or any chunks left. Now for your next step you can use various methods. I'll tell you what I do. I have a Pampered chef micro mesh stainless steel strainer. I place it over a glass bowl to catch the almond pulp, and drain the milk. I then place the pulp into a glass jar for further use in cookies, muffins, or pancakes. Using a funnel, I pour the milk into a another glass jar. It is then ready to drink, be poured on cereal, bake with, or whatever :)
If you'd rather not make your own almond milk, which is far superior to anything in the store, and you choose to purchase store bought almond milk two brands that I recommend are Pacific Naturals and Whole Foods 365 brand. Do purchase the unsweetened kind. For baking or drinking sometimes its nice to purchase the unsweetened kind with vanilla. Both brands do not contain soy, and are cost effective. Another alternative is rice milk. Make sure that brown rice is used. Trader Joes rice milk is pretty tasty.
Understand that these types of milks will not be a good source calcium. Enriched and fortified products usually contain synthetic versions of the vitamins, which our bodies either do not absorb at all, or they are poorly absorbed. Many synthetic vitamins and minerals can cause harm to the body. If you go this route, concentrate on getting calcium as previously mentioned through raw, leafy greens.
If you have any questions please ask :)