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kotmj

kotmj's shift towards a meat-reduced diet: Sort of like a diary.

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I love sashimi.

 

In this morning's watercress, there is the entire skin of an insect. It changed skin while having latched itself to the watercress.

insectskin_zpse1c5639f.jpg

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I was reading about barley when I discovered Tibet's favourite beverage, buttered tea. It has three ingredients: tea leaves, yak butter and salt. The tea is a Chinese tea, boiled for half a day. This is then mixed with a dollop of butter. Because the fat would otherwise float to the top, making for greasy lips, it is mechanically emulsified in the tea with a special device. Tibetans drink large quantities of this tea every day.

 

Every culture has a healthy appreciation for fats. Avurveda, for instance, is crazy about ghee. Once upon a time when animals grazed naturally, the fats must have been amazingly nutritious. But nowadays, the fats generally available are really poor. Chicken fat must be criminal. Pigs are fed pellets from China whose real ingredients are up for speculation, so lard is probably not something you want to eat.

 

Butter is probably the highest quality animal fat around. But not American butter: farming regulations are very lax over there, and you can feed cows almost anything, including animal by-products. Not that you can find American butter in KL.

 

In Germany, dairy cows typically do not graze. They are kept in pens, some of which are very dark because they are insulating against the cold. The cows spend their entire lives in the pen. It isn't a very long life -- I think some 3 years, during which time they are made pregnant as frequently as possible. They are slaughtered when they become tired. The female offsprings are allowed to become dairy cows; the male ones are slaughtered while still babies for veal and for fine leather shoes.

 

The cows are fed primarily silage. Silage is fermented corn. By corn, I mean the whole corn plant -- the stalk, the leaves, the cobs. They are fed corn not because corn is something they like a lot, but because corn is a very efficient crop -- it grows fast and, in particular, it grows tall, producing more organic matter per time unit per square meter than any other plant. In Germany, cows have stopped eating grass since long ago. Grass is not efficient.

 

They are also fed a variety of other waste materials, e.g. what is left after the processing for rapeseed oil. Cows, like humans and lots of other animals, can be fed all kinds of organic matter, even meat. They munch through it all. The long term effects of such an unnatural diet is irrelevant since they are slaughtered while still juveniles. (Albeit juveniles tired from constantly giving birth and producing enormous quantities of milk.)

 

So while casting around for a butter of equivalent quality to the free-grazing mountain yaks of Tibet, I discovered that New Zealand has high standards for dairy cows. Anchor Butter, on it's website, proclaims its butter to be from "free range, grass-fed cows". Furthermore, NZ prohibits the use of hormones in dairy cows. Fantastic.

 

No, not quite making buttered tea yet, but Anchor Butter will be a part of my diet.

http://anchorbutter.com/

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BTW, reading about buttered tea led me to read about Tibetans. Wikipedia has this to say about their physical characteristics:

 

"Tibetans are phenotypically diverse. Recent research into the ability of Tibetans' metabolism to function normally in the oxygen-deficient atmosphere above 4,400 metres shows that, although Tibetans living at high altitudes have no more oxygen in their blood than other people, they have ten times more nitric oxide and double the forearm blood flow of low-altitude dwellers. Nitric oxide causes dilation of blood vessels allowing blood to flow more freely to the extremities and aids the release of oxygen to tissues. This and other advantages in physiological function at high altitudes have been attributed to a mutation in the EPAS1 gene among Tibetans."

 

Does this mean they have amazing erections?

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I was reading about barley when I discovered Tibet's favourite beverage, buttered tea. It has three ingredients: tea leaves, yak butter and salt. The tea is a Chinese tea, boiled for half a day. This is then mixed with a dollop of butter. Because the fat would otherwise float to the top, making for greasy lips, it is mechanically emulsified in the tea with a special device. Tibetans drink large quantities of this tea every day.

 

Every culture has a healthy appreciation for fats. Avurveda, for instance, is crazy about ghee. Once upon a time when animals grazed naturally, the fats must have been amazingly nutritious. But nowadays, the fats generally available are really poor. Chicken fat must be criminal. Pigs are fed pellets from China whose real ingredients are up for speculation, so lard is probably not something you want to eat.

 

Butter is probably the highest quality animal fat around. But not American butter: farming regulations are very lax over there, and you can feed cows almost anything, including animal by-products. Not that you can find American butter in KL.

 

In Germany, dairy cows typically do not graze. They are kept in pens, some of which are very dark because they are insulating against the cold. The cows spend their entire lives in the pen. It isn't a very long life -- I think some 3 years, during which time they are made pregnant as frequently as possible. They are slaughtered when they become tired. The female offsprings are allowed to become dairy cows; the male ones are slaughtered while still babies for veal and for fine leather shoes.

 

The cows are fed primarily silage. Silage is fermented corn. By corn, I mean the whole corn plant -- the stalk, the leaves, the cobs. They are fed corn not because corn is something they like a lot, but because corn is a very efficient crop -- it grows fast and, in particular, it grows tall, producing more organic matter per time unit per square meter than any other plant. In Germany, cows have stopped eating grass since long ago. Grass is not efficient.

 

They are also fed a variety of other waste materials, e.g. what is left after the processing for rapeseed oil. Cows, like humans and lots of other animals, can be fed all kinds of organic matter, even meat. They munch through it all. The long term effects of such an unnatural diet is irrelevant since they are slaughtered while still juveniles. (Albeit juveniles tired from constantly giving birth and producing enormous quantities of milk.)

