- Start of the eyebrow, near the bridge of your nose
- Side of the eye, near your temple
- Under the eye
- Under the nose
- The crease between the chin and lip
- The collarbone
- Underneath the arm
- Top of the head
Good Morning Veda Healthies!
This is an excellent post of suggestions for quick food storage and Nutrition tips. Note though that Ayurveda does not recommend freezing your food. Although some scientific studies may show that water soluble nutrients like Vitamin C may be partially retained during freezing, Ayurveda focuses on the prana or energy of the food and its aliveness. Freezing halts this life force and is therefore less favorable if you can avoid it. The author of these tips also mentions oxidation and the loss of nutrients over time with freezing at the end of her section. The rest of the tips are Golden!
Americans throw away thousands of dollars every year in spoiled produce.
Try these tips for making your goodies last longer.
We’re all trying to eat healthier by choosing more fresh fruits and vegetables. But just how many of those good nutrients are we actually getting by the time we eat these foods?
Today’s produce is not only shipped from the farm, but then shipped home to our houses and stored in the refrigerator for several days up to a few weeks.
The truth is that once picked, vegetables’ immediately start to lose their nutritional value. According to one study in 2010, fresh vegetables can lose up to 45 percent of their nutritional value between being picked and landing on a grocery store shelf. Add in the time it takes to get the vegetables home and actually on your plate, and you could be consuming less than a third of the nutrients you’d expect.
Following are some tips for getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to healthy produce.
1. Study Shows Light Better Than Dark
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service wanted to know if it’s better to buy the spinach in the front of the rack, where it’s exposed to more light, or in the back, where it’s darker. They grew two varieties for two months, harvested and stored them, then measured nutrient levels.
Results showed that with even as little as 24 hours of continuous exposure to grocery-store lighting, the bags of spinach in the front had higher nutrient levels than the very-same-age bags in the dark. Some key nutrients, like folate, were significantly higher in the lighted spinach—9 times higher, actually. Results also showed higher levels of lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin K.
2. Buy Local
Most of us know this by now, but it’s a good reminder. Buying directly from a local farmer reduces the shipping and storage time, helping you to get more nutrients from your food. Bonus—recent studies have found that items at farmer’s markets are typically cheaper than they are at neighboring supermarkets.
3. If You Can’t Eat it Right Away, Buy Frozen
Studies comparing frozen with fresh vegetables have found that the frozen ones kept more of their nutrients than fresh—as long as they were frozen shortly after harvest. Researchers found that though most shoppers believe fresh veggies sold in supermarkets are less than four days old, they’re closer to nine days old or more when they arrive, then remain on the shelves for a further four. At home they’re stored again, which means they could be at least 16 days or a half-month-old by the time you eat them.
According to research from the Institute of Food Research—admittedly funded by Bird’s Eye foods—fresh beans lost up to 45 percent of nutrients, broccoli and cauliflower 25 percent, garden peas up to 15 percent, and carrots up to 10 percent. Meanwhile, frozen peas contained up to 30 percent more vitamin C than fresh, and green beans contained up to 45 percent more than fresh.
Other research, however, has confirmed these results. A 2007 study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, “the loss of nutrients in fresh products during storage and cooking may be more substantial than commonly perceived.” They go on to state that, “Depending on the commodity, freezing and canning processes may preserve nutrient value.”
In an earlier study published in Food Chemistry, researchers measured vitamin C levels in fresh and frozen produce, and found that that nutrient content of frozen peas was superior to peas that had been stored in-home for several days. The nutrient status of frozen whole green beans and carrots was similar to the fresh vegetable at harvest. Frozen spinach was also superior to market produce.
Look at the packaging date, however, if you can. Though produce loses fewer nutrients upon being frozen then when heated for canning, they can gradually lose those nutrients over time while in the freezer due to oxidation.
