Thursday, August 7, 2014

One More Nail In The Coffin Of The Lowfat Diet

Yesterday I heard a segment on the radio (KQED public radio in SF) in which investigative journalist Nina Teicholz spoke about her new book, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. Her book makes a scientific, "evidence-based" case for eating a diet high in saturated fats, and explains the rise and reign of the low-fat myth.

She spoke well. The audio is available here and/or here. She is also speaking at the Commonwealth Club tonight.

This is interesting to me for various reasons.

First, I want to know what to eat to keep myself healthy. I've been eating a diet high in saturated fats for a while now, and it's nice to have further confirmation that this makes sense.

Second, Sally Fallon Morell and the Weston A. Price Foundation have been on the record in favor of the high-saturated-fat diet for at least fifteen years, and for most of that time, they were disparaged and/or dismissed by the mainstream.

The fact that the saturated fat idea has become palatable to the liberal establishment (as represented by public radio and the Commonwealth Club) is heartening to me.

Let's hope that they get curious and start examining the rest of the dietary dogma that has been force-fed to an easily led public.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Upcoming Events: Farm to Fermentation Festival, WAPF Massachusetts Conference, Boston Fermentation Festival

I have three very exciting speaking engagements coming up this summer and fall.

First, on August 24, is the Farm to Fermentation Festival, an annual event in Santa Rosa, California, 60 miles north of San Francisco. I believe it was at this festival a few years ago that Michael Pollan and Sandor Katz started talking about working together, which laid the groundwork for Pollan's book, "Cooked". Who knows what propitious meetings might occur this year?

I'd encourage SF Bay Area folks interested in pickles, cheese, or beer to come to this event. (Doesn't that cover just about everyone?) I can't wait for the "Cheese and Beverage Pairing" talk, myself. The whole event will be fun and educational. Here's the lineup of speakers. If you use the special discount code "pickle", you can save $5 off admission.

Next, on September 20, I will be speaking at the the Weston A. Price Foundation Massachusetts regional conference in Southbridge, 60 miles west of Boston. For anyone who has been to a WAPF conference, you know how awesome the conferences are. And for anyone who hasn't, you have something great to look forward to. And the food is the best conference food you will ever find.

Finally, on September 27 in Boston, I will be speaking at the Boston Fermentation Festival. Last year's Festival was a real coming-together of the Boston fermenting community, bringing in more than 1000 people over the course of the day. This year should be even more popular and awesome. Sandor Katz is headlining. I'm thrilled to be a part of it!

Please post in the comments section if you have any questions.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Boston Fermented Dinner And Drink Pairing Pop-Up, Monday June 16

Boston-area fermentos Geoffrey Lukas (of Sofra) and Jeremy Ogusky (of Boston Ferments and Ogusky Ceramics) have teamed up to offer a Fermented Dinner and Drink Pairing, at City Girl Café in Inman Square on Monday June 16. Details are here and here. It will be fabulous, and some of the proceeds will go to support the Boston Fermentation Festival in September. And all attendees will get a commemorative hand-made ceramic cup!

Again, details here and here.

Sign up now before all the tickets are gone!

And if you're not around Boston and/or you can't make it, please draw inspiration from the menu, and think about what kind of fermented events might work where you live...

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Conscious Eating Rather Than Perfect Eating

For most of us, it is not practical to eat only optimal foods. I often find myself eating food prepared by someone else in an unknown manner or eating MOUO (Meat Of Unknown Origin), and sometimes I don't have access to my favorite "good" foods.

This may happen when I'm at someone's house for dinner, not able to find a graceful way to turn down a meal that is served to me. Or I may be traveling, and my metabolic needs for calories and stabilized blood sugar may (reasonably I think) trump other considerations.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The "Donut Metric"

Mercola posted a great article several months ago called "Surprising Foods with More Sugar Than a Krispy Kreme Doughnut", comparing the sugar content of a donut with the sugar content of various other foods.


His list is definitely worth a look. For context, here are the "Nutrition Facts" from the Krispy Kreme website. It turns out that a "sugar doughnut" contains only 9 grams of sugar—ironically, less than most of the other donut varieties, some of which have 30 or more grams; but I don't think this detracts from his point).

Nevertheless, for anyone who thinks they are avoiding sugar by drinking bottled iced tea, say, rather than cola, please read the label. Arizona Iced Tea, for instance, has about the same amount of sugar in it as Coca Cola (depending on flavor)—so a 20 oz. bottle contains 60 grams of sugar, or "6+ donuts' worth"!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Boise Food & Health Weekend May 3 and 4 2014!

