The Fresh Loaf

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Eek! 5# bleached flour snuck into my cupboard! Should I use it for bread?

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clazar123's picture
clazar123

Eek! 5# bleached flour snuck into my cupboard! Should I use it for bread?

I generally buy unbleached Gold Medal or Pillsbury AP flour for general and some bread use. My main use of flour is for sourdough based bread every weekend and most of it is organic wheat berries I grind myself.I use very little AP flour in my breads and when I do it's usually unbleached and unbromated.I'm not sure where this bag of bleached,bromated Pillsbury came from tho I recall someone gave me some flour when she was moving.


So, should I use it for bread? I tend towards untreated anything and actually don't use too much AP flour in my breads so it will be around for a while.


What's the concensus?

Martyn's picture
Martyn

If you'd rather not use it in baking you could always make salt dough for the kids to play with, then throw it away!

longhorn's picture
longhorn

The first observation is that it certainly won't damage you to eat bread made with bleached flour so...why not make bread and see what the difference is. Then, rather than speculating or accepting others opinions on the merit of beached vs. unbleached you will have first hand experience and a real basis for a preference. The difference may well be smaller than you expect!


Let us know what you do!


Thanks!


Jay

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Use it for making some cakes, pie crusts and stuff that's not that great for you anyway's!  ; )


Sylvia

Elagins's picture
Elagins

almost all AP flours, both professional and retail, and all cake flours (including King Arthur) are bleached. Bleaching, besides lightening the color, weakens the protein somewhat, creating a softer and more open crumb. when i first started baking i used bleached bread flour and got some pretty good results. as far as toxicity, there really is none, so i would suggest that you use your flour per usual and not worry too much about it. for myself, i like bleached AP for pancakes.


Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

sphealey's picture
sphealey

=== and all cake flours (including King Arthur) are bleached ===


Five years ago I took the King Arthur Bakers' Tour class, and they mentioned that they (KA) had been working on an unbleached cake flour for 10 years and expected to have it ready "in the next few months".  Well, my spouse just found it on the shelf at Whole Foods this week:  UNbleached cake flour from King Arthur.  Good to have, but that was a long few months!


sPh

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Stan,


I have to disagree on the statement that bleaching is no big deal.  Bleaching is a big deal and I think it unwise to believe that the various toxic chemicals used to bleach flour, simply and magically disappear.  That is like the false story Monsanto would have us believe about the herbicides in Roundup.


Here is one article on the subject of bleached flour: 


http://www.womenfitness.net/ugly_truths.htm


If you already think that bleached flour is okay, that's fine, and I have no expectation of changing your mind.  For those who are just looking into the subject please take the time to take a good look.


I am not opposed to organically grown white flour that is unbleached and used with sourdough.


Jeff

Elagins's picture
Elagins

who and what you choose to believe. i agree that less treatment is better than more, and i also hasten to point out that the same article attributes significant negative nutritional consequences to the simple fact of using patent (white) flour, bleached or not. while i don't recommend (or use) a lot of bleached flour myself, i don't think that using 5# of the stuff will produce any of the severe consequences detailed in the article: it might be worthwhile finding out how much chlorine oxide would be required to combine with protein to produce enough alloxan to induce diabetes in one 80-gram lab mouse.


i'm not trying to minimize the problem -- nybakers doesn't sell bleached flours as a matter of principle -- but i am trying to put its use into some kind of context, especially given all of the other nasty things that Big Ag routinely puts in our food. frankly, i'm much more concerned about potassium bromate in flour than i am about bleaching, and yet bromating is something that a lot of folks here have been dismissive of. 


i still say that given the choice between a loaf of home-baked bread using bleached flour and a supermarket "artisan" loaf, i'd always choose the former.


Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

flournwater's picture
flournwater

A quote from the referenced page:


"Why is the color of white bread so white when the flour taken from wheat is not?  It's because the flour used to make white bread is chemically bleached, just like you bleach your clothes."


Common household bleaches used in laundry and other whitening/sanitizing tasks are made with chemicals like chlorine and bromates.


My studies reveal that, although during the nineteenth and first part of the twentieth century flour was being bleached using chlorine gas, bleaching is primarily done today using ascorbic acid, which is vitamin C. There was a period during which flour was bleached using bromates but I doubt that you could even find a flour processed with bromates today.


Freshly processed flour doesn't absorb water as well as aged flour so using it for baking can be a bit frustrating.  Bleaching the flour oxidizes it to produce a stronger gluten structure.


I've used bleached AP flour for over seven decades; still use it regularly.  It makes great bread; it ain't so good for cakes unless you like them dense.  It will also serve for preparing things like batters for deep frying but I prefer rice flour for those purposes.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Stan,


Your post really says it all.  5 pounds is going to do no one any real harm.  A lifetime of ingestion is a different story.


Potassium Bromate is most definitely a more significant hazard and I have pointed that out before in the same context of new TFL readers looking for answers on these issues.


Big ag puts all sorts of poisons in foods and therein lies the core of the problem.  The problem is not just bleached flour or  bromated flour, or high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners or chemical additives.  The problem is the cumulative effect of all of these on top of all the poisons used in the actual farming.


I have no desire to debate these subjects and as I have said previously, if you have already made up your mind about these issues, that is fine.  If you are newly looking into all of this then do yourself a favor and take a good long well informed look.


Jeff

blaisepascal's picture
blaisepascal

Yerffej,


You do realize that you and womenfitness.net are effectively accusing all major flour mills of poisoning their customers. The end result should be a massive public health crisis which clearly and definitively points to the flour industry -- especially if a single 5lb bag would be harmful.


I don't see that, nor do I consider womenfitness.net to be a reliable, unbiased source of scientific information.  Where are the published studies linking bleached flour to health issues?  Where are the chemical analyses showing that the various bleaching agents remain in store bought flour?  Where are the chemical analyses comparing the makeup of sore bought bleached and unbleached white flours?


I would appreciate an evidence-based approach, not a fear-based approach, in advice concerning food choices.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

As long the bleaching is done with oxygen or other food safe substance, it shouldn't hurt you (not saying it will make it any better for you, just not any worse). 


However, if the flour is bleached with potassium bromate ("bromated")  that's another story:  bromated flour has been banned in the EU for 20 years and in California for 10 due to serious concerns over carcinogenic effects.


sPh

Elagins's picture
Elagins

but CA is the only state in the US that requires disclosure of bromate content. also, i believe PB is used less as a bleaching agent than as a dough conditioner, but in any case, it's not the sort of stuff i'd be comfortable introducing into a body belonging to myself or others.


Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Sorry  -  preempted by my last post .....

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

if it causes you grief.  Someone will be thankful for it.

jstreed1476's picture
jstreed1476

If I'm running short of other, more bread-friendly flours, I don't hesitate to mix in bleached AP. Up to about 50% of the flour volume, in one case.


This has worked especially well when making sandwich loaves with KA white whole wheat. There's enough protein content in the WWW, plus plenty of flavor from enrichments like egg yolks, buttermilk, sour cream, honey, or whatever else is going into the mix, that the results are usually very tasty.


Most recently, I made a sandwich loaf with about 25% bleached AP, 25% bread flour, and 50% WWW (the bottom of the barrel, in each case) and added some leftover cooked bulgar and mashed baked potato. Turned out great, especially toast-wise.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I wish I could donate it but I didn't discover it until I had poured it into my empty 5# bin and THEN looked at the package.The package was stored in a bucket with several other bags of AP and since I never buy the bleached, I never thought to read the label before I dumped it. I think I did get it from a friend who was moving and it just got put in with my stores.


I was raised in the chemical era and while I try to pay attention to what I eat these days, I'm sure it will be ok to integrate this into my current baking.I'll just make loaves for my co-workers-they eat EVERYTHING and really don't care.Junk foodies!


I am somewhat reassured by flournwater's post about modern bleaching being done by ascorbic acid.I won't be totally poisoning my co-workers.

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

By all means, do not take this lightly. Big Ag has added these toxic chemicals for the express purpose of killing all of their customers. Although this may seem odd, rest assured that bleached flour will kill, and Big Ag management really wants to go out of business so they can begin collecting welfare checks. Do not be influenced by the fact that hundreds of millions of bread eaters have consumed millions of tons of bleached flour over the last hundred years and lived to a ripe old age.


Evacuate your house immediately and go to the nearest emrgency room. Call the feds and have your house declared a disaster area. You might qualify as a Superfund Site.


Next call the lawyer who has the big ad on the back of your phone book and sue!


Hurry.


 


 

suave's picture
suave

n/t

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

"... it is no coincidence that all flour bleaches so far used convert the xanthine of flour (xanthine is one of the germ components that have vitamin value--it cooperates with vitamin E) into a highly potent poison, alloxan. the special characteristic of alloxan is that it destroys the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas, and specifically causes diabetes.


But now we know that one of the vitamin co-factors known as XANTHINE is capable of being oxidized by any oxidizing bleach chemical (and that is why they all act as bleaches) which converts it into ALLOXAN.


ALLOXAN is a very potent DIABETOGENIC POISON. This ALLOXAN is another dangerous synthetic substance created in the flour by CHEMICAL MEDDLING with a natural food product."            Dr. Royal Lee


http://www.doctornutritionist.com/articles/diabetes.html


 

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

Wow!


Pay no atttention to the fact that this website does not disclose any credentials, any owners or references, any physical location, any doctor's names or addresses, any scientific studies, or any other reference that would cause anyone to put any faith in their claims.


Now.....you can take this to the Bank! My second cousin's ex boy-friend's neighbor (three doors down) once talked to a retired welder's apprentice who knew a lady who said that she heard that it is ablolutely true that bleached flour produces  Alloxan, which, in addition to diabetes,  has also been linked to cellulite of the ring finger, sunspots, and Zits!

blaisepascal's picture
blaisepascal

The action of the enzyme xanthine oxydase is to oxydize xanthine as part of normal body function. The result of xanthine oxydase is to convert xanthine into uric acid.  So what you normally get from oxidizing xanthine is uric acid, not alloxan.


Xanthine is a purine derivative, alloxan is a pyrimidine derivative.  While purines and pyrimidines go together very well (Adenine and guanine are purines, and thymine and cytosine are pyrimidines, and they form the "rungs" in DNA.), they are not easy to convert one into the other.


