Wake up and smell the McCafé: Cold cereal, donuts and orange juice are breakfast staples because somebody somewhere wanted money.
Not all of it. But nearly every breakfast staple — cold cereal, donuts, yogurt, bagels and cream cheese, orange juice, frappuccino — is a staple only because somebody somewhere wanted money. Wake up and smell the McCafé.
Seeking to provide sanitarium patients with meatless anti-aphrodisiac breakfasts in 1894, Michigan Seventh-Day Adventist surgeon and anti-masturbation activist John Kellogg developed the process of flaking cooked grains. Hence Corn Flakes. Hence Rice Krispies. Hence a rift between Kellogg and his business partner/brother, who wanted to sweeten Kellogg’s cereals in hopes of selling more. Guess who won.
In pre-Corn Flakes America, breakfast wasn’t cold or sweet. It was hot, hearty and lardy, and it had about 4,000 calories.
“Breakfast was the biggest meal of the day. Eaten before you headed out to do a whole day of farm chores, it had to keep you going until dinner,” says food historian Andrew F. Smith, author of Eating History: Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine (Columbia University Press, 2009). Pre-industrial Americans loaded up on protein-rich eggs, sausages, ham and American-style belly-fat bacon along with ancient carb classics: mush, pancakes, bread.
The Great Cereal Shift mirrored — and triggered — other shifts: Farm to factory. Manual to mechanical. Cowpuncher to consumer. Snake-oil superstition to science. Biggest of all was food’s transition from home-grown/home-butchered to store-bought.
“Cold cereals are an invention of vegetarians and the health-food industry, first through Kellogg’s and then through C.W. Post, which steals all of Kellogg’s ideas,” Smith explains.
“These companies realized early on that people like sugar, and kids really like sugar — so they shifted their sales target from adults concerned about health to kids who love sugar. It’s a thoroughly American invention.”
As is orange juice, another breakfast contrivance marketed as healthy for kids. Media buzz about vitamin C and advances in pasteurization spawned the orange-juice industry in the 1930s, turning an obscure luxury into a household necessity.
“Orange juice has come to symbolize purity in a glass,” writes agriculture expert Alissa Hamilton in Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice (Yale University Press, 2009). Her research reveals a highly processed product whose use of cheaply grown foreign fruit now mandates a massive carbon footprint:
“Orange juice marketers have succeeded in creating an aura of golden goodness around the product. The idea that orange juice is ‘an essential part of a balanced breakfast’ is familiar and for the most part unchallenged.”
Hamilton is outraged that commercial orange juice is “advertised as pure, fresh, and additive-free. Those who buy orange juice buy the stories that the industry tells.”
Major companies use “flavor packs” engineered by the same firms that create perfumes for Dior and Calvin Klein to make their juice smell and taste “fresh” despite its long shelf life:
“Flavor packs aren’t listed as an ingredient on the label. … The formulas vary to give a brand’s trademark taste. If you’re discerning, you may have noticed Minute Maid has a candylike orange flavor. That’s largely due to the flavor pack Coca-Cola has chosen for it.”
Tropicana, meanwhile, is owned by PepsiCo.
“Ask yourself why, like most people, you drink orange juice,” Hamilton urges. “You probably say the reason is that it is good for you, or that it is high in vitamin C, or that you grew up drinking it and like it. If so, then I must frankly tell you that, when it comes to orange juice, you are acting like a robot.”
It’s funny how the word “diet” has come to mean something you do for a time to achieve weight loss. “Diet” is what we eat each day; Humans have a diet we should follow just like all other animals. It should not vary that much from person to person; 2000 calories a day from REAL food, not products, nothing out of boxes or cans, plenty of healthy saturated fats from organic sources, organic protein from animals that are grass fed, free range, kindly treated and NATURALLY fed (NOT corn)…and don’t make it low fat…and vegetables as our main source for carbs.
When will Americans learn there are no easy, quick fixes…no gimmicks or diets that will let you do something short term, get healthy…and then go back to doing what got you there in the first place?
Let this be the year you get healthy and as a great side effect, lose that weight…
- Eat more protein
- Eat more fat
- Learn about the glycemic index and use it!
Want to learn more? Click here- Criterion Living
- Book a cooking class with a group of friends
- Schedule an appointment for a Month of Nutrition Coaching
- Use my Personal Cooking Service to jump start getting healthy…use it to learn how to eat while you are getting healthier.
