As it turns out, starting a new job takes a lot of energy out of a person. I have so much I want to share with you but I need to condense it all into one marathon post here tonight. So without further ado, I think I’ll start with two books I’ve just [sorta] finished:
How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health
by Marion Nestle
I started this book, but just didn’t finish it. It was interesting, but much of the information is similar to information on the author’s blog. In many ways, this information is well-suited to a blog because she can point to what the government, the USDA, and food corporations are doing RIGHT NOW to influence nutrition and health. I highly recommend the blog, and I recommend the book if you’re really interested in policy, politics, and getting really depressed about the effects of lobbying on America’s government.
Recipes, history and lore
by Jennifer McLagan
The pictures in this book would have completely done in the vegetarian Jennifer of yesteryear. I found them highly entertaining, now. Most of these recipes look really amazing. But the amount of effort involved for many of them is a little more than I or even SuperDad Adam can really handle. First of all, they involve going to a butcher and ordering special cuts of meat that have — guess what? — bones in them. Big bones. Little bones. BONES BONES BONES. As it turns out, cooking meat on the bone imparts extra flavor and nutrition into the meat. Good stuff all around. I copied down a couple of the recipes in here that I hope to get around to trying: Millennium Rib Roast (if I can find a 4-rib standing rib roast), Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic (really!), and Grilled Quail with Sage Butter (this one makes me feel a bit squeamish because it calls for breaking each bird’s breastbone, yet it looks really delicious). I think I’ll leave the pigs’ feet recipe alone for now, thanks.
Moving on, I have been linking to the Cornucopia Institute just about every week, haven’t I? I am so glad that I added them to my RSS reader. Today they released a report about manure digesters on factory dairy farms, written by a Wisconsin dairy farmer, that includes this gem:
Numerous studies by Tom Kriegl of the UW Center for Dairy Profitability have shown that the most efficient dairy operations have less than 100 cows, mostly outside and eating grass — yet, such a family farm is not large enough to qualify for taxpayer support and does not create enough manure to require a methane digester.
As long as my tax dollars and those of other organic sustainable farmers are being used to bankroll schemes that just increase pollution for more corporate profit, there will be no economic recovery. Indigenous communities developed “earth-friendly” farming methods that kept our planet healthy for thousands of years. Many of these practices are being incorporated into family farming today. In fact, a recent 2008 study by 400 scientists for the United Nations International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development concluded that small-scale organic agriculture is not only the best means to feed the world, but also the best response to climate change.
On the homefront, I am closing in on a 100% whole wheat, Nourishing Traditions-friendly version of my easy, no-knead bread recipe. Should be able to post it this weekend or early next week.
Finally, I am also picking up two new books at the library tomorrow and will attempt to actually read both of them in their entirety! They are:
Deeply rooted: unconventional farmers in the age of agribusiness by Lisa M. Hamilton and Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, the latest by local foods movement hero Michael Pollan. His Omnivore’s Dilemma, and especially, In Defense of Food, really impacted my life and so I am looking forward to this one especially.
OK that’s all I’ve got for tonight. Sorry for the randomness…