It's true that the original method of synthesis of alloxan was to oxidize uric acid (a purine) with nitric acid, but that's totally unlike any process used to bleach flour.  If you were to use an oxidizer as powerful as nitric acid on flour, the conversion of existing uric acid to alloxan would be the least of your problems.


Besides, the vast majority of cases of diabetes in the US at least are caused by insulin resistance, not destruction of the Islets of Langerhans.  The issue cited by Dr. Lee, even if it made chemical sense, would not account for the diabetes problem in the US.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

blaisepascal


Are you relying on this Dr. Lee?
http://www.westonaprice.org/Royal-Lee-DDS-Father-of-Natural-Vitamins.html  an early twentieth century dentist with an interest in vitamin supplements?


You just gotta get a better source ...

blaisepascal's picture
blaisepascal

The poster I replied to was quoting Dr. Royal Lee.  I meant to say that Dr. Lee's hypothesis (about xanthine in flour being converted to alloxan by bleaching, turning flour into a potent diabetes causing agent) was implausible and unsupported by the evidence.


I have not really heard of Royal Lee, and he doesn't sound like the type of fellow who'd keep himself up to date on the advances in biochemistry and nutrition of the past 40 years.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Yerffej.


You might want to read these articles:


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11356036


http://www.pnas.org/content/91/20/9253


David

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I you just love it when someone throws a bunch of facts into an good argument! Thanks for the info. Sounds like Dr. Lee didn't have the whole story.


 


allan

EvaB's picture
EvaB

But how do you explain the fact that I a diabetic ate practically no BREAD at all! I ate very little processed flour in any form, and certainly no pasta to speak of.


My big downfall was chips, french fries and candy ( which might explain the high carcinogenic chemicals in my hair analasis, but then again might not since 2 other people in my household had the same high chemicals and didn't eat candy)


I have had an aversion to bread, and pastas since childhood, have never really liked them and my mother thought I was unatural because I didn't like bread and butter (one of her favourite snacks) and wouldn't even try to eat bread and peanut butter.


Not allergic to the peanuts, since I can eat them whole, can eat the peanut butter in baked goods like cookies and cakes (although I eat very small amounts of those) just cannot eat the butter on bread or toast or...... Same thing with almond butter, which I tried from the health food store, its something about the texture and in my mouth with the bread.


So while I don't doubt that the research might be accurate, it might be like the sucryl research in the 60's, where I think it would take something like 100 pounds of the chemical in the artifical sweetner to actually cause the cancer, that's a 100 pounds per day intake, they force fed the mice in that study so no wonder it caused cancer! The amount was hundreds of times what any sane person would be using daily anyway!

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Love your sense of humor, Michael H.


Always fun to find a parody on the threads.  ;>}

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Bake something like cobbler, cookies or shortbread and give it to somebody who doesn't care what goes into their body. (like your coworkers) Put lots of organic wild blueberries in it for antioxidants to counteract any toxic effects of the bad flour.


I always bake with organic flours and try to use whole wheat or other whole grains as much as possible but who knows what we eat when we eat out? What was in that muffin I snagged from Einsteins today with chocolate chips that was OH SoGood? Probably shortened my life by 5 minutes with all the toxins!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Lighten up, all you serious folks. It's ok to disagree but let's be courteous.


I think I will make some items to take to work or give to neighbors. If they are folks that only eat "natural" or "organic", then they won't eat it, anyways. The people that will eat it are the ones that don't think about these things and will appreciate the product. I believe everyone needs to make their own choices on what they eat and what's important in regards to additives,etc.I would rather not eat it but I don't believe it's poisonous.


Wild blueberries are much too expensive but I make a great apple cake.And I just found a recipe for German Butterkuchen to try.Both are good ideas.


 

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

I baked this earlier in the week. Very nice, very different, easy.


Do it.


Michael

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

Wow, I didn't expect such forceful and detailed comments from what seemed such a simple question!  I use unbleached flour for most of my baking and the one time I didn't was when I was showing the chef at a local restaurant how to use a sourdough ferment that I had given him.  I failed to notice that his bread flour was bleached, I used my usual recipe and the resultant dough was far too wet.  I went back the next day with some of my flour and the results were as I expected - a very workable dough that produced a decent - if somewhat overproofed - loaf (darn, that kitchen was hot!).


So, ignoring the chemical/health arguments on the basis that eating products made from a 5lb bag of bleached flour won't kill you, just bear in mind that you may need a bit less water than usual and make bread with it.  Waste not, want not!

drdobg's picture
drdobg

Not wanting to fall victim to all the hype surrounding the use of organic, artisan, unbleached , etc. flours, I conducted my own taste test.  I selected my favorite sourdough recipe from Peter Reinhart's Breadbaker's Apprentice and made identical batches using King Arthur, Hodgson's Mill, Bob's Red Mill, Gold Medal Unbleached and Sam's Club flour (a bleached and enriched bread flour).  I labeled the baguettes 1 to 5.  I then asked 8 of my family and friends to rank the breads on taste, crust and crumb.  Bob's Red Mill was the winner by a hair, but second place was the Sam's Club flour.  Since the Sam's Club was readily available for $14/50#, whereas the Bob's Red Mill and KA flours were $5.32/5# and $5.79/5# respectively, I felt I could do fine with the bleached product.  KA and Hodgson's Mill were the lowest ranked, but everyone acknowledged that all the breads were yummy.  I just think that sometimes we accept others' opinions without a rational reason.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Though I bake my breads almost completely with organic ingredients and buy a lot of organic products, I (as a physician) do not think you get killed by adding a little unhealthy flour to your healthy ones just to use it up. Like Stanley said, use it with pancakes or muffins etc.


I think it's good that Americans become more aware of GMO products and the yucky conditions of how beef, eggs and chicken meat are mass produced (as shown in the movie "Food, Inc.").


But I doubt that the little bleached flour will cause poor clazar123's untimely demise.


Drobg's taste test is very interesting - that's something I always wanted to do, thanks for sharing the results.


Karin


 

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

First, I think it's unwise and perhaps naive to suggest that Americans are becoming more aware of their foods.  Especially if based on a conversation that has occurred here in a baking blog or on other social networking sites.   This discussion does not reflect the pulse of this country, particularly now in difficult economic times.  One only needs to hang around WalMart to observe what Americans are buying. 


The sad truth is, that most of us don't buy flour at all and I dare say we (as a collective) could give a rats a$$ about it being unbleached or bleached.  If you look in the shopping carts of most Americans what you'll find are end products that contain flour - a good example, loaves of Sara Lee bread or pancake mix.  You will find items that are economically priced, convenient and affordable. 


Just my opinion, but I do believe the army of home bakers is growing as is testimony to the sold out classes at many baking schools like King Arthur Flour, but we still have a long way to go to enlighten (notice I didn't say lecture) the public.


 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

You know, BellesAZ, I absolutely agree with you - but I didn't want to appear as a righteous European who looks down her environmentally conscious nose on those poor naive Americans who still believe in the goodness of all what is offered cheap in supermarkets - with a little help of our friends at Monsanto and in Beijing.


But I do think environmental consciousness is on the rise - even if it's slow. For example about a year ago the diary company Hood dropped processing organic milk, leaving many farmers here in Maine facing bankruptcy.


Fortunately they were able to come up with a plan to establish an own organic milk brand ("MOOmilk") and a way to distribute their product with help of a local diary. And consumers are buying their milk, even though it's more expensive than the old Hood product.


Karin


 


 

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Karin, yes I too think it's on the rise.  I am always heartened to see the "signs" of interest in cooking as well as baking.  It seems like two steps backward though when I step out in the "real world" and see what others are doing.  It's not even a matter of economy, but simply the lack of importance people put on their nutrition and complete oblivion to even wanting to learn about it.  They see nothing wrong with sodium laden frozen foods, or corn syrup in jars of sauces.  For all the criticism I might have of the current American administration, I sing high praises to the current campaign to raise nutritional awareness in our school children.


Everytime I get discouraged, however, I see light at the end of the tunnel.  Look at what shows such as the Cooking Channel and Food Network have done.  They have driven a whole new group of interested people into actually preparing meals from scratch, breads will catch up too.  I go to King Arthur Flour website to consider attending an artisan baking class and they are full throughout the winter months.  I even see this trend in Europe and elsewhere.  I believe there is a resurgence of interest in culinary arts - and in particular in baking.  In my area, there is one baking store that never seems to carry the flours, etc I need or want (I like Wheat Montana and they are the only ones I know that carry it locally).  Whenever I go there, they are busy, busy, busy.. and it's nice to be amongst other bakers. 


I still get the same stupid look from people.  Half condescending and half sincere puzzlement when they say, "Oh, you like to bake?"  I am never quite sure how to take that.  LOL 

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

The Shatto Dairy outside of KC is a success story for marketing better quality product despite higher prices. Even though they bottle, yes, glass bottles requiring deposits, their milk, they continue to add accounts around the KC metropolitan area. They are also branching out into new products. Quality does sell and this farm has found its market.

Gourmand2go's picture
Gourmand2go

There's always a tradeoff when it comes to preservatives.  It's a matter of weighing the costs and benefits.  Without preservatives the risk of serious poisoning increases.


I've been using bleached flour since last November partly because it was a great price and partly because I've had unmistakable allergic reactions to unbleached flour.  I think that the unbleached has live mold spores that cause eye and lung irritation for someone who happens to be sensitive to those particular strains; during measuring the spores become airborne.  Of course the spores are usually killed during baking, but any toxins they've produced may not break down and some could be harmful.


My point is that it's more a matter of which risk you prefer to take than that a more "natural" product is always better than a treated one.


Nature is, after all, dangerous at times.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi clazar123,


I'm with Stan and sphealey that bromation is the bigger risk. You don't mention this in your header but in your text you say the flour is bleached and bromated. Potassium bromate has been banned in the UK since 1990, since studies identified it as a potential cancer-causing agent. 


The good news is that according to the report on   this link   that Pillsbury responded to this threat and went bromate-free. This is a report from 1999. Much may have changed but worryingly at that point other major brands had not gone bromate free. Turns out that unless you read bromate on the packet your neighbour may have donated a flour that was better than others out there! 


