Wednesday, February 11, 2009

You Know That What You Eat You Are...

(...lyric from 'Savoy Truffle' --The Beatles White Album)

Just want to let everyone know that although the economy’s in the toilet, there appears to be a path to avoid ‘mild cognitive impairment’ for us all, unless you’re like me & have led a sordid life (at least in my younger days) of quasi-self-impairment. Nevertheless, a recent study from the Columbia University Medical Center lists foods included in a Mediterranean-style diet, rich in choices such as whole-grain bread & pastas, olive oil, spinach, eggplant, tomatoes, salmon, garlic, yogurt, almonds, and capers to maintain brain health & mental acuity.,CST-NWS-dementia11.article

Hey, I'm all for maintaining my brain health, and being of the Mediterranean ilk I do partake in most if not all of these foods. They’re tasty, relatively inexpensive & mildly odiferous, which is OK for an anti-socialite such as myself. Now, I consider the ‘garlic-eater’ ethnic slur by Lionel Barrymore’s character Mr. Potter in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ a badge of honor. I even thought that way when I first saw the movie as a kid. Garlic-eater? Yes, I am. So what else is new?

Salmon’s something else. I eat a fair amount of sushi, and consume lox a couple times a week for breakfast as well. Then I saw this:

Wild Salmon vs Farm Raised Salmon

David Suzuki Foundation: In January 2001, BBC News produced a program "Warnings from the Wild, The Price of Salmon". The program cited a pilot study conducted by Dr Easton with David Suzuki Foundation. The study found that farm raised salmon and the feed they were fed appeared to have a much higher level of contamination with respect to PCBs, organo-chlorine pesticides and polybrominated diphenyl ethers than did wild salmon. It concluded that it seems that contamination in farm fish comes from the feed.

EWG Report: In July 2003, the Environmental Working Group EWG released a report stating that farm raised salmon purchased in the United States contain the highest level of PCBs in the food supply system. In the report, EWG reported that farm raised salmon have 16 times PCBs found in wild salmon, 4 times the levels in beef, and 3.4 times the levels in other seafood. EWG recommends that consumers choose wild salmon instead of farm raised salmon, and they should eat an 8 oz serving of farm raised salmon no more than once a month.

Science Journal: In January 2004, the journal Science warned that farm raised salmon contain 10 times more toxins (PCBs, dioxin, etc.) than wild salmon. The study recommends that farm raised salmon should be eaten once a month, perhaps every two months as they pose cancer risks to the human beings.

Eeek!! ‘Perhaps every two months’?! What about, like thirty servings over that timeframe? Am I hazmat material? So I dash to my lox purveyor at the local deli, run to the counter and ask the old guy to show me the package. Once I see the words ‘Alaskan Wild Salmon’, I at once can breathe easier, feel smarter & healthier besides. Suddenly, I am the man. But I knew, in true Catch-22 form, I was too smart to eat that nasty farm-raised stuff anyway.

Which brings us to my love & the bane of my existence all at the same time, tomatoes. The above article implies, as many previous reports have stated, that tomatoes are healthy, chock-full with lycopene & anti-carcinogens, so at least I can reassure myself that in this, the economy of the crapster, I’m at least selling the right product rather than asbestos or Chinese throwing stars.

But alas, the overall tomato market remains below the Mendoza line, seemingly with no end to the massacre in sight. Mexican imports are priced at the minimum according to the U.S. Department of Commerce Suspension Agreement, the hothouse tomato market is a debacle, and despite two major freezes & less product packed, there’s been no Florida market reaction whatsoever.

However, I’m confident this article, if presented correctly, will solve all of our problems. Heck, some layout editor deemed it crucial enough to give it three half-columns on page 16 in today’s Metro section of the Chicago Sun-Times.



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