Video: Why Foie Gras Is So Expensive

At French restaurants, a single appetizer of foie gras can cost more than a main course — but why? Ducks and geese used for foie gras are expensive to raise, and animal rights activists have supply on lockdown.

Watch video at You Tube (3:25 minutes) . . . . .

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Curried Egg Pitas

Ingredients

8 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup mango chutney
2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp mild red curry paste
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup plain non-fat yogurt
4 small (6-inch) pocket-style whole-wheat pitas, halved
1 cup julienne cucumber
1 cup julienne carrots
4 cups lightly packed baby spinach, divided

Method

  1. Beat eggs. Stir in the green onion and green pepper until well combined.
  2. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Pour egg mixture into pan. Cook, without stirring, for 2 minutes or until eggs are just set.
  3. Cut each pita in half and open the pockets.
  4. Blend mango chutney, ginger powder, curry paste and pepper with yogurt, until well combined.
  5. Inside each halved pita, spread an equal amount of sauce.
  6. Divide the cucumber, carrots, spinach and egg mixture evenly between the pockets. Serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Manitoba Egg Farmers

Video: New Burgers of Lock & Key Social Drinkery in Downey, California, USA

Watch video at You Tube (3:44 minutes) . . . . .

Is Grass-Fed Beef Better For You?

Monica Reinagel wrote . . . . . . . . .

When you see meat that’s labeled “grass-fed,” it means that after these animals are weaned, they eat only grass—and whatever other green stuff they might find growing where they graze—for the rest of their lives. During the winter, when nothing much is growing in the pasture, the animals can be confined in pens and fed dried grass (hay). But during the green season, they have to be allowed to roam around freely and graze..

Is Grass-Fed Beef Better for You?

What’s the alternative? Well, virtually all cattle start out eating grass. But when they’re 6 to 12 months old, most of the cattle that are raised in the U.S. are eventually sent to feed-lots, where they eat corn and other grains for the balance of their lives. It turns out that feeding cows grain instead of grass fattens them up quickly. (The same seems to be true of people!) The end result—in the case of the cows, that is—is meat with a higher fat content, and animals that are ready for slaughter sooner.

Ironically, the term “corn-fed” used to be a good thing—signifying well-marbled, flavorful beef. How times have changed!

Is Grain Unhealthy for Cows?

Critics point out that grain is not a natural diet for cud-chewers like cows and that feeding corn to cows causes digestive problems and generally makes them sickly. (Even though humans are not cud chewers and have completely different digestive systems, there are those that argue that a grain-based diet makes us sickly as well.) Most grain-fed cattle get antibiotics mixed into the feed to help keep them healthier—which has definite downsides. (See my article, Antibiotics in Meat.)

If you’re fattening your cows on corn, you also can keep them in a feed lot where you simply fill up tubs with the grain. This allows farmers to keep lots and lots of cows in a relatively small amount of space. For grass-fed cows, you need, well, grass—and lots of it. Instead of standing around in crowded feedlots, grass-fed cows get to be out there where the antelopes roam for at least part of the year. Even though the cows have to work a little harder for their supper, a lot of people feel that the pasture lifestyle is a whole lot nicer and healthier for the cow.

Is Grass-Fed Beef Any Safer?

One of the ways that we humans defend ourselves against food-borne pathogens like E. coli is by bathing our food in stomach acid, which kills most of the bacteria. Advocates of grass-fed beef claim that a grain-based diet acidifies the digestive tract of the cows, which encourages the growth of E. coli that are more tolerant of acidic environments and, therefore, more dangerous to humans.

However, this widely-believed theory has not borne up well under scrutiny. Analysis of beef products in the marketplace consistently finds the same rates of bacterial contamination in the grass-fed meat as in the grain-fed meat—including the most dangerous strains. I’m afraid that until they invent a cow that doesn’t poop, E. coli will always be a threat.

Is Grass-Fed Beef Organic?

Grass-fed is also not synonymous with organic: Organic cows may be fed grass or grain and grass-fed herds are not necessarily raised according to organic standards. Certified organic beef means that whatever they are feeding the cows has been produced without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or GMOs and that the animals aren’t given antibiotics, hormones or other drugs.

I should also point out that some of the farmers who operate according to organic principles choose not to go through the expensive and time-consuming organic certification process. Labeling regulations and certification programs are helpful but if you want the details on how your food is being raised, there’s really no substitute for knowing your farmer.