Bromate would be the greater risk to yourself and co-workers. Much bleaching now is done with ascorbic acid as others note. I think the bromate issue is where home bakers can make a choice if using AP flours. We can bake with flours  that are bromate free, so that those who share our breads are not exposed to potentially harmful agents that may still be included in store bought baked goods. Seems like you do that all the time and that this brief inclusion of Pillsbury AP in the 'food chain' won't take you out of that zone!


With kind regards, Daisy_A


 

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

I find it ironic that China banned the use of bromates in 2005 - and our own FDA has not. 

copyu's picture
copyu

of the USA for wheat (and VERY FUSSY customers, I should add) outlawed 'bromated' flour about 50 years ago...round 1960...


After extensive research (and with a ton of help from TFLers) it turns out that ALL of our flours, here, are unbleached...within reason...


The simple fact is, that flour is ALL bleached, quite naturally, if you keep it long enough, even in glass or plastic jars, paper bags, what have you...Oxygen will do that! It's been known for a very long time, but it was never economically feasible for millers or bakers to store flour for months at a time before selling it, or baking with it...that's where the chemical bleaches entered the picture...I don't mind the fact that most of the flour that I and my family used for 30 or 40 years was probably bleached chemically


My dwindling stock (one more bake) of *organic unbleached Plain Flour* from Australia, which I bought last Christmas, is now technically bleached, whether I like it or not. Mixing it with some fresh durum semolina and whole German/Canadian rye flour is going to make EXACTLY the same bread as it did 3 or 6 or 9 months ago (...unless I screw up!)


I'm wondering how that affects my health and life expectancy...Not at all, I suspect!


Cheers to all,


copyu

hanseata's picture
hanseata

If they are able to clean up their environmental mess, too, (like Singapore managed within a few years) they will be really ahead of us.


Karin

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Polysorbate should also not be in our food. 


How the heck this got past inspectors and regulators is beyond me!  Check it out, allows e-coli to pass thru the walls of the intestine!  (talk about leaky guts)  Read your labels, found in cottage cheese, whip cream, pickles...  and sneaking into all kinds of sauces and prepared foods.  Shampoos and cosmetics too, what is it letting into your skin?   This stuff can actually lead to allergies and illness because the body's defenses are compromised. 


Mini

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Riding my motorcycle is dangerous, but I do it anyway.  But that's a danger that I choose to expose myself to.  No one has the right to expose me to things that I'm unaware could cause me health issues.


Our FDA does a pretty crappy job of being the safety watchdog.  I think anything backed by our government is never going to be very efficient and I can't help but think the politicians that the FDA leadership answers to are snugly in the pockets of chemical and drug companies.  They are fat cats and chemical companies love making them fatter - without polysorbates or bromates, of course!

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

The US and much of the world share a very poisoned food supply.  It is almost impossible to eat at a restaurant and not be served hidden poisons in the form of MSG, aspartame, nitrates, various preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, antibiotics, pesticides and so on.  This is a list that could go on for a very long time.  Almost equally impossible is shopping at a supermarket and not buying those same poisons.  It is encouraging to see the subject discussed here and on other threads at TFL. 


No matter how corrupt the agencies are the are supposed to guard the food supply and no matter how greedy the likes of Monsanto and friends, you can always vote with your wallet.  Simply stop buyng any poisoned food item from any source.  This one act will eventually lead to the end of poisoned food.


Jeff

amolitor's picture
amolitor

That's charged language right there. Callng, for instance, high fructose corn syrup a "poison" goes over very well with the already-converted, but just chases away the people who might actually be interested in hearing what you have to say about it.


Just because something isn't very good for you does not make it a poison.


If you just want the accolades of like-minded people. carry on. If you actually want to educate, I suggest you temper your language.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej


"Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/26/AR2009012601831.html


 

amolitor's picture
amolitor

So.. HFCS sometimes contains poison. Which, for the record, isn't the same this as being a poison. I don't actually care.


Apparently I wasn't really clear. Use whatever language you like, all I'm saying is that trotting out the "poison" line is just gonna get you dismissed by people you could instead be educating.


 

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

This country needs to collect itself and learn alternatives to nutrition.  There are millions of kids that get nothing more nutritious than a peanut butter sandwich.  Like they are going to care about poly3%$()@CU)($ or whatever it is that is so bad to consume.  No, what they care about is eating and not feeling hungry.  Teach them how to sustain themselves and allow them to empower one another through knowledge.


When I visited South Africa, I stayed at a lodge that promoted sustainable farming to the local community.  Fynbos is a plant who's flower is used to make beautiful soaps, lotions and creams and it grows wild along the South African coastline.  The locals created their own co-op gardens and learned sustainable farming practices as well as how to be business people - and while they were growing and harvesting fynbos, they learned to grow nutrient rich vegetables and fruits.  Nobody had to tell them that poly#!)%*! was bad for them, they learned it on their own and made better choices.


I prefer self empowerment to living in a paranoid nanny world where I'm told what to eat and how to eat it.

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

>>


"Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/26/AR2009012601831.html


 >>


and of course the later studies that found that study to be flawed


>>


In summary we found:



  • The IATP report and Environmental Health article it references fall well below standards for proper scientific research and published literature.

  • The authors of both publications provide incomplete data and misleading conclusions.

  • Methods described by the authors deviate from standard procedure in testing for mercury.

  • The authors ignore important distinctions between organic and other forms of mercury and their implications for assessing human health risk.

  • Even if it were assumed that the mercury content found in the extremely limited sampling of foods and beverages was representative, the amounts are far lower than levels of concern set by government agencies.

  • The authors assume that the total mercury they detected in a questionably small sampling of consumer foods is primarily the result of high fructose corn syrup; an assumption that has not been properly tested or validated. The recipes for the items studied may have had multiple sources of potential contamination.


>>


source:http://www.sweetsurprise.com/news-and-press/hfcs-mercury?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=mercury%2Bin%2Bhfcs&utm_content=Mercury&utm_campaig...

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Here is but one of many valid studies done on HFCS and my final post on the subject as I whole heartedly support any adult who willingly wants to consume HFCS.


Jeff


"Our findings lend support to the theory that the excessive consumption of high-fructose corn syrup found in many beverages may be an important factor in the obesity epidemic,"


http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/


 


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

As a researcher, albeit Humanities not Sciences, I understand the points being made latterly on this thread about HFCS but as a consumer I am not reassured.


True, research advances as later studies challenge, confirm or add to previous studies. Dr Woodhall Stopford (Duke) seems to offer a convincing argument that mercury is present in the environment and across food chains, coming from natural as well as manufacturing sources and that in this context high fructose corn syrup is not a major carrrier of mercury.


I'm less convinced by the point summary. This appears not to be new scientific research but an executive summary of the 2009 study by Dufault et. al. for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), commissioned by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) themselves, not from a university research lab. but from ChemRisk, a 'leading scientific consulting firm'.


As a consumer, I'm not necessarily reassured by the information that the summary gives. Why would it be reassuring to know that mercury is entering the food chain in a range of ways?  


I am glad that high fructose corn syrup is banned here in the UK. Arguments about mercury aside there are other reasons to avoid it.


Results of long term tests on lab. animals published in February 2010 in the journal of Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior claimed that the addition of high fructose corn syrup to animals' water led to excessive weight gain and to a type of metabolic syndrome that makes humans more prone to developing heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Other sweeteners, such as sucrose, did not have such damaging effects. Worryingly each single dose given was less than half the fructose contained in one regular bottle of soda.


I understand a comment raised in relation to research into diabetes that rats are not people and may react differently to the same food stuffs. I am also not that happy that the rats suffered to give humans some insight into their own poor food consumption. However I think the implications of the current findings for human food consumption are worth considering. There are many alternatives to HFCS. Aren't these worth exploring? Isn't it worth considering a ban comparable to those in force in the UK and elsewhere in Europe? 


This study will be superseded by others but it is not Royal Lee, it's Princeton: available here and also referenced by Yerffej: 


http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S26/91/22K07/


Kind regards, Daisy_A

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

you should not be.  neither am I.

what we have one one group/organization with an axe to grind finding "experts" to support their opinion

and

another group/organization with a different axe to grind finding "experts" to refute 'the other study'

either group may have to go through multiple batches of "experts" before finding one that will produce the desired "scientific results"

and it's not exactly like "we" have never seen bad science touted for one purpose or the other, before.

and regards hfcs, I rather doubt the hfcs is the most important issue.  a more important issue is making people understand that drinking 10 - 20 cans of soda a day is not good for you - whether it's done with sugar, white sugar, brown sugar, purple sugar, refined sugar, beet sugar, cane sugar, or hfcs - or whatever other sweetner.

same can be said for red meat, or McDonald, or Wimpy's, KFC or anything else.  eat stupid, die stupid.

someone recently posted a question about how to (basically) eliminate fat from their diet.  well, #1 that is not a good idea in nutritional terms, but #2 - simple - stop buying all the prepared food/junk food that is essentially (a poor imitation of "something") mixed in with a ton of salt and sugar and fat to "make it taste good" - go cook something yourself.  (note:  "cook" is not the same as "re-heat")

amolitor's picture
amolitor

There's no denying that HFCS is bad for you in the quantities Americans consume the stuff. There's also very little evidence, and no conclusive evidence, that it's any worse than consuming table sugar or honey in those quantities.


Fructose is terrible stuff. If you jammed two tablespoons of honey into every 12 ounces of water that you drank, you'd get pretty damn fat and unhealthy pretty damn fast, too. That's about what's happening when you drink a Coke.


 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

are a legion. The person who thinks that peanut butter is a good food, had better think again, unless you buy organic peanut butter without fillers, you are buying sugar, and possibly corn syrup or corn starch! Same for pop, a gentleman in the store told me Minute Maid Lemonade (which I loved because it wasn't too sweet and didn't spike my sugar levels) had corn starch in it, I didn't really believe it until I read the ingredients listing. (Which is required by law here, along with carbs, and other lableling) He only found out because he was allergic to corn, and found out that and had to start reading lables, he didn't bother with the pop lable because why would corn be in pop? Surprise, its there, at least in that brand for a stabelizer to keep the lemon from separating from the water.


I didn't know sugar was in peanut butter until I started reading lables, its added to the peanut butter to keep the oils from separating out in storage. Its icing sugar which has a lot of corn starch to keep it from solidifying.


