Whole foods


chickeneggBY JULIA BROWN • Fresno Farmers Market • October 15, 2009

This is an age-old question that might never be answered. Although vendors at the Fresno Farmers’ Market may not have the answer to this question or why the chicken crossed the road, but we sure do have a supply of fresh brown eggs.

Eggs have been consumed by humans since the beginning of time, before recorded history: Ostrich, quail, duck, goose, even turtle eggs and the more popular chicken egg that most of us eat today. In ancient Rome, the egg shell was crushed on the plate before eating to prevent evil spirits from hiding in the egg.

Eggs contain and provide several vitamins and minerals and are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D along with vitamins A, B6 and B12, iron, protein, potassium, calcium, folic acid and the list goes on.

One large egg has only 75 calories and half of those are in the yolk, while the egg white contains no cholesterol and little if any fat. The color of the egg shell is caused by pigment deposits as the egg is forming. Generally, chicken breeds with white ears lay white eggs and chickens with red ears lay brown eggs. However, there is no evidence of nutritional difference between the two.

White eggs are thought to be more mass and industrially produced, while most prefer fresh-from-the-farm brown eggs.

So whether you like yours pickled, deviled or sunny side up, the goodness of a fresh brown egg can’t be compared. Come, make the drive out to the country and let the venders at the Fresno Market supply all of your farm market needs.

Homemade bread and noodles, pies, cakes and cookies, fresh Amish butter and yogurt, locally grown fresh produce, flowers and herbs, jams and jellies, home decor items like birdhouses, hand poured soy candles, hand loomed rugs, pillows, floral wreaths and the list keeps going. Make the trip to the Fresno Market and stock up your pantry shelves with homemade goodness, your family will be glad you did and so will your wallet.

We all look forward to seeing you soon. And like always the coffee will be ready and waiting for you and it is always free.

The Fresno Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday in May to November at the Old Fresno Schoolhouse, rain or shine. For more information, call (740) 545-0849.

Iceberg lettuce i stock   500Leafy Greens, Eggs, and Tuna Are Among Foods Mostly Like to Cause Food-borne Illness

By Todd Zwillich
WebMD Health News

Oct. 6, 2009 — Here’s a surprise: Some of the healthiest foods may also be the most likely to cause food-borne illness.

That’s the conclusion in a report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The report shows leafy greens, sprouts, and berries are among the most prone to carry infections or toxins.

“We don’t recommend that consumers change their eating habits,” says Caroline Smith DeWaal, the CSPI’s head of food safety programs. Instead, the group is trying to point out vulnerabilities in the nation’s food safety system as it lobbies Congress to beef up enforcement.

The group analyzed CDC data on food illness outbreaks dating back to 1990. They found that leafy greens were involved in 363 outbreaks and about 13,600 illnesses, mostly caused by norovirus, E. coli, and salmonella bacteria.

The rest of the top 10 list included:

  • Eggs, involved in 352 outbreaks and 11,163 reported cases of illness.
  • Tuna, involved in 268 outbreaks and 2,341 reported cases of illness.
  • Oysters, involved in 132 outbreaks and 3,409 reported cases of illness.
  • Potatoes, involved in 108 outbreaks and 3,659 reported cases of illness.
  • Cheese, involved in 83 outbreaks and 2,761 reported cases of illness.
  • Ice cream, involved in 74 outbreaks and 2,594 reported cases of illness.
  • Tomatoes, involved in 31 outbreaks and 3,292 reported cases of illness.
  • Sprouts, involved in 31 outbreaks and 2,022 reported cases of illness.
  • Berries, involved in 25 outbreaks and 3,397 reported cases of illness.

It is unclear how many of the outbreaks can be blamed on the foods themselves. The CDC’s database can’t discriminate between outbreaks caused by tomatoes, for example, vs. those caused by other ingredients in a salad. Foods like potatoes are almost always consumed cooked, so it is unlikely that potatoes themselves caused 108 outbreaks.

Still, Smith DeWaal called the list “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to food-borne illnesses in the U.S. Not all outbreaks are reported to public health authorities. In addition, the analysis focused only on foods regulated by the FDA; that leaves out beef, pork, poultry, and some egg products, which are policed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Consumers always want to know what they should do to avoid getting sick,” says Sarah Klein, lead author of the report. She recommends “defensive eating,” including keeping food cold and cooking it thoroughly, chilling oysters and avoiding them when raw, and avoiding raw eggs or using them in homemade ice cream.

Several bills that are circulating in Congress aim to crack down on food safety by requiring all food producers to keep written safety plans and giving the FDA more power to inspect plans and enforce rules.

“In a relative scale our food supply remains quite safe,” says Craig Hedberg, a professor of environmental and occupational health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. The CDC says 76 million Americans get sick from food-borne illnesses each year.

