Edward F Block*
Block Institute for Astrobiological Studies, 160 Holiday Loop, Unit 2, New Braunfels, TX
*Corresponding Author: Block Institute for Astrobiological Studies, 160 Holiday Loop, Unit 2, New Braunfels, TX.
Received: January 17, 2021; Published: February 12, 2021
Citation: Edward F Block. “Hints and Tips for Better Nutrition and Cooking Methods”. Acta Scientific Nutritional Health 5.3 (2021): 28-33.Preface
In these uncertain times and living under the unspoken rule of large corporations, It is imperative that we as a people begin to take back our own personal destiny. I see the grip that modern marketing has upon the means that people go about getting the things that they need to survive, live, love and laugh! Please have the courage, determination and perseverance to wrest your choices from the propaganda that corporations would have you believe and remain subject to.
All that I am going to share with you is from the experiences that my body, my emotions and my mind have endured in the face of ongoing difficulties related to finding out about the food choices that are presented to me as a consumer. The reasons for this are simple. My body, my emotions and my mind are affected by what I am able to purchase, prepare and eat as food.
The reason that I have been moved to find out about my Food is not so simple to explain. As a meditator since the age of 4 years, the perception of what is going on around me has deepened on many levels. My physical body has become very acutely aware of the manner in which the various food products available to me determine the overall wellbeing of my health and metabolism. I have also noticed that my emotional and mental processes are very much so affected by my food choices, the various choices of foods, long term dietary considerations and the manner in which the foods are prepared, combined for cooking and actually cooked for eating.
What I share with you is the result of many years of study, many years of living and also many years of being subject to propaganda promulgated by large corporations whose sole intent is to make as large a profit as possible even if it is at the expense of the health of the populace at large. The result of corporate greed is not so much due to conscious intent to produce questionable food choices as it is in the main simply due to the quest to extend the shelf-life of any products processed in order to make as much profit as possible for all involved with getting the product to you for sale.
The cooking hints and tips are a combination of personal experience and those garnered from the available media outlets. The hope that I have is that you will discover and experiment so as to find the best methods that suit your own and your family's personal living style and choices.
Thank you for your kind attention and good luck with your quest for better Health! Incidently, all of the information presented may be readibly obtained from the internet with a search engine.
This work will be in 5 parts:
In regard to the discussion, the concepts and technical applications have, are and continue to evolve as the knowledge and understanding of these are but one component of the total living environment in which we find humankind. Please share your knowledge with others so as to better all of our lives!Part one - proper diet
There are several concepts that need to be put forth with this section as it will make it easier for you the reader to understand the reasoning behind all of my personal assertions and opinions that this work presents. My first suggestion is to look at the foods and food products that your grandparents and ancestors relied upon to maintain their health. Look at both the dealing with fresh foods and the means that were used to keep them safe to eat while stored or preserved. Then look at the modern equivalents used today for treating fresh foods for cooking and eating. Are the principles still the same in general or not? The methods of storage fresh will be in a refrigerator rather than a root cellar. Smoking, drying and freezing at home are still used today as well as the new fangled (since the Napoleonic era) preservation in glass containers.
You will not be able to determine what is done to the fresh fruits and vegetables before you may purchase them from a grocery store. Please wash all in running water, even if briefly. Those that can be soaked should be done so in order to remove the presence of herbicide and pesticide residues. Place them in a container of water into which a half teaspoon of Sodium Bicarbonate has been mixed well (pH 8.3). Soak for at least 15 minutes and then rinse throughly. Make sure that the fruit or vegetable is fully covered with the liquid by placing a correct sized dish, for the container, over them to keep them submerged.
When eating a meal that comprises beef, pork, turkey or chicken as the main dish, consume with a large salad as part of the meal. In contrast, when eating a meal that is comprised of mainly starchy foods, eggs or fish as a protein source is okay but avoid other animal meats. Mixing animal proteins and starches confuses the body and makes for indigestion. Neither will be digested properly even if you do not feel any direct negative effects.