So the best thing to do is read lables, learn what emulsifiers (sometimes just that word is there not what they are) are used to stabelize, thicken etc, the product, and even better, stop using that product, and or learn to make it at home without said stabelizers, emulsifiers, and whatnots! But of course that takes time, and energy and people are to involved in their lives (read entertainment, or work etc) to take the time out to read lables, and make their own foods.


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi EvaB,


I fully agree with you here. Ain't it a pain though?! This is why I think arguments about allowing rough stuff into manufactured food and then letting consumers 'choose' is such a red herring. It's just so difficult to find out what is in food and what effects it has that it's like major homework.


I work outwards now from what I know is healthy - starting with an organic veg. box and veg. I grow, bread I bake. Okay, though, I have to admit the odd detour for chocolate biscuits... 


Kind regards, Daisy_A

EvaB's picture
EvaB

and yes finding out just what is in those emulsifiers, and got to love the appleation vegetable oils, then they list a half dozen it might be, the thing is I'm  allergic to canola (which is the big thing being pushed right now as the best oil,so if it says may have...... I generally put it back on the shelf. So life gets lived in the simple lane, use vinegar or lemon juice and olive oil for dressing, and try to keep any store bought stuff to a minimum, and bake my own.


As for chocolate, mostly its not, it might have some chocolate in it, but its also got that ubiqutous vegetable oils, or emulsifiers to harden it, etc.


So you have to learn to speak gobblty gook, and pick and choose the best of the offereings.


I don't see why you can't make chocolate biscuits for yourself, although without the chemicals and so forth, it may be like my SIL who made lemon cake from scratch for her grandsons, as she had no cake mixes at the moment and couldn't run out to get one. The boys ate the cake and said it was good but Grandma, it wasn't as good as her usual one, maybe she needed to try again. Kids are already addicted to the gunk in the cake mixes.


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi EvaB,


Thanks for the message. I'm with you on how difficult it is to find out what is in foodstuffs and its effects. 


Canola oil is not a known brand here. However I read, rightly or wrongly, that it could be made of rape seed oil. Rape seed is known to cause problems. Just on an anecdotal basis - I used to work in a school surrounded by rape fields. When the rape came into bloom there was a sharp rise in the number of staff and students experiencing breathing difficulties and that included many who were not known asthmatics. I understand rape seed oil in general can cause allergies too. 


I'm with you on the home-cooking and baking front. We make just about everything from scratch! I even tried making my own butter the other month.


The biscuits were my main shop-bought treat. But now I've read the label more closely...sigh. Think I will be making my own biscuits. Probably not chocolate though, as the store cooking chocolate is rubbish.


This is a German luxury brand and I find normally that German and Italian foodstuffs have to meet even stricter rules on additives than UK foods. However after lovely ingredients like butter and cocoa solids came sodium diphosphate. Food info sites tell me that this is currently regarded as 'food safe' but that it is also used to strip the bristles off pigs prior to slaughter. Strip the bristles off pigs? How strong would that have to be in volume? I practically have to get the blowtorch and pliers out just to get out three bristles left in the pork joint. Begins to look more likely that I'll be making my own biscuits from scratch...


With best wishes, Daisy_A

EvaB's picture
EvaB

its one of those politically correct things around here, it couldn't be rape as that is bad, so it became Canola (Canadian oleo etc) silly but true.


I get horrid migraines in bloom season, and am happy to see fewer fields of it being planted around the area. I can taste it, in mixtures of oil, I can no longer use Crisco brand oil or shortening,because its a cheaper oil, and of course they have a bottom line to hold. I use regular olive oil and safflower oil, and peanut oil, I know some people are allergic to peanuts but no one in my family so I use peanut oil for deep frying as its got a higher flash point.


I don't doubt that it causes a higher incidence of breathing difficulties, I have asthma and of course we live in the midst of fields of whatever, and when it canola my breathing is worse, my migraines kill me, and when its being harvested, it stinks up the country with rotten cabbage smell! UGH! not to mention when its combined the dust of course flies off the fields and into your passing car, and chokes me, causes my asthma to flare up and generally makes me miserable for the entire time the harvest continues.


Try finding a chocolate supplier that does gourmet chocolate, it shouldn't have anything in it, and I agree, that sounds awful, to have that in biscuits, and why? That would be like having lye in it, and why would you have something like that in food. I don't suppose it would hurt you if you didn't eat a ton of the biscuits, but its the thought????


This may sound really awful, but I always check to see where my foods are packaged, and manufactured, if it says manufactured for ........ I always look really hard to see where it comes from and where its packaged, I find a lot of stuff comes from China, and after the melamine in dog food, am really leary of using anything from there, so you do have to really read lables, and push as to why something is in the foods, and vote with your funds when you find something better than the old stand by, even if it takes you time to make your own.


I bought myself a mixer a couple of years ago, and made all sorts of fancy cookies for Xmas, and everyone had a blast eating them, helping me with cutting out, and so forth, my brother ground walnuts in a morter for me, and loved the kiffles I made, so it took time to do, but we had a wonderful time doing it, and lots of better than store bought cookies to eat after.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi EvaB,


Thanks for the clarification. Sorry to hear you suffer so much with the rapeseed.


I know what you mean about finding an oil with a low flash point for frying. I find good olive oil splatters too much. I know there is a lower grade for cooking but turns out that is mixed with things that are not so good, sigh.


There is a move here to go back to animal fats for frying. Fine for us but not our vegetarian friends. That's how I ended up with some rapeseed oil. It was for frying but just marked 'vegetable oil'. I could try peanut but one of my husband's friends has a peanut allergy. Mind you, when he visits or goes on a picnic he tends to bring most of his own food and only shares things like cheese. 


i do like the idea of making biscuits/cookies. I have done these at home. It was time consuming but they were delicious. Sad because it was nice to have one store bought treat when making just about everything else from scratch. Turns out the chemical is to stop the biscuits from going brown over time. Still it's the thought!


In the end though I prefer fruit so if I didn't have biscuits I'd eat more fruit and hopefully have the inclination to cook home made biscuits now and then!


Kind regards, Daisy_A

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Dillbert, amolitor,


I fully take your points that overconsumption of foods, particularly poor quality foods is the major problem!


amolitor -  I also take your point that overconsumption of any sweetener can cause problems, something missed by some health sites that imply merely changing to honey, rather than also monitoring intake, will automatically make the diet healthier. I have to look at myself here because I love honey!


However the Princeton research is saying that when overall food intake is equal HFCS causes greater levels of obesity, even at lower levels than other sweeteners. The incidence of obesity with HFCS is also greater at 100% than when rats are fed a high fat diet 


 


A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same. [...]


"Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn't true, at least under the conditions of our tests," said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. "When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese -- every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight." [...]


The first study showed that male rats given water sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup in addition to a standard diet of rat chow gained much more weight than male rats that received water sweetened with table sugar, or sucrose, in conjunction with the standard diet. The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks, while the high-fructose corn syrup solution was half as concentrated as most sodas



 


Still I take the points that 10-20 sodas a day would be bad for anyone, whatever the sweetener and that even if it doesn't make so many rats fat a very high fat diet isn't great either. 


Thankfully this site is a source of much better recipes. Doesn't touch everyone but gets hits of over 1 million a month and I think Floyd said there are over 6000 people on list now. Might be a drop in the ocean but hopefully a healthy drop!


Kind regards, Daisy_A


 


 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

For a European coming to the US it is amazing, anyway, that American adults drink Cola and other overly sweet pops all day long - and that parents allow their kids to drink them all day long, too.


Most restaurants offer unlimited refills of unsweetened ice tea and water - I wish they would do that in Germany, too - therefore I do not understand this preference for candy sweet drinks.


My kids got at my home and at their friends' usually water or apple juice mixed with sparkling water (Apfelschorle) - Coke and other pops were considered as unhealthy and strictly limited to special occasions like birthday parties or (rare) McDonalds visits.


The sweetener aspartame, by the way, is used by European farmers as food additive to mast their pigs - the sweet taste enhances their appetite. Therefore it's no wonder that  people drinking diet pops instead of regular ones are no less overweight.


Karin


 


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Karin, 


The Apfelschorle sounds good! I've also taken recently to drinking apple juice cut with sparkling water, as I even find fruit juices quite sweet. It makes it more refreshing somehow.


I was also shocked by the persistence of aspartame in so many carbonated drinks in the UK - another reason to move to sparkling water.


Growing up our family patterns were very much as you describe with your children. I only had coke twice a year, both times on birthdays when we went to an ice rink, which had a vending machine.


Now I find it way too sweet to drink, let alone it seems to have phosphoric acid in it...


Kind regards, Daisy_A

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

so even they seem to have some questions.


in the late 1950s-1960 a good doctor dissected some brains and decided that aluminum plaques in the brain caused Alzheimer’s.


despite the fact that numerous and repeated studies from medical researchers in about every corner of the world have since demonstrated the good doctor's "facts" are not actually true, to this day you will see posts about people throwing away their aluminum pans so they don't catch Alzheimer’s.


never let truth or facts get in the way of a good story.  perhaps we should ask them again in about 50 years…

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Dillbert,


That's a fair point. I noted that line too. In fact it was one of the lines I really liked. To me that doesn't indicate that they are offering their results as the makings of a 'good story', rather that as good scientists they are indicating the basis of their research and how far it might or might not be generalizable.


I'm also not convinced by overblown stories in the media that are not checked accurately. I agree with you that pushing a 'good story' without references to facts is not helpful. In contrast to that approach, the line you cite in the Princeton report made a greater impression on me than a wild over-claim would have done because it indicated that they were guided by good research protocols. 


Princeton are going on to do more tests related to HFCS. If new tests by these or other scientists showed different results I'd listen to those also. I'm not in favour of scare stories based on a narrow reading of tests.


I take your point about some health scares being reversed by later research. Although I don't know about aluminium, research on fats follows the kind of pattern you refer to. Health advice in the UK in the 1990s recommended eating margarine rather than butter. Now that has been reversed.


However if we 'ask them again in about 50 years' I probably wouldn't recommend spending the intervening time eating HFCS either. This was a long term test from a top institution. We and our governments can only choose now on what we know now and the UK government has banned HFCS for the foreseeable future.  


