Watermelon, For the Heart and Soul

HoniAnn loves watermelon in the summer. I do too, but had cut back on it because I thought I should cut down on the sugars in my diet (generally a good idea). Then I saw this article on the nutritional benefits of watermelon and now I’m eating a small chunk each day. We live and learn. Look at this watermelon profile.

Watermelon is a nutrient-dense food containing high amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a low amount of calories. One cup will provide 17% of Vitamin A, 21% of C, 2% of iron, and 1% of iron. You will also get doses of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene and betaine. You get more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. On top of all that, melon is 92% water, making it the perfect recovery food after working in the sun. All of this for only 43 calories per cup. Who knew?

Taking all of these qualities together, it is contended that you will help build protective walls against obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, high blood pressure, and cancer while improving digestion and regularity, hydration, inflammation and muscle soreness. All the while, these nutrients improve hair and skin.

I’m a convert. Especially with Blue Bell coming back and tempting me from the freezer shelves, it’s now watermelon for recovery and dessert (okay, so everyday except Sunday when I will have my Blue Bell. Whoo hoo!).

Nutrient News

I had recently mentioned that while grass-fed beef has been studied widely and often, hardly anything has happened with pork. Now we have something out of Australia. And as you would expect, pastured pork follows the same pattern as beef – give them access to the green stuff – and acorns, pecans, berries, and roots – and the Omega 3 is going to get itself back in balance with the Omega 6. Not a surprise, but it is welcome confirmation of the virtue of properly raised pork. The antioxidants show up as well – vitamin E and such – so you have that value added too.

All in all, pastured pork fits our mission. It brings sustainable value.

Link: Nutrition and Flavor

Are you amazed by how much the food world has changed in the last 10 years? I am, and the Real Food world made it happen. It was moving along at a steady pace from its inception with a bunch of “old hippies” and Whole Foods in Austin. That was 40 years ago. But the pace of change accelerated over the last ten when the retailers realized you were serious about the food thing. Now we have fast food and grocery companies competing to see who can get on the bandwagon first.

Which brings me to today’s revelation: did you know that the lack of nutrition that goes into the industrial chicken, turkey, beef, pork and lamb also dilutes the flavor? So what have they been doing since factory farms started? They are adding artificial flavors that mimic those meaty tastes. Yep, there’s a chemical company in New Jersey that does nothing but that – invents in the test tube whatever a piece of meat is supposed to taste like and sells it to the producers so their meat can taste like something it is not but used to be.

Wow. More cooked chemicals in our food that nobody told us about. And they convinced us it was “fresh”. What a bunch of rascals.

Remember, the real value is found in Real Food. JVF brings it to your door.

There They Go Again

Paw Paw had to deal with the government and its well-intentioned but often misguided regulators as we do (that “misguided” part has only gotten worse in our day). The last straw for him was the pasteurization mandate. He knew that heating the milk was going to take it out of its natural balance and destroy good bacteria for the sake of killing bad bacteria that had never been found in his milk in the first place. So the cost of pasteurization equipment was the last straw for him and he closed the dairy after 35 years of delivering good, health-giving food to the local population. Fair View is now a residential subdivision where many of my cousins reside on “farmettes”.

The government is at it again (but don’t worry, we will not concede!) They are offering new dietary guidelines. Is there anything in their history to suggest we should listen to them considering the poor health of our nation following their fallacious suggestions of the past. They now suggest that we eat less beef for “environmental reasons”. Please tell me they’re not serious! 
But they are. Here’s their logic, and I am not making this up. Cows and other 4-legged herbivores turn grass into red meat. That’s pretty miraculous in itself. In the process, they belch methane. Methane is one of the ozone-effecting gases. So in its ignorantly simplistic view of the world, the gov concludes that cows must be bad. Are they just trying to save some credibility after getting beef so wrong since the 60’s? Who knows.

