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"Processed vegetable oil is no better – coming from industrial crops raised in fossil fuel-intensive operations and refined to the extent that they are not the least bit nutritious, in fact only empty, very costly calories with a narrow range of dietary fats that can throw your body’s balance of fats out of whack. Pork fat, on the other hand, contains a wide range of dietary fats and your body knows exactly what to do with them – something that can actually lead you to feeling full and satiated, more quickly than if you eat a less balanced dietary fat, which still leaves you hungry for the fats you did not get yet your body needs. This is a major problem with vegetable oil. You can eat a pound of French fries cooked in soybean oil and you’ve eaten a bunch of Omega 6 fats, so your body starts screaming for Omega 3′s and 9′s. Guess what? You’re still hungry! Lard will satisfy your body’s call for dietary fat. Of course if we’re going to utilize lard, we need to save the old lard hogs."

I had to take a doubletake to figure out what I was reading. I've been following a lot of natural food blogs for years that talk about the alarming dominance of vegetable oil in our diets, but I also follow a lot of restaurant industry and other food blogs. It makes me a little sad when I see chefs that are otherwise committed to whole foods like Thomas Keller pouring from a bottle of highly processed vegetable oil. So I was delighted to see that I was indeed reading a blog post by local Chicago chef Paul Fehribach of Big Jones which also does a fantastic job of showcasing traditional Southern foods– not Paula-deen esque junk, but the stuff you find in very old cookbooks or from those who have committed to the spirit of real food like Edna Lewis. Paul with his views on vegetable oil joins such excellent and I hope growing company from Thomas Rode in Denmark to Jacques Gautier of Palo Santo in NYC.
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"Traces of human blood proteins have also been found in cooking pots and in ancient human excrement. Cannibalism may have been so common in prehistory as to have affected our evolution: our genomes contain genes that appear to be defenses against the prion diseases transmitted by cannibalism."- Steven Pinker, Better Angels of Our Nature
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"If fruit was the food of choice at the beginning of the hominid odyssey, alcoholic beverages were probably not far behind. Especially in warm tropical climates, as the fruit matured, it would have fermented on the tree, bush, and vine. Fruits with broken skins, oozing liquid, would have been attacked by yeast and the sugars converted into alcohol. Such a fruit slurry can reach an alcohol content of 5 percent or more."- Biomolecular Archaeologist Patrick E. McGovern in Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages
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"There has been a rapid increase in demand for coconut water in the USA, Europe, and other large markets (http://arnoldonethicalmarketing.brandrepublic.com/2012/06/11/coconut-water-the-next-big-trend-and-billion-dollar-market-in-soft-drinks/). This is partly in response to claims that it has high potassium content but low levels of fat, carbohydrate, and sodium (http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2010/07/coconut-water-sports-drinks). In 2010, commercially packaged coconut water was mostly sold in Asia, with a few brands available in specialised food outlets in the UK and USA. By 2012, over 20 coconut water brands had emerged in the UK and the product was stocked in mainstream supermarkets. In the USA, major beverage producers, such as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, either purchased or bought shares in smaller companies based in coconut-producing countries. Exports from coconut-growing areas across the world have increased by hundreds of per cent since 2010, with the Philippines reporting a 300% increase in exports in the first quarter of 2012 (http://www.pca.da.gov.ph/pr063012a.php). The area of cultivated coconut Cocos nucifera may increase to meet this growing demand, driving land-use change and potentially affecting ecosystems in some areas. A recent study on an uninhabited Pacific island found much lower seabird abundance in areas with coconut palm, relative to areas dominated by native tree species [34], and consequently lower nutrient additions to local soils. However, to examine the effects of the potential land-use change, the environmental impacts of coconut cultivation would need to be compared to those of other crops, as well as native vegetation, in appropriate localities."
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Kindle version of "Beyond Nose to Tail: More Omnivorous Recipes for the Adventurous Cook" is only $2.51
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bought it. Thanks for the link!!!
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"Until Columbus, Indians were a keystone species in most of the hemisphere. Annually burning undergrowth, clearing and replanting forests, building canals and raising fields, hunting bison and netting salmon, growing maize, manioc, and the Eastern Agricultural Complex, Native Americans had been managing their environment for thousands of years. As Cahokia shows, they made mistakes. But by and large they modified their landscapes in stable, supple, resilient ways. Some milpa areas have been farmed for thousands of years—time in which farmers in Mesopotamia and North Africa and parts of India ruined their land. Even the wholesale transformation seen in places like Peru, where irrigated terraces cover huge areas, were exceptionally well done. But all of these efforts required close, continual oversight. In the sixteenth century, epidemics removed the boss." - Charles C. Mann in 1491 (Second Edition): New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus 
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"The idea that eating is primarily a conscious and voluntary behavior is deeply rooted in our culture. We humans are invested in the notion that we have free will in all things. We want to believe that weight can be controlled by volition alone. Why can’t that fat guy just eat less and exercise more? He just lacks willpower, right? Not at all. Our homeostatic feeding control circuits make it very hard to lose a lot of weight and keep it off. As weight drops, fat mass decreases and leptin levels decline, triggering the biochemical cascade we just explored, producing signals that both reduce metabolic rate and produce a strong subconscious drive to eat. The more weight that is lost, the stronger the drive to eat will be and the greater the reduction in energy use. This is the sad but unavoidable truth that the multibillion-dollar-a-year diet industry doesn’t want you to know."- David J. Linden in The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good
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"So back in the food store, are supplements that are primarily made from combinations of isolated chemicals really the key to enriching our lives? Can they truly correct the deficit that is making us feel tired, unfocused, sad, empty? After observing the growth in this market over the last twenty years, we might be tempted to answer, “Maybe, but only until the next thing comes along.”" - The Wild Medicine Solution: Healing with Aromatic, Bitter, and Tonic Plants by Guido Masé
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Since I post a lot about bad food laws, people sometimes think I'm against all food laws, but the Wisconsin butter law is an interesting matter. It makes butter the default in restaurants and doesn't allow them to serve margarine as butter without people asking for it. This makes sense to me. A lot of restaurants serve what looks like butter and it's actually margarine, which I think is borderline fraudulent. I've been to a few restaurants where I asked for butter and they didn't even have any. 
MCCLATCHY NEWS SERVICE. MILWAUKEE — Eleven Wisconsin Republican state legislators and a Democrat have decided a decades-old state law has spread itself too thin. So they're co-sponsoring a bill to rep...
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It's funny because WI is so draconian about other laws, I guess they just enforce whatever the political zeitgist feels like http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/wisconsin-judge-rules-no-right-to-own-a-cow-or-drink-its-milk/
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