Drinking a lot of coffee, tea and eating a lot of meats will acidify your body. You may not feel or see and effects until older. This is the case with most of your bad eating habits as it may take years for any unhealthy effects to show. Thus, you need to heed the advice of those in the know and keep yourself on the straight and narrow as far as your diet is concerned. Drinking citrus juices such as limade and lemon aide, placates body acidity as the juice turns alkaline in the body. You may also drink a solution of sodium bicarbonate between meals when hydrating. A quarter teaspoon or less is good for a 12 ounce glass. You will get used to the taste and it is not a bad one at all.
Okay, meats with salads and starches with vegetables. Eating turkey tends to cause what Traditional Oriental Medicine terms Dampness and in addition Heat yielding Dampness Heat. This is water retention (Dampness) with inflammation (Heat). This is why Cranberries are part of a turkey dinner. Cranberries combat Heat in the body as does leaf lettuce as they both tend to cool the body. The Dampness is partly due to acidity. People tend to overeat at the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Please remember, moderation in all things!
Nowhere in nature does one normally encounter concentrated vegetable oils. Olive oil was developed for human consumption and seems to be good source of oil. Avacado is a fruit of a tree from the State of Puebla in Mexico and did not get to the New World until the Spanish destroyed the indigenous cultures. Avacados are more or less neutral and a good source of oil. Rapeseed oil (or Canola oil as it is also known), Soybean Oil, Sunflower Oil and Corn oil are large corporation commercial crops and heavily sprayed with hebicides and pesticides that are then found in the oil as processed for human consumption. These oils are found in all processed foods. All have phytoestrogens in them that will cause symptoms of osteoarthritis with longterm consumption. They also cause Dampness Heat in the body. Hebicides and pesticids will cause flu-like symptoms in the body in sufficient quantities, depending upon your particular sensitivity. More about this under the next heading.Part two - improper diet
This part is not going to be a lengthy treatise of medical philosophies. However, it is important that you the reader understand that there do exist several major conceptual ways of looking at disease and the various disease processes. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Eastern medicine emphasizes the person as a whole and views the body as both a physical and energy entity. Western medicine emphasizes trauma repair and views the body as made up of various physical components only. In China, Traditional Chinese Medicine was used to keep you healthy and if you became ill, you changed doctors. In the west, you went to a doctor after you became ill. Grandmother and Mother practiced herbal medicine for lesser concerns.
Hippocrates of Kos (c. 460 – c. 370 BC) stated this proverb - "Let food be your medicine, let medicine be your food"! He lived in what is now known as Thessaly, Greece and is often looked upon as the Father of Medicine. This concept that food should be medicine is also very much a part of Traditional Indian and Traditional Chinese Medicine. In western medicine and everyday cooking, herbs and spices are used to complement foods used for assisting the body to heal itself and is a part of the western herbal tradition used in healing. Yes, they also help our foods taste better but should be used sparingly. If used to excess, they will cause the issues that they are touted for relieving. This is a phenomenon known as the Arndt-Schultz rule. Too little of an herb does nothing. There is a middle area that heals. Too much will cause the symptoms of the problem issue according to the herb used to treat the original condition. Thus, do not use healing herbs for everyday cooking unless sparingly. And so again, moderation in all things!
Modern science education has shown us that there are 3 major food groups: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Other trace substances are also involved such as vitamins and minerals. The key to good health is to eat fruits, grains, vegetables and meats that have been grown or raised in conditions that maintain their optimum overall health. As the saying goes, "You Are What You Eat"! It is only in relatively modern times (the last 200 years or so) that we need to concern ourselves with contamination of our food supplies. Thus, you need to be concerned with dietary choices for combining foods that give to you the proper nutrients. In these modern times of big agro-business entities, you will also need to be aware of how these concerns raise your foods and the effects that their farming practices has upon the quality of your food.