4. Look to Buy Young
On the whole, younger produce is more nutritious than older. Go for the baby spinach rather than the mature spinach, for instance. Research found that the leaves of the younger types are more biologically active, and always have greater nutrient density than the older ones. The same held true for other vegetables, including mustard greens, collards, and kale.
5. Store Intact
Researchers have discovered that if you cut fruits and vegetables and then leave them out on the counter or store them, they will lose from 10-25 percent of antioxidants like vitamin C and carotenoids over a period of 5-6 days, because of the exposure to oxygen.
Similarly, avoid cutting up lettuce or other greens, as that cuts into the pores, releasing compounds that speed up ripening and spoilage. It may be convenient to cut up veggies and store them in bags in the fridge for snacking, but realize that you will be losing nutrient power and potentially speeding up the degradation of the food. It’s best to wait and cut them right before eating, instead.
6. Buy Mushrooms Exposed to Light
Ordinary mushrooms have little or no vitamin D, but those grown under UV light turn an interior plant sterol (ergosterol) into vitamin D. Many portabella mushrooms are now exposed to light, but you can also expose other types at home by leaving them out on the counter under the light. Some growers also note on their labels that their mushrooms are UV-enhanced.
7. Think Twice About Cooking
Cooking can destroy antioxidant carotenoids like beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein. Boiling makes it easier for nutrients to leach into the water, and over-cooking via any method diminishes nutrients by breaking down the cells.
To preserve the most nutrients, steam, stir-fry, and sauté, and use a tight-fitting lid when possible. On the whole, more nutrients are preserved when there is less contact with water, shorter cooking times, and less exposure to heat. Cook fruits and vegetables with their skins on. Also, don’t rinse grains like rice unless the package advises it—washing can take away as much as 25 percent of vitamin B1.
8. Refrain from Washing
In most cases, washing both encourages spoilage and speeds up the formation of mold, so hold off on the washing until right before you’re ready to eat. Washing removes the outer layer, causing faster ripening, particularly on berries.
9. Pack Loosely
The closer your vegetables are to one another in the refrigerator, the faster they will rot. Fruits stored together can prematurely ripen and spoil surrounding vegetables, so spread all items out. (Apples, especially, can turn leafy greens and other veggies brown.)
Separate fruits from vegetables by storing in different drawers, and don’t over pack. Remove ties and rubber bands, and store loosely in perforated paper, plastic, or cloth wrapping, or in a glass container. (Note: tomatoes are best stored on their own. Tomatoes stored in plastic are likely to ripen more quickly.) Also, avoid storing in air-tight bags, as these will suffocate the food items and speed up decay.
Most veggies are best stored in the crisper, though tomatoes work better on the counter left upside down. Garlic, onions, potatoes, shallots, sweet potatoes, and winter squash live best in a cool, dark pantry.
10. Drink Juices Immediately
If you’re into juicing, you may be tempted to save time by making enough for two glasses, then saving that second glass for the next day. You’d be shortchanging yourself, however, as that second glass will not be as nutritious as the first. Your best bet for preserving nutrients is to drink fresh juice immediately after you make it.
Find more tips for preserving nutrients during storage and cooking for many individual fruits and vegetables at Farm Fresh to You.
Do you have other tips for preserving nutrients or shelf life of fresh foods? Please share them with us.
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Joshua Horrocks, “Institute of Food Research: 45 percent nutrient loss in grocer vegetables,” Examiner, March 5, 2010, http://www.examiner.com/article/institute-of-food-research-45-percent-nutrient-loss-grocer-vegetables.
“Veggie Smart: How to Preserve Vitamins,” Nutrition Action, October 2012.
“New Study Compares Prices at Farmers’ Markets and Supermarkets. The Results Might Surprise You,” Politics of the Plate, May 10, 2011, http://politicsoftheplate.com/?p=864.
Sean Poulter, “Why frozen vegetables are fresher than fresh,” Daily Mail, Marhc 5, 2010, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1255606/Why-frozen-vegetables-fresher-fresh.html.