“Because most people don’t experience a bad outcome from a lapse in good behavior it’s difficult to enforce,” he says.

© 2009 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget |  October 2, 2009

The copy advertising new Cherry 7-Up Antioxidant says, “There’s never been a more delicious way to cherry pick your antioxidant.”

That’s antioxidant, singular.

C7UPAOX_bottle

The drink’s Web site calls the product a “healthy boost” whose “splash of antioxidant” will “help you through your day.”

The antioxidant at hand is Vitamin E, of which an 8-ounce serving of Cherry 7-Up provides 10 percent of the Daily Value. Like other antioxidants, Vitamin E is thought to help protect against heart disease and cancer by interfering with the activity of unfettered oxygen particles — free radicals — that roam your body, causing inflammation and other damage.

But not all Vitamin E is created equal. Studies have shown that Vitamin E in supplement form (as in this 7-Up; more on that in a moment) doesn’t offer protection against cardiovascular disease or cancer; one study in 2004 even showed that very high doses of Vitamin E supplements increased risk of death, though only by a tiny bit. And more recent research suggests that taking Vitamin E supplements may diminish the benefits of exercise.

So it’s generally recommended that we get the 20-odd daily milligrams (the Daily Value is 30 International Units) of Vitamin E we need from such food sources as almonds, wheat germ and leafy greens.

None of which are to be found in Cherry 7-Up Antioxidant. The product, though it is said to be naturally flavored, contains no juice, according to its label. And the ingredient list includes Vitamin E acetate, a man-made supplement.

It’s hard to figure why its makers cherry-picked Vitamin E — and why they didn’t toss in other popular antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A while they were at it. At least then they could have touted antioxidants, plural.

In any case, whether you buy it sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or the artificial sweetener Splenda, 7-Up has no nutritional value. But I have to wonder whether adding the antioxidant is a move intended to sidestep a soda tax, should one materialize. Would highly sweetened sodas be exempt from such a tax if their makers could argue that because they contain an antioxidant, they were a source of nutrition and not just another cause of obesity?

Food for thought.

swansonAcai – an Overnight Sensation for Younger Skin and Better Health

Up until “The Perricone Promise” was published in 2003, most people in America had never heard of acai. But when anti-aging guru Dr. Nicholas Perricone named this fruit to his list of top ten superfoods for gorgeous skin, acai’s unknown status changed overnight. All of a sudden everyone wanted to try this mystery food, even though most of us couldn’t even pronounce it.

Acai (ah-sigh-EE) is a berry that grows on a palm tree in the Amazon rain forest. The most exciting feature about acai is its deep purple color, which immediately signals antioxidant potential. A fascinating fact of nature is that the brilliant colors of foods are not only appealing to the eye, but they’re also a potent source of cellular protection, as the pigments are the actual antioxidant compounds of a fruit or vegetable. Acai doesn’t disappoint, for it’s literally bursting with anthocyanins and other antioxidant compounds.

According to the antioxidant theory of aging, unstable molecules in our body damage healthy tissues and this is what causes our bodies to eventually break down. Antioxidants neutralize rogue molecules (called free radicals), helping to keep us healthy on a cellular level. Naturally, then, acai offers an important contribution to anyone seeking youthful looks and vitality. The health benefits don’t stop with its antioxidant profile, either! The acai berry is one of the few fruits that contain essential fatty acids, which help keep the skin smooth and the heart healthy.  Acai is not readily available at your local grocery store; however Swanson Health Products offers an extract of this super fruit in capsule and softgels, as well as acai juice.

probiotics-and-the-digestive-systemBy Janice Norris/ Health is Wealth -Heber Springs, Ark. – September 26, 2009

Bacteria has a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of actually taking a few billion a day, in the form of supplements, may seem hard to accept. However there is a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests you can treat and, even prevent illnesses, with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria, called probiotics. The normal, healthy intestinal tract contains an estimated 100 trillion microorganisms (bacteria). Most of these tiny colonies of life actually protect us from invading harmful germs. When the good bacteria are destroyed, the body is left open for harmful bacteria to take over resulting in many forms of illness. This can happen for several reasons but the most common is the use of medications called antibiotics in the treatment of infections.

FOR FULL STORY, GO TO:

http://www.thesuntimes.com/opinions/columnists/x2024001175/Become-proactive-with-probiotics

raisinsWritten by Jessica Smith
Saturday, 26 September 2009

It may sound silly the first time you hear it. Eating gin-soaked raisins for arthritis is often touted by its faithful as a natural “cure” or an effective folk remedy for arthritis pain.

The consumption of homemade gin-soaked raisins has become a popular folk remedy for arthritis, destined to take its place among other unproven arthritis folk remedies such as copper bracelets, bee stings, certo fruit pectin and magnets.

