Recipe: Sauerkraut, Pecorino and Ricotta Pancakes

This is brief, but I just saw this recipe (thank you, Tasting Table, you’re one of my favorite inbox distractions) for an unusual appetizer and think it looks fabulous. Look at the ingredients: sauerkraut, whole milk ricotta and pecorino. I’d switch it up a bit and use sprouted flour in place of the all-purpose (or, for those avoiding grains completely, about 1/4 cup coconut flour), but everything else is spot on in terms of Weston Price-friendly cooking and eating.

Let me know if you make it and how you like it!

Tasting Table SF: Sauerkraut, Pecorino and Ricotta Pancakes | TastingTable Recipes.

CDC tries to scare us all about (gasp) raw milk with skewed data

“What?” you say, in shock and amazement that any government agency might try to fudge the numbers to support a foregone conclusion. “Surely not! Surely, in its wisdom and scientific approach to all things related to our health and safety, surely they have our very best interests at heart.”

Dear and gentle reader, I hate to break it to you, but while there are well-meaning people in regulatory agencies, there are also those who would – shall I say it delicately – attempt to persuade us of something less than true by demonstrating something known as “bias”.

On Tuesday of this week, 21 February, the taxpayer-funded agency, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), released a report with the plain-vanilla title, “Nonpasteurized Dairy Products, Disease Outbreaks, and State Laws—United States, 1993–2006.” How it’s being trumpeted all over the news media is much sexier; a typical title (like this one from The Washington Times) reads “Feds: Fresh milk 150 times more dangerous than pasteurized dairy.” Continue reading

The food police are trying to help you – really!

So there I was this morning, mixing up a smoothie for breakfast. (Homemade kefir from Organic Pastures raw milk, nutritional yeast, a couple of egg yolks from pastured chickens, maca, fair-trade organic cocoa powder, and coconut oil. My husband walked into the kitchen, having finished his breakfast (steel-cut oats, butter, and crispy walnuts), and handed me the Health section from the Los Angeles Times. The featured article was titled “What’s Good for You,” and it’s all about the proposed changes to the nutrition information that’s thoughtfully been provided on every single food package since 1994.

The timing couldn’t have been better. I just finished listening to an excellent lecture about sugar by Robert Lustig, M.D., professor of pediatric endocrinology at UCSF.

And while the primary topic was sugar, he also discusses that ubiquitous nutritional panel – and the ways it obscures the actual nutritional content in various ways. Not to mention the politics that influenced the way the panel was created, leading to a significant amount of, well, let’s be nice and call it obfuscation.
Continue reading

Brown-bag lunches and the food police

Here’s the scenario: A mother in North Carolina packed a lunch for her pre-schooler and dropped her off at school. The mother was unaware that the turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, chips and juice would be inspected by the school to see if the lunch met USDA guidelines – mandated for all pre-kindergarten programs. Of course, she found out about the inspection when her daughter came home with the uneaten lunch and a bill for $1.25, the cost of the approved cafeteria lunch that was provided her to replace the “nutritionally unbalanced” sack lunch. Read the original article here. Continue reading

Clarence Darrow and food safety

There’s an apocryphal story about Clarence Darrow’s early career that goes something like this:

A man was on trial for biting another man’s ear off in a fight. Darrow was interviewing a witness to the incident, and asked, “Did you see the defendant bite off the plaintiff’s ear?”

“No, I didn’t,” was the reply. Darrow, a young lawyer at the time, didn’t know when to leave well enough alone – after all, he’d made the point – and went on for the dramatic finish.

“Well, then, sir, how did you draw the conclusion that the defendant committed the crime of biting off the plaintiff’s ear?”

“I saw him spit it out,” came the laconic answer, turning a slam-dunk to a rim shot.

What does this have to do with food safety? By example, rather a lot. Continue reading

Sauerkraut: the original probiotic (with recipe)

The picture here shows three kinds of sauerkraut all packed into their glass jars, ready to start their alchemical advanture. In a couple of weeks, the contents of each jar will be magically transformed from wet, salty cabbage into a crunchy condiment with complex layers of nuanced flavor – and with far more nutrients than the original vegetable had on its own.

When the Chinese were building The Great Wall, starting during the Qin dynasty (back in the 4th century), fermented cabbage was a staple food. Those workers knew a thing or two about staying healthy during the harsh winter months – who am I to argue with them? Continue reading

6 reasons not to eat breakfast cereal

“What?” I hear you cry out in shock and dismay. “But I love the crunch!” “But the one I eat is organic and whole grain!” “But it’s so easy!”

Sorry. Really, I understand. But this stuff just isn’t good for you. In fact, it’s kind of, um, really bad for you. So here’s my recommendation on how much boxed breakfast cereal to have:

Not. One. Bite.

Let’s talk about how breakfast cereal is made. Continue reading

Are all bugs bad?


I’m thinking about the inevitability of bugs. Specifically, the ones that populate us humans. And about how people seem determined to paint all bugs with one brush – the “bad bug” brush.

I got thinking about this again after reading one of a number of articles about the possibility of a man in Massachusetts having been infected with brucellosis from drinking raw milk from a local farm. Brucellosis is a disease that has not been seen pretty much anywhere for decades, so it was exceedingly odd to have a possible case show up out of nowhere. But there were several stories about it, along with the usual reminders of “you see what can happen if you drink unpasteurized milk!” (This morning the news quietly came out that it wasn’t brucellosis after all, and that the milk was clean. I say “quietly” because there was only one brief article about it in Food Poison Journal – no mention from all the other sources.)

What I thought particularly revealing about the original article, and why it inspired this post, was its title: “I’ll Take Some Bacteria With my Raw Milk.” Continue reading

Homage to meatloaf (with recipe)

Call me plebeian, but I really love a good meatloaf. (Let’s not discuss the bad ones, nobody likes those.) Juicy, savory, full of a blend of mouthwatering flavors in which none dominate but all support one another, like a good choir, the unromantically named meatloaf is good eating!

It’s also really easy to make a good one. Continue reading

Maybe it’s not the tuna, maybe it’s the HFCS (ooops, I meant “corn sugar”)

I think it’s worth taking a fresh look at the issue of mercury contaminating some of the high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) we process in this country, because it reflects on so many different threads running through our collective consciousness.

Here’s the article; it draws its content from a study by the very respectable Environmental Working Group in 2008. Their research scientists found that just about 45 percent of the foods containing HFCS that they sampled were contaminated with mercury. Continue reading