Joy C. Rickman, et al., “Nutritional comparison of fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables. Part 1. Vitamins C and B and phenolic compounds,” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 87: 930-944 (2007), http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-779.pdf.
María I. Gil, Encarna Aguayo, Adel A. Kader. “Quality Changes and Nutrient Retention in Fresh-Cut versus Whole Fruits during Storage.” J. Agric. Food Chem., 54 (12), 4284 -4296, 2006. 10.1021/jf060303y S0021-8561(06)00303-7.
United States Food and Drug Administration. “Raw Produce: Selecting and Serving it Safely.” Accessed February 10, 2012.http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm114299.htm.
“Preserving Nutrients in Food,” University of Kentucky, 1994, http://www.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/factshts/FN-SSB.006.PDF.
D.J. Favell, “A comparison of the vitamin C content of fresh and frozen vegetables,” Food Chemistry, 1988, 62(1): 59-64, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814697001659.
This program is for all yoga instructors interested in working with students who have faced trauma.
Honing the special skill set required to work with students who have faced trauma requires
a thorough understanding and special sensitivity of the unique needs of this particular community.
If you, or other instructors you may know, are interested in working with traumatized students,
please sign up for the course by using the link below.
Please pass this opportunity along to those yoga instructors who you think might also be interested.
The registration page is up: http://www.veteransyogaproject.org/doylestown-pa-october-2013.html
By Maggie Caldwell, Mother Jones
By now, you’ve likely heard about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the controversy over whether they’re the answer to world hunger or the devil incarnate. But for right now, let’s leave aside that debate and turn to a more basic question: When you go to the supermarket, do you know which foods are most likely to be—or contain ingredients that are—genetically engineered? A handy FAQ:
So what exactly are genetically modified organisms?
GMOs are plants or animals that have undergone a process wherein scientists alter their genes with DNA from different species of living organisms, bacteria, or viruses to get desired traits such as resistance to disease or tolerance of pesticides.
But haven’t farmersbeen selectively breeding crops to get larger harvests for centuries? How is this any different?
Over at Grist, Nathanael Johnson has a great answer to this question—but in a nutshell: Yes, farmers throughout history have been raising their plants to achieve certain desired traits such as improved taste, yield, or disease resistance. But this kind of breeding still relies on the natural reproductive processes of the organisms, where as genetic engineering involves the addition of foreign genes that would not occur in nature.
Am I eating GMOs?
Probably. Since several common ingredients like corn starch and soy protein are predominantly derived from genetically modified crops, it’s pretty hard to avoid GM foods altogether. In fact, GMOs are present in 60 to 70 percent of foods on US supermarket shelves, according to Bill Freese at the Center for Food Safety; the vast majority of processed foods contain GMOs. One major exception is fresh fruits and veggies. The only GM produce you’re likely to find is the Hawaiian papaya, a small amount of zucchini and squash, and some sweet corn. No meat, fish, and poultry products approved for direct human consumption are bioengineered at this point, though most of the feed for livestock and fish is derived from GM corn, alfalfa, and other biotech grains. Only organic varieties of these animal products are guaranteed GMO-free feed.
So what are some examples of food that are genetically modified?
1. Papayas: In the 1990s, Hawaiian papaya trees were plagued by the ringspot virus which decimated nearly half the crop in the state. In 1998, scientists developed a transgenic fruit called Rainbow papaya, which is resistant to the virus. Now 77 percent of the crop grown in Hawaii is genetically engineered (GE).
2. Milk: RGBH, or recombinant bovine growth hormone, is a GE variation on a naturally occurring hormone injected into dairy cows to increase milk production. It is banned for milk destined for human consumption in the European Union, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Many milk brands that are rGBH-free label their milk as such, but as much as 40 percent of our dairy products, including ice cream and cheese, contains the hormone.
3. Corn on the cob: While 90 percent of corn grown in the United States is genetically modified, most of that crop is used for animal feed or ethanol and much of the rest ends up in processed foods. Sweet corn—the stuff that you steam or grill on the barbecue and eat on the cob—was GMO-free until last year when Monsanto rolled out its first GE harvest of sweet corn. While consumers successfully petitioned Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to not carry the variety,Walmart has begun stocking the shelves with it without any label.