I tend to prefer savoury to sweet foods in general - takes us more than a year to get through a packet of standard sugar at times! I'm unlikely, therefore, to miss the option of corn syrup as a separate sweetener. Nevertheless as it is mixed into so many other foods, I'm also glad not to have to worry so much about weeding it out of the general shop or about the effects it might have on people who do enjoy sugary foods and drinks. 


Kind regards, Daisy_A

EvaB's picture
EvaB

in the late 1950's (dated myself there) my whole family was into health food, we were not hippies, just not overly rich so spent our money more wisely than those who could afford the new and fancy packaged foods for the new life syle.


If given a choice between desert and the left over salad in the bowl, I would take the salad, generally made form nice fresh vegetables formt he garden, or as close to the fresh garden as possible. Desert was generally pie (an usually only served on Friday nights when we had company) which was made with hand picked berries, and was not as tasty as the salad.


I never saw pop until I was close to teenaged, we had the occasional bottle of Orange Crush, when one had the money to buy the 12 cent bottle which was very rarely. I tended to buy a bag of chips instead, or licorice babies and other 3 for a penny candies. I even as I grew up, didn't eat a lot of cake, cookies and pops, tended to go more for chips and fires etc, although I did eat candy, and candy bars, and do you ever read the ingredients for those, one of the largest is HFCS in almost all bars, and candy.


We used to have a recipe for peanut brittle which we made, with just regular sugar, no syrup of any kind, unfortunately we lost it, (moves are great for loosing things) and it took me the last 18 years to find another that doesn't start out, pour corn syrup ...... but I did it!


The good food is out there, and while I agree that one needs to temper the rehtoric against things like HFCS, it doesn't hurt to read lables and avoid it if possible. And I personally don't like aspartame, and have read enough about it, to avoid it whenever possible, to the point of not eating or drinking if I can't find out what is in the food, and to hear that European farmer's use it to increase their pigs appatites, is enough for me to totally ban it, let alone the fact that if I drink a pop with it in, or eat food with it, I get a killer migraine. that is a good enough sign for me to not eat it!

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

having worked in R&D for a number of years I have an innate appreciation for their statement:  "...under the conditions." 
it's not far off the 3000 miles per gallon car sticker with the *footnote:  "your mileage may vary"

R&D means research and development - having experienced first hand the "fact" that when tasked to understand "something" the first / initial impressions, approaches, tests, etc, etc, are far more often "wrong" than right.  one sets out looking for answers, the "answers" only beget more questions and quandries and "things we don't understand."  it's one of those "here's the (first) results but something still seems odd...." 

it is not uncommon to find out - in the end - all that stuff thought to be "true" ... well it is not exactly "true" - it's only "true" in some limited sense or conditions.  when the topic is finally and fully understood, tested, proven, duplicated and confirmed,,, the initial findings quite often fall by the wayside.  they were merely indicators of a whole host of (different) causes and effects.

the theory that 'the big bad corporations are killing us' and 'consumers don't have a choice' is in my opinion not true by any stretch.  if 99% of parents would stop buying Frosted Flakes the stuff would disappear from the shelf in short order.  as EveB points out, there are in fact alternatives - cornflakes and a sugar bowl.  been there, done that.  a parent _might_ object to their 3 year old dumping ten spoons of sugar on the cornflakes, but they raise no objection to bowls of Frosted Flakes.  parents have ceded dietary choices to the children - and children don't always make good decisions. 
sugar, salt, fat - "May I have some more?" as the line goes.

the Princeton study says we consume 60 lbs of hcfs each per year.  I don't add it to our food, and as we buy almost next to nothing in terms of 'prepared' / convenience foods - the 60 lbs of mayo & ketchup is a decade supply for us, so somebody's eating a lot of my share.  I must admit, when I go to McDonalds I do tend to drown my fries in ketchup; but the last time I was in McDonalds was March, and I can't remember the time before that.

when I observe young parents in the supermarket, kids in tow, and look at what's in their cart, not a lot of question in my mind who is eating my share.  people just don't cook anymore - the supermarket has aisles and aisles of frozen prepared foods - go look for potato or onion - _maybe_ 3-4 feet of shelf space.  the entire fresh produce department will probably fit in one or two of the 'convenience food' freezers.  I don't see the problem is what companies are selling, the problem is what the lazy, ineffective parents are buying / cooking / feeding their families.   how hard is it to make a meatloaf?  why it is necessary to buy Swanson Dinner entrees for a family dinner - nuke 'em, scoop it out onto a plate and call that 'home cooking?'

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Don't be dissing Frosted Flakes!  :)  I happen to like them for a late night snack.  It's not my breakfast fare, I just have it late at night if I want something cold and sweet.  It's moderation and helping parents discover different options to better nutrition.  I think getting the processed foods message out there will help familiy's a great deal. If one had to clean their pantry or shelves of everything processed, I dare say that most pantries would be empty. 


This is not, by any stretch - just an American issue.  I've lived in Australia and Europe.  The issue is everywhere and in some countries it's becoming epidemic.

EvaB's picture
EvaB

While I like frosted flakes on the very odd occasion, they don't and never have been a staple in my kitchen.


I agree, the statistics for various foods are astounding, and I know that we don't eat that much of anything they say we do "per capita" so someone must be eating my ketchup as well, since I never ate it until I was a teen, and then only one brand, because the rest including Heinz was too sweet. When I couldn't buy it anymore, I stopped buying ketchup. Then I discovered making my own, which was fun, I could control the amount of sugar that went into it, and the funny thing is we still have some, and that was made in 2001, that's how much ketchup we don't use around here. I made about 10 quarts, and bottled it in pint jars, and I think I still have 2 pints left. Same thing with the chili sauce, that went faster than the ketchup, but I made a bit less of it.


I have been known to have lots of sugar in the house, but its mainly for canning or wine making, and no one uses it on ceral. We use cooked ceral around here, and my favourite way to eat oatmeal, is to spread it with butter and lightly sugar it with brown sugar, or pour on good cream or whole milk. None of that higher in lactose skim stuff in my house.


I look at the carts of peopel walking in the store, and think they must spend a fortune at the dentist with their kids. Cookies, chips, snacks, sweet cereals, fruit juices (mostly furit flavour and water and lots of sugar) not a single uncooked vegetable, no salad ingredients, and if its not frozen meals, its frozen veggies which are ok, in the middle of winter, but hey its fresh food season right now, why now? They can't cook! My daughter loves Shepards pie, which was a way to use up leftovers from a meal to make the next days food, but she can't do it, without buying, powdered potatoes, a seasoning packet, a pan of hamberger, and some frozen vegetables, so its not the frugal food it once was, its now a throw it together meal, and not the use it up that it used to be. Same thing with cabbage rolls, used to make them up in the fall, and winter as a way to get some veggies, now you mostly get rice in them, no other bits of vegetables, no meat to speak of, and a sauce full of who knows what chemicals and preservatives, and we are expected to consider it cooking? Whats good about taking something prepared in a huge factory, frozen, shipped who knows how many miles, held again in freezers then shipped out to the store again who knows how many miles, then brought home and nuked or if no nuker a poor person must actually turn on the oven, no only that but htey have to read the instructions.


I bought my daughter a Joy of Cooking cook book, because its one of the best around, it doesn't assume you know how to do anything, it will tell you how to do it, right down to how to whip cream, make gravy (without those packets of stuff) and so forth. I treasure my copy which my MIL bought me for my first anniversary, and it was the only way I managed to actually feed my family anything decent after moving from home. My mother cooked at home, and my husband lived with us after we married, so since we had been extremely poor, my mother wouldn't let me cook because she couldn't bear to see food wasted. I didn't cook on my own until we moved 50 miles away! But I learned, because I couldn't afford to buy pre cooked meals.

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

The Frosted Flakes comment was made in jest.  Wow, can we lighten up? 


Eva, do you work full time?? 


Back in "your day (and mine too)", pre prepared meals were becoming easier to find and all one had to do was look in the frozen food case.  After the war, women who had gone to work continued to work as families began enjoying a two income household and liked all the benefits it brought.  What suffered was the time women had to devote to menu and meal prep.  My mother cooked and baked everything from scratch and she worked full time.  I remember hearing the vacuum running at 11PM at night because she felt she needed to fit everything into her day.  Sorry, but that's not an attractive option for most working women.


No one who works today has 4 hours to spare to bake a loaf of bread.  So they buy it from the store.  What's on the bread shelf are options between a $6.00 whole grain loaf or a Kroger special two loaves for a dollar.  In today's economy, those choices become even more clear.   When you come home from work and you're rushed for time alot of things become more clear.  I can't remember the last time I used ketchup for anything, but do you really expect working parents are going to make their own?  I don't work and even I don't have that time.


So next time when you are looking into the carts of those folks at the grocery store, perhaps you should consider that it's not even a question of "they can't cook".  Of course they can. No one has probably showed them that quick meals are possible from fresh ingredients and most likely no one has bothered to even tell them. 


Maybe casting judgment on others is easier, but it's not our job and frankly not our business.  However, we can do things to make a positive impact within our communities.  Volunteer to teach fresh food cooking, help start a community garden and do more by example.  I bet with school districts struggling for funding, volunteer cooks can get into schools and do cooking seminars to younger generations - breaking the cycle and dependance on processed foods.  Lead by example and share your knowledge, but judging just turns people off and makes them even more unwilling to change.


Might be a nice gift to share with your daughter.  Instead of a day at the spa, why not take a specialty cooking class - quick and easy cooking with fresh ingredients.  Might make that Joy of Cooking book more meaningful. 


Sorry, don't mean to single you out, Eva, but I grow tired of people judging each other - especially over subjects like this.  There is so much more that we, as a community of bakers and cooks can do to make this a more informed world. 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

and even if I did, I wouldn't have the funds for preprepared meals, I don't slam them, just wonder how they can afford them.


I did work full time, and still managed to cook many meals.


The I have to do it all syndrome is still out there, and around my house its if you want pristine floors do it yourself, for me its enough if I manage to get them swept today.


I have severeal illnesses, that have kept me from doing many things, including keeping house to standards of others. But at the same time, while I was making ketchup (which by the way is a full bore sugar monster) I was also looking after my bed ridden mother, my husband who had just gone back to work after 17 months off, during which we didn't have any funds coming in, and looking after my older brother who also had health issues. I don't say one should do this all the time, but hey you do have days off, don't you? You can explore cooking good meals, buy a freezer with your money, and make up meals ahead of time, involve the kids in cooking and get rid of the sugar foods and the baked goods that keep forever on the shelf.


