Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kale for breakfast?
If we are going to eat 9 cups of vegetables and fruits in a day, we are going to have to get started early. But do we really want kale for breakfast? Yes, we do. If it is in a frittata, it is very tasty and breakfast-y. You could use saved over kale and broccoli from the night before, but it does not take long to cook it from scratch in the morning.

Here’s the recipe:

Kale Broccoli Frittata                                       Serves 2

1T organic fat  (olive oil, butter, or rendered from bacon, pork, chicken)
2T chopped onion
4 cups kale, freshly washed and wet, torn in bite sized pieces
1 cup chopped broccoli
2 organic eggs, preferably pasture raised, lightly beaten
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Ground allspice
2 oz grated organic sharp cheddar cheese, or cheese of your choice.

Heat an 8” skillet over medium heat until it feels quite warm when you hold your hand 2” over the surface. Preheat broiler. Add fat and swirl to coat pan. Add onions and sauté until transparent.  Add fresh kale and broccoli. Cover pan to allow vegetables to steam for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and grate the cheese. 
Pour eggs evenly over vegetables, and sprinkle with seasonings. Sprinkle cheese evenly over all. Allow the eggs to cook for 3 minutes.  Place under broiler until cheese melts and browns to a light golden color.

Try this recipe. It might be one of your new favorite breakfast / brunch dishes. And your body will thank you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An old, old adage truer today than ever: “You are what you eat”.

As Dr. Terry Wahls M.D. points out her first class of a 2 part series called “Food as Medicine”, you are not just you, but also the billions of microbes that live on all of your internal and external surfaces. So, your billions +1 community of self, are collectively what you choose to eat. Makes you feel powerful, doesn’t it. Your choices impact billions of lives.

It also points out again that fighting microbes is the wrong approach. Of course, we must be careful of cleanliness, but our goal must never be “zero tolerance” for microbes. The goal must be healthy balance. Keep your friendly microbes happy, and the unfriendly ones will not have much chance to give you trouble.

But, we do have troubles of many kinds. For Americans, cancer, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, autoimmune diseases like Lupus and Fibromyalgia, Bipolar Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis, Crone’s Disease, ADD and ADHD, Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome seem to be on the upswing. Why? Dr. Wahls confirmed last night what I have been suspecting for quite a while. We are starving ourselves. Oh sure, our bellies are full. We eat plenty of carbs, fat, and protein. We may even take all of the RDA of vitamins and minerals, but there is for many of us that “x” factor, the little known and vitally important micro-nutrients of which our American diet is devoid.

So, if we are what we eat, we are mainly corn fed cattle. We follow the herd and blindly eat whatever the American commercial food industry throws into our trough. We drive thru, or if we grocery shop, we buy foods of which most contain corn components; corn fed meat, poultry and fish, fats, sweeteners, and/or starches derived from corn. We eat what is convenient. We are impressed when they engineer the food to be sugar free, fat free, shelf stable, microwavable, etc. If it has enough salt and fat, we think it tastes good. We are very fond of sweet and salty, not so fond of sour and bitter. We especially want our food to be sterile, so packaging has become important to us. Colorful boxes show tasty looking foods ready in a few seconds!

Yes, we are what we eat, and we are beginning to see the terrible price for our bad habits. With steady increases in the above mentioned diseases and disorders, and the huge increase in health care costs, it is high time we pay attention to what is going on and educate ourselves about nutrition. Now is the time for us to get serious about who we are and what we eat.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Researchers at Penn State found that porpoises fed a diet of gull hatchlings lived for a very long time. As a matter of fact, the porpoises showed no signs of aging, and in the ten years of the project, none had died. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find enough gull hatchlings to feed porpoises, and the school had to travel further and further to get them. One particular day, the two grad students who drove to get the food had trouble with the truck and were delayed getting the hatchlings back. They were running late for the afternoon feeding, and nearing the campus when they ran out of gas just on the far side of the football practice field. They just grabbed the crates of squawking hatchlings and took off across the field, dodging football players as they went. Just as they reached the far side of the field they were arrested. They protested loudly and demanded to know what the charges were. And they got their answer:

“taking young gulls across State Lions for immortal porpoises”

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pioneer Forest, A fascinating concept in sustainable forestry

Pick up a Missouri road map and look at the southern half. Land south of the Missouri river is hilly and forested. There are extensive tracts of land in the Mark Twain National Forest. Some of the most vigorous forest is not in these tracts. South of Salem stands the 160,000 acre Pioneer Forest. Pioneer Forest is a for profit business. Privately owned until 2004 by Leo Drey, this forest is a unique and special place representing Leo’s inspired vision for sustainable uneven aged forestry.

Southern Missouri forests were heavily logged in the early part of the 20th century. Some of Pioneer Forest had little quality timber standing at the time it was purchased. The vision that guided Drey was to harvest trees from the forest in a way that would leave the forest in better condition over time. To this end they do not harvest the prime trees, but trees that show signs of damage or stress. Only 12 – 15 trees of the 32 larger trees per acre are harvested. Trees smaller than 9” in diameter are rarely harvested. A tract of land may be harvested every 16 to 20 years. Through selective harvesting such as this, it takes 200 years to replace the canopy in any area of the forest. See: for more information

Slow canopy replacement allows for gradual adaptation of the forest dwellers, both plant and animal. Environmental impact is minimal. No replanting is done after a harvest as nature provides the means for this. No chemicals are used for brush/pest control. Clear cutting is occasionally used in very small areas to control infestations of wood borer insects. Areas clear-cut to date amount to less than 1% of the acreage. This is rarely necessary as general forestry practices employed in Pioneer Forest provide for a vigorous and healthy forest which has its own defenses against disease and infestation.

The owners of the forest benefit from profits generated by an increasing supply and quality of wood, increasing demand, increasing market price, and low overhead from lack of replanting and low maintenance costs.

In the 53 years of its existence, most of Pioneer Forest has been logged twice, much has been logged three times, and certain portions have been logged four times. Harvested wood is sold to saw mills or is sold as firewood and for Missouri’s charcoal manufacturing industry. Actual logging is done by subcontractors. Most of the loggers are second and third generation since the forest began. Long term relationships have provided a development of understanding as to the expectations of Pioneer Forest personnel. Pioneer Forest employs a Forest Manager as well as a staff of foresters who do research, monitor health of the forest, and select trees for the annual timber sales.

As a visionary, Leo Drey recognized the intrinsic value of some of the lands he purchased. Some were old growth virgin stands which he set aside and does not log. Many springs, mills, creeks and waterways of significant tourist value are found within the forest. Many of these are leased to Missouri DNR and are managed as state parks, historic sites and natural areas. Drey operates these philanthropic activities through the LAD Foundation. In 2004 Drey deeded the entire Pioneer Forest over to LAD Foundation for management in perpetuity.

Long live Pioneer Forest.

Saturday, March 10, 2007