4. Squash and zucchini: While the majority of squashes on the market are not GE, approximately 25,000 acres of crookneck, straight-neck, and zucchinis have been bioengineered to be virus resistant.
5. “All natural” foods: Be wary of this label if you’re trying to avoid GE foods. Right now there is no strict definition of what constitutes a natural food. This could be changing soon as federal court judges recently requested the Food and Drug Administration to determine whether the term can be used to describe foods containing GMOs to help resolve pending class action suits against General Mills, Campbell Soup Co., and the tortilla manufacturer Gruma Corp.
Are there any foods I’ve heard might be genetically modified—but actually aren’t?
1. Potatoes: In 1995, Monsanto introduced genetically modified potatoes for human consumption, but after pressure from consumers, McDonald’s and several other major fast food chains told their French fry suppliers to stop growing GE potatoes. The crop has since been removed from the market.
2. Seedless watermelon: While it would seem plausible that a fruit that produces no seeds has been bioengineered, the seedless watermelon is a hybrid of two separate breeds. It has been nicknamed the “mule of the watermelon world.”
3. Salmon: Currently no meat, fish, or egg products are genetically engineered, though a company called Aqua Bounty has an application in with the FDA to approve its GE salmon.
4. Soy milk: While 93 percent of soy grown in the United States is genetically engineered, most major brands of soy milk are GMO-free. Silk, the best-selling soy milk brand in the country,joined the Non-GMO Project in 2010. Many popular tofu brands in the United States also sell GMO-free tofu products.*
5. Rice: A staple food for nearly half the world’s population, there are currently no varieties of GM rice approved for human consumption. However, that could soon change. A genetically modified variety called golden rice being developed in the Philippines has been altered to include beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A. Backers are lauding it as a way to alleviate nutrient deficiency for the populations in developing countries.
How about organic foods?
Since the late ’90s, USDA organic standards have prohibited any genetically modified ingredients. Originally, the agency tried to include GE foods under the organic umbrella, but it backed down in 2002 after a massive public outcry to save organic standards.
How long have I been eating GE food?
Scientists conducted the first GE food trials the late 1980s, and in 1994, a biotech company called Calgene released the first GMO approved for human consumption: the “Flavr Savr tomato,” designed to stay ripe on the vine longer without getting squishy. The product, which Monsanto eventually picked up, flopped, but it paved the way for others: Biotech companies have made billions since with GE corn, soy bean, cotton, and canola.
Aren’t food companies required to let me know whether their products contain GMOs?
Not in the United States. Sixty-four developing and developed countries require GMO food labeling, according to Freese at the Center for Food Safety. You may have heard about the recent string of “Right to Know” bills in state assemblies across the country. The bills are aimed to require food companies to label any products that contain genetically modified organisms.Connecticut and Maine recently passed laws that would require food manufacturers to reveal GE ingredients on product packaging, but those laws won’t go into effect until other states adopt similar measures. Americans overwhelmingly support such laws, with poll after poll showing that over 90 percent of respondents support mandatory labeling. Biotech companies and the food industry say that such labeling would be expensive and pointless since genetically engineered foods have been declared safe for human consumption.
So if the food is safe, what’s all the fuss about them?
First off, not everyone agrees that GMOs are safe to eat, especially over the long term. The European Union remains decidedly skeptical, with very few approved GE crops grown on the continent and mandatory labeling in place for products that contain GMOs. Some scientists fear that GMOs could cause allergies in humans. Others point to the environmental consequences of the farming of GE crops.
How do GMOs affect the environment?