I dont' care how good a job you and your husband has, how can you rent a house or pay for a mortgage (mine is about 1200 per month still) and run a car, or two cars, and pay for day care, and clothing for 2-4 kids not to mention school equipment etc, and still be able to spend 5-600 a week on junk food at the store, none of which falls into the category of nutritional. Which I have seen in peoples carts!


And by the way my daughter can cook, and does cook, just not all the time, and they eat a lot of junk food, which I have been trying to wean them off of, in the interests of them being fit enough to look after kids. That is not an easy job.


I wqas using hte analogy of the shepards pie to point out, that the original use of the pie had been lost on today's society! At least she makes the pie, and doesn't buy it frozen!

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Well, there aren't many of us with the leisure time or funds to be able to prepare haute cuisine nightly.  I don't have the time, nor do I cook that way.  And ketchup?  Please, I seriously doubt most people even realize you can make your own.  BTW, I am sure my bottle of ketchup in my fridge is over a year old and probably needs to be tossed. 


The grocery cart police are in everywhere.  Their smug little smiles looking down on someone who can barely make ends meet or the woman with three kids who has never had a mother willing to teach her or someone who instilled that passion.  Rather than condemning them, I feel sorry for them and wished that everyone had what I had.  We've all seen cart contents and shake our heads and I am not suggesting you are any worse than me or anyone else here.  There are always stories behind every persons life and I try very hard not to judge too quickly. 


And at the end of the day, what's good for me and my family might not be right for others and I do not have the right to make judgment.  I don't lecture my children in how they should raise their kids - my kids were raised with my value system and I trust them to make sound decisions in regards to their own family's.  So far, they haven't disappointed me.  No, their kids might not eat everything I think they should, but I'm not the parent and I have to respect my role within their family. 


I never stated your daughter couldn't cook.  I suggested it could be a fun, third party introduction to the joys of cooking.  Something you could do together without pressure or pushing. 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

crock pot stew haute cruisene I must be the best chef in the world. My crock pot is in use daily, in fact I have three different sizes, and still have my original one that doesn't come out of the heating unit, over 30 years old.


Last night supper was hambergers, made from ground beef, and pork, (I will also make them from chicken, and turkey gound meats) and seasoned with some dill weed, and parsley from my spice jars, boiled potatoes and fried onions, all of an hour tops from prep to table, and as fresh as I can buy. I get up early every day to make lunch for my husband, and on Saturday mornings go to farmer's market to buy produce, now that's fresh. Yes its harder to do things like that when you work, its also hard to manage time for oneself, let alone to teach children the way to do things, but kids learn by observing, and obviously some have never learned that food comes from places other than the store, and the frozen food aisle.


While I may not hold down a full time job, I do as much as I can daily, some days are better than others for me, and some days I can't do anything but read, but even when I was at my worst, I made 3 meals a day, shopped once a week for fresh food, and we had a pitifull garden that provided the freshest food I could manage to grow.


Its not that some people don't know how to cook, its more like they never thought cooking was important, too many people have bought into the myth that women need to have carreers, which is ok, but do you trade your health and your families health (I haven't noticed too many of those career women not being married and having children) for a paycheck? Even those people who do nothing but watch Oprah and other talk shows, must hear that food is the staff of life, and one should eat the best possible, but they have also heard that doing housework and cooking is slavery for women, (men just hear that its not manly) so they buy their frozen food full of additives, never considering all those career men and women who work in the factory turning those meals out. 


I don't look down on those who buy that stuff, I just can't fathom why or how they can afford it, my husband makes a good wage and has always done so, but we simply couldn't spend 4-600 dollars a week on food like that. I can't even afford to buy fresh (well they call them fresh) vegetables and salad greens in the winter, I am spending money on keeping my car on the road as I need it to shop, visit drs etc, not living in a city (for my health) and having to drive 10 miles just to get to town, and having bad roads heavy snow and -30 to 50F weather to contend with all winter.


As to the kechup, I don't use it, and the only person who did just died last winter, so I won't be making it again, but if you did make your own ketchup, you might use it up faster than a year, not that it would keep in the fridge that long as it has no perservatives.


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Dillbert,


I'm completely with you on the theme of reflections on initial hypotheses. The way that initial research findings prompt more complex questions which may then cast early findings as 'merely indicators of a whole host of (different) causes and effects' is one of the things I find so challenging but interesting about being involved in research. You put it in such a great way.


I do say that I don't buy conspiracy theories and overblown scare stories, although I do think that big agribusinesses have strong economic reasons for continuing to sell the things they sell. 


Thing is I also apply the same logic to a consideration of consumer choice. Initial responses to questions such as 'why don't consumers make good food choices?' are also likely to break down under further scrutiny, as a whole host of causes and effects comes into play here also. These may range from the loss of transmission of cooking skills to the difficulty of actually finding out in micro detail what is in store-bought ingredients, the latter of which is so well exemplified in EvaB's posts.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

>>finding out in micro detail what is in store-bought ingredients,
bread is the major topic of this forum.  anyone suspect homemade bread with no preservatives and additives has a longer shelf life than WonderBread?

all that "schufft" is in there for a multiplicity of reasons - preservatives, machining characteristics, color, appearance, texture - whatever.  as mentioned - you can make chocolate chip cookies (or whatever) with zero comma zilch as in none of that stuff.  just don't put them in a bag and expect them to last for 75 days on the shelf.  Grandmother didn't put them on the shelf, she stuffed them in your pockets and at least _I_ didn't waste a lot of time emptying my pockets!

I would hazard to guess - all questions of taste aside - not more than 5% or 5.1% of the frozen convenience food could be distributed without all the chemical "make it no go bad" stuff.
if people stop buying frozen better living through chemistry and start cooking..... that would work.

true, what's in the meat and is the flour bromated is still open - but it's a lot easier to deal with than the list of Twinkie chemicals.


>>Frosted Flakes (giggle) - okay, what's a good one?  Capt'n Krunch?  Fruit Loops?
not sure today's world could survive absent "processed foods/ingredients" when taken to the strictest measure.  virtually anything canned or milled or (fill-in-the-blank)  would be considered "processed."  there is a long standing move toward "no salt added" canned vegetables, for example - I think it is really the idea that one can buy&nuke anything and it's home cooking that is the problem - how many frozen entrees are on the market?  they all compete - on what basis?  taste?  add more salt sugar fat and out-tasty the competition . . .

>>that it could be made of rape seed oil.

bingo.  zactly right.

Canola = marketing name 'invented' for Canadian Oil if memory serves, or something close to that....  it needed a new name because "rapeseed oil" . . . well, wouldn't market well.
at the time, the majority was grown in Canada, hence the connection.

it is from rapeseed.
yes, heirloom rapeseed has some nasties.
the nasty bits were bred out.
no, not by GM - by selective breeding.
yes, (strains of) rapeseed have since been GM'd to be RoundUp resistant.

Asian cultures have been using it since pre-history - but to note: overheating makes the nasties nastier in the 'old' varieties.  but tonotetoo:  overheating any animal or vegeatable fat produces nasties.

"it's made from rapeseed, which is part of the mustard family, and we all know where mustard gas comes from!"
no, not even close.

the Candian Government paid the FDA $(fill in the blank) m/billions of dollars to list it as GRAS
(Generally Recognized as Safe)
no, not even close.  even the kookiest conspirators of this theory can't find "evidence" much less "proof"

>>the rape came into bloom there was a sharp rise in the number
you should be at my house when the oak trees are in bloom.

that someone could be allergic?  not a doubt in my mind.  also not a doubt in my mind that there is not a single food stuff on planet earth to which not at least one allergic human cannot be found.

>>How strong would that have to be in volume?
Daisy, I suspect you don't want to hear the story about "howe to unclog your kitchen drain" and "how to make a pretzel" -  they both involve sodium hydroxide - aka "lye"
yes, concentration makes a difference . . . .

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Dillbert,


Thanks for all the clarifications! You're right, things don't last 75 days on the shelf without a lot of preservatives. Think I might try making my own biscuits!


Kind regards, Daisy_A

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Daisy_A,


This little thread from nicodvb went by with scant attention.   Shame, as he asked a great question!


See: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19454/dough-ph-keep-mold-away


Anyway, regarding biscuits, you may find my contribution of interest!


BW


Andy

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Andy,


Many thanks for pointing me in the direction of this information.


Best wishes, Daisy_A

clazar123's picture
clazar123

A few nerves got touched and a lot of interesting discussion has taken place. Such diversity of opinion! Wonderful to have the ability to have such an open and opinionated discussion.


Thank you for this wonderful forum!

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

Belles -

like your situation, both my parents worked - I can remember when the first Swanson dinners were introduced.  my brother & I were the classic latch key kids; I went shopping with my mother once a week; came home everything went into the freezer/fridge; they bought a chest freezer and half a cow to put in it.  they made the time - her job started at 8AM, I never went to school without breakfast - now schools have a special morning period to feed kids breakfast who don't get it at home.  what's wrong with this picture?

l/we did all the classic Scouts, baseball, etc. - there's still 24 hours in a day so the first question that comes to mind is: what consumes the time of today's parents vs. the pre-baby boomer generation?  American Idol?  Dancing with the Stars?  polishing the Lexus?

perhaps children have become 'convenience' items - things not to be bothered with when it's inconvenient?

considering things like "the obesity epidemic" - kids that don't know what's inside a pea pod (I garden) - the "sexism" of home-ec and shop class,,, somewhere 'kids' have missed some 'education.'  at my high school they 'solved' the sexism problem, the females took a semester _each_ of home-ec and shop - as did ditto the males - high school boys in frilly aprons - that was a sight . . .

to the point of 'they can't cook' - there's two bits to that:
'they' don't have time
'they' don't know _how_ - never been shown, never experienced it, never hung around the kitchen, had class, whatever.  of course...who is to blame for that?  the child or the parent?

regrets I am personally acquainted with way too many young adults who actually do not know how to cook, and I mean cook pretty much anything - hot dogs maybe, but the burgers come out of the box and go on the grill / into the pan / nuke city.  as close to spaghetti & meat balls as they can get is to buy pasta sauce with 'real meat' - a youngish elementary school teacher was commenting on how good the deviled eggs were and asked "how do they get cooked like that?" - she was having trouble with how the stuffing got cooked like that inside the egg - she was serious!