One example is Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Monsanto discovered that the chemical glyphosate killed weeds by dessication (drying them out). Some of their crops were adversely affected. Thus, the idea was to modify the genetics of desired food crops to be able to survive being sprayed with glyphosate. It is the use of the herbicide and not the fact that the plant is modified that is important. Many farmers use glyphosate products in their fields and orchards. They spray it on crops like corn and soybeans that are genetically engineered to withstand glyphosate as GMOs. They also spray it on non-GMO crops like wheat, barley, oats, and beans, to dry them out so they can harvest them sooner. Subsequently, it has been determined that glyphosate, an herbicide that remains the world's most ubiquitous weed killer, raises the cancer risk of those exposed to it by 41% and specifically non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. This illustrates that the only watchdog on our health is us and only us. It gets into foods early in the food chain, before raw food is harvested and before it’s processed. No more Corn on the Cob! Just like other compounds related to the manufacture of plastics, these contaminants are in all of us as it is today impossible to live free of these substances. Human greed is killing us slowly!
Certain Vitamins require fat in the diet to be able to move from the gut to the blood stream, Vitamin A is an example . Vitamin A and Vitamin B-9 are found in foliage which does not have extensive amounts of fat. It is necessary to eat foliage with fat for the fat soluble vitamins to pass into the bloodstream. Hence the suggestion to eat a salad with a meaty meal.
Vitamin B-12 is only obtained from consuming meat and Vitamin B-9, Folate, from consuming foliage, i.e., plant leaves and also legumes. The other Great Apes get their vitamin B-12 from eating termites as insects are also a source of Vitamin B-12. I suppose that we humans could also get it from eating mealworms, the new food of our times. The author has found that when eating a meal comprised of a large serving of meat in any form, eating a large salad (without a lot of vegetable oil with it as dressing) or taking 200-300% of the minimal daily requirement for Folate will reduce the tendency to need to nap or sleep after the meal. Also, the tendency to become depressed a few hours later is reduced. Your liver needs the folate to properly process the protein and your nervous system needs the folate in order to maintain metabolic and hormonal balance. Also, eating large amounts of meats and carbohydrates tends to acidify the body, as stated before. This is why it is necessary to eat fruits and vegetables as these turn alkaline and neutralize the acids from meats and carbohydrates. Again, you may also drink water into which a small amount of sodium bicarbonate has been added. This is in part the nature of the popularity of soda pop. A Cane sugar and Beet sugar (both are sucrose) solution of 34.2 grams/liter is of a pH of 6.73 and thus for all intents and purposed is neutral, and a starch solution is also weakly acidic at pH of 6.0 – 6.3. A neutral pH is 7.0.
Cholesterol is too large and complex to be able to move across the cell membrane. Most (95%) of the cholesterol in your blood is made in your liver. One of the processes in refining vegetable oil is to cool it until the Vitamin E and cholesterol drop out of solution. Thus, the vegetable oil offered for human consumption may not have the Big Corporation alarmist bugaboo cholesterol in it but that does not mean that it is safe to eat. Also, the Vitamin E is then sold as a food supplement rather as an integral component of the oil.
Soybean oil is the most pervasive vegetable oil used in the manufacture of processed foods. It contains may other substances other than oil. One such is that of phytoestrogens. These plant estrogens are active in animal systems and severely skew the human body hormonal balance towards over estrogenicity. Some of the results are Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in women that are not able to conceive, what Chinese medicine calls "Dampness" in the body and shows as water retention, and is also the cause of osteoarthritis due to over-stimulation of joint cartilage cells.
In addition, all of the vegetable oils utilized in food processing are contaminated with herbicides, pesticides, plasticizers and phytoestrogens (all plant oils have phytoestrogens). Black beans and black licorice are very high in phytoestrogens. It seems that Palm oil and Coconut oil are most able to be used oils by persons with adverse sensitivity to commercial oils. Palm oil and Coconut oil are mono- saturated oils while Canola oil, Sunflower oil and Soybean oil are poly-unsaturated. It seems then that the more unsaturated oils possibly react with herbicides and pesticides and make them unfit for consumption. Palm oil and Coconut oil do not seem to cause Dampness Heat in use with normal cooking methods.
