Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It ain't pickled but

Unpasteurized vinegar is some impressive stuff. I'll let you do your own research for now but I do shots of escabiche juice (vinegar w/ fermented garlic, onion, peppers, &ct. essences) alongside my daily kvass shot. Lots of nutrients in there, lots of dietary power I can't get anywhere else, lots of dietary power lost to most folks on a Western Commercial diet. Did you buy your meal, as opposed to creating your meal from raw ingredients? If you "bought" your meal, chances are it's a dead one. Trying to feed a living organism, on a planet where other critters that eat dead stuff exist outside or atop the food chains- scientists still can't figure out how buzzards don't die from eating putrified meat- living organisms feed off other living processes. Milk was once collected and kept long enough for airborne bacteria to turn it to cheese. Some hungry fella ate it and then told his family about it. We all did it and lived healthily until we were convinced to buy the convenience food offered by the corporations. Perhaps it's a different enzymatic process from the buzzards but eating things that have fermented or aged or otherwise been altered by growing processes have a propensity for healthy benefits. Among others, vinegar prevents putrifaction.

White vinegar is an evil, in-organic by-product of the phenol production process (industrial waste material that Heinz found a profitable end for) but it's still worth knowing about. "57 varieties" is famous for when Heinze took common preserves and pickles and mass-produced them for commercial sale. Now, to run a profitable ketchup biz, you have to maximize price while minimizing your costs. Selling live, cultured foods is very hard to do on a wide scale, let alone a national one. It's too hard to keep a consistent product, let alone ship it somewhere. The feedback to this profit-based rape of your nutrition is part of why we're seeing a "locally grown" movement in produce lately. Not only is it contributing to global warming (14% of carbon emissions are from our transportation sector and 14% come from our agriculture sector) to buy food made somewhere else but it comes at the sacrifice of quality and nutrition. If you are in a bind, say weathering a hurricane or other "disaster" that shuts down the electrical grid, eat your food from the jar it's packaged in. When you are done, if you have nothing else, pour in some white vinegar, it will keep your food from going bad for a few days longer. Hopefully, you will have some living vinegar to use instead and can preserve what's at hand better but let's at least profit from our high-priced conveniences if not!

On a brighter note, Shit doesn't happen every day and we can pay attention to certain things that don't ferment well: citrus, fruits (tomatillo and tomato!), spinach.
I make pesto with equal parts cooked spinach and basil. I add many nuts, many living cheeses, and living vinegar. The spinach won't ferment but the vinegar and cheese cultures keep this sauce edible and aging for months in the fridge!
I take raw nuts (no peanuts) and soak them in seasalt brine overnight, then dry them at low low temps in the oven the next night. This kills the enzyme-inhibitors that evolution has built into seeds, which are what makes a seed a seed instead of a food after it's gone through your gut. Killing the enzyme-inhibitor allows your body to make the most of seeds, a rich source of varied nutrients.


IntraSpeck said...

I wonder how well your pesto would do if you sprouted the nuts instead of brining and roasting them. Sprouting also changes the enzymes to make the nutrition more bio-available for us bipeds.

John Lewis said...

Intraspeck, tell me more. I only know a bit about sprouting greens