I'm semi-retired, shop multiple times / week.  the mother with one toddler and one in diapers shopping at 10:30 in the morning is likely not a working mom.  but what's in the cart?
I'm sure you've seen parents giving their infant fruit juice in a bottle. 
how about Coke in the baby bottle?  I personally have issues with that kind of parenting.

which is why I consider the railings about 'big food meanies' and stuff like hfcs only highlight symptoms of the issue - not the cause.  if there was no market, the stuff would not exist.

not sure about judgmental, I call it a pretty plain explanation of nutritional and obesity issues.
it's (some of) the "how" but not the "why"


remember Jamie Oliver's push for better food at schools?  seems it didn't work out quite as planned. see:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/oct/03/2


on the whole kids prefer sugar salt and fat.  okay, what's the surprise there? 
left to their own devices kids pick what tastes best to them.


I've eaten my fair share of Twinkles and TastyKake pies and Orange Crush, too.  but not for three meals a day everyday.  there's a reasons there's a fast food joint on every street corner - a lot of people eat there a lot of the time.  to solve the problem the eating behavior has to change - a 'war on bad food' is as likely to succeed as the 'war on drugs' - if there's a market, it will prevail.  Prohibition comes to mind . . .

hanseata's picture
hanseata

longer schooldays with meals provided were a good thing to relieve working single mothers, like me, and wished we would have that in Germany. But after coming to the US in 2001 I changed my mind.


When I heard what choices there were in my daughter's High School cafeteria I was absolutely horrified! Nothing fresh and certainly nothing healthy. I was amazed that there was no uproar among parents, that their kids had to eat that stuff.


My husband and I worked full time, so my extremely picky daughter had to eat at school, or wait for our dinner. She ressolved this problem by starting to cook at age 14 (and later became a chef).


Whenever we had her friends over on weekends and invited them to share our dinner, they loved it, and appeared to be quite astonished that we would actually cook nice meals at home!!


Karin

copyu's picture
copyu

...and I think that's a really great thing. I wish this lovely place, TFL, had a 'survey section' [maybe it does and I just don't know about it, yet!] because...


I'm wondering how many of you folks with strong opinions on food/diet/nutrition have ever read Michael Pollan's books: "The Omnivore's Dilemma", "In Defense of Food", "Food Rules", etc...


Although I am very PRO-science and research, I believe almost NOTHING about what scientists/nutritionists/journalists say on TV or in magazines or newspapers about what is good or bad for humans to eat. I know that such questions were all answered long, long before I was born. It's logical! Here's why:


If our ancestors hadn't already known what was good to eat, they would've all died of malnurition or poisoning and, therefore, we wouldn't be here, now, spending our time reading these (sometimes over-emotional) posts on the internet...Do you understand what I mean? They knew something to get us here and we know enough to still be here today...but it SEEMS we all have a lot of allergies (many real, some imagined!) increasing obesity, increasing Type 2 Diabetes mellitus, more chronic heart disease and more cancers than earlier generations.


Pollan's books are aimed not against nutrition science, but against the ideology of "nutritionism" (You know, '_isms'—"belief-based" systems such as 'Communism' or 'Buddhism', or 'Catholicism'...non-scientific pronouncements of what is good and bad, correct or incorrect...Nutritionism is 100% dependent on Scientific research, but is 99.9% 'unscientific'...EXAMPLES:


"Polyphenols are good...red wine contains polyphenols, so (drink more red wine?")..."Tannins in red wine suspected of causing cancers"..."Beta-carotenes kill cancer, so take beta-carotene supplements"..."Beta-carotene supplements linked to cancer deaths"..."Dairy foods prevent Osteo-porosis"..."Study shows milk products cause breast cancer"..."Eating fish makes you live longer and healthier life"..."Mercury levels in fish danger to brain function and unborn babies..." and so on and on and on.


This is the typical TV fodder to which everyone is exposed. You can't escape it, because even if you don't watch TV or read the newspapers, someone in your family or workplace will be exposed to all of this non-sense and pass it on, or you'll be intrigued by a headline you see at the train station or bus-stop...


FOOD is good, but these days, everyone seems to care only about NUTRIENTS in their food. Has anyone ever seen a scientific study of an eggplant? or a carrot? or an apple? No, of course not, because you can't do real, verifiable "scientific tests" on a carrot...only on some of the 'components', ie, nutrients or toxins.


It's probably good to remember that half of all "chemicals" ever tested are carcinogenic in massive doses in animal tests. ["Chemical" includes every naturally occurring ingredient in everything you've ever eaten, breathed and drunk...although so far, only a tiny percentage of naturally occurring chemicals in our food have ever been isolated and tested.] The law doesn't require it for a carrot, only for newly-synthesized medical or dietary or agricultural chemicals...we KNOW carrots are good food...our ancestors knew it, too!


Eating carrots and broccoli and cabbage (in moderation) will NOT kill you, despite the many natural toxins and carcinogens we know that they contain; neither will eating mercury-rich fish a couple of times a week actually hurt you and it may help you...white flour is technically "junk food" but I'm not prepared to eliminate it from my diet, since there is no need...my immediate ancestors all ate it, but they preferred whole-grain flours, mostly rye, which I also prefer...but sometimes it HAS to be white flour and I never used to check whether it was bleached or not...now I care a little bit more, but I still don't worry over-much about it


Following "traditional culture" is much better for health than modern info-tainment  and "TV culture", I'm sure you'd all agree...


Best wishes to all,


copyu


 


 

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

hanseata -

in the 60's it was liver&onion, meatloaf, mashed potato, succatash, green beans - etc. - milk and now and then the choice of chocolate milk.  there were no vending machines - the question of what kind of junk food should / should not be in the vending machines was not a problem.

not cheeseburgers and pizza with cheese fries and half a gallon of Cherry Coke.

>>that their kids had to eat that stuff.
I think it's the other way around - the kids won't eat 'the other stuff' and the parents support that decision.  believe it or not, there are actually Federal "rules / guidelines" about the nutruitional content of school food - that's a spectacularly good example of why we don't need government involved in legislating what we eat.

here's lunch one day, circa 1966, Internat, Bodensee:
one dish, five heads . . .

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Dillbert, my husband and my daughter vied in enumerating the culinary horrors of supposedly nutricious army rations in Vietnam versus Bangor High School cafeteria food...


What did you get there im Internat? Looks like some dessert with bread slices on top. I used spent a week every year at a convention in Lindau am Bodensee and have the fondest memories of Kaesespaetzle and Bodensee wine (too small batches to make it even to Northern Germany).


Karin

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

Daisy -


here's a recap of frying oils - some get real pricey.


try safflower - at least here it's reasonably priced and commonly found.


225F.......    107C.......    Unrefined canola oil
225F.......    107C.......    Unrefined flaxseed oil
225F.......    107C.......    Unrefined safflower oil
225F.......    107C.......    Unrefined sunflower oil
320F.......    160C.......    Unrefined corn oil
320F.......    160C.......    Unrefined high-oleic sunflower oil
320F.......    160C.......    Extra virgin olive oil
320F.......    160C.......    Unrefined peanut oil
320F.......    160C.......    Semi-refined safflower oil
320F.......    160C.......    Unrefined soy oil
320F.......    160C.......    Unrefined walnut oil
330F.......    165C.......    Hemp seed oil
350F.......    177C.......    Butter
350F.......    177C.......    Semirefined canola oil
350F.......    177C.......    Coconut oil
350F.......    177C.......    Unrefined sesame oil
350F.......    177C.......    Semi-refined soy oil
360F.......    182C.......    Vegetable shortening
370F.......    182C.......    Lard
390F.......    199C.......    Macadamia nut oil
400F.......    204C.......    Refined canola oil
400F.......    204C.......    Semi-refined walnut oil
405F.......    207C.......    High quality(low acidity) extra virgin olive oil
410F.......    210C.......    Sesame oil
420F.......    216C.......    Cottonseed oil
420F.......    216C.......    Grapeseed oil
420F.......    216C.......    Virgin olive oil
420F.......    216C.......    Almond oil
425F.......    218C.......    Red Palm Oil, virgin
430F.......    221C.......    Hazelnut oil
440F.......    227C.......    Peanut oil
440F.......    227C.......    Sunflower oil
450F.......    232C.......    Refined corn oil
450F.......    232C.......    Refined high-oleic sunflower oil
450F.......    232C.......    Refined peanut oil
450F.......    232C.......    Refined Safflower oil
450F.......    232C.......    Semi-refined sesame oil
450F.......    232C.......    Refined soy oil
450F.......    232C.......    Semi-refined sunflower oil
460F.......    238C.......    Olive pomace oil
468F.......    242C.......    Extra light olive oil
490F.......    254C.......    Rice Bran oil
495F.......    257C.......    Soybean oil
510F.......    266C.......    Safflower oil
520F.......    271C.......    Avocado oil

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Dillbert,


Many thanks for posting this - great to have it in a table to compare!


Following its recent revival I've been using properly rendered lard from our local butcher for some meat dishes. It was beautiful for pork encarnitas. The proper stuff is really smooth and nutty, not 'lardy' at all! I see that is about half way down the list.


However we need a vegetable oil to share with vegetarian friends, as said. Also for some dishes it's good to have less highly flavoured oils to hand as well as the olive oils and sesame.


Think I will try safflower if it's available or if not sunflower, which I know we can get here.


Thank for the tip - much appreciated! Kind regards, Daisy_A

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Sorry - duplicate post!

EvaB's picture
EvaB

and you are right, some could get downright gold plated! The coconut oil, goes for about aomewhere around 10 bucks for about a pint container in my health food store, the grape seed oils, run around the same in the grocery stores, and I've never even seen walnut or avacado oils anywhere!


I've used the olive oil, they are wonderful and make delicious french fries, but its still expensive to fill a deep fryer, but it also last longer than some of them. And just about all the fry oil I see in large containers (commercial sizes) is mostly canola, or mixed oils at bets.


Used to be able to find good sized containers of peanut oil in the stores, now most of them are less than a quart (I live in liter land and they are maybe 750 ml) and for that you pay $12 and even more for a litre of olive oils depending on the grade.


