Wednesday, July 29, 2009

White Foods; Not So Pure

White Foods

September 2009
Chef Wendell

Deeply rooted in cultural tradition, our daunting eating journey embarks early in life. Americans eat a dangerously unbalanced diet high in processed foods saturated in white sugar, salt, fat and low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, but plum full of 'white' stuff; substances harmful to our innards.

Growing up, life revolved around parishioners, choir practice and gluttonously delightful pitch-ins. A bustling battalion of Aunt Bea's scurried about, setting tables, preparing vats of coffee and cream while lace-topped buffet tables grumbled from the mass of multiple versions of white foods such as gravy, mac’ and cheese, stuffing, potato salad, mashed potatoes, Ambrosia, white bread, tuna and green bean casserole and desserts festooned with dollops of Cool Whip and butter cream icing. It’s too soon to digress, but somehow I missed out on the cosmic okey-dokey regarding the peccadillo of gluttony.

White, powdery MSG, Aspartame, Splenda, Sweet and Low, tallow, shortening, white chocolate, hot dog and hamburger buns, marshmallows, ice cream, protein powders, full-fat sour cream and cream cheese, candied yogurts, full- cheese, mayonnaise, tartar sauce, chipped beef gravy, Ranch Dressing and Alfredo Sauce fall into this pallid category.
Recently I watched a podgy 'man o’ the cloth' blissfully pleasing himself with a Grand Slam containing ham, bacon and sausage, fluffy biscuits and sausage gravy, fried eggs, pancakes, accompanied with an extra side of hash-browns asphyxiated in more unctuous pan gravy. Every year the average American’s digestive tract processes over 50 pounds of white marbled meats, hamburger and fat-trim into their temples even as authorities caution a diet heavy with meat diet causes colon and breast cancer, clogged arteries, Crohn’s, ulcerated colitis, obesity, gout, arthritis, adult onset diabetes and B.O.. He was dancing the polka on his holy temple
Of course no one can totally outmaneuver the ingredients in restaurant, processed and packaged ‘white’ food unless you meticulously read ingredient labels or interrogate your perky server. If you can’t identify the alien ingredients, look them up on the net. Product and menu labeling can be misleading. To be forwarded is to be forearmed.

Bless Uncle Ben’s heart. His good intentions went awry. The bran and germ his process removed are super sources of nutrients and fiber. White rice, AKA glucose, lacks even the fundamental nutrients even after 'synthetic enrichment.' No, this doesn’t mean completely avoiding white rice; opt for long grain basmati. Add some wheat germ, oat bran or ground flax seed.
As society reaches for another fizzy beverage from a vending machine, they may not be conscious the fructose portion of refined sugar is a building block for cholesterol, obesity and Metabolic Syndrome. A small amount of glucose which feeds hungry human cells is compulsory. Regrettably, cancer cells dig it too. Did you know just 10 teaspoons, the amount of addictive sugar in one soft drink, debilitates the immune system by 33%? Thirty teaspoons shut it down for an entire day, so it’s time to dose down in view of the looming, grey storm clouds of H1N1 suspended on the horizon.

Alternatively speaking, try Stevia, (Sweet Leaf Brand) Sucanat (sugar cane natural), Agave nectar, raw locally produced honey, real maple or brown rice syrup. Sucralose, Splenda, Truvia, Sweet and Low, maltitol, xylitol, and sorbitol are marginally unhealthy. There are voluminous studies indicting aspartame should not be on this planet. And, if you’ve had the unfortunate experience of eating too much alcohol sugar, you’re privy to the subsequent flatulence fiesta.
Man’s the only species on earth that drinks pure, white milk from another species. The Harvard Nurses' Health Study and an Australian study have found no protective effect of daily bovine milk calcium on bone loss. It’s more natural and effective to increase the intake of fruits and dark-green veggies, exercising and insuring adequate calcium intake from plant foods such as green leafy vegetables and beans, as well as calcium fortified cereals and juices. Consult a holistic professional regarding supplementation of a calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D-3 combo. Any health food store has one on staff.

White salt freaks the heart and lungs. Its excess amplifies risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, diabetes, cataracts, brittle bones, asthma, dementia and untimely death. The American Heart Association says one teaspoon is safe. Americans consume three to five times what they need, making it transparent why we get ill.
AP white flour contains aluminum chloride, azocarbonamides (antifogging), benzoyl peroxide, calcium propionate, calcium sulfate, chlorine, nitrogen dioxide, potassium bromate, and isodate. The FDA allows coal-tar-derived vitamins to enrich the devitalized grain. It’s curious the enrichment of white flour and white bread was proclaimed ‘safe’ with little direct research.
My gentle admonition is not to focus solely on white flour, white rice, dairy, sugar, salt, cream and potatoes, but the constellation of ‘edible food-like’ goodies prepared with them. Deferring disease, feeling young, vibrant with a fully functioning mojo are the most meaningful actions for the holy temple. Avoiding the funky white stuff is effective towards nurturing your family’s wellbeing.
Don’t cave in at the next Sunday-go-to-meetin’ food-orgy. The physiological and spiritual payoff is truly worth the effort and exhibits respect towards our Creator.