Another issue with oils is the temperature used in commercial frying that causes oxidation and polymerization of the oil to produce rancidity and gumminess. How long is the oil used to make french fries in a commercial fast food outlet. Invariably it is Soybean oil that is used or Cotton Seed oil, both the least expensive to use. Cotton is the most heavily sprayed commercial crop in the world. Dairy Queen and Tastee-Freeze both use Cotton Seed oil to make their frozen dessert. Let the buyer beware indeed!Part three - food processing
The manufacturers of processed food products are in a business. This business tries to take a natural form of various foodstuffs and make them pleasant to look at, to taste and to last until sold. It is a simple matter of food preservation until consumed. The reason for this is to make the food available to a large number of people far from where the natural product originates (the result of growing vegetable and animal foods in an agricultural locale), perhaps even in a different country. They desire the product to sell and not to spoil before being sold. Hence, almost all and definitely the most food additives have some relation to preventing the oxidation of the processed foods that results in rancidity, off-tastes and staleness. This is because food processing takes place in the atmosphere of a factory that has 21% oxygen in it! You would think that processing in a 100% nitrogen atmosphere would be obvious. However, that is too expensive a proposition for big business and fraught with all kinds of supposed engineering horrors. Actually, only the profit is the motive!
No-one likes the thought of Food Additives. But these are added as stated to combat oxidation. Others are added in order to make the processed food stable in the form in which it was created and last that way until consumed. These additives will affect your metabolism is subtle ways. Again, it is the continuous consumption over many years that is the cause of eventual disease. When disease strikes, you are not at all aware of what has caused the illness since you did not feel anything when the product was first eaten. And thus, you are not able to connect the cause with the effect. As a result, most of the products that you see that are for human consumption in a normal grocery store other than fresh fruit and vegetables or staples like flour and sugar are not good for you in the long term. They cause disease by affecting the metabolism of your liver (the most important digestive organ in your body). Your liver takes the nutrients from the blood arriving from the digestive system and it then makes everything that your body needs and sends it away in your blood. The liver also detoxifies all unwanted substances in your blood and then secretes them into the Gall Bladder for release into your intestines. The water soluble unwanted substances are secreted into the blood for the kidneys to eliminate by way of the urine.Part four - cooking methods
There are many cooking methods and it seems that every ethnicity has its own particular favorites. The person that obtains, prepares, cooks and presents food for eating at the dinner table has the single most important role in the family after the bread winner. The very lives of the family members depend upon that person.
Perhaps no other concept in the affairs of humankind is as important a role as that of cooking food. Cooking removes the danger of eating pathogenic microorganisms mixed with foods. Cooking kills the parasites found in animal meats so that humans do not get the parasites themselves. Cooking renders otherwise inedible plant materials into the stuff of life.
Microwave ovens are handy, fast and convenient. They are also very good at removing some substances of nutrient value from the foods (mostly anti-oxidents, some vitamines) and creating other substances that are known to cause sleep issues. You need to satisfy your own self as to whether using a Microwave oven is right for you.
The cookware that you use is of considerable importance. The best cookware is that which is not made from any type of metal. This includes glass and ceramics only! Stainless steel is the best metal to use as is titanium. Never use cast iron for anything as food acids readily dissolve the iron and passes it into the foods. Aluminum is also not good as it readily dissolves in acidic foods as well. Never, ever use any type of plastic for cooking. There are only 3 types of plastic that are safe for using with foods. Otherwise, the plasticisers will leach into the foods. Plasticisers have all been found to be carcer causing compounds.
Polycarbonate, polyethylene and polypropylene are the only 3 safe plastics to use in conjunction with foods and consummed liquids. These are used mostly for storage purposes only. Do not use any plastic for heating foods in a microwave oven, period! Try leaving a PETE plastic bottle with water in it for a while in a vehicle parked in the sunshine and then taste the water in the container after words. You will be readily able to taste the plasticizer that has leeched out of the plastic into the water!