So good old lard is likely the best bet for fillinga deep fryer these days, and even that won't be cheap!

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

no, wasn't dessert - yes, bread on top of something - I really don't remember anymore.


in Sept/Oct is a good time for Gruenewein & Zwiebelkuchen - try the Gasthaeuser richtung Radolfzell/Konstanz.


speaking of the klassic Zwiebelkuchen, I've never gotten the crust right - most recipes just say 'pastry crust' but there's something missing.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

My favorite Zwiebelkuchen recipe is very easy to do - and very tasty. The crust is made with puff pastry (frozen) and the recipe can be used as well for a great leek tarte.


Karin

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Karin, 


I could do with a great leek tarte recipe as I have leeks coming out of my ears from the organic box at the moment, also from the garden! They are very tasty but I need some variety with the recipes. Do you have a recipe or link to one?


Best wishes, Daisy_A

EvaB's picture
EvaB

do it for both, as I am now totally curious as to what the Zwiebelkuchen is??? But could use the leek pie recipe for sure. The farmer's market has lovley leeks right now!

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

basically, a savory onion quiche - altho the egg content is highly variable - often replaced with other dairy products - or indeed with no dairy.


Zweibel = onion
kuchen = cake, or torte, as appropriate


there is no "one and only authentic" version - it's a recipe dating from zillions of years ago and is made in many variable forms in German, French and Lowlands regions.


it is one of those 'traditional' dishes paired with green wine - 'green' as in still open vat bubbling and fermenting grape stock, pre "barreling"  apple growing areas have 'hard cider' - wine growings areas have 'green wine'


green wine is to be approached with caution&care - it can be quite potent.


leeks being part of the allium family is a natural alternative to onion.

EvaB's picture
EvaB

Dilbert, great explanation, now I will have to look up a recipe, and try it out. I have drunk green wine, and BEER, that my brother made, potent is right! It can be wild!


Brian my brother liked what he called rufino, or just bottled wine, made from that years harvest, we once managed to get a whole case of Bulgarian wine, which was quite wonderful, and even over the 6 months we had it, it actually changed in taste as it aged.


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Thanks for the explanations Dillbert.


I have had Portuguese 'vinho verde' and 'green wine' from the North of Spain - absolutely delicious! Think these may be the same or similar, as they are designed to be drunk very fresh. Have had these with fish as fish is obviously a major part of Portuguese and Northern Spanish cuisine. Would like to try with leek tart also, though! 


Best wishes, Daisy_A


 

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

waelll, post that rascal!


I've got heeps of leeks on the grow and a batch of garden onions with a really nice bite to them looking for a place to get eaten....


we have four vineyards within an hour - (most of their stuff is pretty awful,,, sigh) - once upon a visit I asked if they did green wine (and explained all that) - got looked at like I had three heads and seven feet.  it's apparently completely 'unknown' to our region.

ronhol's picture
ronhol

Wow is right! LOL


Great thread, altho it went a bit far afield, it was entertaining and enlightening as well.


I am new to baking bread, about 6 months now, and as someone mentioned the time it takes, I can say I would not have the time to indulge in wonderful homemade bread, were it not for the 5 Minute's a Day Bread book.


I know I probably sound like a shill, but trust me, I never heard of Zoe or Jeff before stumbling onto an article about no knead bread on the net somewhere, which led me to their website, and got me started baking bread in my spare time.


I've since bought both their books, and make bread several times a week.


I keep 2 buckets full of dough in the frig, and sever nights a week, pop a loaf in the oven while I read on the net.


Actual prep time is 5 minutes per loaf, plus 40 minutes waiting for it to rise, and 25 minutes in the oven. I love it!


I've just finished eating my freshly baked bagutte, spread withrealbutter and jiff peanut butter. Yep, probably has HFCS, hope I don't pass tonight. lol


So, anyway, it's all led me here, to expand on my knowledge of bread making, and ingredients.


I must confess. Most all the breads I've always liked contained bleached white flour.


I tried baking my baguttes with KA Unbleached Flour, but they just were not quite what I like.


So I tried a blend of approx 50-50 bleached Sams Club white with KA unbleached, and it's turned out to be my favorite yet.


A nice chewy crust, and a little chew to the crumb as well. I favor larger holes in my crumb, and with 100% KA Unbleached, I got a very fine crumb, very small holes.


It was a delicate crumb, somewhat custard like, unique and delightful in it's own right, but not what I've come to like in an Italian or French loaf.


As far as health concerns? Well, look around us. The majority of Americans have eaten tons of refined flour and sugar in their lives, and the average life expectancy is still what? 70-75 years?


I try to incorporate some fresh fruits and veggies into my diet, and to keep an eye on what I eat, but I'm not convinced it's going to make a major impact on us.


We are living longer, and healthier than any time in history, so we can't be doing all that bad now, can we?


Off topic, can someone tell me how you get those attractive round loaves with the concentric circular patterns on them?


 

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

ronhol -

methinks your outlook is pretty sane.

from the literature, artifically "bleaching" flour is aimed at expediting the color change of freshly ground/sifted/processed/(attach description of choice here) wheat.  left to its own devices and in the present of oxygen, flour turns white anyway - with or without 'artifical' help. 

"time is money" probably explains the need for artifically expediting the color change.  frankly, the color of my homebaked bread has never mattered to me or the family.

there is a question about how well "really fresh ground" flour performs in a bread baking role.  rumor has it that aging flour promotes gluten development.  there is a group of "I ground the flour this morning myself" types that do not accept that supposition.  and then of course there's the issue of what strain of wheat is being used/ground into flour and for what intended use/purpose.  the marketing hype terms of soft/hard/red/white/ect wheats aren't entirely hogwash.  some strains/environments quite naturally produce higher protein levels - linked to gluten levels - than others.

extremists use the argument that if flour is ever exposed to chloride, it never goes away and is bad for you.  actual chemical analysis does not support that extremist position - but what the heck, if it's on the internet, must be true, eh?  do not go near your local swimming pool, and whatever you do, don't use table salt because that is chemically 50% chloride.  when the human body is sufficently deprived of chloride, it dies.  problem solved.

bromated flour is another question - although often not separated from the bleaching question.  bromates supposedly act as a dough conditioner - fostering better gluten development.  same is said for aescorbic acid aka Vitaman C, malt powders, and a host of other chemcials.  however if you go swiming in pure liquid bromine, that would appear harmful to your health, so again by association - it's bad for flour.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi ronhol,


Round loaves with circular patterns. Great aren't they? You have to get a round banneton/brotform. You flour it - rice flour is good - and then prove the dough in it, normally after shaping. The flour sticks to the dough in the pattern of the vessel and this forms the rings. Cane provides quite distinct rings but the proving baskets can be made of different materials. They can be seen in use on David Snyder's tutorial on boule shaping:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19346/shaping-boule-tutorial-pictures


Kind regards, Daisy_A

ronhol's picture
ronhol

Dilbert, good points, all, you might have forgotten one of the biggest examples, city water.


All public water supplies must be treated with chlorine, mandated by the EPA.


The other additive, which I find more dubious, is floride.


I'm not convinced it actually promotes dental health, and I secrectly wonder if it does in fact dummy people down.


But that's a whole nother topic.


Daisy, thanks for the info, soon after you posted, I saw the Baking Bread video, and saw them in use.


Very good video.

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi ronhol,


Yes do get some bannetons if you can. When I restarted baking earlier this year they were one of the things I most wanted! They lived up to expectations too - supporting the dough while rising as well as leaving the great marks on the bread.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

>>All public water supplies must be treated with chlorine, mandated by the EPA.


reaching back a number of years . . . are we sure that's correct?  public drinking water must be "disinfected" to meet specific bacterial content levels, but there's more than one option - ie chlorine - on how to get there.

ronhol's picture
ronhol

I have operated several PWS (Public water systems) and we have always used chlorine.


As far as I know, that's what all PWS use, although you may be right, perhaps there are some other options in use.


As far as disinfecting sewer discharge, I know UV Lights are a commonly used alternative to chlorination and then de-chlorination.


Maybe they use them for drinking water as well, but I never personally knew of anyone using anything but chlorine.


Good point.

Dillbert's picture
Dillbert

keeping in mind that there's a few zillion +/- several million variations, here's a pix of what I learned to appreciate as Zwiebelkuchen.  with an of course _but_ not schinken (sliced ham) but Speck (very inaccurately conveyed to USA as "bacon" - but heh, it's what we got.)


http://www.marions-kochbuch.de/rezept/0231.htm


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Thanks Dillbert! Think I can get speck here - they have it for Italian dishes also.


Kind regards, Daisy_A

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Daisy, Dillbert and Eva: I'll post the recipes when I'm back home on Sunday. I bake one or the other quite often, they are so easy to make and taste so good!


Karin

EvaB's picture
EvaB

to that as well, they do look good from the recipe site that I think it was Dilbert posted, and can always use a yummy savoury pie. I made ripe tomato pie last year which was a big hit. Everyone ate it and wanted more. I also have a recipe for green tomato pie, but that one I think is sugared more like a desert.


One of my favourite pies is quich Lorraine. Took a semester of cooking in school, and that was one of the recipes that was done. Yummy, and I really hated eggs when I was that age, but hey it was pie!

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Great - look forward to it. Thanks Karin, 


Daisy_A

nhtom's picture
nhtom

Give it to a food pantry.


Many grocery stores have a box as you walk out for donations.


Better to give it now than after it gets old.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Everybody who wants to try the Zwiebelkuchen or its leek variety - here's the link to the recipe!


Guten Appetit,


Karin


  http://hanseata.blogspot.com/2010/09/zwiebelkuchen-onion-or-leek-tarte.html


 

Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Hi Karin,


Looks delicious - many thanks!  Daisy_A

EvaB's picture
EvaB

I shall have to try it for supper tomorrow, have all the stuff including the pastry!


EvaB

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Daisy and Eva, the baking temperature depends a bit on your oven, I would try the lower heat first (350 F/175 C).


For the ham you can use all kinds of different ones - the original recipe my friend gave me said: "Rohschinken" ( raw ham), that means cured ham. But I did it with cooked and smoked ham, with domestic prosciutto, speck, etc., even with bacon.


Let me know how it turned out,


Karin