 

So while casting around for a butter of equivalent quality to the free-grazing mountain yaks of Tibet, I discovered that New Zealand has high standards for dairy cows. Anchor Butter, on it's website, proclaims its butter to be from "free range, grass-fed cows". Furthermore, NZ prohibits the use of hormones in dairy cows. Fantastic.

 

No, not quite making buttered tea yet, but Anchor Butter will be a part of my diet.

http://anchorbutter.com/

 

Hmmm... its parent company is Fonterra. Cause for concern?


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I found out that the Indians believe drinking water is best stored in a copper vessel. They think it disinfects and 'energizes' the water. At home, I drink untreated spring water which I collect from a nearby spring; my mother keeps telling to stop doing that or to boil it first, but it tastes so sweet and fresh, I would never boil it. So I bought this Indian copper vessel to keep the spring water in.

copper1_zpsmw5c62ve.jpg

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Gorgeous water vessel. Reminds me of a spittoon. Perhaps making sure the spring water is neutral (pH test kit?) is something one could consider when using such a vessel.

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It's not just superstition. Copper is antimicrobial.

 

" The antibacterial effect of copper pot against important diarrhoeagenic bacteria, including Vibrio cholerae O1, Shigella flexneri 2a, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, enteropathogenic E. coli, Salmonella enterica Typhi, and Salmonella Paratyphi is reported. When drinking-water (pH 7.83±0.4; source: ground) was contaminated with 500 CFU/mL of the above bacteria and stored in copper pots for 16 hours at room temperature, no bacteria could be recovered on the culture medium."

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312355/

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So there's this really, really good vegetarian restaurant in a town near me that I have lunch in several times a week. I almost cannot imagine better vegetarian food, except perhaps that the Chinese should finally adopt the concept of ulam already. So, no, nothing is raw there, which is the only improvement potential I see.

 

Recently, they got even better. They started offering boiled beans! Black beans and chickpeas! Now, this is highly unusual because the Chinese do not, generally, eat boiled beans (reconstituted beans cooked in plain water). But beans are really good for you, so I put a scoop on my plate.

 

The beans were a disaster. I could not believe it, but these people -- with a combined cooking experience of a century -- did not know how to boil beans. Even my mother knows how to boil beans. Every Indian knows how to do it.

 

I told the female proprietor the beans were not cooked right. With beans, never put salt into the cooking water. The beans will never soften, regardless of how many hours you boil them. You boil them, unsalted, then once they've reached the right softness, you add salt.

 

Today, I was there for lunch and put a ladle of black beans on my plate. She took my advice! They were soft and nice.

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(purely speculative on my part) but i dont think boiling is a well regarded method of cooking in the various chinese cuisines except in the case of making a soup. hence boiling a legume makes no sense at all, therefore the absence of this particular combination from the diet. 

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Had this for lunch today. This is in a vegetarian (vegan actually) restaurant about 30 minutes from where I live. I'm here once or twice a week; whenever I have the time for a proper lunch, instead of always on the go.

 

The rice is a brown rice coloured blue with a certain blue flower.

1-IMG_20150729_133133_zpsxja4mbdc.jpg

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This guy is what I would call a dumb fuck. A truly dumb fuck.

http://www.ted.com/talks/samuel_cohen_alzheimer_s_is_not_normal_aging_and_we_can_cure_it#t-399519

 

I wonder if it has ever occurred to him that Alzheimer's was an unknown before Dr. Alzheimer observed it in a patient, and that it has grown rapidly since. And that there are populations on the earth today where Alzheimer's is not to be found, just like a 100 years ago.

 

In a preventable disease, you look for the prevention. These idiots are looking for a cure (in pill form, of course -- how else do you make money?) to a lifestyle disease that is totally preventable via lifestyle intervention.

 

It's like with heart disease: There is nothing inevitable about it. It is totally preventable. Even today, there are pockets of people who simply do not suffer from it. But they do the moment they start eating more meat. The thrust of research should then be: how do we avoid it? Instead, most research center around how do we treat or suppress it once the patient gets it. Why? Because there is no money in prevention.

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I was in a Korean grocery store today where I bought a bag of misugaru. Misugaru is a traditional Korean powder made of a cooked and roasted grain and bean mix. This particular one is a mix of 15 grains and beans. This powder is mixed with water to form a thick beverage.

1-IMG_9696_zpsasamfcmo.jpg

 

When I first read about misugaru, I saw no reason why it should taste any good. Healthy, yes, but delicious? Probably not. Complicating matters is the fact that this powder dissolves poorly in water, tending to form clumps. One blends it in a blender.

 

1-IMG_9701_zps2upf01dl.jpg

 

I blended several tablespoons with hot water, and the most amazing aroma of rice crust filled the kitchen. It is extremely delicious and aromatic and flavourful, having the aroma of rice crust/roasted rice. The word that came to my mind to describe this beverage is the German "bekoemmlich". An inadequate translation for this is "digestible". The Germans use bekoemmlich very often, while English-speakers almost never describe a foodstuff as digestible. Bekoemmlich means smooth, fortifying, easy to absorb, digestible, and comforting.

 

This is the ultimate comfort drink.

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