In regard to cooking implements, use items made from hardwood or bamboo and silicone rubber exclusively. Metal implements will scrape metal cookware, especially if the cookware is hot, and expose new metal surfaces to any leeching effects. Do not add salt (Sodium Chloride) to foods cooking in metal cookware as it will react with the metal to release metal chloride compounds into the cooking food. Plastic implements will leech plasticisers into the food, especially when the foods are hot.
It has been found that cooking slowly at low temperatures is best for the prevention of deleterious compounds that are produced at higher cooking temperatures. Go to this website for excellent advise concerning cooking methods: How Cooking Affects the Nutrient Content of Foods (healthline.com) (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cooking-nutrient-content). All of the information there is excellent.Part five – hints and tips
For those people that have issues with Psoriatic Arthritis and Plaque Psoriasis, there seems to be a direct connection to eating vegetables from the Family Solanaceae and the onset of their signs and symptoms. These vegetables include: Tomatoes, Potatoes, Tomatillos, Bell Peppers, all manner of Chili Peppers, and Egg Plants. If you like scrambled eggs, look for a 1 quart sized spare drip coffee carafe and remove the lid. After cleaning the carafe, crack your eggs into the carafe, whisk, add other ingredients, stir and when ready, pour into your cooking container - no fuss, no muss and easy to clean!
It must be obvious by now that I am a firm believer of cooking at home instead of eating out. You do not know the quality of the products gathered together to prepare your meal nor how it was prepared and cooked. Many restaurant chains cook meals elsewhere, package them, ship them and hold them in a freezer or refrigerator until warmed up and then presented to you. That is why you are not able to make any substitutions. At home, I use staples and fresh ingredients instead of any processed foods. Do not use any processed meats, use meat in the natural state only. The Subway chain motto of “Eat Fresh” is total malarkey! All the meats are processed foods. I know that finding the time for doing things around the house is sometimes daunting. But please prepare foods to feed your families with care, love and enthusiasm!
Ginger is an ancient Chinese seasickness or motion sickness remedy and it really does work. A thumb sized chunk of Ginger, ground up and placed into water brought to just before a boil, steeped for a few minutes and allowed to cool, makes a soothing tea for a queasy stomach. It might even work for morning sickness, give it a try if in the need.
If you like to make pancakes, this tip is for you. I often find that there is some residue after I remove a pancake from the pan. This tends to cause the next pour and pancake to stick and not to be able to slide in the coconut oil. I found that I could take a piece of paper towel, place it in the pan, with my wooden spatula to stir it into the oil and then use it to scrub the offending areas. The residue comes off and I add a little more oil and as the Brits say – Bob's Your Uncle! All is ready for the next pour.
As our ancestors were foragers and Hunter-Gatherers, before pastoralization and agriculture, scarcity was the norm. One ate well during the days of relative plenty in the late summer and into the fall. After that, it was short rations. Also, meals tended to be more of what might be referred to as small snacks. Exercise was a given as one needed to be mobile in order to obtain your food. Thus, fasting during the lean months was the norm. But nature has a way. A human being can go without food for 270 days, the same time for complete gestation and parturition. You may be depleted in certain vitamins such as Vitamin C but still alive till the 270th day or so. For example, your liver can store enough Vitamin A for 2 years of need. The obesity that we see today that is so pervasive is due to the relative abundance of food available today. People overeat, it is that simple. When added to the processed foods available today it is no wonder that there is a problem. Instead of eating 2-3 large meals a day, try eating 5-6 snacks spread throughout the day and early night. You might also be able to note the effects of the foods that you do eat. Do they make you sleepy, do they cause brain fog, do they cause mood swings? All of these clues are your body telling you that you are NOT eating properly!!
My sincere desire is that you discover the ideal cooking and eating style that is right for your body and is not just what you want it to be or what is supposedly in style by those wanting to influence your choices. Make your own choices!! Discover your unique beingness!!
Copyright: © 2021 Edward F Block. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.