Call or email me today 904-520-3448 firstname.lastname@example.org
Weston Price Foundation posted this on Facebook this morning and it got me curious;
OF COURSE Americans do not adhere to these recommendation! Eating low fat and restricting food intake is ridiculous. Americans keep eating because they are truly HUNGRY! Your body will tell you to keep eating if you have not met your nutrient level needed for that day…You can take in 3000 calories a day and if a high percentage of those calories are carbohydrates too are STILL going to be hungry!
I went to the site, plugged in my stats and the first thing the site recommended was that I see a health professional to see how to gain weight! Are they kidding?? I am in perfect health at 58 years old, am 5 feet 5 inches and weigh a perfect 110 pounds. My waist is the same size as it was before I had 5 kids, I never get sick, have recovered from Meniere’s Disease, chronic allergies and sore throats, recovered a partial hearing loss, gotten rid of arthritis, acne and been teaching nutrition for 26 years. No doctor ever helped with my health issues, according to the government (obviously bought and paid for by big food, agri-food I call it) I eat all wrong. LOL!
Now don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not trying to be catty…but do I really want to look like this woman who is recommending how Americans should eat?….
While she may very well be eating how she recommends it obviously isn’t working for weight loss. Because it contains TOO MANY CARBS! And a lot of empty carbs if we follow the recommendations to eat grains. (we shouldn’t).
Wee need 50% of our 2000 calories a day to come from fat; butter, fat from meat, coconut oil, avocados. We need 30% of our calories to come from protein, NOT lean protein. The remaining 20% of the 2000 calories should be from carbs…and all of those should be from low glycemic veggies, mostly green leafy vegetables. One serving of fruit with breakfast should be all that is taken in each day…and make that one count; make it blueberries or other deeply colored fruit. Depth of color means depth of nutrients and anti-oxidants.
And enjoy some dark chocolate each day..and a little wine. Both are not only good for the soul, but are rich in anti-oxidants. Can you believe that dark chocolate isn’t even in the government data base?? Crazy!
What is “Real Cork Inside“?
Understanding that the screw cap and plastic are not environmentally sound closures, thousands of people across the country have made a commitment to support wineries that use natural cork.
Not buying a screw cap wine is easy; it can be seen right on top of the bottle. But how do you know what’s inside a bottle with a capsule cover, plastic or natural cork? Unless you’ve had that wine before, you can’t actively choose to buy natural cork, until now.
The Real Cork Inside assurance program eliminates that guesswork. By displaying the acorn logo on the bottle, a winery lets consumers know that the wine they are choosing has been closed with natural cork.
Why the Acorn?
The cork tree is a member of the oak family (Quercus suber), and as such produces beautiful large acorns. These acorns are a valuable source of food for the insects and animals that inhabit the cork forests, as well as containing the next generation of cork oak trees.
Your winery has made the commitment to use the most sustainable, renewable and recyclable closure, natural cork. With consumers’ heightened awareness for products that are sustainable, the Real Cork Inside assurance program gives them another reason to support your winery. Please contact Patrick Spencer for details of the Real Cork Inside assurance program.
November 21, 2011
My colleagues here at TreeHugger have done an amazing job covering the #Occupy movement. Chris has looked into the idea of #Occupy being a building block to a Constitutional Convention. Lloyd has discussed the issue of police brutality, and Sami has looked at the misconceptions people have about the movement.
I’m here, as always, to look at it with a gardener’s eye. (Stay with me.)
A few weeks ago, my friend and fellow garden writer Mr. Brown Thumb started the #OccupyGardens hashtag on Twitter, kind of as a joke. But the more I looked at it, the more it made sense. Occupy is about fighting greed, about taking control from the corporations and their government cronies and bringing it back to we the people, the 99%.
What is more basic to all of our needs than food?
In Jenna Woginrich’s excellent book, Made from Scratch, she argues that:
“Vegetable gardening has been called ‘the peaceful sedition’ because at the most basic level, when a person can feed and shelter herself, she doesn’t require a government to provide for her. … It’s not about pride or independence, or even connecting with nature. It’s about wanting hash browns on a Saturday morning and being able to run out to the backyard in your bathrobe to grab some potatoes from the garden.”