One word: Pesticides. Hundreds of millions of extra pounds of pesticides. The six biggest producers of GE seeds—Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow Agrosciences, BASF, Bayer, and Pioneer (DuPont)—are also the biggest producers of chemical herbicides and insecticides. Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops, for example, are genetically engineered to be immune to herbicide so that farmers can destroy weeds without killing their cash crops. But the process has spawned Roundup resistant weeds, leading farmers to apply greater and greater doses of the chemical or even resort to more toxic methods to battle back the superweeds.
Where can I learn more about GMOs?
Mother Jones‘ Tom Philpott writes critically about GMOs often. In this 2011 Scientific Americanpiece, Brendan Borrell lays out the pro-GMO case very well. Grist‘s Nathanael Johnson has written several posts that clarify the basic science behind GE crops, and a New York Times Room for Debate from 2009 offers a pretty good synopsis of the controversy. Food policy wonks might enjoy perusing the Food and Agriculture Organization’s page on biotechnology in agriculture; if you’re looking for a more entertaining way to educate yourself, a documentary called GMO OMGopens in select theaters this fall.
Clarification: Previously this story stated most tofu sold in the United States is GMO-free. While the top-selling US tofu brand Nasoya and many other major manufacturers in the US have items verified by the Non-GMO Project, this doesn’t necessarily encompass all tofu products.
This article was written by Maggie Caldwell, and published at Mother Jones on August 5, 2013
It Lacked Juiciness, Says The Person Who Ate The First Stem-Cell Hamburger, But It’s ‘Definitely Meat’
By Alok Jha, AlterNet
World’s first synthetic hamburger gets high marks for “mouth feel.”
All it took was a little butter and sunflower oil and, in less than 10 minutes, the world’s most expensive burger, grown from muscle stem cells in a lab, was ready to eat.
“I was expecting the texture to be more soft,” said Hanni Rützler of the Future Food Studio, who researches food trends and was the first to get a taste of the synthetic beef hamburger at a lavish event in London on Monday that bore more resemblance to a TV set than a scientific press conference.
The lack of fat was noticeable, she added, which meant a lack of juiciness in the centre of the burger. If she had closed her eyes, however, she would have thought the cultured beef was definitely meat rather than a vegetable-based substitute.
The fibres had been grown in the lab and bound together, coloured with beetroot juice and shot through with saffron to complete the burger that, from a distance at least, looked perfectly ordinary. The chef tasked with cooking it was Richard McGeown of Couch’s Great House Restaurant in Polperro, Cornwall, who said it was slightly more pale than the beefburgers he was accustomed to but that it cooked like any other burger, was suitably aromatic and looked inviting.
American food writer and author of the book Taste of Tomorrow, Josh Schonwald, was next up to take a piece of the precious burger. He said he had never been pleased by meat substitutes but, after chewing a bit, gave it full marks for its “mouth feel”, saying it was just like meat and that the bite felt like a conventional hamburger.
But he also noted, several times, the absence of fat or seasoning. “I can’t remember the last time I ate a burger without ketchup,” he said, when trying to explain whether or not it compared well to a real hamburger. Later in the tasting he described the texture as “like an animal protein cake”.
Mark Post, the scientist behind the burger, which took three months to make, said the ambition was to improve the efficiency of the cell-growing process and also to improve flavour by adding fat cells. He wants to create thicker “cuts” of meat such as steaks, though his would require more tissue engineering expertise, namely the ability to grow channels – a bit like blood vessels – that can feed the centre of the growing steak with nutrients and water. Similar technology had already been shown to work for medical applications, said Post.
The €250,000 cost of making the burger was paid by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who said he got into the idea for animal welfare reasons. In a film to mark the taste test of the burger, he said that people had an erroneous image of modern meat production, imagining “pristine farms” with just a few animals in them. “When you see how these cows are treated, it’s certainly something I’m not comfortable with.”
Dr Post’s team at Maastricht University used the money to grow 20,000 muscle fibres from cow stem cells over the course of three months. These fibres were extracted from individual culture wells and then painstakingly pressed together to form the hamburger that was eaten on Monday. The objective is to create meat that is biologically identical to beef but grown in a lab rather than in a field as part of a cow.