Is Grass-Fed Beef More Nutritious?

So far I’ve talked about farming, animal welfare, and food safety but not that much about nutrition. So let’s get to the burning question, how do corn- and grass-fed beef stack up nutritionally?

Grass-fed beef is a lot leaner than grain-fed beef and nowadays, that’s promoted as one of its chief advantages. In the interests of full disclosure, that also means that it may not be quite as tender or juicy. Leaner meat also dries out more quickly, so you have to take care not to overcook it. And the flavor of grass-fed meat is less predictable because the animals’ diets change as the local forage changes with season and location. In general, grass-fed beef is not going to be as sweet as grain-fed beef. Sometimes it can even get a little gamey tasting. Oh yeah, and because it takes more land and more time to bring the animals to slaughter, it’s going to be more expensive.

Grass fed advocates also make a big deal out of the fact that grass-fed is higher in certain nutrients such as omega-3 or beta-carotene. Although that’s absolutely true, you have to put the facts in perspective. Celery has 40 times as much sodium as cucumber, for example, but celery is still a very low-sodium food. Likewise, grass-fed meat may contain three times as much omega-3 or eight times as much beta-carotene as grain-fed beef, but it’s still not a significant source of these nutrients.

If you prefer leaner meat and happier cows, go with grass-fed. But if it’s omega-3s you’re after, eat fish. If you want more beta-carotene, eat carrots.

Is Grass Fed Beef Worth the Money?

It depends on what you’re after. Personally, I don’t think that a diet containing a moderate amount of fat or saturated fat is a problem and I get plenty of beta-carotene and omega-3 from other dietary sources. So for me, the nutritional differences between corn and grass-fed beef aren’t particularly compelling. On the other hand, I don’t believe that industrial feedlot practices are good for the environment or the cows. For that reason, more than any other, I do go out of my way to choose grass-fed organic beef. And because I only eat a few ounces of meat a month, it’s a luxury I can afford.

Source: Quick and Dirty Tips

Scientists Find a Link between Diabetes and Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Emily Gersema wrote . . . . . . . . .

Patients on medication for type 2 diabetes may be keeping Alzheimer’s disease at bay.

USC Dornsife psychologists have found that those patients with untreated diabetes developed signs of Alzheimer’s disease 1.6 times fasterthan people who did not have diabetes.

The study was published in the journal Diabetes Care.

“Our findings emphasize the importance of catching diabetes or other metabolic diseases in adults as early as you can,” says Daniel A. Nation, associate professor of psychology at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “Among people with diabetes, the difference in their rate of developing the signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s is clearly tied somehow to whether or not they are on medication for it.”

Nation says that this study may be the first to compare the rate of developing the pathology for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia among people with normal glucose levels, with prediabetes, or people with type 2 diabetes — both treated and untreated.

For the study, the scientists were comparing the “tau pathology” — the progression of the brain tangles that are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. When the tangles combine with sticky beta-amyloid plaques — a toxic protein — they disrupt signals between brain cells, impairing memory and other functions.

Nation and Elissa McIntosh, a USC Dornsife Ph.D. doctoral candidate in psychology, analyzed data collected by the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative on nearly 1,300 people age 55 and older. Data included biomarkers for diabetes and vascular disease, brain scans and a range of health indicators, including performance on memory tests.

For some participants, Nation and McIntosh were able to analyze 10 years’ worth of data, while for others, they had one or four years.

Among 900 of those patients, a little more than 50 had type 2 diabetes but were not being treated, while nearly 70 were receiving treatment. Most people in the study — 530 — had normal blood sugar levels while 250 had prediabetes (hyperglycemia).

The researchers compared, among the different diabetic patient categories, the brain and spinal fluid test results that can indicate signs of amyloid plaques and the brain tangles.

“It is possible that the medicines for treating diabetes might make a difference in the progression of brain degeneration,” Nation says. “But it’s unclear how exactly those medications might slow or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, so that is something we need to investigate,” Nation says.

Increasingly, scientists regard Alzheimer’s disease as the result of a cascade of multiple problems instead of just one or two. The compounding factors range from pollution exposure and genetics (the ApoE4 gene, for instance) to heart disease and metabolic disease.

Source: University of Southern California


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