Last year, blogger and friend Raine Saunders hosted a Food & Health Weekend at her home in Boise, ID. We had a fantastic time--I led a fermenting workshop, and there were also presentations on liver and pâté, and on "sun, sleep and supplements". In between, we visited farmers markets, spent time at the local hot springs, and had a real food potluck!

Good news: We are doing it again! It will be the weekend of May 3 and 4, 2014.

Details follow. Please sign up and pay in advance, so that we can make travel arrangements and get the right amounts of materials.

Full info, schedule, and sign up are here. Or:

BUY NOW Alex's fermentation workshop, $40 -->
BUY NOW Raine's yogurt workshop, $15 -->
BUY NOW Cheryl's GAPS & Leaky Gut presentation, $10 -->
BUY NOW Mary's kombucha/kefir workshop, $12 -- >
BUY NOW All event workshops and receive $7 discount -->

BUY NOW Alex's book -->

If you have questions, please comment on this post and I'll answer them ASAP.

EVENT LOCATION: 406 W. Iowa Street, Boise, Idaho 83706
Phone contact: 208-869-8860


12:15 PM GAPS and Leaky Gut Syndrome with Cheryl Carruth 

1:30 PM Homemade yogurt with Raine Saunders

2:30 PM Demo on soaking nuts and oatmeal with Alex Lewin & Raine Saunders

2:45 - 4:45 PM Fermented vegetables - sauerkraut, kimchi, and beet kvass with Alex Lewin, author of Real Food Fermentation and the blog Feed Me Like You Mean It

8:00 PM Join us in Idaho City at The Springs for a hot mineral soak to end the day!

CLICK HERE to reserve your spot at The Springs on Saturday, May 3rd -->

SUNDAY, May 4th 

1:30 PM Demo on soaking nuts and oatmeal continued with Alex Lewin & Raine Saunders

2:00 PM Kombucha & Kefir with Mary Korte

3: 30 PM - ?? Everyone is welcome to attend! Bring a dish to share and come meet the members of your local food community, with a real food potluck at our workshop location (see address above).

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Doctors Are Not Always Right

George Washington died in 1799 at the age of 67. When he fell sick with what sounds like a cold or infection of some sort, he received care from eminent and respectable physicians. Nevertheless, within a few days, he was dead.

His medical treatments ranged from possibly helpful ("a medicinal mixture of molasses, vinegar, and butter") to very unhelpful (extensive bloodletting) to toxic (orally administered mercurous chloride, also known as calomel, generally given to patients until they salivated uncontrollably, a symptom of acute mercury poisoning).

We can look back at this story, shaking our heads sadly at the barbarity of the medicine of 1799. While doing this, we may note that mercurous chloride was an ingredient in infant teething powders in Britain until 1954, and shake our heads sadly some more. Or that mercurious chloride was a legal ingredient in skin whitening creams in the US until 1990.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Science Doesn't Prove Things

Science provides hypotheses and models of how things work. The value of a model is measured by its ability to explain past observations and predict future ones.

A new scientific theory is accepted into the mainstream canon when there is consensus that it provides better, simpler, more accurate, or more detailed explanations than existing theories. New theories often meet with great resistance unrelated to their merit or utility, for a variety of reasons outlined in my previous post.

Today’s breakthrough theories will become tomorrow’s mainstream theories. And sooner or later, many of today's best and brightest theories will be displaced by newer theories.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mainstream Science Advances Slowly, Even In The Face Of New Evidence

Per the Oxford English Dictionary, scientific method is “a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.”

It wasn’t the case that we all woke up one morning and agreed on scientific method; its adoption, like the adoption of most philosophical and, indeed, scientific paradigms, was a process rather than an event, and its adoption process stretched into the 1800s. And it has not been adopted by folks whose personal beliefs preclude or supersede it.

So what is the scientific method?

Friday, January 10, 2014

I'm Teaching A Fermentation Class At Stanford

I'm teaching a fermentation class at Stanford, in partnership with Dr. Tia Rich and Dr. Angela Marcobal. It will be on four consecutive Fridays—Feb 28, Mar 7, Mar 14, and Mar 21—from 12:30-1:30pm.

Details are here (at the bottom of page 7). To register, click here, search for "ferment", and proceed. (If someone finds a reasonable way to link directly to the class page, please post a comment.) Enrollment is limited to 25, and as I write this, 14 spots have been taken already.