Sunday, 04 August 2013 23:44
By Jeffrey Juran
I can still recollect the childhood evenings when my mom made use of her pressure cooker, especially the sound of the vibrating round weight at the top letting off steam — and excess pressure — two or three times a minute. Little did I think...
The idea behind cooking in pressurized water-as-it-turns-into-steam is this: the increased pressure (which also contributes to better penetration of the water/steam) is accompanied by increased temperature, something experimentally confirmed and made into a usable formula by Robert Boyle and his assistant, Robert Hooke, three-and-a-half centuries ago. The first application of this principle — the first actual cooking demonstration — came less than two decades later. It would be another two centuries before attempts could realistically be made to popularize it, in this first go around, by making the cooker out of cast iron. However, another half-century plus passed — to the mid-twentieth century — before industry, no longer turning out parts for war aircraft, turned its factories towards such mass-fabrication, making consumer appliances such as pressure cookers out of aluminum. Competition proved stiff; design and manufacture were too often done on the cheap; reliability and safety too often went missing, and in the long run, the technology was not adopted. Pressure cooking even fell into disrepute — who wanted a pot blowing up in their kitchen? I don't know how often this might have happened — probably quite rare — but just the idea that it could, with that constant "reminder," the incessant sound of hot steam periodically hissing while it operated, while all very normal, couldn't be very enticing for potential users who weren't sure that there might be an upside.
Monday, 01 July 2013 22:41
Author's Name Withheld
I'm not qualified to dispense medical advice. I'm not a doctor, a nutritionist, or a dietitian. And yet, three years ago — when our son was struggling with autism-spectrum–style issues, worsening digestion, incredibly picky eating, autoimmune/allergic symptoms, and all sorts of behavioral and developmental challenges — my husband and I discovered a major problem: nobody else was quite qualified to treat him, either.
Our son was six at the time. I (and my children) had eaten a whole-foods vegetarian diet since birth. I was a vegetarian chef and taught classes on vegetarian cooking and nutrition. I thought I was doing everything possible to ensure the health of my offspring. My son never ate gluten or dairy, I selected whole grains and organic foods, and whenever possible I limited our exposure to environmental toxins. And still, despite holistic and conventional healing attempts, by 2010 his health was deteriorating severely and rapidly.
Sometimes it takes my breath away: my body co-created my child, and now his body re-makes itself, every day of his life, using the stuff we breathe and consume. It was three years ago when I truly began to grapple with the implications of this: Every time I prepare food for my family, I make choices that support or detract from our continual healing and rebuilding. Our bodies heal and rebuild for as long as we're alive. Even a broken femur can heal itself; why not a broken brain?
Monday, 01 July 2013 22:17
By Patrice Lockert Anthony
I love food. I am a foodie. My being a foodie is not the reason, though, that I am overweight. It is a common misperception that being overweight is directly related to how much food we eat. It is indirectly related. Everybody eats, yet everybody is not overweight. It is not about eating. It isn't even, necessarily, about what we eat. It is directly related to why we eat, how we eat, and where we eat. The food itself is ancillary.
I am not losing weight because I am eating less food. I am losing weight because I have shifted my focus. I am losing weight because I've decided some other things are weighted (pun intended) as being of more importance. I am losing weight because my body is not designed to give out at age fifty-three. Imagine living your life as a disciplined worker and achiever. You've gained all you sought. It's time to retire, but you can't enjoy the retirement you planned because your health is failing, or has failed. And it's your doing. Imagine living with that knowledge.
I believe in sweat equity. I put a lot of sweat equity into my company, my writing, and my teaching. Why should my body, my overall health, be of any less import? Many years ago, in a universe far, far away (Los Angeles), I worked for a bank. A couple of my colleagues had a very troubled relationship. One of the colleagues was quite heavy, and the other tall and lean. In yet another "set to" one day, the heavy colleague told the lean colleague to "go eat something" (I'm paraphrasing). With split-second timing, the lean one pivoted, looked the other dead in the eye, and said, "No, thank you, sweetheart. I'm built for speed, not for comfort." It was a stunning (and crushing) blow. At the time, I just thought it was a humiliatingly cruel thing to say.
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By Jeff JosephRead more...
Trees are such a ubiquitous part of our local landscape that it is all too easy to forget their essential involvement in our lives. It was for this reason that the first Arbor Day was celebrated in 1872. Each state chooses the date for this holiday to coincide with the optimal season for tree planting. In New York, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, which this year falls on April 27. While it is largely overshadowed by Earth Da...