Archive | February, 2011

‘Eat less red meat’, say experts and every newspaper in the UK. ‘Duh!’ say every vegan, vegetarian and raw foodist.

20 Feb

Cows are dancing for joy at the news that the SACN recommends we humans eat less meat...

Today was a good day for vegans, vegtarians, raw foodists and even raw food hypocrites like me.  Every Sunday newspaper in the UK has reported on the ‘advice’ due to be released by The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommending that we eat less meat.  While the equivalent of three rashers of bacon a day still seems like a lot  to me – surely we are merely a stone’s throw from being ‘advised’ to be completely raw…

While the full report will be issued in a few days with the full advice and basis for it – here is the article I’ve copied from today’s Independent.

Britons should cut their consumption of red and processed meat to reduce the risk of bowel cancer, scientific experts are expected to recommend in a report.

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) was asked by the Department of Health to review dietary advice on meat consumption as a source of iron.

In a draft report published in June 2009 the committee of independent experts said lower consumption of red and processed meat would probably reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

The committee said: “Although the evidence is not conclusive, as a precaution, it may be advisable for intakes of red and processed meat not to increase above the current average (70g/day) and for high consumers of red and processed meat (100g/day or more) to reduce their intakes.”

A daily total of 70g is equivalent to about three rashers of bacon.

The Sunday Telegraph said the full report, to be published within days, was expected to echo the committee’s draft report.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “The DH committee of independent experts on nutrition will shortly publish their final report on iron and health.”

The World Cancer Research Fund already recommends people limit their intake of red meat, including pork, beef, lamb and goat, to 500g a week.

The fund also advises consumers to avoid too much processed meat, including hot dogs, ham, bacon and some sausages and burgers.

The Telegraph goes further to reiterate that ‘links between red meat and cancer, which have been suggested by a series of scientific studies, have provoked long-running controversy.

In 2005, a European study found those who regularly ate 160g (5.6oz) of red meat a day increased their risk of bowel cancer by one third.

High consumption of red and processed meat has also been linked to many other cancers, including that of the breast, bladder, stomach and digestive organs, but the evidence is weaker.’

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For a Happy Valentine’s – try this raw raspberry tart

13 Feb

A gorgeous photo of the delicious raw tarts thanks to alkalinesisters.com

I found this amazingly uber scrumptiously delicious raw raspberry tart recipe on the beautiful raw foodie website at alkalinesisters.com. Other than swapping raspberries for strawberries, I managed to have all the ingredients on hand and can vouch that they are super easy to make, super healthy and super delicious.

The recipe (I’ve slightly adapted for my kitchen equipment capability…):

For the shell
1 cup raw organic almonds, soaked 2-3 hours or over night
1 1/4 cup dried organic soft dates, chopped, soaked for 30 mins only if not soft
3/4 cups raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla- alcohol free
pinch sea salt
2-3 tbsp filtered water – I used tap

Combine above ingredients in bowl and mix until it clumps together adding the water bit by bit. Take a generous tablespoon and roll into ball and place in mini tart pan – I used a small ceramic rameken.  Using the end of a wooden spoon gently press in the center and push mixture towards the sides, lining the tart shell.  Repeat until pan is full. Chill these for 15 minutes.  Remove from fridge and run a butter knife around the edge and lift each tart out on to a plate.

For the filling
2 cups fresh raspberries – I used strawberries
1 1/2 cups raw organic cashews, soaked 30 mins
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice + little more for consistency
1 1/2 tbsp agave syrup or to taste,or combine 3-5 drops stevia with less agave – or use honey

Place all filling ingredients in high speed blender until nice and creamy. To complete the tarts, place the filling in each tart, heaping it up a little in the center.  Top each tart with berries.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Tesco join the raw food revolution

13 Feb

The bananas are popular at Tescos since they've moved to the front of store

My local Tesco on Portobello Rd has just been renovated. They’ve done a new paint job and added some diy cashier points but the real news is that they’ve swapped the cakes and crisps that used to be at the front entrance for rows of fresh fruit and vegies. While they haven’t exactly sent out a press release about joining the raw food revolution – I’m sure that’s what they’re telling us and I love it.

Repositioning the fruit and vegies immediately reprioritises the average person’s purchasing options; from bad to good, unhealthy to healthy and processed to raw. It shows that even a monster British retailer knows the value of fresh plant foods and also demonstrates their commitment to improved health and nutrition. I’d say they’re on the raw bandwagon for sure…

By the way – please excuse the quality of the pics – Tesco security are a bit uptight…

Dr Carrot is back

6 Feb

Dr Carrot and his companion Potato Pete were two of the Ministry of Foods most popular creations, and Pete even had a song about him sung by Betty Driver of Coronation Street fame.

It seems carrots are the ‘it’ vegetable at the moment especially since the British Carrot Growers Association (BGCA) has re-launched the Ministry of Food’s wartime ‘Dr Carrot’ campaign this week.  ‘Functional foods’ or foods with added nutritional benefit such as Vitamin Water or Yakult, are the fastest growing area in food manufacturing and they make my heart sing, but raw fruit and vegetables are the first and only true functional food and make me positively levitate. And the more people who understand the true point and value of healthy food, the better.

According to Horticulture Week, a publication I’m sure you read daily; ‘Dr Carrot was first developed by the Ministry of Food during the Second World War as part of an educational campaign to encourage healthy eating during rationing.  The BCGA, which represents more than 80 per cent of Britain’s carrot producers, is working with television’s Dr Christian Jessen on the project to convey the character’s original words of advice in modern times.’  From what I can gather from the carrot museum (huh??), this slogan was Carrots keep you healthy and help you see in the blackout.

So what’s so great about carrot besides helping you see in a blackout?

Firstly half a medium-sized carrot contains twice the daily recommended intake of Vitamin A.  According to various sources Vitamin A is essential for the immune system. It keeps skin and mucous membrane cells healthy and moist and therefore more resistant to bacteria and viruses.   Nutritionist Jennifer Brett, N.D. on Discovery Health goes as far as to say that Vitamin A fights cancer by inhibiting the production of DNA in cancerous cells. It slows down tumor growth in established cancers and may keep leukemia cells from dividing.

The carrot museum also tells us (I have checked with other sources…) that carrots are rich in antioxidants Beta Carotene, Alpha Carotene, Phytochemicals and Glutathione, Calcium and Potassium, and vitamins B1, B2, C, and E, which are also considered antioxidants, protecting as well as nourishing the skin. They contain a form of calcium easily absorbed by the body. A carrot also:

  • Enhances the quality of breast milk
  • Improves the appearance of the skin, hair and nails.
  • Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Raw carrot contains beta-carotene, a strong antioxidant that can prevent cancer
  • Helps the adrenal glands (the small endocrine glands situated above the kidneys)
  • Increase menstrual flow.
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Promotes colon health because it is rich in fibre
  • Alkalises the system

And of course, as the slogan says, vitamin A is essential for our vision, particularly in low light.

Dr Jessen is the new Dr Carrot

I know I don’t have enough vitamin A in my diet and on reading how vital it is to nibble half a carrot every day I’m onto it. Despite lovely Dr Jessen’s unfortunate middle parting I am sure he’ll do a great job at convincing the rest of us to grab a carrot a day.