I would argue that, even more, it means that she doesn’t need a corporation to provide for her. And when we don’t need the corporations, they cease to have the ability to exist — or at least cease to have so much power that the will of the people means nothing. Look at the way we’re fighting for something as simple, as self-explanatory, as GMO labeling. 87 percent of Americans want to know if they’re eating GMOs or not. The hubris of corporate America, and their Congressional lapdogs, is what is keeping us from that knowledge.
“Certain gardens are described as retreats when they are really attacks.” — Ian Hamilton Finlay
This is how I’ve come to see my garden, bit by bit, over the years. Where others see a peaceful place to while away a summer afternoon, I see a full arsenal in my fight against corporatocracy. The shake of a seed packet is my chant; rows of chard and beds of potatoes are my weapons.
Roger Doiron, of Kitchen Gardeners International, recently gave a TEDx talk about the power of gardening. It is definitely worth a look:
Every bite of food we grow ourselves, every forkful that comes from our own labor instead of from the troughs of corporate food, is a statement that we are taking our power back. We don’t need them to feed us. Whether from our garden, our farmer’s market, or our local CSA, we can feed ourselves.
#Occupy Wall Street, and L.A., and Detroit. But #Occupy the garden, as well.
Want to get started?
- 66 Things You Can Grow Yourself, in Containers10 Most Nutritious Crops, and How to Grow ThemGrowing a Garden to Feed a FamilyThree Easy to Grow Veggies10 Veggies You Can Grow in Shade
Local Orbit founder Erika Block believes that more restaurants and shops would stock locally-sourced food — if only the process of tracking it down and arranging distribution were easier. As of now, Block says, a chef, shop owner, or determined local eater must maintain many disparate relationships with farmers and producers in order to make sure all of the ingredients they need make it into the kitchen or onto the shelves. Local Orbit, an online hub that streamlines the connections between buyers and growers, seeks to provide the missing link that makes the process easier and much more efficient.
I sat down with Block at this year’s Poptech conference; as a social innovation fellow, she delivered a talk about how Local Orbit could broaden the horizons of possibility for local food markets everywhere. She sat down with me for an interview, and we discussed all of the above:
CLICK HERE to watch the Interview
I’m making baba ganoush; surely one of the best dips on the planet. I was talking to a friend just now who commented that she didn’t ever have time to cook. But I thought about all the time in her life devoted to allergies, going to the doctor, feeling bad, lost productivity..low energy. Ah yes, I remember all that. It’s been 25 years ago that I got well from changing my diet and cannot imagine not taking the time to cook. Breakfast every morning, dinner most night…
I roast a chicken once a week, make bone stocks every third week and freeze them. Yogurt about every two weeks. And these are foods that take you hovering over them; you put them, and they simmer or inoculate…or brine. Whatever. I make it work and multi-task while I do it.
Breakfast; put the iron pan to heat, wash face, put moisturizer on…start getting ready. Back to kitchen to throw turkey bacon on; wash hair or work on computer. Write, sit outside, water plants. Whatever…
Get lunch ready; whatever was dinner last night, plan leftovers on purpose, keep caramelized onions in fridge to dress up some broth with chicken, coconut milk yogurt, fruit.
Dinner…again, kinda in stages, get dinner started while doing other stuff, multi-tasking. I am either cooking something that doesn’t take long (eggs, salmon, tuna, steak) or stuff that roasts or cooks longer (roasts, whole chickens)… So either way I just make it work.
1 large eggplant
8 ounce jar of roasted red pepper, not in oil
1 cup black olives
1 T. Roasted or fresh tahini
Handful of fresh basil
½ t. dried basil
¼ t. dried thyme
1 t. Grey Poupon Mustard
1 t balsamic vinegar
1/3 t. garlic granules
Salt and pepper to taste
Roast eggplant in oven until it implodes, about an hour at 350º. You can microwave it also, but I tend to cook in the oven more. I bake them when I roast a chicken, with whole sweet potatoes, all in the same roasting pan.
Remove meat from eggplant and place in food processor. Buzz briefly. Add all ingredients except olives and peppers. Blend, leaving it chunky. Then add veggies and buzz a few times, leaving the olives and peppers in pieces, NOT Blended.
Then add the basil and barely buzz until it looks chucky and still colorful.
This is great on chips, rice crackers, Ezekiel toast points, carrots, celery.