When most hear of this practice, their response tends to be something like “are you serious?”. Some are serious and swear that the gin and raisins remedy helps relieve their arthritis pain.

Gin-Soaked Raisins for Arthritis: What is the Recipe?

Although there are several versions and variations of the gin-soaked raisin remedy, the general recipe seems to go something like this:

– take a box of golden raisins. (note: they must be the golden variety, sometimes called white raisins, not ordinary black raisins).
– place the raisins in a shallow container.
– cover the raisins with gin.
– let the raisins soak in the gin for a few weeks until the gin evaporates.
– you then eat nine of these drunken raisins a day to help your arthritis. (note: nine a day is the number you see most often, but you’ll find many variations of the number).

Gin-Soaked Raisins for Arthritis: What is the Background?

Where and when did this remedy start? Since this is a folk remedy, it’s hard to say just when and where it got its start. Purportedly the remedy got its first real boost in the 1990’s when radio icon Paul Harvey mentioned the remedy during one of his popular broadcasts.

After the remedy got press, it made its way into media outlets across the country. Several versions of the recipe, including many convincing testimonials on its effectiveness, have now been included in several books about home and folk remedies.

More recently, according to a report in the New York Daily News, on the 2004 presidential campaign trail, Teresa Heinz Kerry (wife of democratic presidential candidate John Kerry) ended a Nevada visit to discuss health care with a discussion on what she called “a highly effective” remedy for arthritis that drew laughter and some skepticism from the audience. She was reported to have said, “You get some gin and get some white raisins – and only white raisins – and soak them in the gin for two weeks. Then eat nine of the raisins a day.” Needless to say, the political bloggers had a heyday with her comments, which only added to her quirky image.

Gin-Soaked Raisins for Arthritis: Does it really work?

– To date, there have been no placebo-controlled double-blind studies to prove the efficacy of the remedy. However, many “theories” do exist as to why this remedy might have some value. Some think it’s the sulfur or sulphides used in the process of making the “white” or golden raisins. However, according to the Raisin Administrative Committee, “In much of the world, including the USA, the golden raisin is also referred to as a “bleached raisin.” This is an incorrect term, as the dark raisin is not bleached. Rather, the enzymatic browning that normally occurs in a fresh grape is slowed down by treatment of sulfur dioxide gas. The raisin is preserved in a glimmering golden color. In the USA we call this a “golden” raisin.”
– Some think it’s the juniper berries used in gin. According to Barry Lazar from montrealfood.com, “The flavour of gin comes from juniper berries. These come from conifer plants, evergreens common in Europe and North America. New berries appear in the fall and can take two or three years to ripen. They are rich in vitamin C and terpenes, the essential oil which, in large quantities is manufactured into turpentine. During the Middle Ages the berries were kept in nosegays to help block the scent of the plague. For centuries, medicinal usage favoured using them in anti-inflammatory prescriptions.”

– Some think it’s the raisins. As stated in the Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook on Mother Nature.com, “If you benefit from gin-steeped raisins, the raisins probably do you more good than the gin. Grapes and raisins contain many pain relieving, anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory chemicals.”
– Some think it’s the placebo effect. It is known that when people believe strongly in a treatment their endorphins and natural pain mediators are enhanced. Also, arthritis characteristically has periods of flares and remissions. You may attribute feeling better to the gin and raisins when it’s truly due to a remission.
Gin-Soaked Raisins for Arthritis: The Bottom Line

Never begin any new treatment without first consulting your doctor. If you are considering this remedy, you should discuss it with your doctor. There could be negative interactions with your current treatment. As a guideline, when home remedies are considered, they should be “in addition to” rather than “instead of” current medical treatment.

MealsMatter.org Offers Delicious Ways to Keep the Flu at Bay

SOURCE:  Dairy Council of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As flu season grips
the nation with heightened awareness of hand washing and cough covering,
healthy eating is a potent prevention method getting left out in the cold.

“It’s important to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups
throughout the year, but it’s particularly significant during flu season,”
said Andrea Garen, Registered Dietitian and Project Manager with Dairy Council
of California. “Adding flu-fighting foods like yogurt, garlic, citrus and
chicken to your diet can boost your body’s immune system and help you to avoid
getting sick.”

Yogurt and other cultured milk products contain probiotics, beneficial
bacteria with immune-boosting benefits. Look for the “live active culture”
seal, which indicates that probiotics have been added. Also check milk product
labels for vitamin D. Early research suggests low levels of vitamin D may be
linked to a seasonal increase in colds and flu and a higher incidence of
respiratory infections.

FOR FULL STORY, GO TO:

http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS74499+14-Sep-2009+PRN20090914

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