But here are the facts: our grasslands are the greatest carbon trappers on the planet, ridding the atmosphere of much more ozone depleting gases than the miniscule amounts of methane emitted by herbivores. Grasslands will not thrive without the beneficial effects of grazing animals, be that the buffalo the deer or the cow (by the way, they don’t mention that the U.S. cow herd does not now and has never reached the anywhere near the numbers of the old buffalo herds. Seems like we were pretty healthy when the buffalo roamed the Plains). And what if we got rid of cattle altogether, or even reduced their numbers by half? Would purses, shoes, belts, and car seats then be replaced by vinyl or some other chemical plant produced material?

What would that add to our greenhouse gases. And if they want to go after agriculture, why don’t they reduce monocultural farming which scalped the grasslands and poured chemical all over our surface, into the waterways and the atmosphere? There’s a reason that the Ag companies are exempt from the EPA. They would have to shut down vegetable farming as we know it of they were subject to the same regulations as everybody else.

So ignore your government while improving your health and your environment. The government’s agenda is different and has nothing to do with either. Maddening but true.

There They Go Again

After getting dietary practices exactly wrong for the last 6 and a half decades, our government is back at it. And while I applaud their belated reversal on the kind of foods that should be emphasized in our diet (protein), I am bewildered by one proposed recommendation. For “environmental” reasons, they want us to de-emphasize beef in our diet.

Environmental reasons? Really? We have scalped the Great Plains and poured all manner of harmful chemicals on them, poisoning our air, soil and waterways and they want to reduce beef consumption for environmental reasons? There is not room in this month’s newsletter to review how wrong that is. It will be a topic next month. Suffice it to say for now that responsible grazing of our remaining grasslands is an environmental plus, not a negative. 

Good Things Come In Small Packages

Harvard, Stanford and several other credible medical research schools are finally doing the research necessary to understand the value of beef and it is becoming a star in the protein world. For good reason when you consider what you get for your daily requirements from 1 – 6 oz piece of grass-fed beef. Look at this recent compilation:

Nutritional Value of Grass-Fed Beef

So this concludes our 3 part series on the value of Real Food. And that value also makes it the superior cost option. Don’t be lured by cheap food – it’s cheap for a reason. Buy the best value and you will never look back.

There They Go Again

The government is at it again – you may have heard about their proposal to limit beef in their next diet recommendation for “environmental” reasons. One would think they would get over it after throwing Americans into their current state of poor, obese state of un-health with their last diet plan, but noooo…

So next month, I will begin laying out why they are wrong again. On the ignorance scale, this one may be worse than the last.

Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLA)

Last month we opened the discussion about the true cost of your food with a comparison of Omega 3 content in grass-fed meats versus commercial meat, revealing that grass-fed is by far the better bargain. This month we take the same approach with the emerging nutritional star, Conjugated Linoleic Acid.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) may prove to be one of our most potent defenses against cancer. Tests in laboratory animals have shown that even a small amount of CLA added to the diet greatly reduced existing tumor growth. In a Finnish study, women with adequate CLA levels had a 60% lower incidence of breast cancer. A Utah State University scientist suggests that you may be able to lower your risk of cancer by simply adding these grass fed products to your daily diet: 1 glass of whole milk, one ounce of cheese, and one serving of meat.

Grass-fed products contain 3-5 times the CLAs of industrial product. Let’s again take the midrange multiplier of 4 and compare the cost of CLAs in the competing products.

Your CLAs cost $1.44, $1.09 and $4.99 at JVF against the grocery cost of $5.77, $4.37 and $19.97.

That difference in cost is so dramatic that it should be viewed in chart form.

The Comparative Cost of Nutrition

Cost of CLA per gram of beef

So when you shop, remember: don’t shop for cheap, shop for nourishment and you will end up with the best price available.

Well-raised food brings good health to your table. Jolie Vue brings it to your door.

Next month? We tell you how only 6 ounces of grass-fed beef satisfies so much of your daily nutritional requirements. Just 6 ounces, folks. You will be impressed.