This article was written by Alok Jha and published at AlterNet.
Good Morning Veda Healthies,
I have some exciting news to share! Our good friend and yogini, May-Chee Chen, is an incredible composer who has created a beautiful Opera. You simply must visit her website and videos to see and hear her unique and soulful compositions.
Thank you May-Chee for adding such beauty and heart to the world!
Here’s a sneak peak:
As an International Nadia and Lili Boulanger Fellow in 1988-89 based in Paris, Chen participated in the Boulez workshop in Avignon. During her year in France, Ms. Chen’s music was performed at Radio FRANCE and Centre George POMPIDOU. In 1991, she was selected by the National Music Hall in Taipei to be the first ‘Young Music Talent’ to present an entire concert program. After moving back to the United States, Chen was a nominee for the 1997 Music Composition Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Ms. Chen’s compositions have been performed in Cincinnati, Boston, Buffalo, Darmstadt, Copenhagen, Shanghai, Hiroshima, Paris, Los Angeles, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Stuttgart, New York, Vienna, and her home town of Taipei. Among the conductors and musicians who have performed her music are Bernard Rands, Gerhard Samuel, Aldo Brizzi, Pierre-Yves Artaud, Wu Man and Cho-Liang Lin. Groups that have performed her works include the University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble, Shanghai Silk and Bamboo Ensemble, Darmstadt Ferienkurs Ensemble, Taipei Municipal Chinese Classical Ensemble, Cincinnati Philharmonic Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra 2001, Pulse Percussion Group, Relâche Ensemble, and the French Ensemble 2e2m.
In 1992, to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the public radio station WGUC commissioned an orchestral piece from Chen. The Cincinnati Enquirer described Continuum as ‘mesmerizing to watch as to hear,’ and also commented ‘Chen displayed an ingenuous use of timbres and virtuoso writing.’
Ms. Chen has received grants and commissions from the French Government, the Gaudeamus Foundation, Meet the Composer, National Endowment for the Arts, Council for Cultural Planning and Development, and World Music Institute. Music critics from the Boston Globe and Philadelphia Inquirer have acclaimed her music. The New York Times called her percussion piece, Beyond the Festival, ‘compelling – the metrically complex structure exhibits an aggressive edge that gives it both drama and drive.’
Having explored a variety of contemporary aesthetics and composition techniques in earlier pieces, Ms. Chen’s recent works have incorporated Oriental influences, ranging from the ancient Chinese Elegant Music found in the Japanese and Korean Court Music to Taiwanese folk theater music.
In 2001, Chen produced a concert of her spiritual cycle Sonic Mandala with renowned violinist Cho-Liang Lin, and Chinese lute player Wu Man at the Taipei Theater in New York.
Chen’s most prominent work is a new opera The Firmiana Rain, based on a ninth century royal love tragedy of the T’ang Dynasty. The New York City Opera selected The Firmiana Rain for their Vox 2002: Showcasing American Composers. A full production was premiered at National Theater, Taipei, Taiwan, in November 2007. The production team assembles the best talents of Taiwan and Japan, includes the Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra. Four thousand spectators packed the house in three performances.
She continues to collaborate with excellent musicians worldwide for new works. Her currently work is an flute ensemble piece for the French Flute Orchestra in Paris for an October concert at Salle Cortot.
In 2011 her pipa solo piece [Transformation in Purple] performed by Wu Man, became the sound track of “Shadow | Play: The Empress Dowager in the Movies.” at the Power|Play exhibition at the Freer/Sackler Gallery in Smithsonian Museum for 4 months.
In 2011, she presented her opera the Firmiana Rain in a lecture concert with opera singers and musicians from China National Symphony Orchestra in Beijing, which was followed by a broadcast by Central China TV.
Her most recent piece is a violin concerto written for the renown violinist Cho-Liang Lin with Orchestra 2001. The premier will take place in Philadelphia, and Taipei in the 2014-15 season.